Company secretaries are in demand

Secretary - job description, training, salary and requirements

Organization is in your blood and communication is your passion? Then a job in the secretariat could be your fulfillment. As a secretary you have a very wide range of tasks, you keep an eye on all appointments, take on the organization of meetings or trips and take care of the executive floor by only passing on the most important information. Depending on the company, there are many other tasks that you will take on as a secretary.

Telephone service is very often one of them. Accepting and forwarding calls or writing down messages for callback are part of the job. Secretaries are also entrusted with processing mail. Incoming letters and parcels are then sorted and passed on to the recipients in the company. In the evening you collect the outgoing mail, postage it and take it to the post office. Small errands, procurement of office supplies, correspondence, cost accounting, keeping minutes or paperwork can also be part of the job profile in the secretariat.

There are different ways of becoming a secretary. Secretaries work in a wide variety of industries, for lawyers, government agencies, hospitals and companies. Depending on the position, other skills may be required.

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Salary as a secretary

How much you earn as a secretary depends on several factors. In addition to your education and professional experience, the industry, the size of the employer and the region also play a role.

As a secretary, you can be remunerated in some industries according to the collective bargaining agreement. As a rule, your earnings will then be higher. For example, if you work as a secretary in a clinic, you will be paid according to the collective agreement and can earn around 2,700 euros gross per month. In a company in an industry for which collective agreements are uncommon, your gross earnings as a secretary can amount to around 2,250 euros.

In the eastern federal states (Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia), the salary as a secretary is often less than 2,000 euros. In Berlin, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein, the average salary is in the range of 2,200 to 2,400 euros. The salary as a secretary is particularly high in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The size of the company also has an impact on your salary. The following applies: the larger the company, the more you tend to earn. And finally, your professional experience and qualifications also play a major role. The more sought-after your qualifications, the more you can get out of salary negotiations.

Training and further education as a secretary

There is no specific training as a secretary in Germany. As a rule, commercial training leads to the profession. For example, you can complete an apprenticeship as a clerk for office communication, a clerk for marketing communication or as an industrial clerk. Training as a foreign language secretary is also an ideal basis for the job.

But there are also many lateral entrants from other professions or without completed professional training among the secretaries. If you do not have a completed training, it would make sense to take part in further training that prepares you for the tasks in the secretariat. Such training courses can last a few weeks or several months and provide you with knowledge in the areas of letter design, IT or keeping minutes.

If you want to gain a foothold as a secretary in a specific industry, further training in this industry, in law or economics, can qualify you for the job. Such further training courses are offered by the IHK and conclude with an examination. You will then receive an IHK certificate that is recognized throughout Germany.

Beware of private schools that offer secretary training; the qualification obtained in this way is not always recognized throughout Germany. Overall, relevant training, further education and training increase your job opportunities and earning potential.

Secretary is not a profession in the strict sense of the word, but rather colloquial. Entry professions for this profession are commercial professions in the fields of industry, craft, service or administration.

Requirements and tasks for the secretariat

Because there is no standardized training as a secretary, the requirements vary from job to job. In any case, a well-groomed appearance, good manners, communicative competence (including good knowledge of spoken and written German) and a pronounced organizational talent play an important role in working in the secretariat. In law firms or medical institutions, discretion, confidentiality (confidentiality) and a high sense of responsibility are also essential.

In addition, secretaries must have computer skills. For many positions, we are looking for applicants with knowledge of foreign languages, especially English.

Application as a secretary

When applying as a secretary, you should pay particular attention to your linguistic expression and the correctness and completeness of your documents. After all, it is precisely these skills that are required in the job as a secretary.

Your application is therefore a kind of trial work for the desired job. Read the job advertisement carefully and write an individual cover letter that explains exactly to what extent you meet the requirements profile. You should emphasize your analytical skills, your organizational skills and your communicative skills.

Solid commercial training or, alternatively, relevant further training, computer skills and foreign language skills perfectly round off your profile on your résumé.

Because companies usually receive a large number of applications, it is also important that you address your motivation. Why do you want this job, what excites you about it and why is this company of all things interesting for you? If you answer these questions in your cover letter, there is a high probability that you will be invited for an interview.

Many more tips on how to apply!

Trends and perspectives for the job

The job profile as a secretary is broad and is becoming even more complex in the course of globalization and digitization. In many cases, secretaries have to acquire special software applications and are assigned additional areas of responsibility. There are a number of opportunities for further training for this job. Beware of vague job advertisements. Sometimes it is stated that “supporting other departments” is part of the job. Applicants should follow up on this in order not to later do the work of a project assistant for the salary of a secretary.

Qualified professionals have little difficulty in finding a job as a secretary. Especially if you have industry-specific knowledge and skills.

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