City secretaries primarily serve the local government in an administrative and clerical capacity. They assist offices and departments in scheduling appointments and meetings, drafting and distributing agendas, maintaining records, and preparing letters and other correspondence. They may also help organize financial records and budget documents.
In addition, city secretaries are often the first point-of-contact for city residents who have questions or concerns. They ensure that constituents are directed to the proper person and that higher officials are aware of local concerns.
At a minimum, most city secretary positions require significant prior administrative experience. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree may be given preference, especially those with instruction in business administration, statistics, computer science, public relations and communications. Technical and vocational schools often offer one- and two-year programs in office administration.
Individuals working toward a career as a city secretary can gain invaluable experience by volunteering or interning in a city government office to learn proper protocol and procedure. Prior experience in other entry-level administrative capacities will also provide skills in relevant tasks and duties.
City may attend city council meetings, prepare agendas, take minutes, and respond draft correspondence. Secretaries also file constituent concerns, identifying problems that need to be addressed. City secretaries must be detail-oriented, extremely organized, and effective communicators.
Specific duties of a city secretary may include the following:
Typically, city secretaries work 40 hours per week in a comfortable office environment. While some local travel will be required for attendance at meetings and other events, most of their work is done at a desk.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of individuals employed in administrative and secretarial positions will increase by 11 percent through the year 2018. This can vary according to location. Although budget restraints may limit growth, as the population increases and responsibility for services is shifted from the Federal level to local and State governments, the demand for city workers may increase.
A May 2008 government report cites the average salary for a city secretary as $32,600.