Secretaries are generally responsible for maintaining files and records and fielding phone calls, emails and other correspondence -- usually in an office setting. The salary range for secretaries varies depending on the field they work in. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that most secretarial jobs will see a slow rate of growth between 2010 and 2020, job prospects for medical secretaries are projected to be excellent.
According to the BLS, secretaries working in medical settings earned an average of $32,430 per year as of May 2011. Half of all medical secretaries reported earning annual salaries of between $25,660 and $37,660. Secretaries employed in physician's offices reported average annual earnings of $31,560, while those employed by general hospitals earned an average of $32,400 per year. Secretaries at dental offices tended to make the most, with a reported average salary of $36,740 per year.
Secretaries who worked in the field of law tended to make more than those employed in other industries, according to BLS statistics from 2011. Legal secretaries reported average annual earnings of $44,310. Those employed in legal services averaged $44,540 per year, and those employed by insurance carriers earned an average of $48,160 per year. Legal secretaries in the public sector reported somewhat lower earnings, an average of $39,520 for local government employees and $40,760 for state employees.
Executive secretaries staff the offices of busy high-level administrators and are often responsible for scheduling as well as other secretarial duties. Like legal secretaries, executive secretaries generally report higher earnings than their counterparts in other fields. As of 2011, the BLS estimates that the average annual salary for an executive secretary was $48,120. Half of all executive secretaries reported annual salaries of between $36,520 and $57,700, and the top 10 percent of executive secretaries reported earnings of $71,020 or more per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, secretaries in fields other than medicine, law and high-level administration earned an average of $33,020 per year. Those employed in elementary and secondary schools averaged $33,610 per year, while those working at colleges and universities averaged $34,820 per year. Secretaries at real estate offices reported average earnings of $29,420 per year. Secretaries working for the federal government earned some of the highest annual salaries for this profession, averaging $47,010 per year.