Posted in Career Insights
secretary salary

When considering a career as a secretary, one of the first things that comes to mind is how much you can make. Although secretaries don’t need a lot of formal education, they can earn a decent amount of money depending on their location and experience. So what is the average secretary salary in the US? Here’s an overview of different estimates based on several career factors.

Secretarial Salaries Across the Web

The estimated secretary salary varies across different sources. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) the mean earnings for secretaries and administrative assistants who don’t work in a specialized field is about $41,080 per year. Those who work in legal and executive sectors average $52,540 and $66,870 respectively. Medical secretaries make the least, with an average annual salary of $39,740.

On job posting sites, the reported salaries are somewhat lower. Based on 4.4K reported salaries, Indeed estimates the average at around $29,489. While the estimate provided by ZipRecruiter is higher than Indeed, it is still lower than the figure provided by the BLS. On ZipRecruiter, the average secretary salary reported is $33,433.

Secretary Hourly Pay vs. Secretary Salary

Not all employers pay their employees based on a salary. Instead, many pay on an hourly basis, especially if the position is temporary or part-time. Thankfully, there are figures for these earnings too. 

Surprisingly, the estimates provided by job posting boards and the BLS are similar. While the BLS estimates the hourly wage to be around $19.75, ZipRecruiter and Indeed list it closer to $16. The BLS estimate equates to about $39,500 in yearly earnings, which is slightly closer to the estimates for both ZipRecruiter and Indeed regarding salary-based positions.

Factors That Affect the Average Secretary Salary

While looking at the average salary or hourly wage for secretaries is helpful, it doesn’t give you the full picture. There are several things that go into determining potential pay, such as location, industry, and experience. 

For example, the BLS collects data for salaries in every state as well as different industries. With general secretaries, the average salary varies widely between industries. Those who work for local government agencies make the most, at about $45,810 per year. In contrast, secretaries for death care services make the least, about $6,350 less than the national average for the position.

When it comes to location, some states pay better than others. Currently, Washington D.C. pays the highest wage to secretaries, with an average salary of $51,690. 

Other high paying areas include:

  • Massachusetts,
  • Connecticut,
  • Washington,
  • California, and
  • Hawaii.

Finally, secretaries with more experience tend to earn a higher wage. According to, secretaries with five years of experience make 6.7% more than those with no experience. This gap is even higher if the secretary works in a specialized field.

Kickstart Your Career as a Secretary With Stratford’s Course

If you’re ready to learn more about what it takes to be a secretary, enroll in Stratford Career Institute’s Secretary/Administrative Assistant course! We cover all the basics of working as a general secretary, from setting schedules to managing sensitive documents. Enroll today or contact us to learn more!


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Consider a Career as a Secretary!

Consider a Career as a Secretary!

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