What Training Will Help ME Start a Career As a Professional Secretary?

There are many ways a student can undergo training to become a professional secretary. Read on to learn more about these options and get info on available certification in the secretarial field. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Professional Secretary Training

Training options for professional secretaries, more commonly called administrative or executive assistants, include on-the-job training and postsecondary educational programs. There are also certification programs in the secretarial field for those looking to distinguish themselves from other job applicants.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Average Salary (2014) $38,750 (for all secretaries and administrative assistants)
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 12% employment increase, which is considered an average rate
Key Skills Secretaries must have discretion when handling private or confidential information; they must be good at interacting with other staff as well as clients, and have excellent organizational and writing skills
Similar Occupations Accounting clerks, general office clerks, medical records and health information technicians, medical transcriptionists, paralegals and legal assistants, receptionists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

On-the-Job Training

Candidates with a high school diploma might be able to obtain an entry-level secretarial position. They generally need basic office skills, which can be built by taking high school courses in typing, shorthand, math, computers and bookkeeping or by signing on with an agency that provides businesses with temporary officer workers. Additionally, some employers provide their own on-the-job training.

Postsecondary Education

Many community colleges and technical or vocational schools offer 1- to 2-year programs for prospective administrative assistants. The programs might award a certificate, diploma or associate's degree, and they typically teach office procedures, such as filing and scheduling, along with proper phone etiquette. Students also might learn about various office software, web conferencing and transcription techniques. Other courses might cover business law and ethics, accounting and professional development. Additionally, some programs feature classes geared toward specific workplaces, such as schools or medical or legal offices.

Continuing Education

Professional secretaries might receive additional instruction from software and equipment vendors. They also can take continuing education classes, either on-campus or online, to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and other changes in the office environment.

Certification

Available credentials include the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) designation from the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). This CAP credential is offered with optional specialties in Organizational Management (OM) and Technology Applications (TA).

Applicants without a college degree must have at least four years of professional experience to sit for the certification exams. Between two and three years of experience are required for applicants with an associate's or bachelor's degree.

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

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    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

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • 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

  • Purdue University Global

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

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Master
    • 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

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • The University of Scranton

    The University of Scranton responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The University of Scranton:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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