Executive Assistant VS Administrative Assistant: Which One is Right for You?

An executive assistant handles tasks for a particular executive. The administrative assistant handles tasks for the entire office or a department/function. While their job role is the same, the scope of work differs.

Executive Assistant VS Administrative Assistant: Which One is Right for You?

Knowing the difference between executive assistant and administrative assistant is essential. Most companies have both posts, and it is not surprising that people get confused between them. Both are assistants who do supportive jobs. For example, an administrative executive assistant supports departments or processes, while an executive assistant supports senior executives.

An executive assistant handles tasks for a particular executive, while an administrative assistant handles tasks for the entire office or a department/function. While their job roles are the same, their scope of work differs.


Who is an Executive Assistant and Administrative Assistant?

Before discussing the executive assistant vs. administrative assistant differences, you should know about both positions. Both involve supporting either an individual or a department. They manage schedules, handle communication, organize meetings, maintain records, and handle travel arrangements.

Executive Assistant

The EA should also be a supportive position in an organization. The EA assists and supports senior executives in their work and is responsible for supporting the executive in their routine work. Therefore, it is their job to help the executive do their work smoothly by providing all assistance needed.

Administrative Assistant

An administrative assistant is responsible for ensuring the smooth running of the business. They do all that executive assistants do but on a broader level. They work for the entire office or a particular department or process. Their job is to ensure activities like record keeping, scheduling, communication, and other supportive functions happen smoothly.

Administrative Assistant vs Executive Assistant

Know the differences between an executive assistant and an administrative assistant.

The following explains the differences between administrative and executive assistants in their roles.

  • An Executive Assistant supports the work of an executive. The Administrative Assistant supports the work of the entire office or a designated function or department.
  • Administrative Assistants are generalists who offer general support services in the company. Executive assistants are more likely to be specialists since they work with top executives in the company. They must have problem-solving skills and better communication skills than administrative assistants.
  • high schoolperform routine tasks. They can also advise top executives and help them with their management tasks.
  • Administrative assistants work in the office. An executive assistant may accompany the executive to meetings, lunches, and tours.

Qualifications of Administrative Assistant and Executive Assistant

A high school diploma or a GED is mandatory for both Administrative and Executive Assistants. Those with higher qualifications, like associate or bachelor's degrees, would find it easier to get a better-paid job.

Companies usually prefer to recruit administrative assistants with a high school diploma. However, since the executive assistant works with top executives, they are expected to have a bachelor's degree.

Responsibilities of an Executive Assistant

Know what an executive assistant does.

The executive assistant's key responsibility is to ensure the executive's work happens smoothly. They reduce the executive's workload to help them concentrate on the company's more critical activities. Apart from handling administrative duties, the executive assistant does specialist work like making presentations, researching, and offering advice.

Handling meetings

The EA schedules meetings for the executive and keeps them updated. They also coordinate with others to ensure the meetings happen smoothly.

Managing Calendars

The EA manages the executive's calendar by fixing appointments and meetings and confirming event participation. The EA has to ensure proper scheduling of the executive's work.

Scheduling events

The EA handles all arrangements when an event like a conference or seminar is planned. The EA also schedules the executive's participation in different events and ensures travel arrangements are made.

Report analysis

The EA prepares reports for the executive by collecting data from different sources. Executive assistants also help the executive by analyzing reports and summarizing the contents.

Onboarding new employees

Any new employees reporting to the executive need onboarding. The EA handles it and ensures onboarding happens smoothly.


Whenever the executive requires information, the EA conducts research and collects it. Research sources include online information, books, magazines, and journals. The EA may also conduct surveys to obtain information for the executive.

Managing projects

The EA manages all the projects that the EA monitors. This includes overseeing day-to-day operations in the project management software that the company uses project management software. Related work includes scheduling, conducting review meetings, and getting reports.

Document drafting

Whenever the executive needs to prepare any document, the EA drafts it. This includes reports, presentations, and other documents.

Managing travel

The EA manages the executive's travel arrangements. It includes planning travel, booking tickets, booking hotels, local travel arrangements, and appointments during the travel.

Responsibilities of an Administrative Assistant

Know what an administrative assistant does.

An administrative assistant is responsible for all administrative and clerical functions in a company. The AA may be in charge of the whole company, especially for small companies. For larger companies, each department could have a different AA. The AA is responsible for the smooth functioning of the company or department by providing the necessary support services.

Communications of office

The AA manages all office communication. It can include handling phone calls. The AA receives official emails from the company/department and forwards them to the concerned persons. Letters received are also forwarded, and replies are sent.

Managing office equipment

The AA manages all office equipment, including photocopiers, fax machines, and other equipment. Most companies have an IT department to handle computer-related equipment, but in small companies, the AA handles it.

Invoice creation

The AA is usually responsible for generating invoices and sending them to customers. They use software to do it or prepare it manually.

