What Does It Take to Become an Executive Assistant?

May 6, 2023


Two people sitting at a desk holding tablets and papers of graphs. An executive administrative assistant is supporting their executive in performing their job duties optimally.

Are you considering a career as an executive assistant? Working as an administrative professional is very rewarding. These roles are vital to any company and come with a lot of responsibility. At times, these jobs can be stressful. But with the right training and skillset, you can thrive in this field. 

Let’s take a look at what an executive assistant is, and what it takes to become one. 

What Is an Executive Assistant? 

An executive assistant (EA) is someone who assists a high-level executive. Ideally, the EA is a strategic partner for the executive they serve. They offer a direct support system to leadership, helping executives stay organized and keeping the day-to-day functions of the workplace running smoothly. The EA's administrative support is crucial to a company's operations, expansion, and success.

EAs can have different job titles; administrative assistants, personal assistants, and senior support specialists can all fall under this category. Regardless of the job title, the roles and responsibilities for these positions are often similar.

The Executive Assistant Job Description 

One of the main duties of an executive assistant is to manage the schedule and communications of key personnel within the company. The list of daily and weekly functions of an executive assistant is lengthy. Further, their duties often change depending on the time of year and what is happening within the company. 

The general executive assistant job description will likely include the following duties and responsibilities: 

  • Prioritizing emails and phone calls 

  • Managing calendars 

  • Preparing for meetings 

  • Managing important documents 

  • Taking meeting minutes and notes 

  • Drafting interoffice memos and announcements 

  • Coordinating travel arrangements 

  • Data entry 

  • Event planning 

  • Project coordination 

  • Managing the office personnel 

  • Customer service 

To succeed as an executive assistant, it is essential to have a working knowledge of the following software and programs: 

  • DocuSign

  • Microsoft 365, including Excel

  • Google Suite 

  • Zoom 

  • QuickBooks 

In addition to the above basic programs, you must learn and adapt to any specific software programs your specific company is using. 

Executive Assistant Training 

To get started as an entry-level executive assistant, you must have the right education and training. At the minimum, you will need to have a high school diploma. If you can obtain a bachelor’s degree and want to work in the administrative profession, work towards a degree in business administration. 

Attaining a relevant certification specific to this profession, such as PACE, is also beneficial. Having a specialized certification will set you apart from the competition when applying for jobs. 

Finally, get on-the-job experience. Education will only take you so far. Entry-level work experience as a receptionist, office assistant, or administrative assistant will help you prepare to advance your career and eventually become an EA.

Train with ASAP 

We are proud to be the leading provider of education and training for executive assistants. Our training resources prepare admins for more advanced roles, ensuring success and growth in their careers. 

If you haven’t already achieved your PACE, consider attaining this valuable certification. The Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE) is one of the best ways to demonstrate that you have the skills necessary to support executives in today’s evolving business world. 

Reach out to us today to see how we can help you get started on the EA career path. Whether you're just entering this field or looking to make a career switch from another admin position, we're here to support you.

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American Society of Administrative Professionals

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