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Administrative Assistant Certificate and Certification Programs

Majors Overview March 5, 2013

Every organization depends on its smooth operations from administrative assistants. Many administrative duties are performed by these professionals, including ensuring effective communication between customers and employers, organizing files, scheduling appointments, and planning meetings. Since the position involves many complexities, employers want individuals with formal training.

Certificate for Administrative Assistant

Students can prepare for an entry level job in office administration and support by completing an administrative assistant certificate program. Students accomplish this by learning communication, customer service and computer skills from certificate programs. A majority of programs require individuals to possess either a general education development (GED) or high school diploma before starting classes. However, the administrative assistant certificate programs do not prepare students for a career as legal or medical assistants.

Course Topic

It usually takes about a year to complete administrative assistant certificate programs, depending on whether a student has enrolled on a part-time or full-time basis. In some programs, an internship is required to be completed by students. They will take a variety of courses, including:

•Microsoft Word for Business
•Business Writing
•Business English
•Office Management

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

In 2008, there were more than 1.5 million administrative assistants and executive secretaries, which make this one of the largest professions in the United States (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – BLS). The profession is expected to grow at a rate of eleven percent during the period from 2008 to 2018. In 2010, an administrative assistant or secretary earned an average annual salary of $32,000 or $15.38 hourly. Administrative assistants who worked for the federal government and postal system had a higher average annual salary than those employed in other industries (source:

Certification Information and Continuing Education

Voluntary opportunities for professional certification to become administrative assistants are offered by organizations like the International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) and the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). Obtaining the IAAP’s Certified Administrative Professional credential is one such distinction. In some instances, students who pass their certification examination will receive college credits.

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