Scheduling events

The AA is responsible for scheduling office events, including review meetings, budget meetings, and conferences.

Providing healthy office snacks or other perks

Many offices provide healthy snacks, tea, and other perks for employees. The AA is responsible for organizing the same.

Organizing files

While individuals are responsible for creating files and records, the AA organizes them. In addition, the AA manages the record rooms and filing areas in the office.

Basic bookkeeping

In many companies, the AA does essential bookkeeping work. This includes voucher entry, handling petty cash, updating registers, and data entry using software.

Managing emails

AAs forward emails sent to the company to persons concerned for a reply. In some cases, the AA may reply on their behalf.

Data entry

The AA does clerical work to prepare documents and reports and also does the data entry work.

Core skills of an Executive Assistant

Know the skills an executive assistant should have.

Tech expert

An EA needs to be a tech expert and should use technology to help the executive do their work effectively. Therefore, knowledge of various software tools is essential. The EA should also be able to install software and take data backups.

Research ability

Executives require research, and the EA should be able to do it. They should be able to find the information the executive wants and present it organizationally.


EAs have many tasks which may have to be done simultaneously. Executive Assistants must be able to multitask and complete all tasks on time.


Good communication skills are essential. The EA should communicate with clients, external stakeholders, and other departments on behalf of the executive.

Analytical ability

Executives can ask EAs to interpret reports for them. This requires analytical skills and the ability to sum up reports.

Core skills of an Administrative Assistant

Learn about the skills an administrative assistant needs to have.


Since the AA represents the entire office or a department, they must be well-versed in etiquette. In addition, they would deal with clients and external persons and need basic etiquette skills.


Administrative assistants need to use technology for their work. Therefore, they need to be tech-savvy and adopt new technologies.

Detail oriented

Since the AA is responsible for many things, they must be detail-oriented. Therefore, they should focus on minute things to ensure work is done effectively.


The AA may have to prepare reports for the company or department. To do this, they may have to research to get the information. Therefore, it calls for basic research skills.

Problem-solving skills

Many problems crop up in offices. The AA should be able to understand the situation, find its cause, and take necessary action to solve it.

How to determine whom should I hire?

Executive assistants need excellent communication skills and the ability to multitask. You should look for these skills while hiring an EA. Also, since EAs work with top executives, hiring someone with a bachelor's degree is advisable. EAs and AAs must communicate well, manage time well, and get things done without hassles.

From where can I hire assistants?

In-house assistants

The first option is to hire in-house assistants. They are full-time employees on your payroll. In-house assistants work from your office and ensure all work is done.

Freelancer sites

You can hire freelancers if the workload is manageable and you want to save money. You don't have to include them on your payroll. They can be assigned work as and when needed.

Wishup – the ultimate solution to your need for assistants!

Know where you can hire virtual assistants

VAs do all the work that regular assistants do. The only difference is that they do it from a remote location. Wishup is a reputed company that helps you find assistants to suit your needs. The reasons to hire executive assistant from Wishup include the following:

Budget-friendly services

Hiring a full-time assistant is expensive. You must provide office space and equipment and pay them a monthly salary. Instead, use the services of a remote assistant and save money.

Accelerated hiring procedure

Wishup already has the best assistants on their platform. All you need to do is choose an assistant, and onboarding is done within 24 hours.

Professional solutions

Wishup is known for its professional approach. All our assistants are well-trained. They are professionals with experience and expertise in their fields. Therefore, using their services assures quality.

Data privacy

Since remote assistants work with your data, it is natural that you may be concerned about data privacy. Wishup assures clients of data privacy, and assistants can sign a non-disclosure agreement before starting work.

It is beneficial hiring virtual assistants through Wishup.

No-questions-asked refund policy

If you are unhappy with the assistant's services, you can request a refund, which will be issued without any questions.

7-Day Free Trial with a money-back guarantee

Before you get started, you can choose a 7-day free trial. The trial lets you know how the assistant works, so you can decide if they meet your needs. It is a risk-free option with a money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied.


The executive assistant vs administrative assistant differences in this guide would have helped you understand these two key positions. The information on their work and the skills needed will help you when hiring an assistant. Choosing an assistant is a good idea as it is cost-effective.

Working with Wishup will help you get a personal assistant who can do quality work at the best prices. You can schedule a free consultation with Wishup and get more information. Or email [email protected], and they will get back to you.


Executive Assistant vs Administrative Assistant Frequently Asked Questions

What is higher than executive assistant?

A General Manager or Chief Administrative Officer is a higher post than an executive assistant.

What is the difference between an administrative officer and an executive assistant?

The main difference is that an administrative officer supports the work of the entire office or department. In contrast, an executive assistant works for a particular executive.

How to go from administrative assistant to executive assistant?

Administrative assistants need to prove their ability through their work. Then, they can be promoted to executive assistants with experience and commitment to the job.