Students enrolled in a two-year degree program related to the administrative assistant profession learn how to effectively communicate with business personnel, organize office spaces, handle multiple telephone lines and schedule appointments. Additionally, they learn to use standard office technology and create an efficient working environment for colleagues and office superiors. Many degree programs in the subject also cover technical skills, such as keyboarding, computer software technologies and database applications. Prerequisites for these programs usually include having a high school diploma.
Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science Degree
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Administrative Assistant degree programs contain practical courses that provide students with the training and skills they will need to become entry-level employees and eventual specialists in the administrative field. Common courses include:
- Business communication
- Records management
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Human resource management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The title of administrative office specialist also can be applied to office assistants and administrative assistants, and refers to individuals who provide operational support in business environments. There were nearly 4 million secretaries and administrative assistants working for a variety of industries across the United States in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the median annual wage for all of these professionals was $36,500, according to BLS figures.
Certification and Continuing Education
A few organizations, such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals, do offer voluntary certification and credentials to administrative professionals, although these are not required to practice in the field. Those administrative office workers who are interested in higher positions of management and leadership might consider pursuing a bachelor's degree or master's degree in business administration or organizational management.
Administrative assistant associate's degree programs cover essential office skills, like keyboarding and business communications. Graduates may pursue entry-level positions as secretaries or assistants. They may also consider pursuing voluntary certification or bachelor's degrees to potentially expand their job prospects.