AAS in Office Administration: Degree Overview

Many community colleges and technical schools offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Office Administration. Graduates can work as secretaries or pursue further education to advance professionally.

Essential Information

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Office Administration programs provide students with the business and technical skills needed to work in an office. Specialization options include medical and legal office administration. Students may be required to complete an internship or other hands-on training experience prior to graduation. Some of these two-year programs are available online, allowing students to complete the coursework on their own time.

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AAS in Office Administration Degree Overview

In addition to general education courses, students learn to perform everyday secretarial functions. These include creating correspondence, handling mail, filing documents and transcribing business correspondence. Students are also trained to design business plans that capitalize on various opportunities within industries. Students in specialized tracks may take courses that are specific to their field, such as legal writing or medical terminology. Examples of core office administration courses include:

  • Records management
  • Office software,
  • Office technology
  • Business communication
  • Business law
  • Database management
  • Accounting
  • Keyboarding
  • Computer operations

Popular Career Options

Associate's degree holders may be able to obtain entry-level employment in numerous business-based industries. Examples of entry-level jobs include:

  • Administrative services manager
  • Office manager
  • Administrative assistant
  • Medical secretary
  • Legal secretary

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts secretaries and administrative assistants outside of the legal, medical or executive fields will experience 3% growth over the 2014-2024 decade. Data from the BLS shows opportunities for legal secretaries are expected to decline at a rate of 4% during the same period of time. The mean annual salary for secretaries and administrative assistants in May 2015 was $35,200, and legal secretaries earned a mean annual salary of $46,470 in May 2015, according to the BLS.

The BLS projects that administrative services managers can expect an 8% expansion in employment opportunities between 2014 and 2024, and medical secretaries are likely to see a rise in job prospects that is far higher than the national average, at 21%, over that same time frame. Figures from the BLS reveal medical secretaries were paid a mean annual salary of $34,330 in May 2015, and administrative services managers received a mean annual salary of $94,840 that same year.

Continuing Education Information

Typically, office managers and administrators will need to switch career paths in order to advance professionally. For example, legal secretaries could become paralegals if they pursue further education or gain work experience. In some cases, associate degree programs in legal office administration may lead directly into 4-year programs in legal studies.

Secretaries and administrative assistants may become certified through a number of organizations. Certification can help professionals demonstrate competency in their field. Certification organizations may include the National Association of Legal Secretaries and the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

If you want to work as a secretary, an AAS in office administration provides the necessary training. In order to get a higher level job, you will need to continue your education and certification.

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