Certified Administrative Professional: Career Profile, Occupational Outlook, and Education Requirements

Research what it takes to become a certified administrative professional. Learn about the job's description, training requirements, certification options, and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Certified Administrative Professional?

Administrative professionals, more commonly known as secretaries, perform numerous tasks in an office, from clerical work to scheduling appointments. An average day may include creating schedules, preparing reports, and handling bookkeeping tasks. At the executive level, secretaries often arrange meetings and host visitors. Administrative professionals work in a variety of fields, including law offices, hospitals, and corporate headquarters. Regardless of the setting, they must be able to operate office equipment and any specialized technology unique to the workplace. It is the administrative professional's responsibility to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of a given organization or office.

Education Required High school or equivalent, though some positions prefer degree holders
Training Required On the job
Key Skills Filing, computer use, meeting planning, organizing, office equipment use
Certification Optional
Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% for secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive
21% for medical secretaries
-6% for executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants
Median Salary (2015) $33,910 for secretaries and administrative assistants except legal, medical, and executive
$33,040 for medical secretaries
$53,370 for executive secretaries and administrative assistants*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Duties of a Certified Administrative Professional?

The job duties of certified administrative professionals have broadened in recent years to include more than the typical clerical duties of filing and typing. You will plan and schedule meetings and appointments, organize paper and electronic files, manage information and communication for an office, conduct research, manage projects, and disseminate information. Through the use of photocopiers, computer and telephone systems, videoconferencing, and fax machines, you also manage databases, create presentations, negotiate with vendors, and purchase supplies. You may perform specialized tasks depending on the field in which you are employed. For instance, a legal administrative professional may prepare legal papers, such as subpoenas, motions, or summonses.

What Education Requirements Do I Need to Meet?

A bachelor's degree is becoming increasingly important for the success of a certified administrative professional, since they are being asked to perform very complex tasks. However, individuals who possess a high school diploma or GED may qualify for entry-level positions. One- or two-year programs are often available through vocational-technical schools and community colleges.

Certification for administrative professionals is available through the International Association of Administrative Professionals. In order to become certified, you should be proficient in the traditional tasks of writing, word processing, and communication, as well as familiar with common software applications, project management, database management, spreadsheets, and desktop publishing.

What Is My Career Outlook?

Job openings for secretaries and administrative assistants will grow about 3% from 2014 to 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Much of this growth will come in the healthcare industry; the medical secretary specialty is expected to increase 21% in the same decade. The BLS is projecting that increased access to healthcare due to new federal laws combined with an aging population will lead to increased needs in billing and insurance. Conversely, executive secretaries are expected to experience a decline, -6%, as managers do more administrative work themselves and executive assistants take on multiple clients. Per BLS data from May 2015, medical secretaries earned a median salary of $33,040 and executive secretaries and administrative assistants earned $53,370.

What Are Some Related Careers?

There are a few similar careers that require little to no higher education. One option is to become a general office clerk, performing many of the same duties as an administrative professional. At the entry-level, receptionists are in charge of greeting and providing information to those entering buildings, and also complete limited clerical tasks. Though it requires some formal training, some choose to become court reporters, which involves extensive record keeping and using special equipment to transcribe court proceedings.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Master
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • College of Westchester

    College of Westchester responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at College of Westchester:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • New England College

    New England College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at New England College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »