Administrative Professionals Day

Administrative Professionals Day, also known as Secretaries Day, is celebrated on the Wednesday in the last week of April. Not surprisingly, the last week of April is known as Administrative Professionals Week. The purpose of this holiday is to recognize the contributions of secretaries and administrative assistants everywhere.

The jobs of secretaries and administrative assistants have been evolving over the past few years, but they’re still extremely important to the proper functioning of an office. These professionals work extremely hard to keep their respective offices running like a well-oiled machine, so it’s probably a good idea to pay them the respect and appreciation they deserve.

The History of Administrative Professionals Day

Secretary Day was first created by Mary Barrett, the president of the National Secretaries Association. She invented the holiday sometime during the late 1940s and early 1950s. In 1952, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer declared the first week of June to be Secretaries Week, and the Wednesday in that week to be Secretaries Day.

In 1955, Secretaries Week was then changed to the last week of April, and Secretaries Day followed along with it. In 1981, the holiday would become known as Professional Secretaries Day.

It would be another 19 years before Professional Secretaries Day would become Administrative Professionals Day in 2001. This allowed the holiday to not only be used for secretaries but also incorporated a myriad of other professional and administrative assistants into the mix as well.

Facts About Administrative Professionals & Secretaries

During our research, we’ve come across several fascinating facts about administrative professionals and secretaries. Facts that we just can’t resist sharing with everyone reading about Administrative Professionals Day. So let’s not waste any more time and jump right into these facts below.

There’s a Difference Between Administrative Professionals & Secretaries

Although admin professionals and secretaries are usually grouped into the same category, their roles and responsibilities are different—although there is some overlap between the two careers.

To illustrate this point, we decided to list some of the most common tasks for each profession. Please be advised that the duties of both of these careers might shift from one workplace to another, so the following lists might not be accurate for all workplaces.

Common Tasks of Administrative Assistants

  • Research
  • Data Entry
  • Processing New Business
  • Management of long-term projects
  • The first point of contact for many businesses
  • Correspondence with providers and clients
  • The production of new documents

Common Tasks of Secretaries

  • Preparing, producing, and collating reports
  • Answering calls and directing them to various departments as necessary
  • Managing the business’s employee travel tasks
  • Preparing forms and memos
  • Making sure the office has the supplies it needs
  • Taking care of expense forms
  • Managing appointments

Administrative Professionals Day Is a Popular Holiday

Administrative Professionals Day is one of the most popular workplace observances in the entire world, and that really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. After all, just in the U.S. alone, there are over 3.6 million administrative professionals, plus an additional 9.5 million support staff. Of course, that’s according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and not surprisingly, they have lumped administrative professionals and secretaries into the same labor statistics.

Secretaries Are More Popular Than You Think

Just as the heading of this section states, secretaries are more popular than most people think. And this is evidenced by the number of important secretaries that have popped up in popular fiction over the years. Take James Bond, for example.

Who is the second most popular character in that movie series? Why, it’s Miss Moneypenny—a character that’s been in every single James Bond movie and has been played by actresses that include Samantha Bond, Naomie Harris, and Dame Judi Dench.

Other famous secretaries that can be found in popular media include:

  • Pepper Potts, Iron Man (Played by Gwyneth Paltrow)
  • Jennifer Marlow, WKRP in Cincinnati (Played by Loni Anderson)
  • Doralee Rhodes, 9 to 5 (Played by Dolly Parton)
  • Miss Blankenship, Mad Men (Played by Randee Heller)
  • Lee Holloway, Secretary (Played by Maggie Gyllenhaal)

Certified Administrative Professionals Must Take an Exam

One of the things that some people might not realize is that candidates to become a Certified Administrative Professional must take a test or exam to do so. In the early 1950s, there were only about 280+ candidates that took exams at one of the 15 exam centers. Nowadays, there are more than 250+ exam centers and thousands of candidates take the test regularly.

Most Administrative Professionals & Secretaries Just Want Opportunities to Advance

A survey done among members of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (also known as IAAP) has said that if someone wants to honor their work and work ethic, then they should do so by giving them opportunities to learn and eventually earn more.

While flowers, cards, and thank-yous are nice, most of the professionals would simply like an opportunity to advance themselves. This can be done by giving administrative assistants and secretaries access to educational workshops, tuition assistance, chapter events, and memberships in professional organizations.

The Names for Administrative Professionals Have Changed Over the Years

Over the years, there have been a ton of different names used for administrative professionals. Some of these names include secretaries, receptionists, office clerks, staff assistants, and executive assistants.

Observing National Administrative Professionals Day

Observing this holiday is as easy as showing an administrative professional and/or secretary the appreciation they deserve. This can come in the form of giving your employee the day off or giving them a card, gift certificate, or gift basket. It’s also a good day to give those hard-working administrative assistants and professionals a much-deserved raise, especially if they haven’t received one in a while.

While you’re thanking the administrative professionals and secretaries in your own office, you can then use social media to give a shout-out to all of the ones that you don’t know. You can do that by using the hashtag #AdministrativeProfessionalsDay or simply #AdminProfessionalDay on your social media accounts.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 24 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
April 23 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
April 26 Wednesday