Occ. Code 2912000

Occ. Code 2912200

New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard


A Secretary is the principal administrative support position in an office and increases the effectiveness of program staff by coordinating the paper flow of the office and carrying out the day-to-day administrative support activities required to accomplish the work of the organization. The nature and variety of the activities depend on the program area in which the Secretary works.

The tasks which Secretaries perform fall into four broad categories: communication, coordination, organization and records maintenance. Within these categories, secretaries perform a variety of tasks which enable managers and program staff to accomplish the mission of the agency.

Secretaries establish office procedures; design office filing systems; implement policies and procedures; maintain efficient work flow; resolve day-to-day operational problems; respond to phone calls; sort mail; organize, expedite and follow up on projects; and coordinate information flow by acting as liaison among key executives, staff, other employees and the public.

The tasks performed are part of a broad responsibility which requires that the Secretary be aware of virtually everything happening in the organizational unit. The typical position requires knowledge of the organizational context of the unit and the agency and the program with which it is associated.


To support classification as Secretary, incumbents must organize and coordinate the administrative activities in an organizational unit. This includes such things as: handling incoming correspondence and drafting responses; reviewing outgoing correspondence; researching background information; transmitting instructions to staff and following up; handling telephone calls and visitors and responding to questions; and coordinating and arranging meetings.

The level of Secretary is determined by consideration of the full scope of duties required of the position, with particular attention to: the level of participation in the program (both breadth and depth) by the Secretary; whether coordination and communication tasks include substantive issues; independence of operation; whether a broad view of the program is required or whether the focus of the job is rather narrow; and amount of time spent keyboarding. The classification of
these positions is based on the role played in the program by the Secretary and is not based on the presence or absence of any one of the tasks performed.

Secretary 2 represents the full performance level of the occupation. Incumbents of Secretary 1 positions perform many secretarial tasks but do not fully participate in the management of an office or in the full scope of the program.

Secretary 2

Secretary 1


Keyboard Specialist - Incumbents spend the majority of their work time operating equipment which requires the manipulation of a standard alphanumeric keyboard in accordance with standards of acceptable levels of production to produce correspondence, reports, forms, charts and other material.

Administrative Assistant - Incumbents provide staff assistance to an agency program manager by performing a variety of activities such as writing reports, responding to correspondence, developing public information materials, writing
background material and duties descriptions to support personnel requests and developing program budget proposals.

Administrative Aide - Incumbents perform a wide variety of paraprofessional activities and tasks in support of the work of personnel, training, budgeting and administrative analysis staff.


Provide administrative support:

Develop and revise work methods.

Perform formatting and keyboarding tasks similar to those described in the classification standard for Keyboard Specialist.

May supervise clerical staff.

Maintain inventory and requisition office supplies.


Secretaries work rather independently since they are typically the only one in the office who is trained in secretarial and office procedures and has the background to make judgments concerning how the work in an office should be processed.

At the Secretary 2 level, incumbents work under rather broad guidelines and select the best course of action from a number of alternatives in a variety of situations. They set their own priorities based on a review of the work that has to be done and their knowledge of the program and office procedures. Their work is not usually closely reviewed.

At the Secretary 1 level, incumbents work for administrators, technical or program staff who usually give some direction concerning priorities and in answering questions. Incumbents of Secretary 1 positions use a variety of procedures and manuals and update and revise them as necessary. Their work is not usually closely reviewed.


Secretaries read and interpret a variety of procedures, rules, regulations and guidelines for the program area in which they work and insure that completed work conforms to them. They make decisions concerning required information and handle a variety of questions and situations.

Secretaries 2 perform the full range of secretarial duties typically required in that occupation.

Secretaries 1 perform a variety of tasks within administrative support and keyboarding procedural parameters. The tasks are similar to those of Secretary 2 but do not usually cover as broad a range and are not usually performed as


One of the major elements of this occupation is the responsibility for establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with others in the same office, in other organizational units, in other agencies and with the public. Secretaries are often the first and only point of contact an individual may have with an agency. Secretaries have frequent oral and written communication concerning program as well as procedural matters with a variety of individuals to facilitate and expedite the work of the Office. Secretaries may also direct, assist and instruct others in the operational protocol and procedures of the office and the agency. They often compose correspondence and write reports and procedures.


Secretaries may supervise clerical staff. However, supervision is not a requirement to support classification of these positions.


In addition, for supervisory positions:


Secretary 1 and Secretary 2

High School - Secretarial Program
1 or 2 years college curriculum in Secretarial Science
1 year experience working as Secretary

This training and experience includes typing - proficiency and formatting at 50 WPM (usually 2 or 3 courses, 6-9 credits)

Office/Secretarial Procedures

Business Math/Accounting

Communications/Business English

NOTE: Occupational requirements are distinguished from minimum qualifications which address recruitment needs and the candidate field available for a title at a particular point in time. For current information on minimum qualifications contact
the Division of Staffing Services.

Date: 7/89