Administrative Certificate and Certification Program Information

Administrative assistant certificate programs are usually offered by community colleges or vocational/technical schools and consist of just a few courses that can be completed in about a year of study.

Essential Information

Students in administrative assistant certificate programs learn to schedule meetings, organize documents and use everyday business software, including the Microsoft Office Suite. The program also includes instruction on proper office procedures and employee/customer relations.

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 often can improve their job prospects through certification from a professional organization, which requires membership and passing a competency examination.

  • Prerequisites: High school transcripts; high school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Placement test

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 and Statistics (BLS,, the overall employment of administrative assistants and secretaries is projected to grow by 12% from 2012-2022. The BLS reported the median salary earned by secretaries and administrative assistants in May 2014 as $33,240; those providing higher-level support for executive staff and teams earned a median salary of $51,270 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 (, 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.

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