What’s the Difference Between a PA & an EA?

Posted on Saturday, September 2, 2017 by Top London PANo comments

Here at Love Success, London’s leading PA and secretarial recruitment agency, we recruit for a multitude of office support jobs all across the capital (and even further afield)—but we specialise in finding the very best personal assistants and executive assistants for high-profile clients.

One question we’re often asked when we meet new candidates is… what’s the difference between a PA and an EA? Can you apply for both roles with the same credentials? Are PA jobs or EA jobs better paid? What are the key responsibilities in each position? We hear all these questions and more on a regular basis, so we thought we’d delve into the difference here - that way you can decide which is best for you.

What is a PA?

A PA (personal assistant) is an individual who primarily supports their busy boss and helps to make their working day (and sometimes personal life) easier.

From managing diaries and coordinating meetings to arranging transport for family members and booking holidays, a personal assistant has to wear many hats in their day-to-day working life. As PA, you provide the support that allows your boss to shine.

What is an EA?

An EA (executive assistant) has a slightly different role. EAs are almost like a business assistant for a CEO or other high-profile individual. They’re required to think more strategically than a PA, offering more in-depth project support as opposed to admin work and general office tasks. EAs often work at the very highest level of business, and can even step in for their boss if necessary.

As an EA, you may be required to make important decisions on behalf of your superiors, and work as an ambassador for your company at all times. Being an EA involves much more responsibility, and will often include more work out of office hours. Naturally, this is the better-paid role of the two.

Similarities between the roles

Obviously, both positions involve enormous organisational workloads. Whether you’re in a PA or an EA job, you’ll need to be one step ahead in terms of planning and preparation for your boss. You’ll need great communication skills, the ability to use most mainstream computer programs, and a knack for thinking on your feet.

Which job is most suitable for me?

If you’ve never worked as an assistant before but you do have some experience in the world of admin and office support, we’d always advise that you start off in a personal assistant job. You can temp for a while and pick up the relevant skills, or you can find a permanent PA job and really make your mark in a fixed position.

If you have extensive experience in an assistant role and have worked in administrative positions for a while, you may be looking for the next step up. In this circumstance, we’d be looking to connect you with executive assistant roles. The leap from PA to EA can be a tricky one, but here at Love Success, we’re ready to support all candidates and ensure the transition from top PA to high-flying EA is seamless.

Get in touch with the team here at Love Success to find out more about the PA and EA job opportunities we have available.


Love Success is a leading PA and secretarial recruitment agency in London.
Our recruiters can help you find top PA jobs in London, secretarial jobs, and office support jobs.

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