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Business Office Specialist: Salary, Requirements and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a business office specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and certification to find out if this is the career for you.

Business office specialists serve as a valuable resource by providing general administrative support and assistance with all office functions. It is helpful for business office specialists to have experience in Microsoft Office Suite, payroll processing and business communications. Some employers require a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree.

Essential Information

Business office specialists provide administrative, clerical and organizational services in an office or business environment. Although some may enter the profession after high school, those who complete some postsecondary education may improve their skill levels and secure higher paying jobs. Voluntary certifications are also available for people in this career field.

Recommended Education Certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree
Additional Requirements Optional certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 3%* (for all secretaries and administrative assistants)
Annual Median Salary (2015) $36,500* (for all secretaries and administrative assistants)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Requirements to Become a Business Office Specialist

While part-time jobs or positions with small firms may accept candidates with just a high school diploma or GED, employers seeking workers for full-time positions may prefer to hire candidates who have completed a formal education program, according to multiple online job listings. Relevant options include certificate, associate's degree and bachelor's degree programs in administrative assisting, business, accounting, finance or human resources.

Additionally, employers may favor applicants who have experience with computer programs, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint or are familiar with specific knowledge or procedures, such as payroll administration, accounts payable and billing. Excellent understanding of English and word processing may also be required, as these professionals may be asked to proofread and reproduce business documents.

Certification

Business office specialists may wish to increase their employment and advancement opportunities by earning industry certification, such as the Certified Administrative Professional designation granted by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (www.iaap-hq.org). Earning the certification requires successfully completing a qualifying examination based on office systems, management skills and office professionalism.

Career Information

The BLS reported that employment for all secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to increase by 3% between 2014 and 2024. New job growth may depend on economic strength and therefore, candidates may wish to look to the social assistance and health care industries, which will be least likely to be affected by economic fluctuations.

Salary Information for Business Office Specialists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), all secretaries and administrative assistants, including business office specialists, earned a median salary of $36,500 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The lowest 10% of secretaries and administrative assistants (except legal, medical and executive) earned a median annual salary of $20,870 or less, and the highest 10% earned $51,520 or more as of May 2015.

Business office specialists help to ensure the efficiency of office functions. Some business office specialists obtain a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in order to secure full-time jobs, but a high school diploma may be sufficient for part-time positions. The median annual salary for all secretaries and administrative assistants, which includes business office specialists, was $36,500 in 2015.

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