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Job Description of an Executive Administrator

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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.

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Employment and Labor Information 2023

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Employment Brief:

Provide high-level administrative support by conducting research, preparing statistical reports, and handling information requests, as well as performing routine administrative functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings. May also train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Job Description

Here is a Job Description an employer might post for potential Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants.

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Interpret administrative and operating policies and procedures for employees.
  • Conduct research, compile data, and prepare papers for consideration and presentation by executives, committees, and boards of directors.
  • Read and analyze incoming memos, submissions, and reports to determine their significance and plan their distribution.
  • Open, sort, and distribute incoming correspondence, including faxes and email.
  • Review operating practices and procedures to determine whether improvements can be made in areas such as workflow, reporting procedures, or expenditures.
  • Compile, transcribe, and distribute minutes of meetings.
  • File and retrieve corporate documents, records, and reports.
  • Greet visitors and determine whether they should be given access to specific individuals.
  • Prepare agendas and make arrangements, such as coordinating catering for luncheons, for committee, board, and other meetings.
  • Perform general office duties, such as ordering supplies, maintaining records management database systems, and performing basic bookkeeping work.

Typical Daily Tasks of Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants:

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Confer with coworkers to coordinate work activities.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships.
  • Getting Information: Read materials to determine needed actions.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization: Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
  • Performing Administrative Activities: Execute sales or other financial transactions. File documents or records. Perform administrative or clerical tasks. Prepare business correspondence.
  • Working with Computers.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities: Schedule operational activities.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge.
  • Processing Information: Compile data or documentation. Sort mail.

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Skills and Requirements:

  • SpreadsheetsUsing a computer application to enter, manipulate, and format text and numerical data; insert, delete, and manipulate cells, rows, and columns; and create and save worksheets, charts, and graphs.
  • Troubleshooting Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Operations Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Management of Material Resources Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
  • Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Word ProcessingUsing a computer application to type text, insert pictures, format, edit, print, save, and retrieve word processing documents.
  • PresentationsUsing a computer application to create, manipulate, edit, and show virtual slide presentations.
  • InternetNavigating the Internet to find information, including the ability to open and configure standard browsers; use searches, hypertext references, and transfer protocols; and send and retrieve electronic mail (e-mail).

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants Salary and Wages:

Average Salary: 58,450. Education: typical education requirements include High school diploma or equivalent.

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Data from May 2023 courtesy of U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program.


Holly McGurgan has a degree in journalism and previously worked as a non-profit public relations and communications manager. She often writes about career and lifestyle topics. Her work has appeared online on Healthline, Working for Candy and other sites.

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