Difference between an Executive Assistant, Staff Assistant, Special Assistant, and Personal Aide?

When looking up Congressional salaries, and US Government salaries as well as offices I noticed these positions.

Executive Assistant

Staff Assistant

Special Assistant

Personal Aide

I thought these were all pretty much the same, but apparently their different or they would not be listed as such. What is the formal difference and normal description of duties for each of these? I mean surely there is a difference and specific duties or they would not be standard salaried titles.

Also I noticed the Vice-President has a Director of Correspondence, and two Deputy Directors of Correspondence. Is that really necessary, what all does Correspondence cover?


And several government officials had all of these at the same time, so they must each do some field. I wonder who is with them 24/7? I thought Executive Assistants covered some personal things, but with a Personal Aide what would they cover?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Personal aide is the least important,he only helps a certain official. Executive assistant seems to be the most important.

    Source(s): s4m
  • (:P)
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    For the most part, these are all titles that replaced the more generic term of "secretary." The differences lie in the agencies ability and desire to justify a higher grade so that a person can get paid more. It is not uncommon for a so called personal assistant or so called executive assistant to have a grade comparable to the professional ranks.

    Thus, an individual who embellishes the looks of a report and performs gopher duties for an executive, can earn wages at a GS-13 level, for example, while the actual working force who earned college degrees for their specialty might also be drawing a GS-13 salary. More commonly, an assistant of sorts might be paid at a GS-11 or GS-12 rate. These too are professional level grades depending on the job and the agency. In the past, secretaries earned wages between the GS-4 and GS-8 level. The GS-8 secretaries were the executive secretaries for high faluting civil servants. Of course, the job descriptions will read differently and some will have duties listed that they might never perform; but it looks good on paper and it helps justify the position and higher grade.

  • 1 decade ago

    Executive assistant serves a certain official.

    Staff assistant is a work horse of the whole office personnel.

    Special assistant is only assigned certain work preferences.

    Personal aide is exclusive to help only a certain official much lower in degree than the executive assistant.

  • All of the answers here are correct, in a way. Here's a more detailed answer:

    Some of the titles are interchangeable, and it also depends on the industry...

    Personal assistants: works in the home of the employer

    Executive assistant: works in a corporate office

    Staff Assistant: could be either

    Special Assistant: usually used in politics

    Personal Aide: used in politics for "personal assistant"

    Here is a list of even more detailed explanations for job titles...

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    the real name for those positions is gopher,

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.