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Executive Secretary Certification and Degree Program Information

Aspiring executive secretaries can enroll in a 2-year degree program, such as an Associate of Applied Science - Executive Assistant program. These programs are designed to provide students with a broad overview of communications and office technologies to apply in a variety of business settings.

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Essential Information

Students working on a executive secretary certification gain basic secretarial skills, such as handling phone lines, filing and scheduling appointments. They also learn to prepare business presentations, use desktop publishing technology and communicate with difficult clients or personnel. Graduates are prepared for voluntary administrative certification.

The program length is two years long. A high school diploma or equivalent is required and strong communications skills are a plus.


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Executive Secretary Certificate

An executive secretary certificate program prepares students for administrative assistant work in a variety of business settings. A high school diploma is the most common prerequisite for gaining admittance to an associate's degree program for aspiring executive secretaries. Incoming students should also have a strong command of the English language and be familiar with basic computer functions. Many courses in an associate's degree program for executive secretaries are practical, focusing on basic administrative tasks. Some examples include:

  • Introduction to administrative software and internet applications
  • Editing and proofreading documents
  • Records control in the office
  • Administrative time management
  • Business writing
  • Professional development

Employment Outlook and Career Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014 secretaries and administrative assistants held around 4 million jobs in the U.S. (www.bls.gov). The BLS projects that employment of executive administrative assistants will decline 6% between 2014 and 2024.

In 2015, the mean annual wage for executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants was $55,460, as reported by the BLS. Those employed by in beer, wine, and liquor stores earned the highest salaries, while those working for securities and commodities exchanges earned the lowest.

Certification Options

Graduates of associate's degree programs for executive secretaries can earn voluntary certification from one of several independent organizations, such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals or the International Virtual Assistants Association. These organizations provide experienced administrative professionals who pass an examination with the designation of Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) or Certified Administrative Professional (CAP).

Executive secretary degree programs cover different information such as business writing, professional development, and administrative time management. Optional certification is available through various professional organizations for graduates who are interested.

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