What Are the Different Types of Personal Assistant Jobs?

Erin Oxendine

Personal assistants provide clients with services ranging from scheduling appointments to picking up dry cleaning. Assistants often help clients by performing tasks that clients do not have time to do or may not be able to do themselves. Some personal assistants work from their homes, while others go to the client's location.

Personal assistants may work from home.
Personal assistants may work from home.

One of the different personal assistant jobs is that of a celebrity personal assistant. This type of assistant’s job involves assisting a high profile celebrity with tasks such as choosing outfits and taking the client’s kids to and from school. The person in this position may also plan meetings, coordinate with caterers and run errands. Celebrity personal assistants must be extremely trustworthy and keep information about the celebrity out of the press. Some helpers also perform marketing functions such as responding to emails and posting events on social websites.

Personal assistants may be responsible for scheduling appointments.
Personal assistants may be responsible for scheduling appointments.

Another type of the many personal assistant jobs is a virtual personal assistant who works from his or her home and performs various services for a client. Most clients hire virtual assistants to do secretarial assignments including drafting correspondence, filing and calendaring. Other assistants have duties such as reviewing the client’s mail, paying invoices and ordering flowers. Virtual assistants also make travel arrangements, return calls for the client and prepare invitations for events.

Personal assistants are generally responsible for keeping their client's life organized.
Personal assistants are generally responsible for keeping their client's life organized.

Personal shoppers have one of the more exciting assistant jobs and get to make purchases at the client’s request. Busy executives often have assistants buy presents for friends and co-workers. These shoppers may peruse stores for sales or go to auctions for clients. Clients sometimes use these individuals to hunt for travel deals on cruises and vacation packages.

Personal assistants who work with celebrities must be trustworthy and discreet.
Personal assistants who work with celebrities must be trustworthy and discreet.

Some personal assistant jobs are geared towards helping people who are disabled or have other debilitating medical conditions. The personal assistant can help the client with activities such as grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Clients may have the assistant provide transportation to and from medical appointments or to see friends.

Personal assistants may work with vendors to purchase different supplies.
Personal assistants may work with vendors to purchase different supplies.

In order to work in any of these available personal assistant jobs, individuals need to follow directions and communicate well with clients. Assistants should have secretarial skills such as typing, scheduling and accounting. It would also be beneficial to these positions if the assistant were computer savvy since some of the personal assistant jobs include using the Internet and social media to market the client. The personal assistant should also be able to keep privileged information regarding the client since the assistant may see the client's business statements or medical documents.

Celebrity personal assistants might have to deal with clients who have a large ego.
Celebrity personal assistants might have to deal with clients who have a large ego.

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Discussion Comments


I think this job would be great for a born organizer. Or a former stay at home mom. I know a lot of employers frown on taking time out of your career to take care of your kids for awhile. You become less relevant, your skills aren't current, whatever.

But most stay at home moms I know spend all day organizing other peoples affairs. They pay the bills. Cook. Run errands. Make sure everyone is where they're supposed to be when they're supposed to be there.

I think these skills would translate perfectly to a job as a personal assistant.


@JessicaLynn - I think I read somewhere that American's work a significant amount of hours compared to other countries. I'm not so sure this is a good thing though.

Anyway, I don't think I would enjoy being a personal assistant. It sounds like there's really no chance of a promotion. And since you're probably going to employed by one individual, I feel like it would be easy to get fired and be out of a job.

I actually had a friend who worked as a personal assistant for a semi-famous person in LA. It was pretty much a nightmare. Her boss was nuts and he made a lot of unreasonable demands.

Eventually she got fired, but at least she got a pretty good severance package out of it.


The whole idea of a personal assistant just sounds so...modern to me. People are just so busy! Especially because most people who work full time work more than 40 hours a week. And take their work home with them too! I can totally understand why someone might need a personal assistant.

At one point, I was living alone and working full time. I had so much to do that I actually had trouble keeping my house clean and finding time to do laundry. And I didn't even have a high powered job or anything!

If I had the money, I would have loved to hire someone to do some of those tasks for me!


My daughters first job was at a day care center, and she discovered that she loved kids and was really good with them.

This eventually led to a nanny personal assistant job across the country. She signed up with a trusted nanny service and met with a couple different families before she decided on which one to work for.

She lived in their home and was responsible for watching the children and taking care of other duties around the house. The family she worked for also did a lot of traveling, so she got to see a lot of different places.

Sometimes it was a little frustrating to balance taking care of the kids with the personal assistant duties, but it all worked out.

She also had to set limits when it was her day off so she didn't feel like she was working 7 days a week.


When I was in college I had a friend who started working at a private personal assistant job. This was a wealthy individual who just wanted someone to help him out.

She started out working part time and did whatever needed to be done. Sometimes she was picking up groceries or running errands, and other times she was helping with things around the home.

She didn't finish coloege, and ended up working full time for this man for over 15 years. When he passed away he left her a lot of money. I don't know how much she got, but it was enough that she didn't have to worry about finding another job for a long time.

If I had a personal assistant like this, it would certainly have to be someone that I completely trusted. As he became older, he really relied on her quite a bit, and it would have been easy for a dishonest person to take advantage of him.


I know a lady who runs a busy full time business being a personal assistant. She has several clients and she focuses on running errands for them and helping them get to doctors appointments, etc.

She basically looks at herself as doing their legwork for them. Either they don't have the time to do it themselves, or are unable to.

What started out as a few clients has turned into a business and she now hires other people who work with her as well.

It turns out there was even a bigger demand for this type of work than she realized. She loves her job and enjoys being able to personally help people with things they need help with.

Her days are always different and she has some great clients that she works for. She also has some that are demanding and not very appreciative, but it seems like you always have a few of them no matter what.


@Sunny27 - That is true, but you also have to have a level of adaptability with a job like this because so many of the tasks change from day to day. One day you could be running errands and another day you are making phone calls or following up on some type of matter. I don’t think that any two days are the same.

I also think that you really have to have a sense of urgency to get things done and really get along with your boss. It is also important to keep things confidential especially if you are working for a high profile executive or celebrity.

Many of these people might even have you sign a confidentiality agreement in order to make sure that you keep your mouth shut.


I have a friend that has a part time personal assistant job working for a retired doctor. She runs all kinds of errands for him. She picks up his laundry and does his grocery shopping.

She also schedules appointments for him and types up any letters that he may need. Although he is retired from practicing medicine, her boss also has other businesses that she helps him with. She really is a jack of all trades which is really what a personal assistant has to be.

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