How to Determine an Adequate Salary for a Personal Assistant

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Apr 16, 2024
Craft a competitive salary for personal assistants with research on role, experience, and market benchmarks, ensuring talent attraction and retention.
A personal assistant in a black chef's uniform sits at a laptop, tying her hair back, possibly researching salary for a personal assistant.

Determining an adequate salary for a personal assistant involves considering their role, experience, and market standards. The goal is to offer a fair salary that matches the job demands and the skills needed, ensuring you find and keep the best personal assistants.

Typical Day-to-Day Responsibilities

Personal assistants do a variety of tasks depending on where they work and who they’re helping. Generally, their jobs include keeping track of meetings, trips, and other events, and adjusting plans as needed.

They also need to be good at handling messages since they will be dealing with emails, calls, texts, and social media, making sure only the important stuff gets through.

Senior and Executive-Level Expectations

For those working with top bosses or in big roles, the job gets more complex. They might look into market trends, competition, and opportunities, and then write reports about them.

Some of them need to handle complicated schedules, this involves managing the calendars of several high-level people, making sure everything fits together.

The pay for a personal assistant should match the level of work they do, especially for those in bigger, more important roles. Their salary needs to show how crucial they are to the team.

Key Factors Influencing the Salary for a Personal Assistant

 personal assistant at an elegant desk, glancing back, ponders over a salary for a personal assistant as she takes off her glasses.

Geographical Location

Where a personal assistant works matters when it comes to how much they get paid. In big cities like New York or Los Angeles, living costs a lot, so personal assistants can earn between $80,000 and $150,000 a year. In smaller towns or the countryside, where things aren’t as expensive, they usually make less money. But, there are still good jobs to be found.

Experience and Qualifications

Personal assistants with lots of experience, around 5-10 years, usually get paid more. They’ve worked with different people and have gotten good at their jobs. Going to college or knowing extra languages or computer programs can also help a personal assistant earn more.

Employer Industry and Size

The kind of place for work affects the salary for a personal assistant too. Big companies or working for really rich people pay the most because they have more money to spend. If a personal assistant works for a smaller business, a charity, or the government, they’ll likely earn less since those places have smaller budgets.

Job Responsibilities

The more a personal assistant does, the more they should get paid. If they’re in charge of big tasks like keeping track of complicated schedules, managing a house staff, or making business choices for someone, they deserve to make more money. Beginners who do simpler tasks like paperwork or running errands will start with a lower salary. The more important their work is to their boss, the more they can expect to earn.

Reviewing Market Salary Standards

In a meeting room, a personal assistant notes important details, possibly about the salary for a personal assistant, on her notepad.

Entry-Level Salaries

If you’re just starting as a personal assistant, you can expect to make about $15 to $20 an hour. That adds up to around $30,000 to $40,000 a year if you’re working full-time. Beginners usually do simpler tasks like keeping track of schedules, doing errands, organizing files, and handling calls and messages.

Mid-Level Salaries

Personal assistants who have been on the job for 3 to 5 years usually make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year. At this stage, they handle more complicated jobs like taking care of domestic staff, planning business trips, looking into trends, and helping executives work better together.

Senior-Level Salaries

Personal assistants with over 5 years of experience can earn from $80,000 to $150,000 annually. They deal with a lot of different tasks, including complex scheduling, public relations, and negotiating contracts. Having special skills like knowing how to manage properties or speaking other languages helps them earn more than a normal salary for a personal assistant.

Calculating an Appropriate Salary

A professional personal assistant in a black coat holds a leather portfolio, considering documents about the salary for a personal assistant.

Figuring out the right pay for a personal assistant involves looking at what the job entails, what skills the person needs, their experience, and what others are paying for similar jobs. Here’s how to do it in simple steps:

Step 1: Gather Role Details

List everything the job involves like scheduling, messaging, errands, and managing staff. Point out if special skills are needed such as languages or computer programs.

Step 2: Research Market Ranges

Check reliable websites to see what pay rates look like for similar jobs. Look up the salary for a personal assistant by job title, location, company size, and industry to get accurate figures.

Step 3: Set Base Salary Range

Decide on the lowest pay you’d offer based on your research. Think about the most you can pay, keeping your budget in mind.

Be ready to offer a bit more (10-20%) for someone with extra qualifications.

Step 4: Adjust for Special Factors

If the job asks for rare skills or qualifications, think about offering more money. To draw in and keep the best people, start them at a higher salary and offer raises sooner.

By following these steps, using research, and knowing what you need, you can offer a fair salary that matches the job and keeps your assistant happy.

Including Benefits and Perks

A focused personal assistant sips coffee while researching the salary for a personal assistant on her laptop by the window.

Offering more than just a paycheck, like health benefits and other nice things, can help you keep a great personal assistant. These extras show you appreciate their hard work.

Health Insurance

Giving health insurance shows you care about their health. You can pay for all or part of it. Even a little bit helps with their medical costs.

Retirement Savings

Helping with retirement plans, like a 401K, shows you’re thinking about their future. Matching what they save encourages them to put money aside for later.

Paid Time Off

Allowing paid days off for vacations, sickness, and holidays helps prevent them from getting too stressed. Starting with two or three weeks is common. You can offer more days for staying longer or doing a great job.

Flexible Scheduling

Letting them have some control over their work hours and the option to work from home sometimes makes life easier. This can make them happier and more productive.

Conclusion

Determining a fair salary for a personal assistant is a multifaceted process that involves assessing the job’s responsibilities, required skills, and market standards. It’s essential to consider the significance of the role within your organization and to conduct thorough research on prevailing salary ranges. 

Establishing a base salary that reflects both the minimum and maximum you can offer is crucial, with flexibility to increase the offer for exceptional candidates. Adjustments should be made for unique expertise, experience, and geographical cost of living variations. Moreover, a comprehensive compensation package that includes benefits, perks, and opportunities for growth and recognition is key to attracting and retaining top talent.

By meticulously planning for financial incentives and creating an appealing work environment, you can ensure that the salary offered is equitable, competitive, and aligned with the demands of the position and the qualifications of the individual.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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