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

    • $1,256 Weekly Pay
    • 51,800 workers Employment Size
    • Decline Future Growth
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • Average unemployment Unemployment
    • 74.8% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 36.7 hours Average full-time
    • 43.5 years Average age
    • 98.7% female Gender Share

    The number of Personal Assistants fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
    from 51,800 in 2017 to 49,300 by 2022.
    There are likely to be around 27,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

    • Size: This is a very large occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was average in 2017.
    • Location: Personal Assistants work in most regions of Australia.
    • Industries: They work in many industries such as Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Public Administration and Safety; and Financial and Insurance Services.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
    • Full-time: Many work full-time (74.8%, similar to the all jobs average of 68.4%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 36.7 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 44 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 98.7% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200759300
    200853900
    200947800
    201056700
    201160100
    201254100
    201353900
    201461300
    201555700
    201648100
    201751800
    202249300

    Weekly Earnings

    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

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Services15.6
    Public Administration and Safety15.6
    Financial and Insurance Services12.4
    Health Care and Social Assistance10.9
    Other Industries45.5

    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 2017, 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
    NSW30.531.6
    VIC31.026.2
    QLD15.319.7
    SA7.66.7
    WA7.610.8
    TAS2.32.0
    NT1.21.1
    ACT4.61.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
    15-191.2-5.25.2
    20-245.7-9.99.9
    25-3421.8-23.623.6
    35-4424.7-21.721.7
    45-5425.7-20.820.8
    55-5911.6-8.88.8
    60-645.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.6-4.04.0

    Education Level

    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 100-8.18.1

    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.

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Business Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    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.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-6011.00 - Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants.

    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

    These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

    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
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-6011.00 - Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants.

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