Clerical Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Education for secretaries and administrative assistants is commonly available at community colleges and technical schools. Read on to learn more about postsecondary training options for clerical professionals.

Clerical work is a diverse occupation with assistants and secretaries working in hospitals, non-profit organizations, manufacturing companies and more. Programs are commonly available at the certificate and associate's degree levels.

Schools with Clerical Programs

These schools offer undergraduate clerical programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered* Tuition and Fees 2015-2016**
Emily Griffith Technical College Denver, CO <2-year, Public Certificate $5,490*
Modesto Junior College Modesto, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,162 in-state, $6,370 out-of-state
Quinsigamond Community College Worcester, MA 2-year, Public Certificate $5,302 in-state, $10,246 out-of-state
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana Indianapolis, IN 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,115 in-state, $7,992 out-of-state
University of Alaska Fairbanks, AK 4-year, Public Certificate $3,756*
Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,220 in-state, $7,016 out-of-state
Mt. San Jacinto Community College San Jacinto, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,386 in-state, $7,656 out-of-state
Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa, AL 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $3,933 in-state, $7,383 out-of-state
Lamar Institute of Technology Beaumont, TX 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,401 in-state, $13,761 out-of-state
Genesee Community College Batavia, NY 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $4,410 in-state, $5,010 out-of-state

Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for clerical schools:

  • Prospective students should look for schools that teach skills used for up-to-date office technology.
  • Some programs provide training for professional certification exams in software programs such as Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
  • For students who need flexible scheduling options, some programs are available partially or completely online.
  • Prospective students who want to work in specific office environments, such as those of health care facilities or law firms, may want to look for schools that offer specialized programs in their field of interest.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs for aspiring secretaries and administrative assistants typically consist of a short series of courses in basic office procedures and software programs. Some schools also offer certificates that provide preparation for administrative work in particular settings, such as law offices. Students who are looking to expand their expertise in a particular area of clerical work, such as Microsoft Office software, may also find specialized certificate options. Most certificates can be completed in one year or less.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs typically consist of the same basic coursework as undergraduate certificate programs. However, students are also required to fulfill general education requirements. Also, because these programs last for a full two years, students may have the chance to take a broader range of courses in business and communications. Those who want to work in law offices or medical institutions may find courses in legal or medical terminology.

Students who are interested in clerical programs should look for schools that offer instruction in current office technology and prepare students to become certified in office applications. Prospective students may also consider the availability of online coursework and specialization options.


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