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How to become a Personal Assistant

Published: Friday 2nd October 2020

The role of a personal assistant involves the need to carry out various support tasks for senior individuals. This can include diary management, event planning and administrative tasks. PA jobs are varied and getting used to the diary and requirements of your line manager is key. So, here is our career guide on how to become a personal assistant, including details of the necessary skills and qualifications needed to secure a position.

What qualifications do I need to be a Personal Assistant?

PA jobs can be secured through various means. This includes apprenticeships, college courses, university degrees and progression through an organisation. GCSE’s and A Levels in relevant subjects such as English and Business Studies could help you to secure your apprenticeship or place on a university or college course. Furthermore, relevant courses such as a degree in business administration can help you to develop your expertise in IT programmes and data entry tasks. Of course, the qualifications will count for little unless you can showcase these effectively within your job application.

female personal assistant smiling on camera leaning on black and white folders

What skills do you need to become a Personal Assistant?

The role of a personal assistant requires a multitude of skills. Many of these are similar to those needed to become a success in administration positions. The admin side of the role will require you to be an expert in event planning and office management. To do this, you should possess strong organisational skills and the ability to prioritise your workload. This is to ensure that you meet all deadlines, particularly as you may receive short notice from the CEO or the director you are reporting into. In addition, other key skills revolve around finance, such as accounting, sourcing and budgeting.

What are the main duties?

Duties in this position can vary across different sectors. Furthermore, some senior individuals may expect you to carry out ad hoc tasks which will require proactivity. This might include developing new communication processes and liaising with new clients. The more general requirements of this type of position may include:

  • Data management and filing
  • Making travel arrangements including booking flights and trains
  • Greeting visitors upon arrival
  • Making appointments and updating calendars
  • Handling incoming phone calls and email enquiries
  • Producing briefing reports and presentations

business man commenting on files to personal assistant near office

Where to find personal assistant jobs near me? 

Suitable positions can be found in a variety of sectors across the UK. Your job search is made easier by the fact that more and more companies and directors are seeking professional assistants. Moreover, major UK cities such as London, Glasgow and Birmingham naturally have more vacancies because of the amount of major businesses in those areas. Some of the businesses recruiting for personal assistants include Amazon, RMS and some county councils. Instead of searching for ‘personal assistant jobs near me’, you can find all suitable positions and career advice on Zoek.

How much do PAs earn? 

The average annual salary has gone up by 14% year on year for PA roles. However, your salary can differ depending on the location, size of the organisation and the level of the person you are assisting. This means that your annual salary is likely to be in the region of £25,000 – £40,000. Some companies could even be hiring someone in this area for the first time. Therefore, you might stand a better chance of an increasing salary by negotiating a salary with your potential employers.

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