Certificates in secretarial and administrative skills are a good way to break into a career in office administration.
Many administrative positions in private enterprise and government are interchangeable — they require skills in filing, bookkeeping, communication and correspondence, planning and scheduling, documentation and computer use, and the ability to manage small teams of workers.
Administrative positions in specialized fields such as medical and legal practice tend to require industry-specific skills. In medical practice, for instance, administrative assistants need basic medical training working with medical charts and records, and for first-line patient interviews. In the legal industry, assistants make use of skills in legal transcription, legal research, legal paperwork and the ability to schedule and coordinate court dates.
Depending on the industry, administrative assistants tend to make between $35,000 and $50,000 a year. The job outlook for administrative assistants, going by figures by the BLS, is promising, with half a million new jobs expected on the market over the next seven years.
Training to be a Medical Administrative Assistant
The medical office assistant college program at the Lake Tahoe Community College in Carson City, NV, trains candidates for a certificate or degree in running medical offices. Students learn medical office science, technology, administration and insurance paperwork, as well as a foundation in computer skills, bookkeeping, math and communication.
Students with a medical office assistant’s qualifications have a choice in alternative careers, as well; medical office assistants are qualified to apply to medical secretary and health information technician positions. The job outlook for medical assistants is encouraging, with a 36% rise expected each decade.
Training to be a Legal Assistant
Legal administrative assistants or legal secretaries train for a substantial set of skills in the law in addition to skills in the day-to-day running of offices. From preparing and filing subpoenas, appeals, courtroom requests and complaints to maintaining legal libraries and working on modern legal research databases, their skill set tends to be comprehensive. An associate’s degree obtained at a community college, advanced courses in civil litigation and legal research, as well as certification by the National Association of Legal Secretaries prepare candidates for a promising career.
With median salary levels at $45,000, and employment growth at 12% a decade, the legal assistant’s job offers both job security and financial security.
Training for Administrative Duties in Any Office
For those willing to train for nonspecific administrative skills, excellent opportunities in the retail industry, event planning industry, manufacturing industry and conduct construction industry pay a median salary level of $40,000 a year.
It’s important to understand that no matter what kind of industry you choose to work in, a college degree is always an asset. While it may not be necessary when you’re getting a foot in the door, it can be a good way to make quick progress.