Executive assistants perform a variety of clerical and organizational tasks that are necessary to run an organization efficiently. They use computer software to create spreadsheets, compose messages, manage databases, and produce presentations, reports, and documents. They may also negotiate with vendors, buy supplies, manage stockrooms or corporate libraries, and get data from various sources. They provide high-level administrative support for an office and for top executives of an organization. They often handle complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, preparing reports, and arranging meetings. They may supervise clerical staff. Specific job duties vary by experience, job title, and specialty.
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Executive assistants usually work in corporate offices, schools, hospitals, government agencies, or legal and medical offices of varying size. Their jobs often involve sitting for long periods and extended computer use. Most executive assistants work a standard 40-hour week.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of executive secretaries and administrative assistants is projected to grow 13 percent between 2010 and 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations, as these workers continue to provide high-level support for executives. In addition to jobs coming from employment growth, numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace secretaries and administrative assistants who transfer to other occupations or retire. Job opportunities should be best for applicants with extensive knowledge of computer software applications.
Career information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.