Associates Degree in Office Administration: Program Overviews

Other than certificate programs, an associate's degree is the most commonly earned degree that leads to a career in office administration. In addition to learning about program objectives, requirements, and courses, learn about popular career options, continuing education, salary, and job outlook.

Essential Information

Students in this two-year degree program learn important skills, such as basic accounting, computer applications, communication skills, document preparation, and office procedures and ethics. Coursework and real-world internship opportunities will focus heavily on computer training and other office technologies, including the commonly used software applications QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, and desktop publishing software. In order to enroll, students will need a high school diploma or GED and submit ACT or SAT scores. If an applicant does not meet the program's prerequisites, they may be accepted on other merits or through placement testing. Some schools will transfer over certificate courses in related areas.

Students seeking employment in a medical or legal office may also choose electives that target skills unique to these areas. In preparation for a career as an executive assistant or office manager, students may learn the basics of appointment scheduling, making travel arrangements, proofreading, and managing records. Graduates of an associate's degree program in office administration often pursue careers as office managers, executive assistants, and medical or legal secretaries.

Associate Degree in Office Administration

Common courses in this program may include:

  • Computer applications
  • Managing records
  • Accounting
  • Business and technical writing
  • Business fundamentals
  • Modern office procedures

Popular Career Options

An associate's degree in office administration can create many job opportunities. A few common titles one may receive during employment with this degree are:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Legal or medical assistant
  • Executive assistant
  • Office assistant
  • Receptionist
  • Office manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Cashier
  • Bank teller

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary in May 2015 for secretaries and administrative assistants was $33,910. Employment for secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to increase by 3% from 2014-2024, which is comparable to the national average for all occupations (www.bls.gov). For those graduates interested in a career as a medical or legal office assistant, the anticipated employment growth rate from 2014-2024 is much faster than the average at 23% for medical assistants and average at 8% for paralegals and legal assistants, per the BLS.

Continuing Education

Graduates of an AAS in office administration can begin working in an office environment but may wish to pursue continuing education options in coming years due to rapidly changing office technologies. This continuing education may take the form of certificate programs that train students in new or updated software applications.

Students who earn an associate's degree in office administration will have a litany of potential careers to pursue including office manager and bank teller, among many others. The job market for professionals with this educational background is growing rapidly, with careers such as medical assistants projected to grow 23% over the next decade.

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