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Administrative Assistant Certification and Certificate Programs

Administrative assistant certificate programs cover various computer and customer service skills. These skills enable individuals to fulfill the daily duties necessary to run an office successfully.

Essential Information

Administrative assistant certificate programs are widely available at 2-year community colleges and vocational schools. These programs cover fundamental computer, customer service and office organization skills. Students participate in both lecture-based courses and hands-on learning opportunities.

Certificate in Administrative Assisting

Administrative assistant certificate programs can often be completed in about a year of full-time study; longer if studying part-time. Some programs require an internship. Students will take an array of courses, including office management courses and the some of the following:

  • Databases
  • Business English
  • Communications
  • Keyboarding
  • Business writing
  • Microsoft Word for business

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), executive secretaries and administrative assistants make up one of the largest professions in the nation, with over 2.2 million positions in 2014. The BLS predicts that this profession will have a slower-than-average growth rate of 3% between 2014 and 2024. As of 2015, the average salary for a secretary or administrative assistant was $36,500 per year or $17.55 per hour. Administrative assistants who worked for the postal system and federal government reported higher average earnings than those in other industries. This and more information is available at www.bls.gov.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Organizations like the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) offer voluntary opportunities for administrative assistants to earn professional certification. Earning the IAAP's Certified Administrative Professional credential is one such distinction. In some instances, passing the certification exam can even count as college credit.

Administrative assistant programs usually take about one year and are often at 2-year community colleges and vocational schools. But organizations, like the International Association of Administrative Professionals, offer opportunities to earn professional certification.

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