Senior Executive Assistant vs Office Manager: Which Career Path Is Right for You?

April 1, 2023


A Senior Executive Assistant discussing Office Manager roles with her boss while looking at a tablet.
A Senior Executive Assistant is a key support system in the workplace.

You may be wondering, what is the difference between Executive Assistants and Office Managers? What does your company truly need? And which position is the right fit for you? The functions and responsibilities of these two positions vary. While sometimes their duties overlap, there are key differences.

Read on for a breakdown of each role and determine which you might need to fill to keep your business running smoothly. If you are looking to start a career in administrative services, it’s also important to note the differences between the two. This way, you can discover which is the better fit for your skill set. 

Office Managers: The Breakdown

The general role of an Office Manager is keeping tabs on and managing the day-to-day operations of the workplace. Their duties may vary depending on the nature of the business and its size. However, in general, they keep the office organized, handle planning, and oversee the bulk of the office activities. 

Some of the most common responsibilities of Office Managers include: 

  • Employee scheduling including regular days off, sick leave, and vacations

  • Scheduling office meetings, training, and keeping an office-wide calendar

  • Delegating work to other administrative employees

  • Maintaining supplies, taking inventory, and tracking orders

  • Overseeing the records and safekeeping important documents for the business

  • Overseeing the office budget and making regular reports of a surplus or a shortage to the Executive Staff

  • Supervising other administrative staff and delegating the workload appropriately

  • Working closely with the Human Resources department regarding new hires, filling open positions, employee training, and employee corrections

The Office Manager is an important role. It requires a high level of organization, multitasking, clerical skills, budgeting, time management, and managerial skills. An excellent Office Manager will also exhibit strong leadership and problem-solving skills. 

Executive Assistants: The Breakdown

The responsibilities of a Senior Executive Assistant will vary depending on the industry, company size, and the executive or multiple executives being supported. However, one thing doesn’t change, no matter the size of the organization – Executive Assistants are essential to a business’ expansion and viability.

A great Executive Assistant helps the higher-ups of a company achieve revenue and productivity goals, minimize stress, and improve processes. Some of the most common responsibilities of an Executive Assistant are: 

  • Keeping an accurate and realistic calendar of appointments and meetings 

  • Maintaining personal files, organizing, and archiving documents

  • Drafting memos, interoffice emails, and preparing reports

  • Aiding with presentations and projects

  • Scheduling appointments, both professional and personal

  • Taking meeting minutes and keeping accurate records

  • Scheduling travel accommodations and getting related receipts to the finance department

Having a trained and organized Executive Assistant can make or break the career of an executive. With the proper EA support, C-suite executives or directors can maximize their work hours and achieve greater results for the organization. This makes the EA role vital to new and seasoned executives.

Office Manager vs Senior Executive Assistant

The salaries for each of these positions vary based on education level and experience. Some companies prefer to hire Office Managers and Executive Assistants with Bachelor's degrees. Others will accept a high school diploma, coupled with prior and relevant experience. 

One of the main differences between these two roles is who they support on a day-to-day basis. An Office Manager will provide support to an entire office, while a Senior Executive Assistant primarily supports executives, managers, and directors.

ASAP Can Help 

If you’re ready to dive into a rewarding career as an Office Manager or a Senior Executive Assistant, turn to ASAP for training and resources. We offer webinars, in-person events, and a prestigious certification to help you achieve your career goals.

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