Executive Assistant Job Description, Salary Info and Career Options

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an executive assistant. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Executive assistants are advanced administrative professionals who work with top-level executives in a various industries. Their job duties can include organizing meetings, arranging travel and training staff members. Employers often look for executive assistants with experience and education in their specific industry as well as strong communication, organizational and computer skills. The ability to work a varied schedule is also a plus.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in a relevant field not required, but recommended
Other RequirementsAdministrative experience, preferably industry-specific
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* Little to no change for executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants
Mean Salary (2013)* $51,870 for executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Executive Assistant Job Description

Executive assistants provide administrative support for presidents, CEOs, chairpersons and other company executives. Executive assistants may answer phones, file and manage paperwork, mail letters and purchase office supplies; however, their duties go far beyond these administrative tasks. They often coordinate meetings, prepare reports and other confidential materials, arrange travel, manage expenses and train other support staff. Executive assistants may be authorized to make business office decisions in the occurrence that executives are unavailable.

Executive Assistant Qualifications

According to executive assistant job listings on Careerbuilder.com, employers prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees and three or more years of administrative experience specific to the business's industry. Organizational, computer and interpersonal skills are also necessary for this profession. Executive assistants must maintain a professional demeanor in all situations and be able to withhold confidential information. They may also be required to work nights and weekends.

Executive Assistant Salary Information

In May 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that executive assistants earned, on average, $51,870 per year (www.bls.gov). Specific wages varied by industry. Most assistants worked in colleges and other post-secondary schools, earning, on average, $48,720 per year; however, the highest-paying positions were in securities and commodity exchanges offices, which offered a mean annual wage of $67,830, according to the BLS.

Executive Assistant Career Options

According to the BLS, secretaries and administrative assistants made up one of the country's largest professions in 2012, filling approximately 4 million jobs. They're needed in all types of businesses in a variety of industries, including colleges, retail and manufacturing businesses, trade firms and construction companies. The BLS projects a slight decline of one percent in employment for executive assistants from 2012-2022.

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