Executive Assistant Career Facts

Executive assistants earn more money and have more responsibilities than other secretaries or administrative assistants. Basically executive assistants are at the top of the career ladder in this field, working for the CEO, President or other executives who hold powerful positions in various businesses and organizations.

Education/Training

Some college, an associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree is necessary. For those seeking positions in the medical or legal fields, they will also need to go through specialized training programs to learn the terminology and requirements for those industries.

In addition to the writing, word processing, and oral communication skills they would need for any type of secretarial position, executive assistants may also be expected to have extensive knowledge of various software applications in order to handle spreadsheets, project or database management, and desktop publishing.

Duties

The tasks executive assistants do each do have greatly evolved as technology continues to change. Now many people in this position assume responsibilities once handled by managers so that businesses run efficiently and effectively. They often manage projects by:

  •  
  • planning schedules
  • making appointments
  • maintaining both electronic and paper files
  • conducting research
  • making calls
  • handling mailers
  • responding to email
  • storing, retrieving and integrating information

In addition, during a typical day, executive assistants use a wide range of office equipment from copiers and fax machines to videoconference and multi-line phone systems. On any given day, executive assistants may have to create correspondence, presentations, reports, and spreadsheets as well as manage databases.

They also might need to negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms, libraries, or break rooms. Many executive assistants provide training and orientation for other staff members. They also organize meetings and prepare agendas for various executives and board members.

Pay, Hours, and Job Outlook

Executive assistants can work in a wide variety of places, including:

  • schools
  • government agencies
  • corporations
  • hospitals
  • legal offices
  • medical offices

Depending on their  level of education, years of experience, and responsibility level, full time executive assistants can be paid anywhere in the range from $25,000 to $55,000 a year. Temporary or part time positions are often paid hourly anywhere between $10 to $30 per hour.

There are over four million secretaries and administrative assistants in the United States, and that number is expected to grow. The job outlooks is especially good for those who are computer savvy. So if you are an organized team player who enjoys working with computers in an office environment, a career as an administrative assistant might just be right for you.