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Become An Executive Assistant

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Working As An Executive Assistant

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $45,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Executive Assistant Do

An executive assistant performs the administrative duties for an executive or executives. Their responsibilities often include receiving and screening phone calls, managing calendars and many other administrative tasks.

How To Become An Executive Assistant

High school graduates who have experience using computer software applications, such as word processing and spreadsheets, usually qualify for entry-level positions. Although most secretaries learn their job in several weeks, many legal and medical secretaries require additional training to learn industry-specific terminology. Executive secretaries usually need several years of related work experience.

Education

High school graduates can take courses in word processing and office procedures at technical schools or community colleges. Some temporary placement agencies also provide training in word processing, spreadsheet, and database software.

Some medical and legal secretaries learn industry-specific terminology and practices by attending courses offered at community colleges or technical schools. For executive secretary positions, employers increasingly prefer to hire those who have taken some college courses or have a bachelor’s degree.

Training

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. During this time they learn about administrative procedures, including how to prepare documents. Medical and legal secretaries’ training may last several months as they learn industry-specific terminology and practices.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Executive secretaries can gain experience by working in administrative positions that have less challenging responsibilities. Many secretaries and administrative assistants advance to higher level administrative positions.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required, certification can demonstrate competency to employers.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. Candidates must have a minimum of 2 to 4 years of administrative work experience, depending on their level of education, and pass an examination.

Legal secretaries have several certification options. For example, those with 1 year of general office experience, or who have completed an approved training course, can acquire the Accredited Legal Professional (ALP) certification through a testing process administered by NALS (previously known as National Association of Legal Secretaries). NALS also offers the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) certification, considered to be an advanced certification for legal support professionals.

The Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification is conferred by Legal Secretaries International in areas such as intellectual property, criminal law, civil litigation, probate, and business law. Candidates typically need to have 5 years of legal experience and pass an examination to become certified.

Advancement

Secretaries and administrative assistants generally advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor, office manager, or executive secretary.

With additional training, many legal secretaries become paralegals or legal assistants.

Important Qualities

Integrity. Many secretaries and administrative assistants are trusted to handle sensitive information. For example, medical secretaries collect patient data that is required, by law, to be kept confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

Interpersonal skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff. They should communicate effectively and be courteous when interacting with others to create a positive work environment and client experience.

Organizational skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently.

Writing skills. Secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers. Therefore, they must have good grammar, ensure accuracy, and maintain a professional tone.

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2,416 Executive Assistant jobs More

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Real Executive Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Executive Assistant Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. Short Hills, NJ May 19, 2014 $185,000
Executive Assistant (Communications Specialist) Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA May 27, 2013 $157,576
Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant Atlas Merchant Capital LLC New York, NY Mar 11, 2015 $140,000
Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant Atlas Merchant Capital LLC New York, NY Nov 04, 2013 $135,000
Chief of Staff, Executive Assistant Resonance Capital Partners LLC New York, NY Jul 03, 2013 $135,000
Executive Assistant Pexagon Technology Inc. Branford, CT Aug 15, 2016 $120,000
PPQ Manager-EA-CTD GE Medical Systems, LLC Milwaukee, WI Jan 25, 2013 $98,000 -
$108,000
Project Manager and Executive Assistant Bazmark INQ LLC New York, NY Sep 16, 2013 $95,000
Executive Assistant Intrepid Aviation Management, LLC Stamford, CT Oct 12, 2016 $88,232
Manager and Executive Assistant Canberra Concrete Pumping of North America New Castle, CO Jun 15, 2011 $86,216
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Top Skills for An Executive Assistant

FinancialReportsPayrollPowerpointOfficeSuppliesCustomerServiceConferenceCallsCompliancePhoneCallsSpecialProjectsSchedulingMeetingsCalendarManagementDataEntrySpecialEventsMeetingMinutesEventPlanningAdministrativeAssistanceHumanResourcesBoardMeetingsQuickbooksRealEstate

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Top Executive Assistant Skills

  1. Financial Reports
  2. Payroll
  3. Powerpoint
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Compiled data and prepared various financial reports, spreadsheets and presentation graphics for executive level.
  • Processed management payroll and performance appraisals.
  • Created PowerPoint presentations used for business development including weekly and monthly reports.
  • Filed reports, made photocopies, and organized office supplies.
  • Provide and improved client relationships by providing attentive customer service.

Top Executive Assistant Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire an Executive Assistant

  1. Keller Williams
  2. Morgan Stanley
  3. Robert Half
  4. IBM
  5. Kelly Services
  6. Northwestern Mutual
  7. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  8. EY
  9. Office Team
  10. Amazon.com
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