What does an executive assistant do?
Executive assistants (also known as executive administrators) are high-level personnel that play an important part in all companies and organizations. They are responsible for assisting top executives with a variety of tasks such as answering and screening phone calls, reviewing memos, and submissions, filing paperwork, keeping calendars, organizing files, planning and scheduling meetings, and arranging travel plans. They also engage in a variety of word-processing tasks and anything else to make the lives of executives easier. Executive assistants often take on research tasks and carry out many tasks such as examining reports and statistics.
Since technology is continuously expanding, executive assistants frequently complete their complex administrative work using computers. In large corporations there are often more than one executive assistant for each executive and they divide the tasks. In smaller offices, executive assistants often work for more than one executive and must balance clerical tasks and complicated administrative duties.
What kind of training does an executive assistant need?
Executive assistants must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers desire applicants with formal education. Most executive assistants have either an associate or bachelor degree in a business related area. Executive assistants complete courses in business administration, presentation design, formatting documents, and advanced computer skills. Most executive assistants also have at least 5 years of high-level administration experience. Many employers provide extensive on the job training for new executive assistants. Executive assistants can earn the voluntary designation of Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) or Certified Professional Secretary (CPS).
What are the prospects for a career as an executive assistant?
Employment of executive assistants is projected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 15% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Job growth will be driven by the increase in top-level executives needing administrative support and services.
Job prospects are expected to be great, especially for executive assistants with formal education and extensive experience. Job openings will also stem from the need to replace executive assistants that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do executive assistants make?
As of October 2009, the middle 50% of executive assistants earned annual salaries between $43,512 and $55,472. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $61,320 (2).
A career as an executive assistant is a great choice for individuals who are interested in the business field and helping top executives. Executive assistants must pay close attention to detail, have excellent organizational skills, and use their time wisely. Great communication and interpersonal skills are essential as they interact with a variety of professionals and clients. Adaptability, versatility, discretion, initiative, and good judgment are also desirable skills of executive assistants.