What is the Job Description of a Personal Assistant?

Knowing and understanding your job description as a personal assistant is the first step to becoming a good PA.

Just in case you do not know yet, PA is a short form for personal assistant.

But, PA can also mean physical assistant. Please note that in this content, whenever you see the word PA, it means Personal assistant.

The job description of a personal assistant is all aimed at helping your employer manage time better.

A personal assistant works as a support to senior citizens or position in an organization.

Oftentimes, the people you work with may have to give up a level of privacy, therefore it is important that you always know what is confidential and keep it that way.

A lot of people do not know this, but there are different types of personal assistants.

In the course of this guide on the job description of a PA, the different types will be explained.


What does a personal assistant do?

Personal assistants perform administrative and clerical duties for or on behalf of an individual.

These individuals are usually executives or senior staff in private owned or commercial organizations.

The duty of the PA is to handle administrative functions, in order to give the executive more time to carry out more strategic and critical tasks.

Sometimes, a PA may work for a wealthy family or individuals and not necessarily a senior staff.

In such cases, the job description may vary slightly.

The level seniority of the role of a personal assistant depends on the type of organization or person you work for.

In some organizations, a personal assistant is the same with executive assistance. 

But, in others, they differ, and the role of the executive assistant is a more Senior role.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a personal assistant?

The job description of a personal assistant includes that they carry out some duties and responsibilities. 

In some organizations, a personal assistant also carries out the duties and responsibilities of and administrator as well.

 Whereas, in others, an administrator may be promoted to a personal assistant after some years of work.

1. Act as a first point of contact

It is the duty of a PA to answer calls, collate mails and respond to them on behalf of the executive.

This is why having good customer service skill is essential.

2. Manage diaries

The job description of a personal assistant requires that the keep record of events.

They prepare and organize appointments as well as events.

3. Make travel appointments

A PA makes necessary travel arrangements.

From booking the means of transportation to reserving hotel bookings when necessary.

4. Remind the executive of upcoming activities

It is also the duty of a PA to remind the executive about the days activities and upcoming events as well.

This is why a good PA devises a good method of keep track of the calendar.

Some other duties and responsibilities of a personal assistant are:

  • Database and filling system management
  • Keep record of expenses
  • Ensure that all tasks carried out on behalf of the executive are done making use of best practices.
  • Make sure standards and policies are adhered to.
  • Prepare and organise the conference room for presentations and staff meetings.
  • prepare reports and presentations

Personal assistants may also run some domestic errands on behalf of the executive.

A PA that works at home or for a family also has the responsibility of ensuring that all domestic and household duties are properly carried out.

They may also be in charge of hiring, supervising and sacking domestic or households workers.

Most times, a PA may end up becoming the right hand man of their employer

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What are the requirements for becoming a personal assistant?

In some organizations, the role of a personal assistant is an entry-level role therefore, no experience is required

Whereas, in other organizations, some years of experience are required and of course, the pay may be more.

And unlike other professional job, no formal academic qualification is mandatory or a standard.

But of course, most employers will prefer employing educated people

The typical requirement for becoming a personal assistant is a high school diploma/GED. 

An associate degree is preferred by most employers.

Proficient in Microsoft office is also one of the requirements. Sometimes, employers prefer employing those with a valid driver’s licence.

In the job description of a personal assistant template or posting, some organizations state clearly their preference for college graduates.

In that case, a bachelor’s degree in human resources, management, public relations or similar fields is required.

What skills and personality suit a personal assistant?

In order to carry out the duties and responsibilities of a personal assistant, here are some of the skills you must possess.

1. Retentive memory

Your employer is already burdened with so many strategic and important tasks to do, and depends you to always remind him or her of upcoming events or activities.

Therefore, as a PA, you are excepted to develop ways of keeping track of time, activities and appointments.

2. Communication skills

Personal assistants are supposed to know how to communicate effectively.

You should be able to communicate well in writing or verbally.

As you know, communication involves talking and listening as well.

If you will succeed as a PA, you have to be a good listener.

3. Customer service skills

The responsibility of taking calls and responding to mails require good customer service orientation.

Therefore a good PA should possess customer service skills. And exhibit them when necessary.

4. Interpersonal skills

How do you work as a personal assistant to an executive without creating a good working relationship with him or her?

It is very important for a PA to develop a very good professional relationship with his or her boss.

5. Discrete and trustworthy

Like I already said, employers who work with a PA gives up a level of privacy for that

As such, as a PA, you must be discrete and really trustworthy.

You have to know what is confidential and keep it that way.

Where do personal assistants work?

Most Senior staffs, citizens and celebrities always require the services of a personal assistant.

Therefore, there are a lot of job opportunity and prospects for them.

Some of the typical employers of personal assistants are:

  • Public organizations
  • Private organization
  • NGOs

Most employers seek for a PA directly or vai recruitment agencies.

As such, personal assistant jobs are advertised on job boards, recruitment agencies and newspapers.

How much do personal assistants make?

In the United States the average salary of a personal assistant is about $26,350 per year.

Less experienced and qualified PAs may earn about $19,000 per year.

Whereas, note experienced and qualified personal assistants earn up to $43,000 per year.

From these figures, you can tell that experience and qualification puts you at an edge.

Your salary may also be dependent on your geographical location and employer as well.

What should I include in my personal assistant resume?

When creating a professional resume, you should include information like your experience, skills and qualification.

The importance of clearly stating these things in your resume and during an interview should not be  overlooked.

Because of that, you need to make maximum use of this guide on the job description of a personal assistant to create a resume that supports your goal.

What are the different types of personal assistants?

According to futurelearn.com here are some of the different types of personal assistants:

1. Staff PA

In this case, the executive doesn’t share any form of his personal life With the PA. The personal assistant does only what he is told to do. The PA is more or less like a robot to the executive.

A staff PA who has to work with a mean and difficult boss may not find his or her work enjoyable.

2. Colleague Pa

This is a case where colleagues serve as PAs to each other. They are members of one team and support each other to get work done.

Whether they are friends or not, they have to work together to achieve a common goal.

3. Professional PA

In this case the relationship between the executive and the PA is strictly professional.

The job description of such personal assistants requires that they know little or nothing about the personal life of the executive.

The PA works only on the agreed working hours and are polite but very formal to the executive.

When professionals are involved, the executive expects that work will be done to standard.

4. Family-like  PA

The fourth type is the family like personal assistant job.

In this case, the executive and his assistant have a good relationship with each other.

They care about each other’s well being and support each other to achieve goals.

The problem with this type of relationship is that business and emotions may be mixed.

And also, they may get attached to each other and when separation is required, it becomes difficult.

5. Paid friend

The last type of personal assistants is a paid friend.

In this case, the employers and assistants work more like friends.

They may know so much about each other’s personal life.

It is always advised that limits are clearly drawn. The assistant does not have to know everything about the employer’s values, family and personal life in general.

Is personal assistant a good job?

Yes, a personal assistant job is good. Although, it may be demanding sometimes.

If you have a flare for working with and supporting people, the job of a personal assistant may be good for you.

Conclusion: Personal assistant job description guide

This guide on the job description of a personal assistant is optimized to support your goal.

In as much as it is written with job applicants in mind, it is can also be used by employers to create a personal assistant job description posting or template.

Other job descriptions:


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