How to Become an Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant

An executive assistant supports the executive of a company, by undertaking admin duties and representing them at meetings. Executive assistants essentially organise the executive’s working life by filling out their timetable and advising them where and when to attend appointments.

An executive assistant works for the executive of a company. They essentially organise their day for them; arranging appointments, answering emails and representing them. 

The duties of an executive assistant include: 

  • Making phone calls and writing emails for the executive. 
  • Arranging appointments, events, and meetings. 
  • Working out travel arrangements for the executive. 
  • Creating thorough reports in regards to the executive’s work.
  • Occasionally, attending meetings as a representative of the executive. 
  • Assuming a managerial role for junior assistants. 

 There are no particular qualifications that are necessary to become an executive assistant, but general knowledge about business administration is beneficial. Candidates could demonstrate this through a secondary qualification in business, or a college diploma in business administration. They should also train in IT, perhaps taking a course in office-based IT skills.

 Candidates can gain experience through temporary or permanent junior office roles. Most candidates will enter the field as a personal assistant for another professional, or an executive assistant’s assistant. This role is generally found in larger firms. They will then progress up the career ladder as they learn more skills.

 As well as hard skills such as IT proficiency and admin knowledge, candidates will be required to demonstrate various soft skills. Trustworthiness is a crucial soft skill for executive assistants, as they will have access to sensitive data and information about the executive. The executive must be able to trust them. 

Executive assistants should also be experts at time management. They will often have multiple tasks to complete and must be able to prioritise specific tasks. They will also need to be able to delegate tasks to people in junior positions.

An executive assistant can expect to work traditional office hours, with some overtime potentially needed during events and particularly busy times.

What degree is most commonly held by an Executive Assistant ?

  • Bachelors Degree in Public Relations
  • Diploma of business Administration
  • Bachelors of Health Care Administration/ Management
  • Bachelor of Education
  • Bachelors Degree in Communication Studies
  • Bachelor of Sociology

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Low
Unless the executive assistant already has the right to work in another country, it is unlikely that they will be able to move abroad with this role. There are plenty of trained executive assistants all over the world, and generally, locals will be favoured for vacant positions.

What is the Salary of an Executive Assistant ?

Experience Average salary | year
Executive Assistant 1-3 yrs $45,000 £26,100 $41,366
Executive Assistant 3-5 yrs $60,000 £32,500 $50,098
Executive Assistant 5-10 yrs $80,000 £42,500 $61,000

What skills are needed to become an Executive Assistant ?

  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Office
  • Management
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Time Management
  • Event Planning
  • Microsoft Word
  • Leadership
  • Event Management
  • Project Management
  • Social Media
  • Office Administration
  • Marketing
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • PowerPoint
  • Sales
  • Diary Management
  • Training
  • Administrative Assistance
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Executive Support
  • Outlook
  • Microsoft Outlook

Executive Assistant

As an executive assistant should have a good knowledge of various office skills, taking supplementary courses to prove this will boost their application. Courses in business administration would be hugely beneficial for anyone starting on this career path.
  • Contract Management and Procurement: An Introduction

    Explore the fundamentals of contract management and learn about the contract management process in construction

  • Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

    Learn the basics of project planning and management so you can run effective projects at work or in daily life

  • Management and Leadership: Well-being and Welfare at Work

    Learn to support the development and well-being of the people you manage with this online course from The Open University and CMI

  • People Management Skills

    Learn about the key methods strategies and principles of people management and develop your own management style

  • Management and Leadership: Leading a Team

    Develop a business plan and build a team with this online course from The Open University and CMI

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