Executive Administrative Assistant Career Outlook and Salary

Executive administrative assistants can be indispensable members of successful businesses and other enterprises. Professionals ranging from doctors to educators and financiers rely on executive administrative assistants to keep daily operations running smoothly, and the most effective assistants are prized for their organizational ability, interpersonal and communication skills, and wealth of industry knowledge.

Job Outlook for Executive Administrative Assistants

As of 2016, 631,610 executive administrative assistants and executive secretaries were employed nationwide, with the highest employment levels in postsecondary and professional schools, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. Federal projections call for a 6% decline for these professionals between 2014 and 2024.

Job Duties for Executive Administrative Assistants

Many specializations exist within the profession, meaning executive administrative assistants may provide a variety of support services contingent upon the industry and employer. However, a broad outline of the job description might include:

  • Perform clerical tasks, such as filing and producing routine correspondence
  • Schedule appointments, conferences and meetings
  • Field phone, electronic and in-person inquiries
  • Create spreadsheets, presentations and other documents
  • Train and supervise administrative assistants
  • Conduct research and prepare statistical reports and analysis
  • Purchase office supplies and negotiate with vendors

In addition, executive administrative assistants in the medical and legal fields may have specialized responsibilities, such as conducting research or preparing sophisticated documentation.

Salary Range for Executive Administrative Assistants

The median annual wage for executive administrative assistants and executive secretaries was $55,860 as of May 2016, the BLS reports. The top 10% earned $83,070.

Top-paying industries for these professionals included securities and commodity exchanges (average salary of $69,680) and financial investment services ($69,610). Computer and peripheral equipment manufacturers paid their executive administrative assistants higher compensation on average, at $71,180, according to the BLS.

Because salary and employment data reported by the BLS represents national averages, it’s important to conduct independent research in order to take regional differences into account. Additionally, a candidate’s experience and education are factors in determining hiring opportunities and pay ranges.

Education and Training for Executive Administrative Assistants

Executive administrative assistants typically begin their careers in entry-level positions. They may gain advancement opportunities as they demonstrate proficiency and develop new skills, whether it’s through on-the-job training, vocational programs or associate’s degree programs.

Industry training and specialized certifications, particularly within the medical and legal fields, can also give administrative assistants a competitive edge as they progress in their careers. On the job, administrative assistants seeking to advance to the executive level can improve their prospects by attaining industry and company knowledge, and demonstrating strong writing and communication skills.

Career development and networking opportunities are available through various professional organizations, such as the Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals (AEAP), the International Association of Administrative Professionals and the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP).

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