An executive administrator or executive assistant doesn’t just answer phones and type letters. These members of the support staff must be equally adept at preparing reports, managing meetings and acting as gatekeepers for the executives they support. Alternative titles for an executive assistant include executive secretary and administrative assistant.
Executive Administrator Job Duties
Excellent organizational skills, an eye for detail and the ability to work well with people at all levels within the company or organization are essential characteristics of executive administrators. Common job duties include:
- Correspondence preparation: In addition to typing or editing emails, memos and other correspondence generated by supervisors, administrators may also write emails, letters and reports. Good spelling and grammar skills and mastery of word processing, database and presentation software are necessary to be an executive administrator.
- Meeting and calendar management: Executive administrators manage their executives’ calendars, schedule meetings, prepare agendas, operate audio-visual systems during meetings, record minutes and ensure that meetings don’t exceed time limits. They may also hold their own meetings, depending on their areas of responsibility.
- Travel preparation: Administrators schedule flights, make hotel reservations and coordinate out-of-town meetings for their supervisors.
- Event management: Executive administrators may also be required to schedule events, conferences, dinners and executive team retreats.
- Employee supervision: Supervision of junior-level administrative assistants in the executive office may be part of the administrator’s job description.
Although you may not find soft skills listed in the official executive assistant job description, they are also essential for success. Executive administrators handle sensitive information and must be counted on to maintain confidentiality. Executives rely on them to decide which calls are truly urgent and which can wait. A good sense of humor and the ability to defuse tense situations are important assets when you work in the executive suite.
Education Requirement for Administrators
Executive administrators must have a high school diploma, although an associate’s or bachelor’s degree may be preferred by some companies. You may need to work as a secretary or administrative assistant for a few years before you are considered for an executive administrator position. Certain skills can make you a more attractive candidate, such as certification in software packages, the ability to speak another language, or event planning or supervisory experience.
Where Executive Administrators Work
Executive administrators are employed in a multitude of industries, from banking to healthcare to real estate. Assistants were once plentiful in U.S. companies, but today, only senior managers may be assigned assistants. Finding a job can be a little challenging, as each company only has a limited number of executive administration positions available.
Salary and Job Outlook
Executive administrators earn an average salary of $54,713 per year, according to PayScale, which notes that high earners can make as much as $78,000 each year. Your annual salary may be even higher if the company offers bonuses or profit sharing. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for secretaries and administrative assistants to decrease by 5 percent from 2016 to 2026, the decline may not affect executive administrators, as members of senior level management can be expected to retain their assistants.