You already knew this, right? We read this story at U.S. News on February 27, 2012 of the best jobs in 2012 and as one of the best jobs this profession was cited to see “significant growth over the next decade.” Here is their article.
The Best Jobs of 2012: Executive Assistant
The “assistant” role within the office environment has evolved drastically with the ever-increasing reliance on technology. Assistants are now asked to perform a variety of clerical tasks that were once reserved for managerial and professional staff. This is especially true for executive assistants, who lend high-level administrative support to company executives. While the basic duties still stand—taking messages, arranging conference calls, and scheduling meetings—executive assistants are also often put in charge of supervising other clerical staff, reviewing incoming memos, and even conducting research and preparing statistical reports. In short, it’s the executive assistant’s job to make sure the top branches of the company run smoothly.
[See The Best Jobs of 2012.]
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 12.6 percent employment growth for executive assistants between 2010 and 2020. An additional 156,000 jobs will need to be filled within that time period, either for executive secretaries or executive administrative assistants.
According to the Labor Department, the median annual salary for an executive assistant was $43,520 in 2010. The best-paid 10 percent earned roughly $67,000, while the lowest-paid made approximately $28,740. The profession’s best-compensated usually work for the Postal Service, for computer manufacturing companies, or for the federal executive branch. The highest paid in the field work in Santa Fe, N.M., the New York City area, or the San Jose, Calif., metropolitan area.
[See our list of The Best Business Jobs.]
Executive Assistant Salary Range:
75th Percentile Wage: $54,750
Median Wage: $43,520
25th Percentile Wage: $34,920
Education and Preparation:
Because executive assistants work alongside company executives, employers are increasingly seeking applicants with college degrees, and degrees directly pertaining to the company’s specified business or industry will give applicant’s an advantage over the competition. Many organizations (such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals) offer certifications in office skill proficiency. Executive assistants must also possess writing and communication skills, as well as the ability to work with such computer technologies as word processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, and database management. New hires will most likely receive on-the-job training in the specific technologies that the company uses. Employers also look out for strong interpersonal skills, as well as organization and management skills, initiative, and most importantly, good judgment.
On Landing an Executive Assistant Job:
The members of the Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals (who wish to remain nameless) have plenty of advice for aspiring executive assistants. “Employers are looking for someone who can handle change, challenges, and tasks with an open mind and willingness to adapt to the surroundings,” says one member. A bachelor’s degree, administrative certifications, and prior experience will also help applicants to land a job. But what most AEAP members stress is honesty. “Be confident, not arrogant. Be who you are, not who you think they want you to be. Be respectful,” advises another member. AEAP members say honesty and trustworthiness are key traits for which employers are looking. However, here’s what one member wants to remind all aspiring executive assistants of: “Your appearance counts for a lot. Make sure you look sharp.”
[In Pictures: The 10 Best Jobs.]
What is an Executive Assistant Job Like?
Executive assistants are full-time employees and are expected to work a standard 40-hour work week, although the hours could be longer depending on the executives’ schedules. Assistants will spend much of their time sitting at a computer, which can cause problems such as eyestrain, back pain, and repetitive motion ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome. Executive assistants also encounter stress on a regular basis, since this job involves a lot of multitasking. However, executive assistants rarely experience boredom while at work, as their daily tasks vary broadly.
*We really like this last line because it’s so true! What are your thoughts on this report as an EA or AA? Do you see this being one of the best jobs in 2012?