In almost every business and industry, there is a need for skilled administrative assistants. Administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. Although a degree is not required for becoming an administrative assistant, attending an administrative assistant school can give you an edge over the competition and help you land employment opportunities. Read on to discover what kind of administrative assistant training can help you to forge a career in this fast-growing field.
Administrative Assistant Training Options
Administrative assistant programs are offered at community colleges and vocational/technical schools and typically culminate in either a certificate or an associate’s degree. You may also elect to pursue a bachelor’s degree in office administration or office management to broaden your career opportunities.
Prerequisites and Program Length
The prerequisite for admission to administrative assistant programs is typically a high school diploma or GED. Certificates and diplomas can take a year to complete, while associate’s degrees will take two years to finish, and a bachelor’s degree can be completed in four years.
Gone are the days of having to travel to campus to take courses. Many administrative assistant classes are offered online, so you can complete your degree from home. Online learning programs allow you to access course materials at your convenience, enabling you to learn the skills you need at a pace that’s right for you.
Administrative Assistant Training Curriculum
Administrative assistant programs are designed to prepare graduates for a career in today’s modern office environment. The curriculum will cover courses in both the clerical and business sides of administrative assisting.
Administrative Assistant Courses
Administrative assistant classes that you may be required to take include:
- Office procedures
- Business communications
- Word processing
- Accounting software
- Intro to business
- Events management
- Web fundamentals
- Intro to Excel
Although having a certification is not required, getting one can demonstrate your competency to employers. The International Association of Administrative Professionals offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification. In order to earn this certification, you must have two to four years of administrative work experience and pass an examination.
Career Path for Administrative Assistants
Administrative assistants are frequently in demand, and they play a crucial role in ensuring that organizations run smoothly. They work at schools, government offices, hospitals, legal offices, and more. There are also many different types of administrative assistants, including executive administrative assistants, legal secretaries, and medical secretaries.
The duties of an administrative assistant may include answering the phone and taking messages, arranging staff meetings, scheduling appointments, handling incoming and outgoing mail, drafting memos, organizing files, and editing company correspondence.
Skills that are important for administrative assistants to have include interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and writing skills. It is also essential for administrative assistants to have integrity, because they often have access to sensitive or private information.
Administrative Assistant Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of administrative assistants is expected to grow 13% from 2012 to 2022, which is a rate that is about as fast as average. Executive administration positions are declining in favor of lower paid secretary and administrative assistant positions. However, the duties previously performed by administrative assistants are now increasingly performed directly by mangers, and administrative assistants may also report to more than one manager, which reduces the overall number of positions. Individuals with computer skills and prior work experience should have the best job opportunities.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for secretaries and administrative assistants in 2013 was $32,840. The bottom 10% earned $20,370, and the top 10% earned $49,370. The top paying industries were the postal service, banks, the federal government, and wired telecommunication companies. The top paying states were DC, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and California.
Opportunities for advancement typically include promotion to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office manager or office supervisor. If your goal is to move up the corporate ladder, you could also pursue advanced education in business administration.
Entering the Field
Administrative assistants are at the heart of an organization’s operations and help their team move forward. If you are ready to enter this exciting and rewarding field, explore administrative assistant schools on our site today.