What Educational Programs Are Helpful for a Career in Office Administration?

Individuals wanting to train for a career in office administration may consider several associate degree programs in areas such as business management, e-commerce, legal office administration and medical office administration. Read on for more detailed descriptions of each of these programs. Schools offering Office Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Office Administration Overview

Online and on-campus associate degree programs in areas related to office administration are available at many community colleges and typically take two years to complete. Programs usually include courses in word processing, spreadsheets, keyboarding, databases and accounting programs as well as principles of business communication, law and ethics. Curricula may also cover secretarial skills, most notably transcription and record management, and some programs incorporate opportunities to gain real-world work experience. Below are summaries of a few degree programs that prepare students for jobs in office administration.

Important Facts About Educational Programs for a Career in Office Administration

Common Courses English, customer service, sales and marketing, media
Degree/Certificate Levels Certificate, associate's degree
Possible Careers Virtual assistants, secretaries and administrative assistants
Continuing Education Professional Legal Secretary (PLS), Professional Paralegal (PP), Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS)

Associate Degree in Business Management

Students may prepare for entry-level office administration positions with an associate degree in business management. These programs teach technical skills in word processing, spreadsheets and other applications, with an emphasis on business and accounting classes. Students undertake an in-depth study of economics, accounting and marketing principles. Business courses typically address business law, as well as aspects of retail and consumer behavior. Curricula may also include management and leadership courses, such as in small business management.

The website PayScale.com has stated in June 2019 that most office managers with an associate degree in business management are earning average salaries of about $52,212. The site has further reported that the majority of administrative assistants with business management associate degrees are bringing in annual salaries of about $37,165.

Associate Degree in E-Commerce

An associate degree program in e-commerce is a more specialized degree program that prepares students to work for web-based companies or in more technical office environments. In addition to basic administrative courses, students take classes in website development and design, web scripting, basic programming languages, systems analysis and web servers. Programs include not only regular business and accounting classes but also courses in specialized topics like Internet marketing.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a job growth rate of 9% for business operations specialists between 2016 and 2026, with a median annual wage of $70,530 in May 2018.

Associate Degree in Legal Office Administration

Office administrators interested in working in a legal environment may be interested in a degree in legal office administration. While students in these programs take classes in word processing, spreadsheets, keyboarding and office procedures, the curriculum also typically includes law courses. These may cover business law, civil litigation, probate law, real estate law, criminal law and procedural law, as well as a course in legal ethics.

The BLS reported in May 2018 that legal secretaries have earned a median salary of $46,360 per year at that time. The two highest-paying industries for these workers in 2018 were natural gas distribution and navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing, which offered respective annual mean wages of $82,160 and $75,650. The BLS projects, however, that legal secretary positions will decline at a rate of 19% between 2016 and 2026, owing largely to legal firms' trend toward delegating these workers' responsibilities to paralegals.

Associate Degree in Medical Office Administration

Medical office workers need a degree in medical office administration. In addition to the basic courses required for a degree in office administration, students take career-specific courses in such areas as first aid, medical terminology, medical billing, medical office procedures and medical transcription.

The BLS states that most medical secretaries in 2018 earned a median salary of $35,760 annually. The BLS further predicts that the job growth rate for these workers will reach 22% from 2016-2026, a far faster rate than the average one for all occupations. Increased access to health care due to related federal legislation is expected to contribute to heightening demand for medical office workers.

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:

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