Below, find the personal assistant job description, qualifications, skills, working hours, and job prospects. A personal assistant job is very diverse and varies depending on the person you are assisting. The assistant provides support to their employer, including answering phones, scheduling meetings, responding to calls, texts, and emails, making and confirming travel arrangements, and performing administrative duties.
Job Overview: What Does A Personal Assistant Do?
A personal assistant, or PA, works alongside a manager or director. Their duties may include taking incoming calls, returning calls or messages, emailing and scheduling. Traveling may be required if the manager needs assistance on business related trips.
Schedules are typically the same as the person the PA is assisting, however, additional hours may be required. The job requires at least a high school diploma. Additional education, such as an Associates degree or secretarial skills may be required as well.
A PA earns between $21,020 and $74,924 a year, depending upon location, industry, and experience.
Personal Assistant Job Duties
- Prepare daily schedules for the manager, including meetings, breaks, lunches, and commitments.
- Answer incoming calls and return phone and text messages in a timely and efficient manner.
- Send and reply to emails on time.
- Coordinate travel accommodations, including ground travel, air travel, and hotel stays. A personal assistant may be required to go along on business trips with the manager.
- Handle incoming and outgoing mail.
- Take and record meeting notes.
- Complete personal tasks, such as picking up dry cleaning, making restaurant reservations, getting coffee, and scheduling all personal appointments.
- Complete additional duties, such as providing child care, organizing events, and assisting with home duties.
Personal Assistant Job Essential Skills
Organization and time management skills. The PA must be able to efficiently multitask and prioritize.
Computer skills. A personal assistant must be efficient in Microsoft Office, as well as have strong computer and administrative skills.
Flexibility. A personal assistant must be extremely flexible, as different situations arise each day, and they must be effectively handled.
Good written and verbal skills. Because the personal assistant will be interacting with many people on a daily basis, good written and verbal skills are essential.
Attention to detail. A personal assistant must be attentive to details, as they will be the main point of contact for their manager or director.
Becoming a Personal Assistant
To become a personal assistant, you need at least a high school diploma. Administrative training is a plus in the personal assistant job description, as well as experience in a secretarial or administrative position. Computer skills are required. A personal assistant must be familiar with the latest technology.
There is no licensure required, however, ongoing training in the field of your manager may be required. Networking is an important step to gaining a position as a personal assistant. A candidate must be well-trained in office duties.
Qualifications and Training
In order to be a successful personal assistant, you must be well spoken and organized. The ability to multitask is essential. The personal assistant must have excellent computer skills. A calm, professional demeanor is important. The candidate must have the ability to work irregular hours.
As different tasks arise, a personal assistant must have a strong work ethic. Typically, the assistant must have the ability to drive when necessary. There is no examination required to become a personal assistant.
While a personal assistant can obtain a job with no experience, usually the position requires administrative experience. The personal assistant may need to have office experience as well. Depending upon the job requirements, it may be fairly easy to get hired with little to no experience.
However, job opportunities are stronger for those with prior experience. Experience can be acquired during possible internships, which may be done during secondary education.
The working hours for this position will vary depending upon the manager’s schedule. The assistant may need to work a typical 9-5 schedule, plus additional night and weekend hours. They may also be required to travel with their manager or be on call. Extra hours will usually be required of a personal assistant.
While there are no standard “working hours” for a personal assistant, the job usually requires at least 40+ working hours per week. A personal assistant must be willing to have a flexible schedule and adapt to change when necessary.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
This niche is definitely a competitive one. Many personal assistants change jobs often, due to the demanding nature of the job. The job outlook is typically good, as PA’s are required for managers and executives in all fields. It is a financially sound job, with salary being above average. Bonuses may also be awarded when necessary.
Increased pay may be offered with more experience. Since there is little education required, it is worth investing in this area to become a personal assistant. Little to no training is needed for the position. Depending on the manager, a personal assistant may advance and gain more attractive duties. It is possible to obtain a managerial position.
A job as a personal assistant is a sound choice. There is job variety, and assistants are needed in a number of different fields. The personal assistant job description comes with minimal educational requirements, so becoming one is fairly easy. Many job opportunities are available, and the salary is above average. However, the personal assistant will need a specific skill set to perform their job properly.