Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Secretaries in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There are many career and education opportunities for secretaries in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 90,850 jobs for secretaries in Pennsylvania and this is projected to shrink by 7% to about 84,950 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for secretaries, which sees this job pool growing by about 4.6% over the next eight years. Secretaries generally perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.

Income for secretaries is about $13 per hour or $28,180 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally, their income is about $13 hourly or $29,050 annually. Earnings for secretaries are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Secretarial in Pennsylvania and not quite as good as general Secretarial category earnings nationally.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a secretary. The most common level of education for secretaries is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a secretary if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Secretary

Secretary video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, secretaries perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.

Secretaries operate office equipment such as fax machines and phone systems, and use computers for spreadsheet and other applications. They also make copies of correspondence and other printed material. Equally important, secretaries have to answer telephones and give data to callers or transfer calls to appropriate individuals. They are often called upon to greet visitors and callers, handle their inquiries, and direct them to the appropriate persons in line with their needs. They are expected to learn to operate new office technologies as they are developed and implemented. Finally, secretaries schedule and confirm appointments for clients or supervisors.

Every day, secretaries are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for secretaries to conduct searches to discover needed data, using such sources as the Internet. They are often called upon to order and dispense supplies. They also open and distribute incoming mail and other material and answer routine letters. They are sometimes expected to locate and attach appropriate files to incoming correspondence requiring replies. Somewhat less frequently, secretaries are also expected to operate office equipment such as fax machines and phone systems, and use computers for spreadsheet and other applications.

Secretaries sometimes are asked to establish work procedures and schedules and keep track of the daily work of clerical staff. They also have to be able to collect and disburse funds from cash accounts, and keep archives of collections and disbursements and prepare and maintain paper and electronic filing systems for archives and other material. And finally, they sometimes have to greet visitors and callers, handle their inquiries, and direct them to the appropriate persons in line with their needs.

Like many other jobs, secretaries must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • Administrative Assistant. Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.
  • Bank Teller. Receive and pay out money. Keep records of money and negotiable instruments involved in a financial institution's various transactions.
  • Bookkeeper. Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.
  • Clerk. Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
  • Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
  • Legal Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
  • Loan Inspector. Interview loan applicants to elicit information; investigate applicants' backgrounds and verify references; prepare loan request papers; and forward findings, reports, and documents to appraisal department. Review loan papers to ensure completeness, and complete transactions between loan establishment, borrowers, and sellers upon approval of loan.
  • Medical Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.
  • Municipal Clerk. Draft agendas and bylaws for town or city council; record minutes of council meetings; answer official correspondence; keep fiscal records and accounts; and prepare reports on civic needs.
  • Office Clerk. Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.
  • Office Machine Operator. Operate one or more of a variety of office machines, such as photocopying, photographic, and duplicating machines, or other office machines.
  • Receptionist. Answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, and other interested parties. Provide information regarding activities conducted at establishment; location of departments, offices, and employees within organization.
  • Typist. Type letters, reports, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording. May perform other clerical duties as assigned.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Secretary Training

Bradford School - Pittsburgh, PA

Bradford School, 125 West Station Square Drive, Suite 129, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Bradford School is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 583 students and an admission rate of 95%. Bradford School has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated zero and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has 2 areas of study related to Secretary. They are:

  • Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Executive Assistant/Executive Secretary, associate's degree.

Newport Business Institute - Lower Burrell, PA

Newport Business Institute, 945 Greensburg Rd, Lower Burrell, PA 15068. Newport Business Institute is a small school located in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 66 students. Newport Business Institute has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.

Penn Commercial Inc - Washington, PA

Penn Commercial Inc, 242 Oak Spring Road, Washington, PA 15301. Penn Commercial Inc is a small school located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 382 students and an admission rate of 62%. Penn Commercial Inc has an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science.

Douglas Education Center - Monessen, PA

Douglas Education Center, 130 7th St, Monessen, PA 15062. Douglas Education Center is a small school located in Monessen, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 222 students. Douglas Education Center has a one to two year program in Executive Assistant/Executive Secretary which graduated three students in 2008.

Westmoreland County Community College - Youngwood, PA

Westmoreland County Community College, 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697-1895. Westmoreland County Community College is a medium sized college located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,512 students. Westmoreland County Community College has 2 areas of study related to Secretary. They are:

  • Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, less than one year and one to two year which graduated one and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Executive Assistant/Executive Secretary, associate's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.

West Virginia Business College-Wheeling - Wheeling, WV

West Virginia Business College-Wheeling, 1052 Main St, Wheeling, WV 26003. West Virginia Business College-Wheeling is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 60 students. West Virginia Business College-Wheeling has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Executive Assistant/Executive Secretary which graduated one and one students respectively in 2008.

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA

Everest Institute-Pittsburgh, 100 Forbes Ave, Suite 1200, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1320. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh is a small school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 368 students and an admission rate of 70%. Everest Institute-Pittsburgh has an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated two students in 2008.

West Virginia Northern Community College - Wheeling, WV

West Virginia Northern Community College, 1704 Market St., Wheeling, WV 26003-3699. West Virginia Northern Community College is a small college located in Wheeling, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,924 students. West Virginia Northern Community College has a one to two year program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated three students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.