Certified Administrative Professional Training Programs and Schools

One way to verify your proficiency in office work as a secretary or administrative assistant is to become certified as an administrative professional. Read on to learn how you can earn certification in this field through various education and training paths. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Generally speaking, an administrative professional is a highly trained or experienced administrative assistant. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, such professionals can be equated with executive-level administrative assistants; they are able to manage, organize and allocate duties to lower-level clerks and secretaries while helping executives or managers with administrative issues. This can include organizing meetings, preparing reports for committees and setting up facilities for meetings.

Courses Keyboard and typing speed, computer database and management, general mathematics
Training On-the-job
Certification Certification is governed by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)

Source: iaap-hq.org

What Training Is Needed?

Aspiring administrative professionals are most likely to gain their experience and training on the job. Most professionals have experience as administrative assistants or secretaries for years before moving up in the field.

The BLS states that most entry-level jobs do not have educational requirements; as long as you can display your proficiency in typing and computer program use, many offices can hire you just with a high school diploma. However, there are sectors that may want their administrative assistants to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree. This usually happens when the job sector wants a secretary or assistant to understand the profession at a higher level and may require a college degree.

Which Schools Offer These Programs?

You can find certified administrative professional training programs at many community colleges. You might also be able to find an appropriate program for you at a four-year university. Take a look at some of these colleges that we've listed to help you get started in your search:

  • Austin Community College
  • Macomb Community College
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Central Florida
  • East Tennessee State University

What Courses Will I Take?

The BLS notes that many vocational schools offer administrative training classes as electives. However, most of the actual training for an administrative job occurs once you are hired. If you still want to enroll in an educational program, you can likely find them available at a local community college. Courses typically offered at such programs include:

  • Internet use
  • Operating systems
  • Office communication skills

How Can I Gain Certification?

The IAAP provides the Certified Administrative Professional exam (CAP) to certify you. However, certain prerequisites are needed to take this exam.

In terms of education, if you never received a college degree, the IAAP wants you to show four years of administrative experience. With an associate's degree, the IAAP asks that you hold at least three years experience, but with a bachelor's degree, you only need two years of experience. In order to have your job experience count towards gaining certification, each job must have employed you for at least 20 hours a week, every job on the experience transcript must have been held for at least for two months, and you must have stayed at one place of business for at least one year.

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

  • Purdue University Global

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

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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  • Ashford University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Louisiana State University Shreveport

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    Popular programs at Louisiana State University Shreveport:

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  • Abilene Christian University

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    Popular programs at Abilene Christian University:

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  • The University of Scranton

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  • Capella University

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