Customer Service Degree Program Overviews

Students looking for a customer service degree program have the option of a certificate or an associate's degree. Learn about the two options available, courses, and career opportunities.

Essential Information

Certificate programs help students provide service and support to customers. They are brief, sometimes lasting just a few days, and may not offer college credit. Associate's degree programs in customer service introduce students to techniques used to deliver quality customer service care. These programs are usually offered through college business departments and take two years to complete. They include basic business courses in addition to customer service instruction. These programs typically require a high school diploma or equivalent.

Certificate Programs in Customer Service

These programs prepare students for entry-level positions as sales representatives or receptionists. The courses help students develop customer relations and management skills and may include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Time management
  • Behavioral styles
  • Computer literacy
  • Document processing

Associate's Degree Programs in Customer Service

These rare programs may be offered by business departments of community colleges. The coursework introduces students to best practices used in customer service and may include:

  • Principles of customer care
  • Communication
  • Consumer objectives
  • Marketing
  • Employee management

Popular Career Options

Although customer service representative is the most common job title for customer service positions, other workers also require customer service skills, such as:

  • Sales clerk
  • Administrative assistant
  • Receptionist
  • Bank teller

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment opportunities for customer service representatives are expected to grow at an average rate of 10% during the period between 2014 and 2024. While salaries for individuals working in customer service vary depending on the industry, the mean salary for a customer service representative in 2015 was $34,560, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Continuing Education Information

Most employers offer on-the-job training to customer service representatives. These training periods familiarize new employees with the company's computer system and products. However, some industries, such as insurance, require customer service employees to be licensed. Requirements for licensure vary by state, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (

In conclusion, students interested in a career in customer service may want to complete a customer service program. These students can get a certificate in customer service, which are normally short programs or they can find a college that offers an associate's degree in customer service.

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