The Right Salary for an Executive Assistant

Executive Assistant Salary - The Breakdown 

Executive assistants are known for making it happen. Whether it’s perfectly organizing your leader’s calendar, coordinating meetings down to the minute, or planning the perfect office party, you do it all —  and make it look good. 

Since executive assistants are such a valuable asset to the office, how much are you worth? How do you know if you’re getting the executive assistant salary you deserve at your current position?

To help you out, we’ve put together a brief breakdown of an executive assistant’s salary and outlined what you need to know when searching for a position. 

What Determines An Executive Assistant’s Salary?

According to US News, the average salary for an executive assistant hovers around $61,000 a year. However, no two executive assistant salaries are calculated in the same way. Several factors contribute to the final number slid across the table to you. Here are a few factors that are taken into consideration when determining the salary of an executive assistant:

  1. Education level: Although some executive assistants don’t have a degree, holding a bachelor’s degree can give you a slight edge over the competition and increase your salary.
  2. Position responsibilities: How many responsibilities will you have? An EA who is the right-hand woman (or man) of their leader will see that reflected in their salary.
  3. Location: As of 2021, the highest executive assistant salaries came from Silicon Valley, CA. The technology sector in California has exploded, leading to an increase in executive assistants — and their compensation. 
  4. Years of experience: How long have you been working as an executive assistant? An entry-level assistant fresh out of high school or college won’t make the same amount as a mid or senior-level executive assistant. The more years of experience you have, the higher your salary will be.
  5. Job title: Who do you report to in the company?  An executive assistant that works directly with the CEO will make more than other EA positions in the same company. 

Executive Assistants - Salary vs. Hourly 

When considering salaries for executive assistant positions, it’s important to remember the difference between salary and hourly. If you land an hourly gig, you’ll qualify for overtime pay. While the salary position may seem tempting, your vast responsibilities in your role could see you working through rush hour more times than you can count. 

As an hourly executive assistant, you’re paid for every minute you’re on the clock. At the end of the pay period, your overtime could add up to a pretty bonus that you would miss out on with a salary position. Weigh your options carefully to make sure that you can savor all the overtime takeout, confident that the position was worth your while. 

Growing As an Executive Assistant

Executive assistants are always looking to climb the next rung on their career ladder. Their skillsets are constantly improving, and they quickly become strategic partners to those they work alongside. They see chances to make a good impression, and they’re not afraid to take them, especially when a pay raise is on the line. 

While there’s nothing wrong with out rightly requesting a raise in your salary, showing your employer why you deserve it can make the conversation go much smoother. 

As an assistant, strive to tie your work to a dollar value. If you worked on a project, be sure to track the impact that your efforts had directly. Granted, executive assistants complete dozens of tasks that may initially go unnoticed. However, keeping track of these accomplishments gives you measurable data that clearly shows your impact on the company. 

As an experienced executive assistant herself, Maggie Jacobs outlines how to show your worth in your company. She encourages EA’s across industries to look for what’s broken and take it upon themselves to fix it. After receiving her Microsoft Office Specialist certification, she noticed that the sales teams in her company were underutilizing the tools in Microsoft office. 

As a result, it caused the team members to waste time reformatting paragraphs before sending them out. 

How was this rectified? 

She took a proactive stance and made a form that simplified the process for everyone involved.

The lesson?

Being an executive assistant puts you in a position of power. You’ve got the skills, and you’re more than capable of creating the role you want! You can start by looking for opportunities every day to show your worth. When your leader realizes what you bring to the table, you’ll qualify for a higher salary before you know it. 

Virtual Executive Assistants

What if you don’t work in a traditional office setting? It’s been said that online employment is the future, and virtual assistants prove this statement to be true. The positions for these online careers are growing by the minute and with good reason. 

It’s appealing for many assistants to work from home, choose who they want their leader to be, and save money on transportation to and from the office.

Virtual assistant salaries vary widely throughout the U.S. According to, the average base salary for a virtual assistant hovers around $19 an hour. Similar to an executive assistant, the level of expertise you hold directly affects your pay. For instance, a VA with SEO knowledge or administration skills could expect a higher salary than a general VA. 

A VA looking to land higher-paying jobs or receive a pay raise should be willing to take the initiative to make their leader’s life easier. They would have a thorough understanding of using Microsoft Office or Google Suite tools, and set long and short-term goals for themselves. 

Connect with Cabinet’s Executive Assistant Community 

Are you considering a future in the world of executive assistants? If so, Cabinet is here to set you up for success and watch you flourish in your endeavors. 

Our free Cabinet Community offers many resources to answer inquiries about career development, calendar management, company culture, and more. Join the Cabinet Community and find like-minded people who are elevating their workplace one task at a time.