What Training Is Needed to Become an Executive Assistant?

Executive assistants provide direct administrative support for the leadership of businesses or organizations. The amount of training needed for a position in this field depends on the level of management receiving the assistance. However, certain standards do exist for becoming an executive assistant. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

General Skills of an Executive Assistant

While the stenographic skills frequently associated with the secretarial profession are not completely obsolete, these days a firm grasp of common computer applications is much more important. Aspiring executive assistants must show proficiency in the word processing, spreadsheets, database management, presentation software and e-communication.

Depending on the specific position, additional proficiencies may be necessary. For example, executive assistants in human resource management may help with staff development and business law adherence, while those in event planning may be tasked to manage budgets and coordinate meetings. Executive assistants working in inventory control may need to procure equipment and keep records. Finally, assistants in the project management field may handle research and public relations.

Important Facts About Executive Assistants

Work Environment Office or home (as a virtual assistant)
Certification Optional, but could help you stand out to employers
Median Salary (2019) $54,203*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) -17% (for all executive assistants and executive administrative assistants)**

Sources: *Payscale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Executive Assistant Training

You may begin to acquire the above skills in one of the office administration programs offered by community colleges, business schools or vocational institutes. These 1- or 2-year curricula may be enough to start a career in an administrative setting. Generally, though, more training is necessary before an individual is handed the responsibilities of supporting a decision-making executive.

Education Requirements for Employment as an Executive Assistant

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers seeking executive assistants often demand a bachelor's degree. A study of business administration may be beneficial. Positions dealing with high levels of management may require an advanced degree.

Specialized Executive Assistant Positions

Specialized work environments may require more focused training. For instance, executive assistants in the medical field may need familiarity with medical terminology and medical insurance practices. For positions with law firms, you'll need to know legal office procedures and the accepted methods of processing legal information.

Executive Assistant Experience

Experience requirements vary widely, but some employers prefer ten or more years of experience in a related work environment. At the very least, someone seeking an executive assistant position must have a well-documented record of teamwork and competence.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »