The National PA Day Survey of 2012 highlighted some fascinating salary information.
The survey reports that out of 1424 respondents, 14% of Executive PA’s earn more than £50K and one respondent even claims to be on a £65,000.00!
This must be an endorsement of the terrific responsibility these highly skilled workers bear and the amount of productivity they release for their bosses by shouldering the burden of organising key directors.
For some people, it is difficult to make the leap between ranks of keyboard operators in the typing pool to understanding the value added to a business by a personal assistant.
But you don’t get into these elevated roles by accident.
Take the career of Adam Fidler, EA to the most senior director of Salford City College, one of the largest Colleges in the UK.
Adam knew in his teens that he wanted to learn shorthand and having mastered that subject, set his sights on becoming first a secretary, then a PA and eventually an Executive Assistant.
He studied the working styles and practises of senior secretaries and PA’s at Boots, Bank Of America and other great organisations, learning his trade and honing his skills to get where he is today.
A great many ambitious people study the Pitman Training diploma level Executive PA course as a means of fast-tracking their progress on this career path.
The Executive PA course in question, which is available in London’s Notting Hill and Holborn, as well as in Manchester, covers 16 subjects in great detail including super-fast typing, advanced Microsoft skills, managing your boss, minute taking and much more.
A nationally recognised Diploma programme, the training can be completed in 4 months to a year, depending on whether the student studies full or part-time. Part-time study can be completed during the day, in the evenings, on Saturdays or a blend of any of these.
Some recent graduates from the course report walking into first PA jobs on salaries of £30K although most “newbies” are more likely to command £24K or more in a first role.
None the less, if that is the starting point on this career path, it is not difficult to see how a few years’ experience can catapult successful workers into the £50K plus bracket.
Barriers to entry are low, too, as long as new entrants can demonstrate operational knowledge such as that learned on the previously mentioned Executive PA course, or formally learned on-the-job.
But in addition to measurable skills, would-be personal assistants need to show assertiveness and strength of character as they will often be working with powerful bosses who are used to having everything their own way.
A ‘can-do attitude’ is a must, however it is critical that the worker can follow through and really make things happen.
Apart from the day-to-day organisation of the boss and his/her office, PA’s are often called upon to organise events such as high-level meetings or even conferences. These are high profile, high stress tasks where second best would result in a terrible loss of face for the boss.
Striving for perfection in the role is one reason why the job is unlikely to be strictly 9-5 and justifies in part the mouth-watering salaries paid to these dedicated to professionals.
If you would like to learn more about training to be a PA, visit http://www.holborntraining.co.uk/courses/executive-pa-courses/ or call Pitman Training:
London Notting Hill – 020 7792 5214
London Holborn – 020 7025 4700
Manchester – 0161 923 6814