Personal Assistants perform liaison, coordination and organisational tasks in support of Managers and Professionals.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is required to work in this job. Around one third of Personal Assistants have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed.

Tasks

  • liaising with other staff on matters relating to the organisation's operations
  • researching and preparing reports, briefing notes, memoranda, correspondence and other routine documents
  • maintaining confidential files and documents
  • attending meetings and acting as secretary as required
  • maintaining appointment diaries and making travel arrangements
  • processing incoming and outgoing mail, filing correspondence and maintaining records
  • screening telephone calls and answering inquiries
  • taking and transcribing dictation of letters and other documents
  • may supervise other secretarial and clerical staff

Job Titles

  • Personal Assistant

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,256 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      stable
    • Skill Level

      Certificate III or IV
    • Employment Size

      51,100
    • Unemployment

      average
    • Male Share

      3.3%
    • Female Share

      96.7%
    • Full-Time Share

      78.7%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a very large occupation employing 51,100 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen slightly.
    Little change in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 25,001 and 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

    • Personal Assistants work in most parts of Australia.
    • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
    • Full-time work is common. Full-time workers, on average, work 36.8 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,256 per week (similar to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 42 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • More than 9 in 10 workers are female.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200568200
    200658200
    200754400
    200851900
    200955000
    201056200
    201157000
    201254000
    201354300
    201460200
    201551100
    202049500

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (before tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsPersonal AssistantsAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings12561230

    Hours

    Weekly Hours Worked

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPersonal AssistantsAll Jobs Average
    Full-time78.768.4
    Part-time21.331.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)36.840.0

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services17.2
    Public Administration and Safety13.6
    Health Care and Social Assistance11.1
    Financial and Insurance Services10.4
    Other Industries47.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePersonal AssistantsAll Jobs Average
    NSW37.431.8
    VIC23.925.5
    QLD14.919.8
    SA5.46.8
    WA10.611.2
    TAS1.52.0
    NT0.71.1
    ACT5.51.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPersonal AssistantsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.4-5.45.4
    20-248.2-9.99.9
    25-3428.0-23.423.4
    35-4421.0-21.721.7
    45-5427.2-21.121.1
    55-598.2-8.78.7
    60-645.2-5.95.9
    65 and Over1.9-3.83.8

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryPersonal AssistantsCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males3.3Males53.6
    Females96.7Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationPersonal AssistantsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate6.8-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree10.8-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma19.4-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV16.7-18.918.9
    Year 1231.1-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 1015.3-17.717.7
    Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

    A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience is required to work in this job.
    Around one third of Personal Assistants have Year 12 as their highest level of education. Even with a qualification, sometimes experience or on-the-job training is needed.

    If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
    The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

    It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

    Employers look for Personal Assistants who have good interpersonal skills, reliable and can multitask under pressure.

    Knowledge

    The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Clerical

      92% Important

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    2. English Language

      75% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    3. Customer and Personal Service

      71% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    4. Computers and Electronics

      65% Important

      Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    5. Administration and Management

      64% Important

      Planning and coordination of people and resources.

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    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

      92% Important

      Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

    2. Performing Administrative Activities

      92% Important

      Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

    3. Interacting With Computers

      92% Important

      Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

    4. Getting Information

      91% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    5. Building Good Relationships

      90% Important

      Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

    Occupational Information Network Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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