Difference Between Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant

If you have an interest in building a career in business and administration, you may consider becoming an executive assistant or administrative assistant.

While these two job roles have some similar types of responsibilities, there are several differences between these two. Understanding the difference will help you to choose between these two job roles.

Executive Assistant vs Administrative Assistant

The main difference between an executive assistant and an administrative assistant is that an executive assistant conducts more complex duties compared to an administrative assistant and works closely with business leaders, top executives like a chief financial officer, chief executive officer, and vice president. On the other hand, administrative assistant conducts organizational and managerial tasks for an entire workplace.

Executive Assistant vs Administrative Assistant

An executive assistant is a person who provides support to the business leaders and top executives of an organization. An executive assistant provides clerical support and performs several office management duties.

Sometimes their tasks directly affect the success of the organization. The duties of an executive assistant are generally responding to emails, taking calls, receiving faxes, providing clerical support, and so on.

An administrative assistant is a person who provides support to managers, office visitors, and other employees of the organization by handling several tasks, like generating, filling presentations and reports, setting up meetings, and ensuring a well-structured interaction between the organization and the others.

Sometimes an administrative assistant works as an administrative specialist or administrative coordinator.

Comparison Table Between Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant

Parameters of Comparison Executive assistant Administrative assistant
Clerical duties An executive assistant can make independent decisions and has more complex duties compared to an administrative assistant.     An administrative assistant’s duties are limited to clerical duties, they can’t take decisions on their own.
Shared responsibilities An executive assistant only conducts research and has to work on presentations and projects according to the employer.      An administrative assistant can collaborate on projects or research with the employer.
SkillsCore skills that are required to be an executive are resourcefulness, handling work pressures, tech-savviness, organizational skills, analytic skills, prioritization skills, multi-tasking abilities, communication skills, negotiating skills.     Core skills that are required to be an administrative assistant are emotional intelligence, multi-tasking skills, organizational skills, having a service-minded attitude, communication skills, and so on.
Work experienceMost of the time, an executive assistant needs a few years of work experience in this field.     An administrative assistant generally doesn’t need to have any prior work experience.
SalaryThe salary of an executive assistant is higher than an administrative assistant.     The salary of an administrative assistant is lower than an executive assistant.

What is Executive Assistant?

An executive assistant is a person who provides high-level administrative assistants to business leaders and top executives in a corporation or company.

Like other personal assistants and administrative assistants, an executive assistant also conducts clerical duties. However, they have an additional and higher level of responsibilities.

An executive assistant is the right hand of the executives of the company. They handle everything from the personal schedules of the executives to the board meetings.

They perform clerical responsibilities like sending memos, making and accepting phone calls, scheduling meetings, maintaining files, reviewing incoming reports, setting daily schedules of the executives, editing and drafting correspondence, and accepting visitors.

For this, an executive assistant needs to have advanced software programs.

Often an executive assistant works closely with the top executives and leaders of the company. In some organizations, executive assistants supervise the work of the personal assistants and administrative assistants.

An executive assistant may have one or more assistants depending on the structure and size of the organization.

An executive assistant works in the office. Executive assistants are found across all industries including hospitals, schools, government agencies, non-profits, and corporate organizations.

An executive assistant works as the gatekeeper of the company by controlling phone calls, as well as scheduling, canceling, or rescheduling important meetings.

What is Administrative Assistant?

An administrative assistant is one of the most important employees of the company who keeps everything smooth-running. An administrative assistant works as a secretary, receptionist, or office clerk, who conducts daily organizational and clerical tasks.

An administrative assistant needs to be well-organized and detail-oriented to create a well-structured workplace.

The administrative assistant drafts messages and organizes files, helps other employees, and schedules appointments.

The administrative assistant uses a computer for composing messages, creating spreadsheets, whipping up documents, reports, and presentations, managing databases.

Sometimes, the administrative assistant needs to buy supplies, negotiate with vendors, get data from several sources, and manage corporate libraries or stockrooms.

Several skills are required to be an administrative assistant.

Basic computer and software skills, multi-tasking ability, written and verbal communication skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, knowledge regarding office administration and management procedure and systems, problem-solving skills, planning and organizational skills, decision-making skills, and a diploma or a college degree are needed.

They sometimes provide help to the executive assistants.

An administrative assistant can work both in the office and from home virtually most of the time full-time administrative assistants need to work from the office. In every industry, an administrative assistant is needed for the smooth running of the business.

But virtual assistants are becoming popular in all industries.

Main Differences Between Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant

  1. An executive assistant can make independent decisions and has more complex duties compared to an administrative assistant. On the other hand, an administrative assistant’s duties are limited to clerical duties, they can’t take decisions on their own.
  2. An executive assistant only conducts research and has to work on presentations and projects according to the employer. An administrative assistant can collaborate on projects or research with the employer.
  3. Core skills that are required to be an executive are resourcefulness, handling work pressures, tech-savviness, organizational skills, analytic skills, prioritization skills, multi-tasking abilities, communication skills, negotiating skills. Core skills that are required to be an administrative assistant are emotional intelligence, multi-tasking skills, organizational skills, having a service-minded attitude, communication skills, and so on.
  4. Most of the time, an executive assistant needs a few years of work experience in this field. An administrative assistant generally doesn’t need to have any prior work experience.
  5. The salary of an executive assistant is higher than an administrative assistant. But the salary of an administrative assistant is lower than an executive assistant.
Difference Between Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant

Conclusion

When executive assistant and administrative assistant are two distinctive professions, there are several similarities between them.

They both conduct several clerical duties like managing and attending phone calls, responding to emails, scheduling meetings, and so on.

But an executive assistant has some other additional duties.

Both an executive assistant and administrative assistant need to have organizing, managing, multitasking, and communication skills. But as an executive assistant needs to conduct more complex tasks, he or she needs to have efficient analytic skills.

An executive assistant can also make their own decisions and can impact the business success of the company. An executive assistant’s job role is higher than that of an administrative assistant.

References

  1. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=executive+assistant+&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3Dmt5bIzlL9roJ
  2. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=administrative+assistant+&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DraVaUabsMzAJ
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