Yearly wages of the executive assistant can vary greatly based on education, experience, and industry. The salary for these professionals can also be affected by geographical location and the size of the company. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report the median salary of executive assistants as $40,000. The highest paid executive assistants make more than $62,000 per year. Those executive assistants that are in the lowest 10% of employees make $27,000 or less. Temporary executive assistants usually earn between $10.00 to $19.00 per hour. The exact wages depend largely on location and industry.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Executive Assistant Job Description and Outlook
Technology has advanced quickly in the past several decades. The improvements in technology has changed the way administrative professionals perform their job. The executive assistant is the primary person in the business that is the distributor of information. Professionals in the executive assistant position use modern technology to store, retrieve, and distribute information. They are able to store large amounts of information on computer hard drives and portable drives. This is critical to the success of the business. Every company needs a home base for information. There must be some type of central location for information.
Oftentimes, the busy executive must be able to rely on a skilled administrative assistant. The executive assistant is experienced and able to deal and communicate with executives. The advent of modern technology has changed the daily duties of assistants. Managers are having to do more of the tasks that were typically assigned to administrative assistants. Keyboarding, answering phones, and dictation were primary duties of secretaries and administrative assistants in days gone by.
Another major duty of the executive assistant is event planning and scheduling. The busy executive needs a professional to handle their busy schedule. Some executives choose to manage their own schedules, but it is becoming more popular to have the assistant manage the schedules. The responsibility of making travel arrangements and airline reservations are duties that the executive assistant perform in many companies. Event planning is another important duty of the executive professional. These administrative professionals must be able to plan small and large events from start to finish. In some cases, the assistant will need to hire a professional to do the planning, but the executive assistant is still held responsible for overseeing the event planner. Smaller events like meetings and seminars are usually handled by the executive assistant.
Furthermore, computer skills are increasingly important in the business world. In fact, computers are used for most transactions in the administrative departments of a business. As a result, the executive assistant must be able to produce documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and marketing materials. Most executives will expect their executive assistant to be able to be proficient in these areas. Verbal and written communication is critical in the business world. Employers are looking for administrative professionals that can communicate well. In the absence of the executive, the assistant may have to communicate frequently with customers, clients, and vendors. Also, it is sometimes necessary for the assistant to screen calls. The business is represented by the executive assistant; thus, this person must present a knowledgeable and professional demeanor at all times. The executive assistant is a highly valuable employee, and this professionals is the connecting bridge between the company’s departments. The executive assistant must be able to work in a team environment successfully.
Executive Assistant Training and Education Requirements
Many employers are requiring the executive assistant to have a bachelor’s degree. Those that do not demand this do prefer to hire someone with vocational or technical training in office administration. Many programs teach these students how to properly run an office. Computer skills are taught in almost all programs. In fact, Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, and Publisher are the main software programs that most programs cover. Many prospective assistants also learn social media, teleconferencing, and other modern communication mediums. Companies are integrating these media mediums into their operations. The successful and savvy executive administrative assistant can handle these additional duties. Furthermore, some employers will hire entry level assistants with a high school degree or equivalent. However, the executive assistant must continue to learn the latest technology to succeed.
Executive Assistant Certifications
Most employers do not demand certification, but in today’s competitive work environment, job candidates will be at an advantage if they hold certification. There are several different certifications that an administrative professional can obtain. Most of these credentials are achieved through fulfilling experience and testing requirements. The attainment of these certifications proves to employers that this job candidate is knowledgeable in certain areas. This can also help with advancement and salary increases.
Executive Assistant Professional Associations
The International Association of Administrative Professionals is an organization that provides many benefits to members. Professionals can join this organization and network. Professionals can also learn and grow in their knowledge about the administrative field. Workshops and seminars are held frequently to teach certain skills and techniques. The IAAP also is responsible for making standards for the Administrative field.