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Become An Executive/Personal Assistant

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Working As An Executive/Personal Assistant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $58,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Executive/Personal Assistant Do

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.

Duties

Secretaries and administrative assistants typically do the following:

  • Answer telephones and take messages or transfer calls
  • Schedule appointments and update event calendars
  • Arrange staff meetings
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and faxes
  • Prepare memos, invoices, or other reports
  • Edit documents
  • Maintain databases and filing systems, whether electronic or paper
  • Perform basic bookkeeping

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform a variety of clerical and administrative duties that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They also may negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, and manage stockrooms or corporate libraries. Secretaries and administrative assistants also use videoconferencing, fax, and other office equipment. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff.

Legal secretaries perform work requiring knowledge of legal terminology and procedures. They prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or a paralegal. They also review legal journals and help with legal research—for example, by verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs.

Medical secretaries transcribe dictation and prepare reports or articles for physicians or medical scientists. They also take simple medical histories of patients, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, or process insurance payments. Medical secretaries need to be familiar with medical terminology and codes, medical records, and hospital or laboratory procedures.

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive is the largest subcategory of secretaries and administrative assistants. They handle an office’s administrative activities in almost every sector of the economy, including schools, government, and private corporations. For example, secretaries in schools are often responsible for handling most of the communications among parents, students, the community, teachers, and school administrators. They schedule appointments, receive visitors, and keep track of students’ records.

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How To Become An Executive/Personal 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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Executive/Personal Assistant Career Paths

Executive/Personal Assistant
Office Manager Property Manager
Director Of Property Management
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager Account Manager
Relationship Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager Owner Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President
Executive Assistant To General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Project Manager Business Manager
Business Operations Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant/Office Manager Owner Assistant Vice President
Administration Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant To President Manager Department Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant To Executive Vice President Administrator
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant To President Consultant Senior Accountant
Accounts Payable Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant To President Administrator Business Office Manager
Accounts Receivable Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Assistant Property Manager
Assistant Community Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Assistant Office Manager
Office Manager Of Human Resources
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Executive Assistant Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Executive Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Assistant Property Manager Assistant Office Manager
Accountant And Office Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Administrator Project Administrator
Senior Project Coordinator
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Office Manager/Administrative Assistant
Office And Operations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Owner Maintenance Manager
Special Projects Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Secretary Executive Administrator
Senior Executive Administrative Assistant
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Generalist Compensation Analyst Compensation Manager
Manager Executive
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Executive/Personal Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Personal Assistant 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Executive/Personal Assistant
Internship 3.0%
Assistant 2.0%
Secretary 1.8%
Top Careers After Executive/Personal Assistant
Owner 1.8%
Server 1.7%
Assistant 1.6%

Do you work as an Executive/Personal Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$58,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$33,000
Min 10%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$58,000
Median 50%
$100,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
NuORDER
Highest Paying City
Sacramento, CA
Highest Paying State
Maryland
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does an Executive/Personal Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Executive/Personal Assistant in the United States is $58,388 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $33,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $100,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Executive/Personal Assistant?

Have you worked as an Executive/Personal Assistant? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as an Executive/Personal Assistant.

Top Skills for An Executive/Personal Assistant

  1. Travel Arrangements
  2. Expense Reports
  3. Financial Statements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained calendar & booked appointments, travel arrangements/itinerary, correspondence, and completed other projects as assigned.
  • Generated expense reports/spreadsheets, invoices/payments, email, memos and other correspondence.
  • Proofed and edited client financial statements to ensure accuracy, consistency, and overall presentation.
  • Coordinated all travel arrangements, both business and personal and organized any special events as requested.
  • Managed professional office, prepared correspondence and prioritized messages and purchased office supplies.

Executive/Personal Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 7,645 Executive/Personal Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Executive/Personal Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Executive/Personal Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

76.7%

Male

14.7%

Unknown

8.6%
Ethnicity

White

58.0%

Hispanic or Latino

19.3%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.5%

French

15.4%

Italian

8.2%

German

5.7%

Russian

4.6%

Portuguese

4.2%

Arabic

2.9%

Chinese

2.5%

Mandarin

2.1%

Turkish

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Ukrainian

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Hindi

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Catalan

0.6%

Dutch

0.4%
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Executive/Personal Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.3%

New York University

11.9%

Fashion Institute of Technology

9.4%

Miami Dade College

5.7%

San Francisco State University

4.5%

San Diego State University

4.4%

Florida International University

4.2%

Santa Monica College

4.2%

University of Houston

3.9%

Katharine Gibbs School

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.5%

University of Arizona

3.4%

Pace University - New York

3.4%

Boston University

3.4%

University of North Texas

3.2%

Hunter College of the City University of New York

3.2%

Temple University

3.0%

Fordham University

3.0%

Johnson & Wales University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

30.7%

Communication

8.7%

Psychology

7.4%

English

5.1%

Marketing

4.8%

Management

4.6%

Accounting

3.6%

Fine Arts

3.6%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Legal Support Services

3.3%

Health Care Administration

3.2%

Criminal Justice

2.8%

Education

2.8%

Political Science

2.7%

Finance

2.5%

Graphic Design

2.4%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

2.2%

Photography

2.1%

Public Relations

2.1%

Sociology

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.1%

Other

26.7%

Associate

12.0%

Masters

8.3%

Certificate

5.5%

Diploma

2.2%

Doctorate

0.8%

License

0.4%
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