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Executive Personal Assistant: Job Description and Requirements

Executive personal assistants work closely with top executives of a business or other organization. They usually work in a corporate setting and spend much of their time working on a computer. An associate's degree or certificate is recommended but not required.

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Executive Personal Assistant Job Description

Executive personal assistants help executives run an organization or company smoothly. They perform mostly administrative duties and clerical duties. They may arrange conference calls and meetings, make travel arrangements, compose correspondences, review memos and reports, conduct research, create presentations and prepare statistical reports. They may have more general office duties as well, such as organizing and maintaining files, answering phones, purchasing supplies and operating office equipment. They may also train and supervise other staff members.

Executive Personal Assistant Requirements

A college degree is often not a requirement for becoming an executive personal assistant. Many employers require only a high school diploma or its equivalent. However, executive personal assistants should be familiar with word processing, database, desktop publishing, spreadsheet and presentation software.

They should also have good typing skills, as well as proficiency in grammar, spelling and writing. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer 1-2 year programs in office administration which can help those who would like to become executive personal assistants learn these skills.

Executive personal assistants should have good communication and customer service skills. They should also be able to work independently, exercise good judgment and take initiative.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) designation. This designation may be earned by taking a 4-part examination which covers the topics of management, administration and office technology. Certification can improve an executive personal assistant's professional standing and may lead to an increase in salary.

Executive Personal Assistant Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that employment of executive assistants will increase 12% during the 2012-2022 decade, which is about the average rate for all U.S. jobs. According to BLS data, the median yearly salary for executive administrative assistants was $49,290 as of May 2013.

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