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Administrative Certificate and Certification Program Information

Administrative assistant certificate programs equip students with the skills used in daily office operations. They may eventually obtain administrative certification from professional organizations to improve their work opportunities.

Essential Information

Students in administrative assistant certificate programs learn to schedule meetings, organize documents and use everyday business software, including the Microsoft Office Suite. It also includes instruction on employee/customer relations. Administrative certificate programs are usually offered by community colleges or vocational/technical schools.

The administrative office technology certificate program prepares students to enter the workforce in an entry-level position. In addition, credits earned from this program can be used towards earning an associate's degree in administrative office technology or other business majors. Administrative assistants can improve their job prospects through certification from a professional organization, which requires membership and passing a competency examination.

High school transcripts and diploma or GED are prerequisites for admission to an administrative certificate program. Prospective students may also be required to take a placement test during the application process.


Administrative Certificate Program

Courses in office procedures, English grammar, proofreading, and keyboarding for students who want to increase their speed and accuracy are followed by specific courses in:

  • Spreadsheet/database software
  • Accounting/business math
  • Business/machine transcription
  • Business communications
  • Principles of accounting
  • Microsoft Applications

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the overall employment of administrative assistants and secretaries is projected to grow by 3% from 2014-2024. This job outlook is slower than average compared to other professions. The BLS also reported the median annual salary earned by secretaries and administrative assistants in May 2015 as $33,910; those providing higher-level support for executive staff and teams earned a median salary of $53,370 in the same time frame.

Continuing Education

Certificate holders may continue their studies by enrolling in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in business administration. Earning advanced degrees may translate into promotion opportunities at one's current position or further opportunities at other businesses. Joining a professional organization, such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (www.iaap-hq.org), would also be helpful for career advancement. A non-profit organization, the IAAP has over 22,000 members worldwide and offers a number of educational and certification options for qualified administrative professionals.

Administrative certificate programs are usually offered by community colleges or vocational/technical schools and teach students the knowledge and skills needed in basic office procedures and employee/customer relations. Administrative certifications are available from professional organizations and can generally help in the career advancement of administrative assistants.

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