Administrative assistants perform much the same tasks as secretaries: organizing files and information, routing and distributing mail, operating office equipment, and other related duties. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates in the figures above, there are were a vast number of executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants employed in 2011 and that number is expected to increase 12% by 2020. Executive administrative assistants provide high-level administrative support, both for the office and for top executives within the company. Typically, their duties are more advanced than that of a general administrative assistant:
- Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email
- Review important documents
- Conducting research and preparing reports
- Arrange important meetings and manage clerical staff
Executive administrative assistants work closely with upper level management within a company and are expected to be reliable and dependable. Because they often process important paperwork and schedule meetings for executives, these administrative assistants are required to have a high attention to detail and an ability to manage time efficiently. Executive administrative assistants are essentially the right-hand of top executives in larger corporations and must be flexible during the day to be available for the needs of their employers.
Job Growth for
Executive Administrative Assistant
|District of Columbia||9,740||$55,840||$27|
Becoming an Executive Administrative Assistant
The primary route to having a career in executive administrative assistant work is experience, but to get that experience requires the right education background. High school graduates with basic computer and office skills may qualify for entry-level secretarial and administrative assistant positions, but in today's competitive work force, the selection favors candidates with an associate's or bachelor's degree. Even vocational schools and community colleges offer courses or formal training in computer and office skills that can give candidates an edge in the competition for these jobs.
The best educational preparation a person seeking executive administrative assistant jobs can get is a bachelor's degree in business or computer science. Depending on the department an executive administrative assistant is working in, background knowledge in the industry may be required. Courses in the following subjects may be useful for candidates pursuing an executive assistant job:
- Computer Science
In addition to the educational requirements, students pursuing a career in executive administrative assistant work would do well to earn certification. For example, executive assistants in legal offices can earn the Accredited Legal Secretary (ALS) designation with a year of experience in the field after passing the training course. Additionally, advanced certifications such as the Professional Legal Secretary (PLS) or the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) are also available to bolster the administrative assistant's resume. Although education and certification can make a major difference in whether or not a candidate is hired to an entry-level administrative assistant position, experience is the single most influencing factor that leads to advancement to executive administrative assistant positions.