Overall employment of secretaries and administrative assistants is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations.
Employment of secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive, the largest occupation in this profile by far, is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. In some organizations, technology is expected to substitute some functions that secretaries used to do and enable other staff to prepare their own documents without the assistance of secretaries.
Employment of medical secretaries is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of medical secretaries will depend on growth of the healthcare industry. The number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because of federal health insurance reform. In addition, aging baby boomers will demand more medical services as they become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. As a result of these effects, medical secretaries will be needed to handle administrative tasks related to billing and insurance processing.
Employment of executive secretaries and administrative assistants is projected to decline 6 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is largely because many executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants can support more than one manager in an organization. In addition, many managers now perform work that was previously done by their executive secretaries. For example, they often type their own correspondence or schedule their own travel and meetings.
Employment of legal secretaries, the smallest occupation in this profile, is projected to decline 4 percent from 2014 to 2024. In legal firms, paralegals and legal assistants use technology that enable them to perform work previously done by legal secretaries, such as preparing and filing documents.
Many job openings are expected to come from the need to replace secretaries and administrative assistants who leave the occupation.
Those with a combination of related work experience and experience using computer software applications to perform word processing and create spreadsheets should have the best job prospects.
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Secretaries and administrative assistants
Office and administrative support occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program