Personal Assistants perform liaison, coordination and organisational tasks in support of Managers and Professionals.
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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 72% of people employed as Personal Assistants work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 6 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 41 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
More than a third of workers regularly work overtime or extra hours (either paid or unpaid).
Median full-time earnings are $1,486 per week, this is lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $1,346
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,756
Median hourly earnings are $40, this is similar to the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Overtime hours: ABS, Characteristics of Employment, 2021. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Personal Assistants||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Personal Assistants work in industries like:
- Professional, scientific and technical services
- Public administration and safety
- Financial and insurance services
- Education and training.
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Personal Assistants||All Jobs Average|
Around 74% of Personal Assistants live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Melbourne - Inner
- Australian Capital Territory
- Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby
- Melbourne - West
- Perth - North West.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Personal Assistants is 42 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 97% of the workforce. This is 49 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Personal Assistants||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||3.1||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Personal Assistant. Although some workers have a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in business administration, secretarial and clerical studies, accounting or another related field.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Business Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Personal Assistants||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||4.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||9.5||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Personal Assistants who have good interpersonal skills, reliable and can multitask under pressure.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Reading work related information.
Looking for ways to help people.
Talking to others.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
46%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
43%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
43%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
Teaching people how to do something.
36%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Using maths to solve problems.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
53%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
42%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
41%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
35%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
27%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
25%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
23%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
22%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
20%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
18%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
18%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
16%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
See details that are far away.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
43%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Do two or more things at the same time.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
75%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
71%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
70%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
66%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
66%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
61%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
60%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
59%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
57%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
56%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
56%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
55%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
54%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
54%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
53%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
51%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
50%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
40%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
40%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Talk on the telephone.
Use electronic mail.
96%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
95%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk with people face-to-face.
91%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
86%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
81%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Work with people in a group or team.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
79%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
79%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
74%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
Work to strict deadlines.
71%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
65%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
64%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
61%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
59%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
56%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.