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Executive Assistant vs. Administrative Assistant: What's the Difference?

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

You may find executive assistant and administrative assistant job openings in many cities and towns across the United States. At first glance, executive and administrative assistant roles may seem similar. But, on close examination, there are notable differences between the two.

Now, let's look at executive assistant and administrative assistant jobs and the duties associated with them.

What Is an Executive Assistant?

An executive assistant performs a wide range of administrative tasks. These include:

  1. Answering phones

  2. Reviewing and editing documents

  3. Filing reports

  4. Supervising clerical staff

  5. Maintaining schedules

The assistant works on behalf of a high-ranking executive. They can work closely with this executive to ensure they receive sufficient administrative support.

What Is an Administrative Assistant?

An administrative assistant completes many of the same tasks as an executive assistant. The key difference between the two roles: an admin assistant typically works as part of an office team, while an executive assistant works for a business leader.

What Does It Take to Become an Executive or Administrative Assistant?

Anyone can become an executive or administrative assistant. Here are some of the requirements associated with both roles.

1. Education

You need a minimum of a high school diploma to pursue executive or administrative assistant jobs. Meanwhile, it helps to earn an associate's degree in business administration or administrative office management. A degree will help anyone in pursuit of an assistant role stand out from other job candidates. It ensures that executive and administrative assistants are well-equipped to maximize their career earnings, too.

2. Administrative Experience

Many administrative assistant jobs require little to no experience. You may gain on-the-job training as an administrative assistant. Conversely, executives frequently seek out assistants who have at least a few years of experience. Thus, if you want to become an assistant for an executive, you may need to start as an admin assistant and go from there.

3. Communication and Decision-Making Skills

The top executive and admin assistants are strong communicators and great decision-makers. These assistants can disseminate information to a wide range of stakeholders in many different ways. Furthermore, executive and administrative assistants can make tough decisions on the fly. They do not crumble when faced with challenging decisions. Instead, executive and admin assistants do their part to make informed decisions as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Should You Become an Executive or Admin Assistant?

If you are considering administrative roles, you may want to seek out admin assistant jobs. You can find temporary and part-time positions, as well as full-time opportunities. Next, you can begin your work as an admin assistant. If you enjoy what you do, you can continue your work in this role. Or, if you prefer a new challenge down the line, you can always explore opportunities to become an executive assistant.

Find Your Dream Job Today

Ascend Staffing can help you pursue executive assistant and admin assistant jobs at your convenience. We can provide you with ongoing updates regarding executive and admin assistant roles that align with your expectations. Browse our job board today!

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