Students who want to become executive assistants can earn an Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Applied Business, Associate of Applied Science in Business Technology, or rarely, an Associate of Science in the field. These programs provide students with the skills they need to be successful in office careers. Students may be required to participate in cooperative education opportunities in order to obtain real-world experience.
Executive Assistant Associate's Degree
Associate's degree students work to develop the professional skills needed for today's workplace, including computer skills, records management, language skills, and interpersonal skills. Most programs take 18 months to two years to complete. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Common courses include:
- Computer applications
- Word processing
- Business law
- Records management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of executive secretaries and administrative assistants is expected to shrink by 20% between 2018 and 2028 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that these professionals earned an average annual salary of $61,550 as of May 2018. The industry with the highest level of employment of executive assistants was post-secondary education (including universities, colleges and professional schools), where they earned an average salary of $59,950 annually.
Continuing Education Information
Executive assistants often choose to become certified to demonstrate their proficiency in office management. Eligible candidates that pass the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification exam can obtain certification through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (www.iaap-hq.org).
To be eligible, applicants must have four years of experience, an associate's degree and three years of experience, or a bachelor's degree with two years of experience. They must complete continuing education to renew their certification every five years.
By earning an associate's degree, students who want to become executive assistants gain the educational background and practical training they need for immediate employment. They can also boost their job prospects by earning a professional certification.