Administrative assistants perform an array of roles, often working as front desk receptionists, office secretaries, executive assistants, medical assistants, personal assistants, and accounting assistants in various office departments. Students who seek out a certificate program in administrative assistance are expected to study and master a number of business-related skills, such as basic bookkeeping, accounting, business management, customer relations, and conflict resolution. In an administrative assistance certificate program students learn to work in groups, how to effectively multitask, write clearly and concisely, and generally become a dependable, trustworthy worker.
A fruitful career in administrative assistance begins with a vocational certificate, many of which can be completed online. While it is possible to become a certified administrative professional with a high school diploma alone, an associate in administrative assistance provides additive skills and gives the student more impressive credentials. By enrolling in educational programs like these, students learn about computer skills, accounting tasks, working in human resources, and succeeding in business.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrative assistants must possess strong computer skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and writing skills. The BLS also reports that people who intend to work for specialized companies, such as in medical facilities or law firms, are often required to attend colleges or technical schools that offer instruction in these specialties.
Students can expect to earn their certificate in administrative assistance in a year or less at full-time enrollment. Unlike a traditional program, a certificate allows students to take classes specifically related to their major. Therefore, they won’t have to enroll in any liberal arts or general studies courses and can instead begin taking classes in administrative assistance right away. Administrative assistance classes discuss important topics related to working in office settings, such as accounting, business management, organizational psychology, writing, and human resources. Generally, a certificate program is cheaper and takes much less time to complete than a traditional degree program.
What’s Next for Administrative Assistance Certificate Holders?
Administrative assistance certificates create a number of entry-level work opportunities for graduating students. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an administrative assistant’s salary depends on the company for which they work, as clerical duties vary widely between industries. For example, executive secretaries make an average of $53,590, while legal secretaries earn an average of $45,670 and medical secretaries earn an average of $33,530. The BLS reports that total employment for secretaries and administrative assistants is projected to grow by 3% from 2014 to 2024.
After earning a certificate, students often decide to advance into a bachelor’s or master’s program, typically grounded in business. Embarking on such a degree plan can give you a leg up when vying for a job.