How to Become a Personal Assistant

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To become a personal assistant, an individual must be willing to work whatever schedule her supervisor requires. The job of a personal assistant can be quite varied, depending on the needs of his or her superior for that day. Duties may include administrative tasks, errands, and even occasional childcare. Receptionists and personal assistants belong to one of the fastest-growing career fields in the United States - administrative support staff. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that, by the year 2020, the demand for administrative assistants will go up by over 248,000 positions.[1]

Wikimedia Commons: Francis Stewart
Education High school diploma[1]
Starting pay $8.44[2]
Median pay $12.14 per hour[2]
10 yr growth Faster than average: 24%[1]
Related professions Administrative assistant
Author Selena Robinson

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Personal Assistant Job Overview

Becoming a personal assistant requires several skills, including customer service, patience, and an unusually high degree of adaptability. Personal assistants often work directly under supervisors or managers who have a large amount of authority within a company. As such, they may need someone to schedule their meetings, contact their clients, handle their paperwork, and screen their telephone calls. Personal assistants often provide these services, which frees up their superiors to concentrate on more important work responsibilities.[3]

Celebrity Personal Assistant Jobs

Celebrities and other wealthy individuals also hire personal assistants on a regular basis. Working as a celebrity personal assistant may involve performing other kinds of tasks, such as running personal errands, arranging for childcare, and serving as the intermediary for visitors. Some personal assistants who work for celebrities may even perform basic housekeeping services, such as caring for pets or house-sitting. Celebrity personal assistants often earn quite a bit more than traditional personal assistants, sometimes receiving up to $100,000 in salary annually.[4]

Personal Assistant Education

Becoming a personal assistant generally only requires a high school diploma. While in school, students can focus on skills that will help them perform the work of a personal assistant, such as typing, math, reading, writing, and public speaking. Learning to operate basic computer software programs, including word processors and spreadsheets, can be a big help to those who think they want to work as personal assistants in the future.[5]

Personal assistants who want to work in specific career fields such as business or law may find it best to complete some college coursework related to these industries. Some companies may require that personal assistants who want to work for upper managers obtain a bachelor's degree in order to be considered for employment.[6]

Personal Assistant Training

Much of the training for personal assistants is done on the job. However, aspiring personal assistants can complete some of their training by participating in internships while they are still in school. Others may decide to pursue additional training such as learning a foreign language, attending leadership conferences, or even pursuing administrative certifications such as the Certified Administrative Professional designation (CAP).[7]

Personal Assistant Jobs

Advice on finding a job as a personal assistant

Also See: How to Become a Receptionist, How to Become a Virtual Assistant, How to Become a Research Assistant, How to Become an Administrative Assistant


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