The role of an administrative assistant and secretary has existed for many years, even before the Roman Empire. The job was occupied by men during this time, as they handled the bookkeeping and dictations from their leaders. Moving through history, the “secretaries” had an elevated status and held prominent positions.

During the second industrial revolution (1870-1914), the American economy grew considerably. The U.S. had an abundance of natural resources from its newly acquired territories, an expanding supply of labor immigrating from Europe and a growing market for manufactured goods. There were new innovations in transportation, such as roads, steamboats and railroads. Due to these improvements, isolated communities could become linked together. Eleven million Americans moved from the farms to the cities and women expanded their roles in the workforce and learned to use adding machines, telephones and typewriters. It was at this time that women entered the office workforce alongside their male counterparts.

 By the 1930’s, women dominated the secretarial workforce. The growth continued throughout the 20th century. The 21st century secretary and administrative professional has a much more diverse skill set and responsibility. They have vast technological skills, as well as knowledge of project management, purchasing, event/meeting planning, presentations, databases, finance, accounting and more.

In more recent years, the title of “secretary” has slowly disappeared. We currently recognize the secretarial role as:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Executive Assistant
  • Office Manager
  • Coordinator
  • Administrator

Salaries have increased significantly based on skill sets, especially if the employee has advanced software experience, desktop publishing and advanced database skills.

The Department of Labor projected in February 2016 that there were approximately 8,553,000 administrative support employees working in the U.S.  Unfortunately, the unemployment rate has risen over the years in this category. This is due to many companies restructuring their staff to cut costs, requiring managers to handle their own administrative work, or sharing staff with other departments. As a result, the Administrative Assistant position has become more specialized and technologically savvy.

McCallion Staffing currently has excellent administrative job opportunities available within a range of different skill levels. Please contact a representative at  215-855-8000 or apply online at

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