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How to Become an Executive Administrator

Find out how to become an executive administrator. Research the education requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in administrative support. View article »

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  • 0:04 Executive…
  • 1:13 Step 1: Obtain a…
  • 1:43 Step 2: Do…
  • 2:13 Step 3: Advance to the…
  • 2:34 Step 4: Consider Certification

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Video Transcript

Executive Administrator Career Info

An executive administrator is responsible for the administrative tasks of corporate executives. In this position, one can expect to conduct research, create statistical reports, and prepare agendas for top management. Other tasks may include overseeing the office budget and ordering office supplies. An executive administrator is less likely to perform the basic clerical tasks of a secretary. They may even have some managerial tasks. These professionals usually work in office settings, but some may conduct their work remotely.

A bachelor's degree in a business-related field is beneficial and may be helpful for those looking to become executive administrators. Many applicants also need several years of prior work experience to advance to an executive position.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree or higher preferred by many employers
Degree Field Business or a similar field
Experience 3-5 years of related support experience required
Key Skills Organizational, written and verbal communication, interpersonal skills, and familiarity with database, spreadsheet, accounting and business software
Salary (Jan 2016) $53,919 per year (Median salary for executive administrators)

Sources: CareerBuilder.com job postings (December 2012), Payscale.com, Careerinfonet.org

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree

Let's take a look at the steps to become an executive assistant.

Step one: obtain a bachelor's degree. There are no standard prerequisites for executive administration positions. However, many employers prefer applicants to possess a bachelor's degree in business or a like field. Administrative staff may only have a high school diploma or have completed 1-2 year vocational programs in office administration, but executive roles command higher education and related job experience.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Actuarial Sciences
  • Business and Commerce, General
  • Business Statistics
  • Customer Service Management
  • eCommerce
  • Logistics, Distribution, and Materials Management
  • Management Science
  • Office Management
  • Operations Management
  • Public and Nonprofit Organizational Management
  • Purchases, Acquisitions, and Contracts Management
  • Transportation Management

Step 2: Do Administrative Training

Step two: complete basic administrative training. Executive administrators typically gain the majority of their experience through on-the-job training. Entry-level administrators can expect to perform basic clerical tasks until they prove that they can perform complex tasks that require increased responsibility. Training may include gaining familiarity with computer software applications, such as those used for database and project management as well as attaining proficiency in spreadsheet programs.

Step 3: Advance to the Position

Step three: advance to the position. After proving oneself over time or furthering one's training and education, an individual may be promoted from an assistant, administrator or secretary to an executive administrator. Sometimes an executive administrator may also be in a supervisory position over other clerical or reception staff.

Step 4: Consider Certification

Step four: consider obtaining professional certification. Certification isn't required, but it may allow the candidate to stand out and demonstrate expertise in the field. Executive administrators can gain certification through organizations, such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). By meeting educational and experience requirements and successfully taking an examination, a candidate can become a Certified Administrative Professional. Recertification occurs every five years and requires continuing education activities. Joining an organization such as the IAAP can expose individuals to networking opportunities, employment assistance, and career advancement.

Executive administrators are recommended to have a bachelor's degree and must complete administrative training and acquire years of experience in order to earn their position.

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