Online Office Assistant Certificate Program Info

Research online office assistant courses and certificate programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Distance learning certificate programs for aspiring office assistants are widely available. Courses can be completed entirely online, but some programs might include an internship and in-person proctored testing requirements. Students pursuing an online office assistant certificate will learn about word processing, business communication, spreadsheets, keyboarding and computer technology.

Online Availability Fully online or blended format
Important Prerequisites Rudimentary typing skills
In-Person Requirements Varies; may include internship and proctored testing

Office Assistant Certificate

Students in an online office assistant certificate program develop the typing, communication and computer skills needed for success. Some schools require students to have rudimentary typing skills before being admitted to the program. Some programs offer students the opportunity to pursue a specific type of office assistant certificate, such as those for medical office assistants or legal office assistants.

Program Information and Requirements

An online office assistant certificate program can generally be completed in one year. Basic technical requirements might include high-speed Internet connection and an updated version of a Web browser. Students might also need to have recent versions of software programs like Microsoft Office.

Course Topics

The curriculum for online office assistant certificate programs focuses on keyboarding, word processing, office procedures and business communications. Some programs might also include courses in business math, customer service, accounting and bookkeeping.


Basic and advanced keyboarding courses address typing speed, accuracy and key-touch techniques. Formatting methods for reports, memos and business correspondence might also be covered.

Office Procedures

Techniques relating to filing, meeting planning, supply ordering, management and customer relation skills are emphasized in an office procedures courses. Students might also learn about the use of common office technology.

Business Communications

Business communications courses focus on fundamental and advanced writing skills. Punctuation, spelling, grammar and business vocabulary are all likely to be addressed in these courses.

Career Information

Earning an online office assistant certificate can qualify graduates for entry-level positions as receptionists, secretaries or administrative assistants. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports an expected job growth rate of 12% for secretaries and administrative assistants between 2012 and 2022 (, and an median annual wage of $33,240 as of May 2014.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of an online office assistant certificate program might elect to pursue an associate's degree in business technology or office administration. In some cases, individuals seeking careers as legal or medical office assistants might be required to possess a degree prior to employment.

Those holding an online certificate for office assistants can choose to pursue voluntary certification after gaining four years of experience. The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) credentials to working office assistants.

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