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. While a college degree is not always necessary to become an office administrator, an associate's degree can certainly open up a wide range of career opportunities.

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. 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.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; SAT or ACT scores; applicants not meeting prerequisites may be accepted on other merits or through placement testing; certificate courses in related areas may transfer
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Office Administration Fields of Study: Office manager, executive assistant, legal or medical secretary

Associate Degree in Office Administration

  • 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 2014 for secretaries and administrative assistants was $33,240. Employment for secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to increase by 12% from 2012-2022, 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 2012-2022 is much faster than the average at 29% for medical assistants and average at 17% 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.

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