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Office Administration Certificate: Program Overview

Learn about office administration certificate programs. Read on for information regarding admission requirements, coursework, and potential career options open to certificate holders.

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Essential Information

An office administration certificate program allows individuals to gain basic office skills that can prepare them to perform clerical duties in various settings, including legal, medical, and business offices. Options in general office administration, medical, or legal office procedures are available. Such programs generally can be completed in less than a year, and they require no more than a high school education or its equivalent to be admitted.

Course Topics

The curriculum of an office administration program can focus on business skills, such as writing, communications, and mathematics, and on specific business-related activities, such as desktop publishing and office procedures. Medical or legal office administration programs will typically include courses in relevant terminology, as well as medical coding or legal transcription as they apply. Students prepare to take on positions in the business world where they are responsible for recordkeeping, office management, and customer care. They can be ready to communicate effectively as part of an office team, manage time efficiently, organize an office space, and demonstrate knowledge of common office systems. Other topics covered in a program may include:

  • Data processing
  • Record management
  • Customer service
  • Computer information systems
  • Proofreading and editing
  • Spreadsheets

Popular Career Options

A certificate program is designed to help students qualify for entry-level office positions. With job experience, they may be qualified to advanced to administrative or office management positions. Specific job titles that a certificate-holder may qualify for include:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Medical secretary
  • Legal secretary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for secretaries and administrative assistants are expected to increase by 12% from 2012 to 2022 ( In May of 2013, the BLS estimated that administrative assistants received an annual median wage of $32,840. Legal and medical secretaries earned $42,390 and $31,890, respectively.

Continuing Education Information

A certificate programs in office administration may be designed to allow students to transfer into an associate's degree program in office administration or a related field, which could help with career advancement. Individuals seeking advancement may also seek certification from professional organizations within the industry. Possible certifications are available through the International Association of Administrative Professionals and the International Virtual Assistants Association.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics