Community colleges and vocational schools offer AAS in Executive Assistant programs and AAS in Business Technology programs with a concentration in executive assistant technology. These two-year programs provide hands-on training in complex administrative work, such as document preparation, database computing and research. Graduates may qualify to seek professional certification, which can be a career boost.
Generally, a high school diploma or equivalent is all that's needed to gain admission to these programs.
Associate's Degree in Executive Assistant
The curricula in associate's degree programs delve into computer applications, keyboarding, word processing, machine applications and office procedures. Students are educated in professional practices, information management and public speaking. Course topics for prospective executive assistants include:
- Business math
- Customer service
- Desktop publishing
- Document editing, proofing and formatting
- Electronic spreadsheets
- Business correspondence
Popular Career Options
Graduates may find employment in various settings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the highest percentage of secretaries and assistants were employed in education, followed by medical offices and government agencies (www.bls.gov). Career titles include:
- Executive assistant
- Administrative secretary
- Office manager
- Administrative coordinator
According to the BLS, employment opportunities for secretaries and administrative assistants are expected to decline by 7% during the 2018-2028 decade. Executive secretaries and administrative assistants earned a median yearly wage of $59,340, as reported by the BLS in May of 2018.
Continuing Education Information
Although certification is a not a requirement for employment, executive assistants may choose to become certified in order to improve their employment opportunities and demonstrate their knowledge in office management. Eligible individuals can obtain the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) credential by passing an examination offered through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (www.iaap-hq.org). Interested individuals must have associate's degrees and four years of experience or bachelor's degrees with two years of experience. Certification is good for five years; certification may be maintained by completing continuing education.
Whether students choose to earn an executive assistant associate's degree or opt for an executive assistant concentration within a business technology associate's degree, graduates of both program types are qualified for executive administrative work. Graduates can also pursue certification in the field.