Two-year associate-level programs can be found in office technology or medical office assisting. Some institutions might offer studies online. Specific program concentrations may be available in accounting or human resources office assisting. At the associate degree level, future office assistants master writing and communication skills, as well as software applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel.
Associate of Applied Science in Administrative Professional and Office Technology
Office assistant program applicants are required to have a high school diploma or GED. Students must typically complete a college assessment examination before registering for classes. Experience with computers is helpful. After completing an associate degree program, graduates are generally ready for immediate employment as office assistants, secretaries, or administrative assistants. While enrolled in an office assistant degree program, students may be able to participate in an internship experience. Throughout the program, students take general education classes, as well as core classes in:
- Grammar and composition
- Oral communication
- General office procedures
Associate of Applied Science in Medical Office Assistant
Individuals interested in medical office assistant positions learn about technology, programs, processes, terms, and legalities related to the health care industry. They also gain a general educational background and develop a broad business sense. In addition, medical office assistant students improve oral and written communication skills. Applicants must submit official documentation indicating completion of a high school curriculum or its equivalent. Standardized test scores may be needed, and, depending on the results, students may have to take a college placement test. Typically, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher for successful completion of an associate degree program in medical office assisting. Topics of study might include:
- Medical vocabulary and terminology
- The human body and its processes
- Privacy regulations pertaining to patient records
- Medical coding and cost reimbursement methods
- Keyboards, computers, and office software applications
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Beginning in 2014 and ending in 2024, employment of office clerks was predicted to increase 3%, while employment of secretaries was also predicted to rise 3%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The same government agency indicated that in May 2015, office clerks earned a mean yearly wage of $31,890, while secretaries averaged $35,200 annually. In May 2015, medical secretaries made a mean annual wage of $34,330, according to the BLS.
Students who graduate from 2-year Associate of Applied Science programs in Administrative Professional and Office Technology, or Medical Office Assistant can build successful careers as office clerks, secretaries, or medical secretaries.