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Becoming a Secretary or Personal Assistant in 2017

Becoming a Secretary or Personal Assistant in 2017


The secretary and personal assistant roles are vital to the running of any company. They’re the foundations of the office team. Helping to keep the business running smoothly, the secretary or PA play an exciting role in the team.

Core Responsibilities

A day in the life of a secretary or PA is never a boring one, that’s for sure!

  • Use a range of computer software packages including Microsoft Office Suite 
  • Produce business documents 
  • Write and work from notes and dictation 
  • Answering calls/emails/faxes from clients  
  • Make appointments and use a diary management system 
  • Record costs/manage petty cash funds 
  • Managing budgets and invoicing 
  • Attend client meetings 
  • Collect/deliver important documents 
  • Copy/fax/scan/prep large files 
  • General admin work inclusive of filing 

As a secretary, your role would be supporting a team of managers and may involve you managing some administrative support staff below you.

If you were to consider a personal assistant position, you would report into just one (or in some cases possibly two) senior manager(s), organising their workload and diaries and supporting them on a daily basis.

Core Skills

As a secretary or personal assistant, you will be expected to have excellent communication skills, both written and spoken, as you’ll be handling correspondence regularly both from clients and internally.

You will also need to have great organisation skills and be able to multitask, as each day will require numerous tasks to be undertaken and there may be several deadlines at once. However the pressure comes with much reward, as you play a pivotal role in the business and this is recognised by employers. Bonus schemes and employee benefits associated with these roles are often very appealing.

So if you enjoy being challenged and want to work in a fast paced environment, then these are the roles for you!

Salaries and Training

Much of the secretary and personal assistant roles are largely made up of administrative work, 90% of which is computer based. Therefore, if you’re considering these roles it is important that you have relevant training to top up skills and knowledge in these areas:

If you haven’t got previous secretarial experience, you can still become secretary or PA. The Secretarial Diploma and Professional Executive PA Diploma can be taken by beginners, and both diplomas have similar and transferrable skills across administrative roles.

The average secretary in Ireland earns around €25,000 per annum, with a beginner enjoying a healthy starting salary of €18,000 per annum. With experience and training, secretaries can earn up to €38,000 per annum.

The average PA in Ireland earns around €30,000 per annum, with starting salaries of around €20,000 per annum. With experience and training, a PA can earn up to €43,000 per annum.

Becoming a PA or Secretary

Do you think a career as a PA or secretary could be for you? If you would like to find out more, you can attend our Open Evening at the Pitman Training Centre on North St, Swords on Wednesday 14th June between 4pm – 7pm. 

For more information call 01 8404075 or email swords@pitman-training.net. 


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