WHAT DOES AN EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DO? Job Description, Roles, & Salary (Updated 2022)

WHAT DOES AN EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT DO
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You might be wondering if there is any difference between an executive assistant vs. an administrative assistant. An executive assistant’s role is similar to that of an administrative assistant or secretary in that each performs or supervises administrative tasks for another employee. If you want to work in administration and business, you could become an executive assistant or administrative assistant to the CEO of an organization. However, this article will discuss the difference between an executive vs. administrative assistant, the salary they can earn, as well as their strategic job description.

Executive Assistant vs. Administrative Assistant: What’s the Difference?

So, how are the services of an executive assistant different from those of an administrative assistant? EAs, in general, provide high-level support. They are project management experts, whereas administrative assistants are more like task managers.

An EA can perform tasks similar to those performed by AAs. They can also assist you with strategies specific to their role. An EA can look into potential solutions on their own time, suggest steps to take to help you achieve your objectives, and recommend useful tools.

When deciding between an executive assistant vs. an administrative assistant, consider your goals for hiring one. Do you require someone who can proactively identify areas for development while taking on some of your workloads? Would you rather point people in the direction of a specific vision?

Consider the cost of hiring an EA or an AA as well. Hiring an assistant isn’t a one-time expense; you must be certain that the monthly costs are worthwhile. Consider other expenses in addition to the salary you pay them. For example, you will need to spend money on software subscriptions so that your EA can do its job properly.

Executive Assistant vs. Administrative Assistant Salaries

Rates for personal assistants vary. In the United States, an entry-level, office-based administrative assistant’s salary typically begins at $16 per hour. Depending on the state, skilled administrative assistants can earn up to $20 per hour.

In contrast, the starting salary range for an executive assistant is $15–$30 per hour for basic services, with some assistants charging as much as $75 per hour. These EAs have worked in fields such as finance and web development.

When you consider remote virtual assistance, your options expand. Many businesses charge an hourly rate for remote office assistant services, which averages $38 per hour. It appears to be a good deal, except that hiring a part-time assistant will cost you more than $3,000 per month at this price. Other companies offer $449 plans with limited inclusions, such as only 12 hours of task work per month.

Wing’s most affordable plan, which costs only $6.24 per hour, allows you to work 4 hours per day, Monday through Friday, with a 5-minute response time guarantee. This plan gives you access to a dedicated assistant who will complete task queues and ensure that your work is of high quality.

Executive Assistant vs. Administrative Assistant Skills

One of your primary considerations, alongside the expense, should be the potential compatibility of your executive assistant with the rest of your staff. Executive assistants must have skills that are relevant to the team they are supporting, but they should also have “soft” skills that allow them to do their jobs more effectively. In general, all executive assistants should have the following skills:

  1. Time management. Business owners frequently have multiple commitments, both within and outside the company. An assistant should be able to “manage up,” prioritize meetings and projects, and create an efficient schedule for business leaders.
  2. Research. Assistants must be able to retrieve information from various sources and distill what they find into an easily digestible format.
  3. Project management. An AA or EA must be able to divide large and complex tasks into smaller ones. They must pay close attention to detail and keep stakeholders up to date on the status of an action plan.
  4. Problem-solving. Effective problem-solving skills are essential for assistants in today’s workplaces, as they often have to make important decisions with insufficient information. They should be able to suggest or make project changes without involving their manager.
  5. Communication. Both EAs and AAs must be excellent communicators. They must be able to communicate effectively with people at various levels of seniority, as well as relate to them and convey updates or requests.
  6. Empathy. Empathy is essential for all EAs and AAs. They must comprehend their boss’s or client’s requirements and translate them into action items. Finally, an assistant should be able to switch gears when necessary. EAs and AAs need to be flexible to meet the ever-evolving demands of their business clients.

Strategic Job description of an Executive Assistant?

Executive assistants help CEOs and other high-ranking executives with administrative tasks so that they can focus on leading the company. They keep the executive’s communications organized so that the most important information is easily accessible without having to sort through low-priority items. While providing polite and competent customer service, executive assistants screen visitors and assess their needs. They manage the executive’s daily calendar, including meeting scheduling, appointment confirmation, itinerary writing, and transportation arrangements. Executive Assistants are also responsible for training other administrative staff on company policies and best practices.

How to Write a Strategic Job Description for an Executive Assistant

To attract qualified candidates for the position of Executive Assistant, it is important to first provide an overview of the company and the job description itself. Briefly describe the work environment, what distinguishes your company, and why the role is important to your company.

