What does a personal assistant do?
Leadership relies on personal assistants to complete a wide range of administrative and secretarial tasks. Each personal assistant job will be a little different, but the most common job duties include answering phone calls, scheduling appointments, and managing correspondence. Record keeping, planning meetings or events, and making travel arrangements are also part of the job. Personal assistants are often a key point of contact for clients and staff. In many cases, you will serve as a liaison between internal departments and management teams. You will also communicate directly with clients or deliver messages to management.
As a personal assistant, expect to be in a fast-paced environment that requires a lot of multitasking. In between answering and directing calls, personal assistants often need to prepare documents or reports, prepare spaces for scheduled events, or complete special projects. Private personal assistants also have responsibilities outside of the office. These responsibilities include coordinating or managing household staff, shopping and running errands, or scheduling personal appointments. Private personal assistants will often complete many of the same administrative duties as they would in an office setting.View Roles
What is the average salary of a personal assistant?
There are several factors that affect the salary of a personal assistant. According to Payscale, the average base pay for a personal assistant is $15.54 an hour or $45,212 yearly. If you have some experience as a personal assistant already, you will receive a higher starting wage. For example, personal assistants with over five years of experience tend to make over $17 an hour on average.
Factors affecting pay
The range of duties for the job also affects your pay rate. Bonuses or sales commissions are common if you make presentations to clients. Other positions will involve planning or coordinating large events. In some cases, you will have a larger workload because you will be working with director-level or executive management. All of these factors impact pay. As a personal assistant, you will advance your career and pay after gaining experience and skills. Because personal assistants utilize a wide range of communication, technical, and administrative skills, they are often moved into higher positions. The promotions available will depend on the organizational structure of the company. The most common promotions from personal assistant include executive assistant or administrator.
Industries that hire personal assistants
Almost every industry has a need for personal assistants. There are opportunities in both the public and private sectors. It isn’t just large corporations that need personal assistants; many smaller organizations and homes use personal assistants to help manage and complete administrative tasks.
Personal assistant job description
As a personal assistant, you will be an essential part of any organization. This fast-paced role doesn’t just help management with completing tasks. Many personal assistants find they are a key part of their organization’s communication strategy. This position is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about a specific industry or network with executive leadership.
What are the responsibilities of a personal assistant?
The top priority of an assistant is to make your manager, team leader, or private employer’s life a little easier. Personal assistants support management by completing a wide range of administrative functions that leadership wouldn’t normally have time to complete. Some of the most common personal assistant duties include:
- Answering phones
- Writing professional correspondence
- Managing travel arrangements
- Managing and updating records
- Managing customer service
- Handling personal errands
What type of equipment do personal assistants use?
Most personal assistants will need to use a computer to manage records, write correspondence, or track schedules. If your position requires you to take notes during meetings or events, you should consider investing in a high-quality tablet or smartphone.
What is the work environment of a personal assistant?
When people think of personal assistants, they almost always picture a busy office environment. While personal assistants are often used in offices, many employers will hire remote assistants. This allows the assistant to spend part or all of their time at home, provided they have a quiet, distraction-free workspace. Some positions require you to travel to assist your employer around the world. It’s possible to find a work environment or schedule that caters to your strengths because personal assistant positions are available in almost every industry.
Who are your colleagues as a personal assistant?
In most situations, you will be working alongside other administrative personnel, management teams, and executive leadership. Some personal assistants will coordinate activities among other team members like event planners and executive assistants.
What is the work schedule for a personal assistant?
There are part- and full-time job opportunities for personal assistants. In a typical office setting, personal assistants will work 40 hours each week. While there are some variants, it is very common to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If your new job requires traveling, attending meetings, or managing projects, you will work outside of your normal hours. Your schedule will also change based on the needs of your employer. If your employer is only in the office at night or always works on the weekend, expect to have a similar schedule.
What is the career outlook for a personal assistant?
Many people start their careers as personal assistants to gain exposure to an industry. Others prefer to have long-term careers as personal assistants. While the number of secretaries and administrative assistants is declining according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are still plenty of opportunities available. After working as a personal assistant, many people transition into more advanced administrative roles, such as office manager. Other personal assistants strive to work for employers who are higher up in an organization. Because personal assistants handle a wide range of job duties, many people also find a particular set of skills they excel at and choose to specialize.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a personal assistant?
Many personal assistants get the position through networking. If you are just starting out as a personal assistant or haven’t had a lot of opportunities to network yet, Spherion can help connect you with employment opportunities that match your skills. With a large network of businesses that are actively hiring, Spherion can help you find the personal assistant job that is right for you. There are several benefits to working with Spherion, including:
- Weekly pay
- Flexible scheduling
- Training opportunities
- Personal job search assistance
- A wide range of employment opportunities
What education do you need as a personal assistant?
There is a need for personal assistants in nearly every industry, so it is possible for you to find work regardless of your education. Many personal assistant positions require a high school diploma. If you choose to pursue an education before becoming a personal assistant, consider a degree that teaches administration or communications skills. You should also consider technical certificates to show you have proficiencies in commonly used software, such as Microsoft Office or QuickBooks.
Skills & competencies
Employers will specify any skills you need to be a personal assistant for their company. Every role is a little bit different, and many employers will work with assistants of all skill levels. Some common skills include:
- Written and verbal communication
- Customer service
- Email writing and management
- Data entry
- Record management
- Event planning
- Research and reporting
- Attention to detail
- Budgeting and tracking expenses
Depending on your role in the company and the environment you are in, you will need to use a computer to complete several of your job duties. Some employers will specifically seek out personal assistants with exposure to Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Zoom, Trello, or Evernote.
Personal assistants help their employers by multi-tasking to complete a wide range of duties. If you are considering a role as a personal assistant, here are some commonly asked questions and answers about the position.
What is the difference between a personal assistant and an executive assistant?
Executive assistants tend to work with people higher up in a company, whereas personal assistants work with employers at all levels. Executive assistants also work for multiple people while personal assistants tend to work with one.
Does a personal assistant always work with clients?
Personal assistants often handle communication for their employers, including answering phone calls and writing correspondence. While you are not in charge of presentations or account management, you are a key point of contact for clients and office visitors.
Do I need to buy anything to become a virtual personal assistant?
Personal assistants use little equipment outside of a computer. In a traditional office setting, assistants typically use work-provided equipment. If you are a virtual assistant or plan on fulfilling most of your duties remotely, you need to invest in a reliable home computer and headset.
How do I apply for a job as a personal assistant?
Applying for a job as a personal assistant is easy with Spherion. Search for personal assistant jobs on Spherion.com by job title and location. If you don’t see the perfect role, submit an open application. Once you submit your contact information and resume through Spherion’s open application, a recruiter from the office closest to you will reach out with details about potential personal assistant roles that fit your skill set and professional goals.