Understanding the Personal Assistant Career Progression

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A high-profile personal assistant in a business suit taking a call at his desk.

If you’re looking to hire a PA or you have PAs within your employment, it’s helpful to have a full understanding of a personal assistant’s career path. This includes the roles that lead to a PA and the potential positions it can lead to.

Why is it important? By having this overview, hiring managers can zero in on candidates best qualified to step into a PA role, and show prospective talent the opportunities they will have to grow professionally. This will make the role more desirable to exceptional PAs and help foster a sense of loyalty once they are in the job.

What is a Personal Assistant (PA)?

A personal assistant provides administrative support to one or more members of staff at a business, typically those in senior management. PAs can also be hired by private individuals to assist in personal matters, such as diary management and household management.

Key Responsibilities of a Personal Assistant

Personal assistants’ tasks and responsibilities can cover a wide range of requirements which will differ depending on the manager’s preferences. However, there are several tasks that almost all PAs will be expected to carry out. The main responsibilities of a PA generally include:

Skills and Competencies of Successful Personal Assistants

In order to carry out their varied duties successfully, there are some key skills that personal assistants possessv. Some of these may include character traits, while other skills will have been developed in a PA’s early career, for example when they might have been an administration assistant or receptionist. Some of the essential skills and competencies include:

These skills are invaluable to a personal assistant throughout their career, whether they move on to become an executive assistant, business assistant, or chief of staff. Therefore, it’s crucial to build on these learning and development opportunities so that PAs can continue to hone their abilities and progress.

Career Progression Paths for Personal Assistants

Various junior and entry-level business support roles can progress into personal assistant positions , and the PA role can likewise branch out into an equally varied pool of senior role titles. The breadth of opportunities for PAs is often dependent on the size of a business, with smaller companies naturally having less specialised roles at each stage of the career journey.

PA Career Progression in SMEs

SME PA progression

PA Career Progression in medium-sized businesses

Medium business - pa progression

PA Career Progression in Large Corporations

large business pa progression

Job descriptions

Having a detailed job description template on file for all your administrative positions, from receptionist through to team assistant, PA, EA and business assistant will help to streamline the recruitment process. Significantly, it also helps to demonstrate the career journey and highlight the key competencies required to progress into each role. Having a visual road map will help both the employer and employee to plan a PA’s career progression.

We have compiled general job descriptions, from entry-level assistant roles to more senior positions, ready for you to adapt to your needs.




Read a more detailed receptionist job description

Office administrator



Team Assistant / Junior PA






PA / Office Manager / Operations



EA 1:1



EA Operations

EA Manager



Business Assistant



Business manager / Chief of Staff



For more insights into finding the perfect personal assistant, read our ultimate guide to hiring a PA.

Author Rebecca Siciliano Tiger Recruitment Team

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