Below Is an Example of the Job Description for an Executive Assistant

Company [name of your company] is seeking a well-organized Executive Assistant to assist two of our department heads. This is an excellent opportunity to build relationships with high-level executives and contribute to our organization’s overall efficiency.

Company [name of company] is dedicated to creating a culture in which employees feel valued. We’re glad to have a Work Happiness Score that’s above the industry average and an overall 4.5-star rating on Indeed Company Pages. If this sounds like the job and work environment for you, apply today!

Below is another example of a strategic executive assistant job description so you can write a compelling and effective job posting for yourself. The first job description is a perfect example of an executive assistant job description, including a comprehensive list of responsibilities that you should think about including in your job description. 

We are looking for an Executive Assistant to assist the Chief Legal Officer, who is in charge of Legal, Compliance, Government Affairs, and Human Resources. This role will coordinate and manage the schedules of executives, prepare and organize important legal and strategic materials and plans, and help with board meetings and the preparation of board materials.

This role is the CLO’s eyes and ears. It connects organizations, projects, and important business information to the CLO. It also makes sure that meetings and materials are efficient and useful, and it works with the CLO as a trusted partner to meet the business’s legal priorities.

Because of the dynamic nature of this role, the ideal candidate must have exceptional time management skills as well as the ability to identify and anticipate the CLO’s needs. The role must interact seamlessly and professionally with a diverse group of people, including members of the Senior Management Team, the Board of Directors, and leaders who report to the CLO.

To do this job well, the person should be able to handle highly sensitive and confidential financial, legal, personnel, and institutional information with professionalism and good judgment.

This brief introduction to the executive assistant position serves as an excellent model for your full job description.

Tips for Deciding to Be an Administrative or Executive Assistant

If you’re thinking about pursuing either of these careers, consider the following advice:

#1. Continue Your Education or Obtain Additional Certifications.

While the job may only require a high school diploma or equivalent, additional education and training can show your potential employer you can succeed in the role. Certifications in business writing and relevant software applications are available. Extra courses and training can prepare you for your responsibilities as an executive or administrative assistant, in addition to potentially impressing your employers.

#2. Get Some Work Experience

Gaining relevant work experience can expose you to administrative and executive assistants’ daily tasks and responsibilities. This can help you determine which role is best for you. Employers may require previous work experience if you want to become an executive assistant, so this can help you qualify for your future career. You can also become familiar with common office equipment such as computer programs, printers, and phone systems that you may encounter in either of these professions.

#3. Make a Relevant Resume.

Examine the position you’re applying for and make a list of the skills and qualifications your potential employer requires. Consider updating your resume to include any training, certifications, and hard and soft skills that demonstrate why you are the best candidate. The section on your work experience may also include a summary that highlights any relevant responsibilities or skills, such as organization, that demonstrate your readiness for your prospective position.

#4. Additional Information for the Job Description

In addition, information about your company and the industry, particularly as it relates to the executive assistant’s role and responsibilities, should be included in the job description. For example, if the company has a CEO and a COO and the executive assistant will work for both, include this information in the job description. If the company is in the digital media industry, for example, you may want candidates to have a working knowledge of that industry, including processes, terminology, and commonly used technology programs.

It may be beneficial to include salary information as well. Indeed, if you have Nevada employees or are filling a remote position with Nevada applicants, you may be required to include salary information. Include information about job benefits as well, and don’t forget to include equal employment opportunity information or any other information required by law.

Conclusion

Besides the qualities mentioned above, executive assistants should also be good at leadership, conscientiousness, and networking. EAs can act as chiefs of staff, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, and company leaders often rely on them to make decisions on their behalf. When choosing between hiring an executive assistant vs. an administrative assistant, besides thinking about “hard” skills you need, it’s crucial to vet talent based on their interpersonal skills.

What Does an Executive Assistant Do FAQs?

What does an executive assistant do day to day?

Executive assistants work directly with upper management and are responsible for accounting, bookkeeping, calendar management, client relations, filing systems, travel plans, and more.

What are the top skills of an executive assistant?

Top Executive Assistant Skills

  • Communication abilities. 
  • Organizational abilities. Any type of administrative role requires excellent organizational skills.
  • Good time management.
  • Networking abilities
  • Knowledge of Information Technology.
  •  Multitasking
  • Availability to Learn.
  • Being a Team Player

What does a CEO look for in an executive assistant?

An executive assistant to your CEO should be exceptional at anticipating the chief executive’s needs and preferences. This means they aren’t constantly reliant on the leader’s guidance for every small step they must take.

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