My 2015 Benchmarks for Personal Assistants - Salary, Hours, Tenure, and Job Satisfaction

Thank you Personal Assistants! The results of the PA portion of my 2015 benchmarking survey are in. 


Money is what makes the world go 'round, so I'll start there. Of the eleven Personal Assistants who participated, all of whom are based in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • 54% earn a full-time salary averaging $99,667; and
  • 46% work part-time for an average of $47.50 per hour.

No PAs reported receiving housing or a housing allowance.

Job Longevity

Tenure for PAs with a full-time salary ranges from 2 months to 15 years, and their average and median tenure are both 7 years. At first glance, tenure for part-time PAs is very similar, averaging 6 years, and ranging from 1 year to 15 years. But part-time PAs' median tenure is just 2 years, much lower.

When asked to predict whether they'd be working for the same principal in one year, 54% of all Personal Assistants said yes. However, two-thirds of part-time PAs said they wouldn't be working for the same principal, compared to thirty-three percent of full-timers. Four of eleven Personal Assistants predicted they'd be retired in ten years.


Eighty-three percent of respondents with a full-time salary reported working 7-8 hours per day on weekdays. Just twenty percent are in the office, not "on call", on the weekends.

Job Satisfaction

I really enjoyed hearing what participants like most and least about their current job. Here's what PAs said they like most:

  • Variety (and its synonyms "diversity" and "different") was the top word used when PAs talked about what they like most. PAs used phrases like "diversity of tasks" and "over the years I've been able to learn a lot of different things". 
  • Positive perceptions of the principal/boss was the second most common theme, with adjectives and phrases like "generous", "expresses appreciation", and "kind".
  • Finally, several respondents referenced the importance of autonomy, using phrases like "Free to work as I see fit, little to no supervision". 

In the PAs' feedback about what they liked least, there was more variety and fewer strong patterns. Here are several quotes:

  • "Getting requests that are not thought out or don't make sense..."
  • "Currently I'm not full time; so that's my only issue"
  • "There is not enough work, I am often bored."

Being a PA is a Dream Job?

Looking at these numbers, I think many would say being a Personal Assistant is a dream job. But we all know it's hard work. 

Please let me know what you think with your questions and comments below.

EAs, Estate Managers, and Private Chefs can still participate in the 2015 benchmark -- click here. I'll summarize and publish those results after the holidays.