Trainee secretary jobs are available in nearly every type of business and organization, as well as with many local and national government agencies. Secretaries are required to be proficient at a variety of tasks, from creating reports and scheduling events to defusing volatile workplace situations. Many secretarial skills are honed and perfected over time through hands-on experience, so many trainee secretary jobs offer real-world experience for want-to-be secretaries.
Phone skills are critical for all personnel working for a company or organization, but especially for secretaries because of frequent contact with clients, customers and fellow staffers. Many trainee secretary jobs include switchboard duties, where the trainee will spend the majority of the work day answering phones, fielding questions and interacting with customers. As the trainee learns the phone system, the company's employees and products, he or she may gradually be given additional tasks to master. If successful, the trainee may gradually be weaned off the switchboard and placed in a more advanced position.
Receptionist duties, such as greeting customers, scheduling appointments and taking messages, are typical tasks given to a trainee secretary. These basic skills are critical to becoming a successful secretary. Typing is often a major part of secretarial jobs, and trainee secretary jobs are often laden with a variety of typing tasks. A trainee may join a company or firm and be one of many trainees in a pool of typists. Filing is another office task which often falls on trainees to perform.
Some trainee secretary jobs can quickly lead to promotion. These are typically trainee positions working under an established secretary who is preparing to leave the company or accept a promotion. As secretaries are a crucial component in the workforce, a promotion is often contingent upon successfully training a replacement. Trainee jobs working for an out-going secretary are often preferred, as the trainer can share the knowledge he or she has learned in order to master the duties and skills necessary to be successful in the role.
Many legal secretaries start out their careers in trainee secretary jobs. This allows the employer to closely monitor work flow and efficiency, as well as rate the trainee's potential. Hospitals, manufacturing companies and insurance agencies often offer trainee secretary jobs. Different departments within a company can also utilize trainee secretaries, including human resources, sales and accounting. Some secretary trainee positions are also offered within the music industry, at major universities and with nonprofit organizations.