what is a personal secretary?

A personal secretary provides support to an individual within an organisation. That support comes from administrative and organisational work and is typically provided to a high-level manager or business executive. Your primary responsibilities as a personal secretary include coordinating meetings and appointments, managing schedules, maintaining files and records, and handling correspondence for the person you support.

Personal secretaries form the first point of contact for the executive or manager they support in most situations. As such, you play a critical role in ensuring that your executive or manager's daily schedule runs smoothly. In addition to your administrative duties, you may also act as a personal assistant (sometimes referred to as a PA) for your executive or manager. This role involves handling tasks such as making travel arrangements, overseeing household tasks, and managing finances.

To succeed as a personal secretary, you must have good organisational and time management skills. You will also need good communication skills and strong interpersonal skills. Your role involves a lot of computer-based work, so proficiency with typical office software applications and services will make success in this role easier.

Personal secretaries provide an important service to busy executives and high-level managers, making them an essential part of the team. Does this sound like a role that would suit your skills and drive? Then keep reading to find out what competencies and qualifications are needed to succeed as a personal secretary.

personal secretary roles

average salary of a personal secretary

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a personal secretary in India is ₹295,584 per year. This figure may include additional factors, like bonuses and profit sharing, but is primarily the base salary. The figure falls roughly central to the average pay scale for this role in India. At the lower end of the spectrum, entry-level personal secretary roles make around ₹119,000 per year, while the most experienced personal secretaries can make as much ₹650,000 per year.

factors that affect personal secretary's pay

Many factors can affect how much you earn as a personal secretary in India, including education, experience, and the industry you end up working in. Personal secretaries with higher levels of education—such as a degree in business administration—secure a better salary. Your experience also significantly affects how much you earn, with personal secretaries with more years of experience typically earning more than entry-level or less-experienced personal secretaries.

Another factor affecting your pay is the industry you work in. High-demand industries such as legal, finance, or technology may pay more than similar jobs in other industries. Finally, the location of the job will make a difference. Working in a major city like Mumbai, Bengaluru, or Delhi may increase your potential earnings compared to smaller cities and rural areas.


types of personal secretary

There are many types of personal secretaries, although, for the most part, these types are determined by the industry in which the employer operates. Some of the most common distinctive types of personal secretaries are:

  • executive secretary: in this role, you provide administrative and organisational support to a top-level executive (or executives) and high-level managers. It is common, though not guaranteed, for secretaries of this type to work directly for a single person.
  • personal assistant: a personal assistant works for a single person more often than not. In this role, you provide scheduling services, help manage finances, and oversee household tasks.
  • medical secretary: in this role, you mostly provide support in the same capacity as other personal secretary roles, but you provide it for healthcare professionals.
  • legal secretary: as with medical secretaries, a legal secretary fulfils the same role as above, but for professionals working in the legal industry.
  • virtual secretary: as a virtual secretary, you fill the role of a personal secretary remotely, staying in touch with your boss through phone, email and other online platforms.

working as a personal secretary

Your primary function as a personal secretary is to reduce the potential workload for the person or persons you are supporting. These will typically be high-level executive staff who are very busy. Taking things like routine correspondence and scheduling off their plate makes it easier for them to execute their duties.


education and skills

Some of the academic qualifications that enable you to succeed as a personal secretary include:

  • post-graduate degree: while not every employer will require a degree before hiring someone for the role of personal secretary, many do. This degree should be in economics, commerce or something similar
  • computer proficiency: you are required to work with a variety of office software and computer systems in the course of your duties. Knowing your way around these systems makes the job much easier, and employers look for qualifications or evidence that you possess the necessary skills and know-how.

skills and competencies

Some of the desirable qualities of a personal secretary include:

  • organisational ability: the ability to organise is the most fundamental skill you need to succeed as a personal assistant. Your role involves keeping your executive's schedule in order, organising meetings, handling correspondence, and a host of other activities that require good organisation.
  • communication skills: you work closely with various people in your role. Your job includes handling correspondence and working with other company administrative staff. Good communication is essential to ensuring you can carry out your duties effectively.
  • flexibility: working as a personal secretary can sometimes require flexibility in terms of the hours being worked, especially if working in more of a personal assistant capacity.

FAQs about working as a personal secretary

Here are some common questions about working as a personal secretary

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