Administration & Office Support

Executive Secretary or Administrative Assistant

Executive secretaries perform routine clerical and administrative duties.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does an Executive Secretary or Administrative Assistant do?

Executive secretaries perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organise files, draft messages, schedule appointments, and support other staff. Executive secretaries are also known as executive assistants (EA), administrative assistants (AA) or personal assistants (PA).

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Work activities

As an executive secretary, the tasks you might have include:

  • dealing with email and post
  • answering the telephone and passing on calls
  • reception duties such as greeting and looking after visitors
  • typing and setting up documents such as letters and reports
  • keeping computer records up to date
  • filing
  • managing staff appointments
  • setting up meetings and taking minutes
  • making travel arrangements for staff.

In some jobs you might only do a few of these tasks, and in others you might carry out all the administrative duties in your department.

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Key skills and interests

To become an executive secretary, you would need:

  • an organised approach and excellent time management skills
  • good communication skills
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
  • computer literacy and good typing skills
  • a good level of English spelling and grammar
  • accuracy and attention to detail.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

In most full-time jobs you would work standard hours, Monday to Friday. Flexible hours, part-time work and temporary work are widely available.

Conditions

You would work in an office and spend a lot of your time using a computer.

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How to become an Executive Secretary or Administrative Assistant?

Entry Level Education

You can work as an executive secretary without formal qualifications. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in secretarial skills, business, business administration or a related field. You may be able to study through distance education.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment of executive secretaries and administrative assistants is projected to show little or no change.

This is largely because of the increasing use of technology, resulting in companies replacing executive secretaries with lower-cost administrative assistants. Many administrative assistants are now also required to support more than one manager in an organisation.

In addition, many managers now perform work that was previously done by their executive secretaries. For example, they often type their own correspondence or schedule their own travel and meetings.

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