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How do you define administrative assistant titles?

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Question: Just wanted to check to see how other companies are defining their administrative assistants' titles.

For instance, in my company, if your boss’s title is supervisor, you’re a Sr. Clerical Associate; if you work for a manager, you’re an Administrative Assistant I; if you work for a director, you’re an Administrative Assistant II; if you work for an executive (VP/GM), you're an Executive Assistant; if you work for an SVP/brand president, you’re an Executive Assistant II; if you work for an EVP/region president, you're an Executive Assistant III.

I'm currently an Executive Assistant to the VP at a company with more than 40,000 employees.

I have a job interview with a national company and the position reports to a director, but the title is Executive Administrative Assistant.

What are other companies doing? How is your job title determined?  -- Executive Assistant to VP


Comments

I work in a government setting, and many of our positions are dictated by union descriptions. I have been a "clerk" most of my tenure, but my title does not describe much of what I do. I think that the best judge of the job vs. the title is to ask for a job description. That's the only way to see what will be required.

My company is a good deal smaller than yours. We have closer to a total of 150 employees. I am assistant to the company President, but also provide admin support to our company's VP, Director of Retail Operations, and Sales Division Manager. My title is Executive Administrative Assistant. I also assist others in the company with administrative tasks and travel arrangements, etc. during the course of my work day. We only have a few other admin assistants here. One is also our front desk receptionist. Others work in the capacity of "clerks" or "administrative clerks" for various departments (i.e. acctg., inventory control, purchasing).

Good luck in your interview!

I work for a public agency; admin professionals who work for manager up to Division Manager level are admin clerks, senior admin clerks or admin secretaries. Admin support for Senior Management up to the Director level are executive secretaries, and Directors have administrative assistants. The position equivalent to CEO has a special assistant who is FLSA exempt professional. You should get the job description from your prosepective new employer to determine where your level of experience/responsiblity fits.

Editor's Note: Read the real-life example of an admin whose job title was changed during a company reorganization at Does your job title matter? You bet! 
Posted by: anon | June 16, 2006 at 11:10 AM

I've worked for a few different companies in as many states and they all have their own nameing convention. At one company in which I worked w/ a Director, my title was Administrative Secretary. At another company for which I worked w/ 3 Managing Directors (Partners), my title was Executive Administrative Assistant. Now, working w/ a VP and my title is Sr. Administrative Assistant. I wouldn't get too wrapped up in the title. What is important to me is whether the compensation is commensurate with the tasks at hand.

We have Administrative Assistants who usually support a specific area of a departments function and often support non-management staff. There are levels depending on responsibility and affecting pay scale but those levels are not part of the title and only the department head and HR will know that info. We also have Department Coordinators who generally support the department as a whole in addition to providing support for department managers or VPs. We have only one Executive Assistant in the company and she supports the CEO.

I work for a very large bank, and I support a Senior Vice President. I am an Administrative Assistant 4. The next levels are Executive Asst 1 and Executive Asst 2. I think that the titles will have different nuances from company to company so you're not being fair to yourself if you identify yourself by one title only. Dig into a variety of opportunities before you get hung up on a title, because as you can see from these responses every company is different. Good luck in your search!

My title is Executive Assistant. When I first started, I was an Administrative Associat. I was the only full time admin and that the title they came up with. The part time admins were adminstrative assistants. How corny is that. When I took on more responsibility voluntarily, I talked to my boss about my goofy title. And the fact that HR cannot compare salary ranges with a title of Adminstative Associate. So I got changed to Executive Assistant and I support the Ex Dir and the various directors when their admins are out of the office. Really, there is no value to a title in my opinion. it's all the job you do. titles to compare pay ranges is all they are.

We have an organization for all company assistants (at all levels) who have worked with our Human Resources Department to develop job descriptions for the administrative assistant career path. This reinforces the importance of the administrative role to the corporation and also career goals and opportunities for assistants. Our basic distinctions are Administrative Assistant, Senior Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant and Senior Executive Assistant. Most assistants reside in the administrative assistant/senior administrative assistant roles. Executive Assistants generally support Executive Directors and above and have much greater job responsibilities. The role of Senior Executive Assistant are reserved for a select group of assistants with responsibilities supporting senior management only and have much higher job responsibilities than even Executive Assistants.

I work for a worldwide corporation and we use pretty much the same titles you mentioned, each with their own job descriptions and salary ranges. It's not so much who you work for as what you do. Initially, the job description determines your title and salary. If you eventually reach the top pay scale for your title and you are considered a valuable employee, you may be promoted to the next level even if you are working for the same person, but with expanded duties. The job description is the key. Good Luck on your interview.

When I was hired my title was an Executive Assistant because I support the VP of Development, Director of Project Office and the Manager of Project Office. Our HR dept. did a survey and my title got changed to Administrative Assistant along with the other Admin. My job duties are more then theirs. Their boss is under my boss but we have the same title. I personally would like to know the survery was conducted.

Good Luck on your interview.

I work in a government setting as well where we work under a Regional Director. His admin's title is Executive Assistant and her job series falls under a special assistant which brings her pay grade up substantially. I work for the Deputy Regional Director and my titile is Executive Secretary. The admin that work for the office director's are Secretaries. All others are Clerk-Typists.

I think you need not worry as much about your title but build on your work experience. Definitely get a hold of the job description as was mentioned. In the end, that's what an employer is looking for; what you have proven you've accomplished in your resume rather than your job title.

Just to comment on those who say not to get hung up on job titles. My question is just to see what other companies are doing. I wanted to know if your job titles (which in many companies including mine determine how much you make) were tied to your boss' job title. My skills and abilities are not in question. I was just polling to see what other companies do because I happen to believe that they maybe a little outdated.

In my government agency admin support job titles are still tied to "boss" job titles. Howver,admins who support senior managers and directors have more diverse and difficult responsibilities than those who support divison managers and staff. I happen to think that linking admin job titles with "boss" titles is outdated but I suspect that the senior boss likes having an executive secretary or admin assistant while the subordinate has an admin secretary or clerk. Back in the day, they were called "rug" titles because the higher-ups had carpted offices.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Giovanna Jimenez June 7, 2013 at 9:35 am

I am the Construction Manager’s assistant, how it must to be my signature, would you please advice me?

Thanks

Reply

sasha July 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm

What if you have to call yourself something else below your career level. because you have yet to find employment there.

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