An executive assistant provides administrative support to a company's executive with their primary objective being to reduce the executive's workload. The majority of employers of executive assistants seek applicants with a good standard of basic education, although an increasing number are seeking candidates with higher level qualifications, such as diplomas in administration or degrees in areas such as business studies or management. Candidates with knowledge of foreign languages, business studies and ICT are highly sought after, as are those with experience of working in an office environment. Personal qualities are often considered to be just as important as formal qualifications and skills, with employers seeking candidates with strong interpersonal and communication skills, excellent organisational skills and good prioritisation skills.
Employment opportunities for executive assistants are found in private and public sector organisations of all sizes. For those with foreign language skills, overseas jobs are readily available. Vacancies for executive assistants are frequently advertised through specialist recruitment agencies and usually involve working standard office hours, Monday to Friday. While roles are almost always office-based, applicants must be willing to travel to attend business meetings and events.
Starting salaries for executive assistants are around £18,000 a year. Salaries are often higher for those working in larger companies.