Executive assistants help keep business running smoothly

Executive Assistant

Today’s executive assistants are highly skilled professionals who hold an office together!

Today’s executive assistants are professional-level positions that provide support for senior management and executives in almost every business type – industrial, retail, medical, legal, finance, education, hospitality, non-profits and more. Most still perform basic clerical tasks but have added responsibilities as well. They may be part of corporate strategic planning, budgeting, organizing and planning company-wide events, or arranging travel accommodation for senior leadership. Some will have a staff and therefore will hire, train and supervise lower-level clerical staff.

“Executive assistants in today’s offices are being asked to do more and more. It’s not just answering the phone or keeping a calendar; they are a point of contact among executives, employees, clients and partners. An efficient executive assistant helps their boss be more efficient by managing traffic flow, dealing with financial management, heading up committees and providing project management oversight,” said Assistant Professor Angel Fonseca, who previously worked as an executive assistant herself before joining the teaching faculty. They will often deal with confidential information and may have authority in the executive’s absence.

For those thinking about a career as an executive assistant, good communication skills, both speaking and writing, are important. Knowledge of business principles will be helpful – customer service, human relations, marketing, and so on. Technology skills, specifically Microsoft Office suite certifications are valued. Jackson College offers a Microsoft Office Specialist certificate which leads to this Executive Assistant degree while preparing the student for certification through Microsoft Corp.

With competition and the increasing abilities of technology, demand for executive assistants is expected to be relatively flat or drop by less than 2%. Most job openings are expected to replace current executive assistants who will leave the occupation through promotions or retirements. Payscale for the Michigan area ranges from $38,000 – $79,000 annually. Broadening one’s skills in technology, communications or other areas will help in finding a job.