Is becoming an executive assistant right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

Overview
What do executive assistants do?
Career Satisfaction
Are executive assistants happy with their careers?
Personality
What are executive assistants like?

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How to become an Executive Assistant

Securing an executive assistant job typically requires a combination of training and practical experience. Many lower level secretaries, for instance, advance to executive assistant status after several years of strong job performance.

Because they work for high-ranking professionals in the company and may supervise other administrative staff, some employers may prefer executive assistants who have earned a bachelor's degree or have been certified through an administrative professional organization. Many colleges offer executive administrative assistant programs that teach administrative functions and include courses in topics like accounting, keyboarding, databases and basic office procedures.

Professional organizations offer certification to executive assistants who can prove their proficiency in the field by passing a standardized examination. Certification is not required to work as an executive assistant, but many employers prefer to hire certified assistants.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) offers two designations: Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). The CPS exam has three sections covering fundamental administrative techniques, while the CAP exam has four parts and is slightly more advanced.