How Do I Earn Certification in Office Management?

Obtaining certification as an office manager could help you advance in your career. Get information about certification options as well as degree and employment outlook. Schools offering Office Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Certification Requirements?

To pursue certification, you usually need to earn a certain amount of education, ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree. You also typically need to gain verified administrative work experience before applying for certification. If you earn an associate's or bachelor's degree, some organizations like the IAAP might allow you to hold less work experience.

Certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree programs are available in office and administration management. These programs can provide you with office management training and also prepare you to apply for certification. You may be able to earn your degree both on campus or online. Some programs allow you to complete all your coursework online, while other programs require you to first take your general education courses on campus. To interact with other classmates and instructors online, you typically must have a high-speed Internet connection, headphones and a printer.

Certifying AgenciesInternational Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
EducationCertificate, associate's, or bachelor's degree programs
Job DutiesOrganizing work schedules, overseeing employees, maintaining safe workplace
Average Salary$54,400* (for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers)
Job Growth8% from 2014-2024* (for first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Certification is Available?

There are a number of agencies that certify office management professionals, such as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), which offers the designation of Certified Administrative Professional (www.iaap-hq.org). Some organizations provide more specialized certifications for titles like school office managers or for those who reside in a specific state.

Once you meet the education and experience requirements, you can apply to take the required examination for certification. The IAAP certification exam covers a wide range of topics, including communication methods, organization, records management and information filing. The exam may also require you to perform some tasks, such as proofreading and document creation. After earning certification, most organizations require you to become recertified every few years. The IAAP will require you to pursue continuing education every five years to keep your certification current.

What Is Office Management?

Office managers work in a range of environments that can include law firms, financial offices and schools. As an office or operations manager, you'll be responsible for a wide variety of tasks, including organizing work schedules, overseeing other employees and keeping the workplace safe. While the environments and tasks vary for different types of office managers, the skills needed to perform the job are similar. If you meet the minimum required standards of a certifying agency, you can earn certification to become recognized in your field as a professional.

What Is My Job and Salary Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for an office or administrative supervisor was $54,400 as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that there should be great competition in the future for office management positions, although jobs in this field were expected to increase at an average rate of 8% from 2014-2024.

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