Executive Secretary and Assistant

Executive secretaries and executive assistants typically handle more complex tasks than those of a regular secretary or assistant. They often work for top-level executives and may supervise other clerical staff members. If you're interested in this field, read on to learn more about the education options for executive secretaries.

Is a Career as an Executive Secretary or Assistant for Me?

Career Overview

Executive secretaries and executive assistants give day-to-day support for executives and managers in a variety of industries. They must be able to multi-task, communicate efficiently, remember important information and keep their employer on schedule for the day. Often, hours are long, but the pay can be higher than most traditional secretarial positions.

Responsibilities might include looking over letters and documents, organizing meetings, overseeing office staff and going over messages. Duties may also include reviewing proposals and plans, meeting compliance standards, reviewing detailed statements, performing inquires and conducting various studies.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of executive secretaries and administrative assistants was expected to decline by 1% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). In May 2013, these professionals earned an average annual salary of $51,870, noted the BLS.

How Do I Become an Executive Secretary or Assistant?

Education

To enter this field, employers often desire applicants who possess formal training. Academic programs in executive secretarial and administrative assisting are offered by many community colleges. Distance learning programs may also be available, such as an online degree program in executive assisting or an online certification program in executive assisting.

Academic programs range from undergraduate certificate programs to undergraduate degree programs, such as an associate's degree in administrative assisting program. Some schools might offer night classes or classes during the weekend. Coursework often includes data processing, typing and computer software programs. You'll gain communication skills, along with knowledge of clerical processes, workplace procedures and administration systems. Some training programs may include internship opportunities.

Specializations

Related careers include administrative assistant and administrative secretary. With experience, you may be able to advance to clerical supervisor or office manager. You may even choose to specialize in the medical or legal field.

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