Office Administration

Office administration is one of the key elements associated with a high level of workplace productivity and efficiency. If you enjoy working with people and seek a career in office work, read on to learn more about job duties, earnings and educational options for administrative assistants and secretaries.

Is Office Administration for Me?

Career Overview

Office administrators handle a variety of daily tasks that keep an office running. As an administrative assistant or secretary, your duties might include organizing files, dealing with paperwork, scheduling meetings and answering phones. An understanding of common desktop applications, like word processing and spreadsheet programs or presentation software, is usually required. You'll also need excellent interpersonal communication skills. In many cases, you might interact on a frequent basis with clients or customers or act as a representative for a businesses or organization.

Career Options

As an office administrator, you might work for a medical office, health care facility or nonprofit organization. Job titles might include administrative assistant, first line manager, legal secretary or software application specialist.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of secretaries and administrative assistants was projected to increase 12% between 2012 and 2022. In May 2013, secretaries and administrative assistants, with the exception of legal, medical and executive positions, earned an average annual salary of $34,000, noted the BLS (www.bls.gov).

How Do I Work in Office Administration?

Certificate and degree programs in office administration are usually offered at the undergraduate level and can be found at community or technical colleges, either on campus or online. For example, you could earn an associate's in business office administration or a bachelor's in office administration. Once enrolled, you'll acquire skills in technical documentation, bookkeeping, dictation and typing. Courses in office practices and research techniques will also be included.

Many programs allow you to choose specialized electives in medical and legal studies or the use of software applications. You may also have the chance to round out your education by taking courses in economic and social behavior.

Learning Outcomes

Office administration degree programs can help you acquire the skills you need to communicate effectively, conduct research and use different types of computer software. Upon graduation, you may gain employment in a corporate, governmental or manufacturing setting, either at the entry-level or executive level. You may also pursue a certification as a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) through the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

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