Career and Education Opportunities for Secretaries in Charleston, West Virginia
For those living in the Charleston, West Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for secretaries. About 13,370 people are currently employed as secretaries in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 3% to 12,950 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for secretaries are expected to grow by about 4.6%. 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.
A person working as a secretary can expect to earn about $11 per hour or $22,940 yearly on average in West Virginia and about $13 hourly or $29,050 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Secretarial, people working as secretaries in West Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Secretarial nationally.
There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including two within twenty-five miles of Charleston 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
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 Charleston 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.
- Production Proofreader. Read transcript or proof type setup to detect and mark for correction any grammatical, typographical, or compositional errors.
- 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
Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology - Montgomery, WV
Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 405 Fayette Pike, Montgomery, WV 25136. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a small university located in Montgomery, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 743 students. Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated eighteen and zero students respectively in 2008.
West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV
West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science which graduated five students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.
The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.