executive assistant.

High-level executives manage so many facets of a company that relies on a competent assistant is the only logical way for them to work. Working in an executive assistant capacity allows you to develop skills and perform duties that enable you to soar within many job fields. See how you can become your best as a professional in this role.

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what is an executive assistant?

An executive assistant is an administrative professional who assists high-level employees within a business. In this role, you work so closely with the executives you serve that you come to know your bosses' personal qualities. What sets executive assistants apart from secretaries or administrative assistants is the people you directly report to.

Executive assistants work alongside CEOs, chairmen and board members.


average salary of an executive assistant

Executive assistants work in a full-time capacity that pays roughly $70,000 + super per year. Top performers in this role earn as much as $180,000 + super per year. The job market for executive assistants is competitive, so having experience is a prerequisite for higher earnings.

Companies put the most trust in executive assistants who have three or more years in these positions.

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types of executive assistants

You have the career prospects of working as an entry-level, mid-level or senior-level executive assistant. At entry-level, you will likely be referred to as an administrative assistant. This role teaches you the basics of how company offices work.

You get to learn the needs of office employees and how to meet them on a consistent basis. The executive assistant role brings greater responsibilities, managing the needs, paperwork and schedules of your company’s leaders. Moving your career higher in a senior-level role enables you to make decisions that affect business performance.


working as an executive assistant

You need consistent organisational skills above all else when working as an executive assistant. The better you are at keeping business processes running in a timely manner, the closer you are to being the ideal executive assistant for your employer.

Here’s a better understanding of the duties, skills and qualifications needed for this inspiring role.

duties & responsibilities

The bulk of your duties are administrative in nature, but executive assistants also work with a greater personal scope regarding their executives. Though you certainly won’t do laundry, it’s possible that an emergency will require you to pick up an executive’s dry cleaning. Your daily objective is to ensure that your executive works without delays and has a list of priorities to focus on.

Working on the smaller background tasks gives executives confidence that they can focus on their responsibilities without interruptions.


work environment

Your work is primarily done within an office space. You have the freedom to work alone, but being cooperative and collaborative with the office staff is part of your job. Your usual workplace depends on your executive's location.

The travel plans you organise, however, invite you to see the world. You need the flexibility to work remotely when you’re not in the office. Expect to interact with all members of executive staff, being a go-to person from whom they all gather information. You will greet executives from outside firms when they show up for meetings with your boss.

work schedule

The executive members of your company work full time. Being assigned to the office of a CEO calls for a bit of flexibility with your time. Chief operating officers earn their positions by having a passion for their job, and this keeps them working past normal business hours.

The hours you work will usually fall in line with those of a typical work week. You will have weekends off if the needs of your office are casual and met by your staff.

keeping your schedule open

Yes, you are an assistant, but your role is an executive one, and few people reach this level without flexibility. Thus, the time you invest in your job has the potential to overlap with your personal life. Top performers accept some inconvenience when giving all to the job.

job outlook

The outlook of executive assistants is good due to the competitive nature of corporate and executive capacities. Top-level executives are still finding it difficult to maximise their productivity without someone helping them to handle the smaller tasks. Businesses with executive branches weather economic storms better than small to midsize businesses do.

The strength of an executive team offers career opportunities in a variety of economic conditions. Your earnings also increase over time. The longer you hold a position as an executive assistant, the more money you will be able to demand. In your career, you will have the potential of working with a single person or lead an entire group.

Group of colleagues having a conversation
Group of colleagues having a conversation

education & qualifications

Your educational requirements are determined by your employer and the industry you enter. In most cases, a high school education will be enough to build a satisfying career. An associate's or bachelor’s degree gives you a definite advantage.

Degrees obtained online are acceptable. Office management and administration are areas of study that are relevant to this position. Systems technology and business administration are additional areas that equip you for an executive role.

Candidates with University or TAFE qualifications such as business administration offer great value to employers.

longevity in the position

Top-tier roles all require at least three years of experience, with five years being the minimum for many big companies. As you move through entry-, mid-, and high-level roles as an assistant, your insight into your company also expand. Your extra knowledge and training give you the capability of a leading executive at times.

For this reason, most employers look for candidates who have demonstrated their longevity as executive assistants.

skills & competencies

Being a clerical assistant is at the heart of your work, so organisation leads the list of necessary skills in your field. Regarding organisational skills, your employer expects you to multitask without losing sight of their executive priorities. Taking initiative is necessary as you handle projects in an endless flow of work.

Your time management skills come into play since you handle the schedules of your executive leaders. Foreseeing future needs helps you to set appointments and target dates that work with the overall progress your office makes. To be efficient, you need superior attention to detail.

picking up on cues

Not all the needs an executive has been stated verbally. Picking up on cues from how your leaders work and monitoring what they’re achieving empowers you to think a few steps ahead of your office staff. Forwarding your projects and guiding other team members are things you will achieve with brevity and verbal clarity. Your communication skills must be adaptable. You need to use a variety of channels to send or receive messages and correspondence. Speaking with clarity and intent allows you to guide others into taking the right actions, achieving any milestones your company's executives have envisioned.


FAQs about working as an executive assistant

Learn about the different frequently asked questions about working and building a career as an executive assistant.


working with randstad as an executive assistant

Using your organisational skills in a fast-paced company is fun once you get the hang of things in your office. The things you learn in the assistant capacity are the inner workings of an organisation. This knowledge enables you to improve your company and allows executives to achieve their goals with less effort.

Many executive assistants travel the entire world alongside their executive bosses. There’s real potential for you to assume a managerial role with administrative assistants reporting to you.

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