How to Become a Company Secretary
Company secretaries are a core part of a company, tackling the administrative, organisational legal and communicative aspects of the business. Being the first point of contact for stakeholders, putting in strategies for achieving goals and ensuring that the company works within the legal and ethical requirements, secretarial roles are always needed in a range of industries.
A career as a secretary can therefore open the doors to working for a variety of interesting and exciting organisations, and you can play a key part in the running of a business.
What is a Company Secretary?
The role of a company secretary is to take on the day-to-day organisational, administrative and correspondence work for a company, help organise strategies to achieve business goals and ensure adherence to legal and ethical frameworks. There are a variety of company secretary responsibilities, often focused on providing legal advice to business owners. However, duties can vary depending on the type and size of the business.
What Does a Company Secretary Do?
Some of the most common company secretary duties include:
How Much Does a Company Secretary Earn?
According to the National Careers Service, an entry-level company secretary earns an average of £30,000 per year. Experienced company secretaries earn an average of £78,000 annually.
What Qualifications Are Needed to Become a Company Secretary?
Although there are no specific formal qualifications needed to become a company secretary, you are highly likely to need a good honours degree in any subject or a higher national diploma (HND) in a relevant subject.
If you have a degree or foundation degree in a relevant subject, then this will greatly increase your employability as a company secretary. Some relevant subjects include: Business, Law, Accountancy and Finance, Business Management and Business Administration.
A postgraduate degree such as a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) will also help you stand out from the crowd and make you much more likely to secure a job as a company secretary.
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in a relevant subject or are not a degree holder, then you can still pursue a career as a company secretary. There are a variety of online Secretarial courses which are designed to develop your skills in key areas and teach you what you need to know for secretarial roles.
There is a range of company secretary courses to suit all skill levels, and once you have completed one or more of these company secretary qualifications, you will be in a much better position to explore secretarial job roles. For example, you can study a professional qualification in secretarial practice and law or a course in a related subject, such as a Management Accounting course certified by a professional body, Company Law, risk management or Corporate Law. You can study full-time or part-time, and these courses are a great way to further your learning flexibly and affordably.
What Skills Are Needed To Become A Company Secretary?
There are a number of key skills that are needed to become a successful company secretary, including soft skills such as communication and hard skills such as knowledge of legislation. Some of the most important skills for a company secretary to have include:
These skills and knowledge areas are essential for becoming a professional company secretary. However, if you are yet to develop skills in all of these areas fully, then you do not need to worry. Secretarial courses, as well as work experience, can help you hone the skills you need and ensure that you thrive in this exciting career.
Does Becoming A Company Secretary Need Any Work Experience?
Having relevant experience in administration or business is a great way to improve your chances of getting secretarial work. If you have experience in corporate governance or as a chartered accountant, then you are well prepared for a career as a company secretary.
Employers will be looking for candidates who have at least some professional work experience which is relevant to the role to ensure that they can handle the responsibilities of the job as a company secretary.
It is possible to get into secretarial work through an apprenticeship or internship, and seeking out these vacancies can help you to build your skills, knowledge and work experience at the same time through company secretary training. If you are still looking for an apprenticeship, or do not already have working experience, then finding work placements can help you gain the experience you need.
You can also develop key administration and communication skills through paid or voluntary work in different areas. For example, carrying out administrative tasks for a local charity, organising fundraising events or getting a paid position in a reception, law firm or as an admin assistant can help you develop essential skills needed for secretarial work.
Career Prospects For A Company Secretary
There are plenty of opportunities for career progression and development as a company secretary, with more senior positions coming with great salary increases.
When you have gained some experience as a company secretary, you can work on a self-employed basis as a consultant for different businesses or as a part-time secretary for multiple organisations.
With more experience, it is also possible to move into directorial roles and become either a company’s chief executive or managing director and work on the board of directors or become a department head.
Company secretaries play an integral role in the running of any organisation, ensuring that the daily correspondence of the business is taken care of and staying up to date with key legislation to help the business follow legal guidelines. If you are keen to pursue a career as a company secretary, begin by exploring online secretarial courses and finding relevant work experience to develop key secretarial skills. Once you are ready, you can enjoy an exciting, interesting and lucrative career path as a company secretary.
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