The profession of executive secretary

Almost everyone knows someone who is a secretary or employs a secretary. But a secretary is not the same as an executive secretary / management assistant. In addition to normal secretarial work, an executive secretary at a large company often supervises the secretaries or department secretaries. There is also usually a difference between these two professions in terms of education level.

The profession

An executive secretary is responsible for organizing all kinds of matters for the organization. She takes a lot of work off the management’s hands and is an important link between management and customers and between management and other employees. The executive secretary also arranges appointments for management and takes care of correspondence on behalf of the management. The duties of an executive secretary usually consist of:

  • Preparing and taking minutes for meetings
  • Maintaining the agenda for the management
  • Taking care of business correspondence
  • Maintain contacts with other departments
  • Taking care of the archive
  • Elaborate texts
  • Manage the executive secretariat

It depends on the company how many people an executive secretary supervises. Sometimes this is only 1 or 2 people, but it also happens that it is a larger group. When an executive secretary works at a small company, she often also has other duties such as answering the telephone and receiving guests.


If you want to become an executive secretary, there are various training options. You can follow an MBO level 4 executive secretary course at various educational institutions. If you do not have the right prior education, you can also first do MBO level 3 secretary and then move on to the executive secretary course. An HBO is often requested. A good HBO education for this profession is an HBO education in office management. Because an executive secretary is the point of contact for the management and guides important business customers, higher educational requirements are imposed on an executive secretary than on a normal secretary.


To perform the profession of executive secretary well, you need a number of qualities. You must be good at organizing and enjoy helping people. You must be customer-oriented and work accurately. It is also important that you are good at language, because you take care of the correspondence. In addition, you must be stress-resistant and flexible, because you often have to do several things at the same time.

Career opportunities

It is quite possible for an executive secretary to grow. Especially at large companies, you can often take additional training courses and if you still have a lot of experience, you can continue to grow. Secretaries who grow often go on to work as a PR advisor, communications officer or facilities employee.


If you are just starting out as an executive secretary and have little or no experience, the salary is around €1,800 per month. When you have more experience, you will earn approximately 2300 per month. A well-trained executive secretary can work for many types of companies. You can work at a commercial company but also at a government agency, for example. The chance of getting a job is quite high.