What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of an Executive Assistant?

Keep reading to discover all the tasks and job duties associated with a position as an executive assistant. You'll also learn about education requirements for this career field, and get job outlook and salary info. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Executive Assistant Overview

Executive assistants work as a direct connection between the executive and the work force. Their primary responsibility is to facilitate communication and improve organization, making for a more efficient and productive workplace. Becoming an executive assistant typically involves working your way up from secretarial or administrative assistant positions.

Important Facts About Executive Assistants

Required Education High school diploma or GED; college coursework or a bachelor's degree preferred by some employers
Work Environment Office settings
Key Skills Interpersonal, communication and organizational skills
Similar Occupations Office clerk, legal assistant, accounting clerk

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Office Management Functions

As a top executive's assistant, you may need to coordinate many of the things that keep the organization functioning on a day-to-day basis. This can include managing record keeping, interacting with clients, and ordering supplies. Maintaining employee moral by scheduling team building events, such as meetings, birthday parties, and holiday events, may also fall under your job duties.

You may also be the person who welcomes new employees on behalf of the company or executive, which might include scheduling training sessions and explaining company policies.

Preparing Correspondence

Many executive letters, emails, and faxes are prepared and sent by their executive assistants. You would need to maintain a database of contacts and the ability to write good letters and e-mails. You might also be needed to prepare and distribute various materials, such as brochures, proposals, and materials needed for presentations.

Inter-Office Communications

As an executive assistant, you will obtain information that needs to be distributed throughout the organization, and you'll use that information to write memorandums, emails, letters, and other communications to department heads or other personnel. Performing these duties not only keeps everyone in the organization informed but also helps to coordinate and conserve time for your employer.

Scheduling

Executives often have busy schedules and rely on their assistant to coordinate their calendars. You will be responsible for scheduling meetings and appointments, coordinating your boss's schedule with the people who will be attending these functions.

Scheduling can go beyond meetings to include coordinating travel plans and larger functions. In these cases, you will need to work with other venues. In order to make sure that these plans are carried out correctly, excellent communication and conflict resolution skills will be required.

Salary Information

The median salary for executive assistants was $51,270 as of 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment opportunities for these professionals were expected to change little, if at all, during the 2012-2022 decade. The BLS notes that executive assistants are increasingly being replaced by assistants who earn lower salaries.

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