Salary Range
€31k - €k
Job Zone

In Summary - Secretary / Administrative Assistant - EU

Provides autonomous support to one or several people or units within an EU institution

Career Sectors

Secretary / Administrative Assistant - EUs typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Clerical & Administration
Working for the EU
Government, Politics & EU
History, Culture & Languages
History, Culture & Languages

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The Work - Secretary / Administrative Assistant - EU

The administrative tasks of secretaries in the EU institutions vary according to the post. In general, a secretary provides autonomous support to one or several people or units within the EU institutions – shaping, transforming and distributing information.

The work typically includes:

  • Preparing files
  • Organising and coordinating the departments activities (meetings, official trips)
  • Document management (receipt, processing, follow-up, filing)
  • Preparing, processing, finalising and checking documents
  • Finding, compiling and disseminating information.

In translation departments, the work may also involve:

  • Receiving, managing and processing translation requests, in particular preparing, processing and finalising documents
  • Feeding and updating translation memories
  • Typing, page layout and formatting work.

Contract staff may also be employed to carry out secretarial duties.

Assistants (AST) usually work in supporting roles and are crucial for the internal management of the institutions.

Interests - Secretary / Administrative Assistant - EU

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.


The Linguistic's interests are usually focused on ideas and information exchange. They tend to like reading a lot, and enjoy discussion about what has been said. Some will want to write about their own ideas and may follow a path towards journalism, story writing or editing. Others will develop skills in other languages, perhaps finding work as a translator or interpreter. Most Linguistic types will enjoy the opportunity to teach or instruct people in a topic they are interested in.


The EU institutions are looking for candidates who are talented, motivated, and highly qualified in their field, and who have the following competencies in particular:

  • Analysis and problem solving - Ability to identify the critical facts in complex issues and develop creative and practical solutions
  • Communication – Communicate clearly and precisely both orally and in writing
  • Delivering quality and results – Take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering work to a high standard of quality within set procedures
  • Learning and development – Develop and improve personal skills and knowledge of the organisation and its environment
  • Prioritising and organising – Prioritise the most important tasks, work flexibly, and organise own workload efficiently
  • Resilience – Remain effective under a heavy workload, handle organisational frustrations positively, and adapt to a changing work environment
  • Working with others - Work cooperatively with others in teams and across organisational boundaries and respect differences between people

An additional requirement for posts in the AD career bracket (administrators) is:
• Leadership – Manage, develop and motivate people to achieve results

Entry Requirements - Secretary / Administrative Assistant - EU

EU Secretary / Administrative Assistants must have:

  • A good command of at least 2 European languages (one of which must be English, French or German)
  • either
    - post-secondary secretarial qualification,
  • or
    - secondary education and at least 3 years' professional experience as a secretary

Requirements for contract staff may be different.

An assistant career in the EU covers grades AST 1 to AST 11.

New staff usually enter at grades AST 1 or AST 3.

Last Updated: July, 2014

Pay & Salary - Secretary / Administrative Assistant - EU

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €31k - €k

Monthly salaries in the EU Institutions range from around 2,600 per month for a newly recruited AST/SC 1 official to around 16,000 per month for a top level AD 16 official with over four years of seniority.

Each grade is broken up into five seniority steps with corresponding salary increases.

Basic salaries are adjusted annually in line with inflation and purchasing power in the EU countries.

As the name may suggest the basic monthly salary is just the starting point to remuneration associated with EU jobs as an employee may be entitled to allowances.

All payments are subject to relevant tax and charges.

Data Source(s):
Official Journal of the European Union & EPSO

Last Updated: April, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

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