Personal Assistant

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to November 2019: 25,001 to 50,000
Salary Range
Median weekly earnings: $1051 to $1300 to Source: Australian Government Department of Employment 2015
After all, her responsibilities not only include organising her employer's diary, but also making sure that the whole office operates smoothly.

There are approximately 3,000 Personal Assistants working in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the Property and Business Services industry. Over half of persons in this occupation are females and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area.
  • There's a good reason why many of the company executives you spot in the central business district look as if they have everything so under control. Most have personal assistants, who make sure their executive's daily routine is well organised. Personal assistants perform administrative and secretarial duties, which generally include drafting letters and reports, and operating office equipment such as computers, photocopiers and facsimile machines. They may also have to organise travel arrangements for their executive or other company directors. It's a matter of prioritising. You may have to look after more than one director. You have to be ultra organised because you're handling a variety of tasks at once and you need to be able to communicate with people on all levels. And discretion is important because you're handling a lot of confidential documents.

  • Of those currently employed there are 20% who have either a Certificate I or II, 9% who have either Certificate III or IV, 9% have either an Advanced Diploma or a Diploma, 7% have Bachelor Degrees an 51% have no post school qualifications.

    To work as a personal assistant, it is usually necessary to complete an office or secretarial course, which includes shorthand, typing, word processing, and computing skills.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Business Administration. Pathways include the Certificate I and II in Business, Certificate III and IV in Business Administration.

    Studying at TAFE SA is one of the easiest and most successful pathways towards a University Degree. Dual offer courses are available to TAFE SA and Flinders University in the Diploma of Business Administration/Bachelor of Business.

    SA Apprenticeships are available in this occupation for further information go to the Traineeship & Apprenticeship Services Website at or phone the Freecall number 1800 673 097.

  • Employment growth in this occupation is not expected to be strong in the medium term. Recruitment officers suggest that uncertainty in the labour market means that people are tending to remain in their positions for longer than normal periods.

  • Personal assistants work in offices and may find employment in a variety of industries. Most work in the financial and investment, property, legal and accounting areas in the private sector, and in government administration. Most of the personal assistants working in South Australia, work in the metropolitan area.

    There may be opportunities to travel, as some employers who travel interstate or overseas regularly, may find it necessary to take along their personal assistant.

  • The Australian Institute of Office Professionals says skills in word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software are required, as are Internet research abilities. One recruitment agency manager reinforces this, saying employers are increasingly looking for people with excellent computing skills. As more and more senior personnel in organisations become computer literate, personal assistants have been freed from duties such as typing and printing dictated/written letters, leaving them more time to take on other duties such as research activities using computers. If you possess good written and oral communication skills, are able to work well in a pressurised and unsupervised environment, and can meet deadlines, then you should enjoy this type of work.

  • It takes many years to progress to the position of personal assistant. Typically, you will have started in an administrative assistant role, then progress to personal assistant. Some work in a combined receptionist/secretarial role before advancing to her current position. From a receptionist/secretary point of view, being a personal assistant is a career move.

Further Information

For further information about all TAFE SA Courses, phone 1800 882 661 or enquire online