Personal Assistant: Job Description, Salary, and Career Path

Personal Assistant

The role of a personal assistant or PA can vary depending on the specifics of where they’re working. Still, it’ll always be challenging work that suits individuals with great organizational and time management skills. In the business world, personal assistants are invaluable, handling everything from reading emails to scheduling meetings, taking notes, dealing with travel logistics, and even more specific tasks like shopping.

Further down on this page, Links Recruitment will provide you with a detailed account of a personal assistant job description. We’ll be covering duties, responsibilities, requirements, and general personal assistant salary estimates in a few different locations, as well as information on the direction your career may take after spending some time working as a personal assistant. Whether you’re looking to hire a personal assistant or simply start working as one, this page will furnish you with all the details you need.

What is Working as a Personal Assistant Like?

The role of a personal assistant is dynamic and challenging, with new problems to solve every day. It’s highly rewarding, too, especially if you like keeping everything organized and multi-tasking in order to ensure every issue is taken care of. Being a personal assistant is also a great way to spend some time with a high-ranking executive, which can be an educational and useful experience.

These are some typical duties personal assistants are responsible for throughout the course of their workday.

  • Meeting and greeting visitors at many different security levels
  • Reading emails, letters, and texts, and replying accordingly
  • Screening phone calls and other inquiries that come in at inappropriate times
  • Creating and handling in-office systems, such as filing and other methods of data management
  • Conducting background research and producing reports, briefing papers, and documents
  • Make sure that the manager is prepared for meetings, as well as organizing and attending meetings themselves
  • Taking notes and recording minutes of a meeting
  • Working closely with clients, fellow staff members, and outside business contacts
  • Handling certain budgets and accounts
  • Delegating on behalf of the manager
  • Weighing in on decision-making processes by presenting reasonable, fact-based points of view
  • Carrying out specific projects or tasks as instructed by the manager
Job Duties

A personal assistant generally needs the following skills and qualifications to be successful in their work.

  • While a high school diploma can be all that is required to become a personal assistant, many PAs have additional qualifications, such as associates or bachelor’s degrees in Business
  • Experience working in a secretarial capacity is advantageous
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize in the middle of stressful situations
  • Time management and general organization skills 
  • Excellent communication skills (including working with electronic communication and interpersonal communication skills)
Man Working at Computer

Having graduated with either a high school diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree, you can begin work right away as a personal assistant. However, a small amount of experience (i.e., a few years at most) in sales or related positions can go a long way. There’s never any shortage of people who’d like to have personal assistants within their organizations, though, and it should be possible for you to find work as a PA sooner rather than later, in comparison with some of the more technical business jobs you might come across. There are also short courses you can take which focus on the skills needed to be a PA; while you may not need the qualification, improving upon your preexisting skillset will always look good to a potential employer.

Working as a personal assistant is an excellent chance to get yourself noticed as somebody who is able to handle projects, solve problems, and keep everything organized. Because you’ll be working so closely with higher-ups in the company, if you can make a good impression, it’s possible to be offered full-time positions elsewhere in the business, depending on your own levels of ambition and education. There’s plenty of opportunity for upward mobility that comes along with the personal assistant job description.  

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Personal assistants don’t always need several years of experience, with many of them being eligible for work right away. However, with more experience comes a higher salary. Here’s how a personal assistant salary might look in different locations.

Position No. of Year Experience Hong Kong Monthly Salary (HKD) Singapore Monthly Salary (SGD) China Monthly Salary (RMB)
Experienced PA 10-19 25k-30k 5k-8k 8k-11k
Early-Career PA 1-9 18k-24k 2k-4k 5k-7k

More information about the personal assistant salary and salary trends of 2020 can be found here, in Links International’s salary guide.

The Links International job search page is a great way to find vacant personal assistant positions here in Singapore. While if you’re interested in hiring a personal assistant, Links International’s recruitment page could be the perfect first step on that journey.

Download the Salary Guide Now!

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Looking for a Personal Assistant Job?

As an award-winning recruitment agency with 20 years of recruitment experience across Asia regions, our specialist can offer professional career advice and consultation for you. Find HR Assistant roles on Link’s job board today!