The executive assistant job comprises the duties of a secretary, project manager, maintaining the relations between the executive managers and others.
While their responsibilities are similar to the duties of an administrative assistant, they mostly focus on the work with top-level managers.
Therefore, the work of an executive assistant requires tender handling of information and delicate relations especially with colleagues outside the firm.
Article Table of Contents
The Work of an Executive Assistant
The work of an executive assistant includes support of executive management of a firm or an organization.
They are responsible for maintaining contact with the public and other staff in the company.
Other duties of an executive assistant involve typing, preparation of the documents, scheduling and planning meetings.
Duties of an Executive Assistant
- Take and refer phone calls to the executives.
- Schedule meetings, appointments, interviews, and appearances.
- Prepare memos, reports, correspondence and other documentation.
- Review received documentation and sort by significance.
- Layout and plan programs.
- Take care of transport tickets and hotel accommodations.
- Submit payments for hotels, travel, meals, etc.
- Arrange essentials for group meetings such as space, equipment, catering, communications.
- Keep records of projects, files, and personnel.
- Provide assistance with job interviews held by the executive management.
- Supervise other administrative assistants and clerical staff.
An executive assistant should be able to plan and schedule the events and predict potential time overlaps.
They should know how to work with filing systems, organize contacts for directors and media.
Executive assistants should be able to multitask and accomplish assignments within short periods of time.
Executives may be dealing with tight deadlines and perform multiple tasks within particular periods.
The executive assistant should assist them with their assignments and prepare for these instances.
Attention to details:
To ensure the group meetings are going smoothly, the executive assistant should provide the items for participants’ accommodation.
It usually includes reserving rooms, having food and beverages, and ensuring the operation of the necessary equipment.
Communication and interpersonal skills:
Executive assistants deal with reporters, media reps, management of other organizations.
They should be able to communicate respectfully and courteously with them.
Executive assistants may have access and deal with sensitive or confidential information.
For instance, there are many documents going through them that refer to contracts or negotiations with other companies.
Some may contain trade secrets or be covered by legally-recognized privileges.
Executive assistants may be prohibited from insider trading by securities laws.
How to Become an Executive Assistant
Executive assistants provide a wide variety of services, so they are expected to have a bachelor’s degree.
They should also possess experience in an administrative area as an assistant.
They should usually study business, technology, and law to develop the necessary skills and knowledge base.
Qualifications and Education
Usually, employers prefer to hire candidates that took college courses or hold a bachelor’s degree.
The curriculum usually covers business and public administration.
The prospective executive assistants can study aspects of corporate organizations and management role.
They can also add federal, state, and local law classes to their course of study as well as regulations and rules.
Such disciplines teach how to prepare certain documents or reports used by the management.
Educational background of an executive assistant should comprise typing and computer skills, as well as handling advanced office equipment.
Certifications aren’t required but can be a great advantage for prospective employers.
Executive assistants can acquire certifications from such organizations as the American Society of Administrative Professionals or the American Management Association.
Besides, certifications training programs cover technology, communication, and interpersonal skills, management of projects and tasks.
Mostly, executive assistants are required to have three to ten years of experience in the administrative area.
Valuable experience as an administrative assistant can be gained in medical, legal, or other offices related to professional practice.
Based on the employer’s requirements, executive assistants may need to have experience working within a budget, dealing with other people inside and outside of an organization.
Career Outlook and Prospects
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate in this area is expected to reduce by 6% by 2024.
This is due to the rapidly developing technology with the help of which executives can do the tasks their assistants normally do themselves.
Mobile devices allow them to schedule their appointments and make reservations.
Also, with emails and other apps, they can receive documents directly.
Besides, one executive assistant may help multiple managers.
But most companies and non-profit organizations widely use technology to lower the costs.
According to the same reports, executive assistants were mostly hired by universities, colleges, and other professional schools, with the total number of jobs at 51,240.
In local governments, 45,180 jobs were filled by executive assistants.
The average annual salary amounts to $55,460, which is $26.66 an hour.
The top 10% make as much as $79,500 or $38.22 hourly.
The employment rate for the executive assistants is expected to reduce till 2024.
Companies tend to hire one assistant who will provide services to multiple managers.
With technological developments, executives take over some tasks assistants would do for them.
Those candidates who have previous work experience in an administrative area have better job opportunities.