Executive Assistant Salaries Soar: EST10’S Top Tips To Earn Six-Figures

Posted On 12 Oct 2017

Executive Assistant Salaries Soar: EST10’S Top Tips To Earn Six-Figures

12 Oct 2017

Here at EST10, we firmly believe there’s more to a great job than just a great salary. But with the recent launch of our much anticipated 2017/2018 Salary Guide, we thought we’d take the opportunity to shine a light on the growing six-figure earning potential of some of our most talented admin professionals. And in particular, Executive Assistant salaries have soared.

Since we established EST10 seven years ago, average senior Executive Assistant salaries have increased from around $85,000 in 2010 to $115,000 in 2017, with some highly skilled EAs earning up to $150,000 or more. Not only that, many of our talented Office Managers are excelling in their roles, also commanding salaries well into six figures.

So what’s driving salary increases of 40% or more at this senior level? And if you’re currently in a junior office support role, how do you steer your career to maximise your earning potential?

In short, the role of an admin professional has evolved enormously in recent times. And this evolution is most visible at the more senior levels.

Dynamic Office Managers and senior EAs supporting at MD or C-Suite level are becoming involved in operational projects where their business acumen and insights into company culture are highly regarded. These include change management projects supporting new companywide processes or technology rollouts, human resources projects assisting with redefining corporate values and business strategy projects driving and developing business plans.

EAs at this level are also often required to contribute to projects driven by executive teams when assessing new approaches to internal and customer-facing activities. They also have the authority to perform executive duties and are required to make business decisions when an executive is absent.


Changing perceptions

So it should come as no surprise that higher demand for more advanced EA business skills such as analysis, problem solving and critical thinking – not to mention an increase in management responsibilities – equates to higher six-figure remuneration.

Hand in hand with the increase in senior office support salaries is the changing perception of admin roles in themselves. For many young people, a career in office support is now considered to be a serious choice. And although many junior roles still involve straight forward duties such as filing, the difference now is the expectation that you’ll grow in your role, responsibilities – and therefore remuneration – relatively quickly.


Top tips to help you reach the top

Although we’re no longer living in a dynamic world where a 10-year career plan is the norm, career goals are still essential for keeping motivated and engaged. Today, there are multiple ways to achieve your end goals and your plans need to be nimble and fluid.

Here, EST10’s MD Roxanne Calder shares her top three tips to help you reach your career progression goals:


1) Make the right career choices

In a candidate short market, you often have the luxury of being able to choose where to work. So when looking for your next role, make sure it ticks all the boxes when it comes to your long term career goals. You need the right boss, the right team and the right industry for you. This evaluation and thorough consideration encourages longevity – and this is the key to succeeding at senior levels.

Longevity is also aided by being resilient in your approach to your work and being loyal and determined. All jobs have their ups and downs, and their unique challenges. But if you can develop your resilience and not walk away during the tough times, your loyalty and stamina will be rewarded.


2) Invest in yourself in terms of professional development and education

As an admin professional, you need to take the initiative and grab every opportunity to invest in your professional development. While certification is not typically required for a career in admin, it can give you a critical edge in terms of advancement, workplace authority, organisational status – and salary.

We highly recommend a number of programs such as the Advanced Management for Executive Assistants (AMEA) program run by UNSW. Or the Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE) program. Make sure you attend relevant conferences and networking events. Develop your softer skills as well as your technical skills. And reach out for advice and guidance as much as you can. Many organisations have formal or informal mentor programs in place, so talk to your HR team about the best way to get involved.

And finally, whilst not essential, a tertiary degree will help you stand out from the crowd. Many companies now support further education studies with financial support and study leave, so you’re able to successfully balance your studies with your role.


3) Understand the industry you work in

If you want to succeed at the very senior admin levels, you need to have a keen interest and in depth understanding of the industry you’re working in. Immerse yourself in the business and engage with senior stakeholders to develop a firm understanding of what drives the business day to day.

Become an industry expert and take every opportunity to really understand its history, where it is headed and the very real threats it may be facing. Only then will you begin to understand the nuances and levers impacting your company and to grasp the business opportunities that are out there.

And finally, consider pursuing further education relevant to your industry, and not just admin related, to help you reach your goals.


EST10’s Salary Guide highlights
Office support roles with six-figure earning potential

Executive Assistant

$80-150K +      $35-55 p/h

The remit of the Executive Assistant position has seen considerable change over the past few years with a greater demand for business management skills and operational and strategic involvement.

Office Manager
$60-150K     $30-48 p/h

The Office Manager role is perfect for proven administrators with a natural flair for organisation. Ideal candidates will also have strong interpersonal and people-management skills in order to foster good working relationships with internal teams and external suppliers.

Chief of Staff
$90-180K          $40-55 p/h

While the Chief of Staff role is primarily found in the office of political officials, the role is emerging in the private sector, and provides a great opportunity for senior Executive Assistants who aspire to be more operationally involved. Often degree qualified, ideal candidates will have a gearing toward general management responsibility and an innate understanding of an organisation’s external influences and internal capabilities.