Difference Between Administrative Assistant and Secretary

The corporate sectors have many jobs and responsibilities for which they require specific potential individuals to work. Administrative Assistant and Secretary are two among the jobs which require skills.

Administrative Assistant vs Secretary

The main difference between Administrative Assistant and Secretary is that an Administrative Assistant has many other job responsibilities than being on a desk full day and answering phone calls while on the other hand, the job responsibilities for a Secretary are mainly to be on the desk and performing some memos, updating job profiles of different employees, etc.

Administrative Assistant vs Secretary

An administrative assistant has many extra job responsibilities compared to that of a secretary. They have to report to their higher authorities for their work completion or submissions, such as CEOs or CFOs.

A secretary doesn’t have many responsibilities off their desk job. They are asked to report to the administrative assistant or executive or their boss.

Comparison Table Between Administrative Assistant and Secretary

Parameters of ComparisonAdministrative AssistantSecretary
Job TypeThe job of an administrative assistant is more than just an office desk job.The job of a secretary is mainly the office job.
Decision Making They have the authority to take an independent decision.They do not have the authority to make decisions on their own
Salary They have a higher pay scale.They have a low pay scale.
Responsibilities Create spreadsheets, research, taking forward with new clients, and many more.Answering phone calls, preparing memos, updating job profiles of employees, and many more
Preferences Knows about their boss preferencesMay or may not know their boss’s preferences

What is Administrative Assistant?

An administrative assistant is a person who is employed for performing many jobs and responsibilities related to a desk job, or fieldwork, or both.

In a medium-sized company or an office, the work and responsibility of an administrative assistant are performed by the individual hired for it. In a large office or company, the responsibilities and workload increase.

The company or organization wants a person who is good in teamwork, critical thinking, confident, knows to manage his/her time according to the workload, knows about the basics of Microsoft tools along with some bookkeeping tools, and is brilliant in communications skills.

Some of the roles and duties performed by the administrative assistant are- making spreadsheets, handling clients, doing research work, creating agendas for the day, working on a large-scale project, etc.

administrative assistant

What is Secretary?

A secretary is a person who is employed for performing various responsibilities but mainly related to in-office desk jobs.

The basic requirements for the job of the secretary are somewhat the same as that of an administrative assistant which is – confident person, brilliant in speaking skills, good critical thinking skills, aware about time management, teamwork, excel in different computer software skills, etc.

The mains roles and responsibilities of a secretary are – answering phone calls and redirect them to the respective person, typing dictation notes, profiling different employees, maintain records, running errands, operating office equipment, etc.

A secretary does not have any power to take office or work-related decisions. The salaries offered to a secretary are low and maybe around 13 dollars per hour.


Main Differences Between Administrative Assistant and Secretary

  1. The set of responsibilities for an administrative assistant is much more than that of a secretary as they have to maintain spreadsheets, handling regular and new clients, research work done, etc.
  2. An administrative assistant is must aware of their in-charge or boss preferences while a secretary may or may not be aware of that.  
Difference Between Administrative Assistant and Secretary


Different job responsibilities require different expert individuals in the respective fields in order to make the company work.

An administrative assistant is a higher post than a secretary. The job responsibilities of an administrative assistant are also higher than a secretary who mainly has to perform desk jobs.


  1. https://www.proquest.com/openview/04923522a60e81561ee581e6aed7f429/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y
  2. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED087573
  3. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2706176
  4. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=5769561
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