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Celebrating Administrative Professionals A Quick Memo

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When you think of Roman times, chances are you don’t think of secretaries. Yet that’s exactly when experts believe the first secretaries (called “scribes” back then) went to work. Since then, secretaries and administrative assistants have become integral parts of business.

In fact, there are currently about 4 million secretaries working in the U.S. and nearly 9 million people working in other types of administrative positions according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But how much do you really know about this valued and demanding position? Try this quiz to find out. It comes from Quill Corporation, a group that has worked with office professionals for 50 years.


1) T or F: The majority of secretaries were men until the 1930s.

2) During the middle of the 20th century, workers who became secretaries were most often:

a) Promoted from steno pools

b) Selected from secretarial schools

c) Retrained from factory jobs

3) In what era did xerographic duplication start?

a) 1930s

b) 1940s

c) 1950s

4) What was the average salary of administrative assistants in 2005?

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a) $24,000

b) $26,000

c) $28,000

5) National Secretaries Week started in 1952. In what year was it changed to Administrative Professionals Week?

a) 1999

b) 2000

c) 2001


1) TRUE. In the 15th and 16th centuries, secretaries were considered esteemed advisors-posts held exclusively by men.

2) (b) Secretarial jobs required advanced training and schools sprang up to teach highly regarded, in-demand skills.

3) (c) During that same era, data typewriters, data processing compu-typewriters and telewriters came in to use, spurring the growth of office supply companies such as Quill.

4) (c) According to the U.S. Department of Labor, salaries are expected to grow by more than 9 percent in 2006.

5) (b) The name was changed in 2000 to keep pace with changing job titles and responsibilities.

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