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Career Potential of an Executive Assistant

Job Descriptions November 12, 2012

To follow a career path as an executive assistant you need strong computer skills apart from organizational and communication skills. An executive assistant renders high level of administrative support to assist executive level people in firms. To get a job as an executive assistant you need to have educational qualification relating to the industry that you seek employment, prior experience in the position will count.

Job Profile

Chairpersons, CEOs and other executives of a company rely on administrative support from executive assistants.  Their duties are not restricted to administrative tasks; they do clerical duties such as buying office supplies, mailing letters, filing and managing paperwork, and answering phone calls.  They are involved in training other support staff, managing expenses, arranging travel, preparing reports and other materials that are confidential and coordination meetings.  The executives may authorize their executive assistants to make business decisions on their behalf when such executives are absent.

Required Qualifications

Recruiters give priority to potential executive assistants who apart from a bachelor degree have experience of three or more years in relevant industry. (Source: Careerbuilder.com).  Interpersonal, computer and organizational skills are needed for the efficient performance of executive assistants who want to behave in a professional manner at all times. They must understand the need to withhold information and treat it with confidentiality for senior management.  They might not work regular hours and may expect to stay later at the office and work on holidays and weekends.

Wage Potential

In May 2010, executive assistants drew an average annual salary of $45,860. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)). The wages can differ according to the industry.  Majority of assistants who were employed during colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions, draws an annual average salary of $44,680; however, the highest annual average salary was paid to those working in postal offices where they earned $61,340.

Career Prospects

In 2008, there were 4.3 million administrative assistants and secretaries in the United States (Source: BLS), of whom about 1.6 million were executive assistants. They are employed by recruiters in various industries including construction companies, trade firms, manufacturing firms, retail businesses and colleges.  A job growth of three percent has been projected for executive assistants during 2008-2018, especially in industries relating to social assistance, healthcare, construction and education.

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