Top 10 Differences Between Secretaries and Administrative Professionals

As written by Musings of a High-Level Executive Assistant

I came across this blog while I was doing research for my “Tattooed Admin” series and fell in love. I cringe when someone refers to me as a secretary and get upset when the admins I supervise refer to themselves as secretaries. Being a secretary is too easy, being an administrative assistant takes a bit more.. Enjoy


  1. Secretaries make coffee, administrative professionals procure international resources to motivate and empower staff.
  1. Secretaries take memos, administrative professionals expedite inter-office communication.
  2. Secretaries type letters, administrative professionals facilitate company communication with national and international clients.
  3. Secretaries file, administrative professionals manage and organize data for efficient retrieval of corporate records.
  4. Secretaries un-jam the copy machines, administrative professionals maintain high-tech equipment vital to day-to-day business.
  5. Secretaries answer the phone, administrative professionals manage communication between staff and customers.
  6. Secretaries listen to office gossip and complaints, administrative professionals act as corporate arbitrators and manage conflict between administrators and staff.
  7. Secretaries order office supplies, administrative professionals manage inventory of critical corporate resources.
  8. Secretaries buy gifts when boss realizes he or she has forgotten spouse’s birthday or anniversary, administrative professionals facilitate crisis management at the executive level.
  9. Secretaries get little respect in the corporate environment, administrative professionals get just a bit more.

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