Best Online Associate in Administration and Management Programs

Pursue a flexible college education with an online associate in administration and management. This guide covers courses, costs, and careers.

portrait of Victoria Leigh
by Victoria Leigh

Published on December 22, 2021 · Updated on April 26, 2022

Share this Article

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

An associate in administration and management is an undergraduate degree that prepares learners for entry-level careers in the business field or transfer to a bachelor's program.

This degree typically takes 1.5-2 years of full-time study to complete. Students can typically expect to spend between $5,000-$30,000 in tuition and fees, depending on their school selection and residency status. In-state and online learners typically pay the lowest attendance costs.

Graduates enjoy a favorable job outlook, since all industries rely on administration and management professionals to function smoothly. Popular careers include administrative assistant, bookkeeping clerk, and retail store manager. Many jobs pursued by business and administration graduates pay annual salaries between $40,000 and $60,000, as detailed below.

Read on to learn more about this popular associate degree and what it can offer you.

What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Administration and Management Program?

An online associate in administration and management requires 60-70 credits of coursework. Studying full time, learners typically graduate in two years. Some programs offer accelerated pacing options that allow for completion in 1.5 years.

Students can pursue an online associate in administration and management in one of three formats:

Some schools offer concentration and certificate options for learners interested in customizing their degree based on academic or professional interests. Common options include:

Online associate programs typically do not require in-person components. However, some programs allow students to pursue relevant internships locally. Internships enable students to network, gain experience, and put their practical skills to use.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

Best Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Programs Best Online Associate in Office Administration Programs Best Online Associate in Hospitality Management Programs

Popular Online Associate in Administration and Management Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Administration and Management Program?

Principles of Management

This essential core course introduces students to the concepts, terminology, and principles of management. Students explore different management theories and relevant issues in the modern management field.

Business Law I

Students in this course explore how the U.S. legal system impacts business operations. Discussion topics include sales and common law contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, transfer of title and risk, and product liability.

Accounting Principles

This course introduces students to U.S. accounting principles. Students gain hands-on skills in the preparation of balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.

Principles of Marketing

This course introduces learners to marketing functions, marketing research, and methods for identifying consumer and organizational needs. Coursework also explores economic, psychological, and sociological issues in marketing.

Business Computer Applications

Students in this course learn about computer terminology, hardware, and software use in business environments. Coursework covers professional computing behavior, word processing, and spreadsheets. Students also learn about databases and presentation graphics.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Administration and Management Program?

Compared with bachelor's and master's degrees, an associate in administration and management offers a relatively simple admissions process.

Some two-year schools practice open-door admissions. This policy means that any interested applicant with a high school or GED diploma gains automatic entry. Other two-year schools practice selective admissions, which require students to fulfill specific requirements such as a minimum GPA or standardized test scores.

Associate degree applicants must provide copies of their high school transcripts. Selective admissions institutions may ask for letters of recommendation and/or application essays.

Students planning to seek credit for prior learning should ask their admissions office about the transfer credit evaluation process. Commonly accepted forms of prior learning documentation include certificates of completion, letters of certification, and professional portfolios of projects or presentations.

What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Administration and Management Degree?

Career Outlook

Graduates of associate in administration and management programs may enter a favorable job market. Every industry relies on administration professionals to keep daily operations running smoothly. Popular fields include retail and food service, hospitality, general business, and professional and technical services.

Demand varies by occupation. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of bookkeeping clerks is projected to decline by 3% from 2020-2030, while employment of food service managers is projected to increase by 15%. Competition for these jobs varies by geographic location, industry, and population density.

Program graduates can expect to earn between roughly $40,000-$60,000 annually. For comparison, associate degree-holders in all disciplines earn a median of $46,120 each year, according to the BLS.

Explore how far a career in business administration can take you.

Career Paths

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants perform routine clerical and organizational tasks for a business organization. Duties include answering telephones, scheduling appointments, and handling mail. They also file documents and purchase supplies. Administrative assistants work in almost every industry. The largest employers include healthcare and social assistance, educational services, and professional services industries.

Median Annual Salary: $40,990 (May 2020)

Bookkeeping Clerks

Bookkeeping clerks maintain an organization's general ledger. They record all business transactions and produce financial statements and reports for managers. Bookkeepers handle cash and checks, prepare bank deposits, and verify receipts. In some organizations, bookkeepers also handle payroll, make purchases, and prepare invoices.

Median Annual Salary: $42,410 (May 2020)

Retail Store Manager

Retail store managers oversee personnel and operations in specialized retail and department stores. These managers maintain procedures and standards implemented by the store owner, supervising director, or regional manager. Common duties include scheduling staff, training new hires, and ensuring proper customer service.

Average Annual Salary: $50,120 (Dec. 2021)

Food Service Manager

Food service managers oversee a restaurant's daily operations. Common tasks include hiring, scheduling, and evaluating employees. They also order supplies, address customer complaints, and manage budgets and payroll. These managers may need several years of experience in the food service industry as a cook, counter attendant, or member of waitstaff. They may also need food handling certifications.

Median Annual Salary: $56,590 (May 2020)

Executive Assistant

An executive assistant is a specialized type of administrative assistant who provides direct support for top executives within an organization. Common tasks include managing the executive's itinerary, scheduling meetings and travel, and running errands. Executive assistants may also screen phone calls, supervise clerical staff, and draft documents.

Average Annual Salary: $58,080 (Dec. 2021)

Administration and Management Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Business Administration Careers Business Management Careers Healthcare Administration Careers

Continuing Education

Although an associate in administration and management meets degree requirements for many careers, some learners decide to pursue more education after they graduate.

A majority of associate degree-holders seeking further education transfer to a bachelor's program. An associate fulfills about half of the requirements of a bachelor's, leaving around 60 credits, or two years, of study remaining. Popular majors for administration and management transfer students include business administration, accounting, and human resource management.

Note that most bachelor's degrees only accept transfer students with an AA or AS degree. AAS degrees prepare graduates to enter the workforce and typically do not allow transfer to a four-year program.

AAS graduates can advance their education by earning certifications or licenses in their field.

How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Administration and Management Program?

Cost

According to 2019-2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics, annual tuition and fees at public two-year colleges cost an average of $3,377 for in-state learners and $8,126 for out-of-state learners. Private colleges, whether online or on-campus, typically cost more.

Program Format

Online programs come in a variety of flexible formats. Students should consider whether they want to attend class synchronously or asynchronously, and whether they want to study part time or full time. If learners want to graduate as quickly as possible, they should look for schools offering accelerated program options.

Location

Learners can earn an online associate in administration and management from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. However, choosing an online program at a local college campus can offer additional benefits. These benefits may include opportunities to engage in on-campus activities, meet with instructors in person, and network with students.

Accreditation

Accreditation guarantees academic quality, access to federal financial aid, and transferability of course credits. Of the two types of accrediting bodies, the public generally considers regional accreditation more prestigious than national accreditation. Students should limit their search to accredited schools to ensure they do not fall prey to fraudulent online institutions.

Student Support

Every online school offers basic academic advising. But some online schools provide additional student services to help learners succeed. Students should consider what type of support they need, and search for a program accordingly. Popular services for online students include mentorship programs, internship placement, virtual tutoring, and career services.

2021 Best Accredited Online Associate in Administration and Management Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

Best Online Associate in Administration and Management Programs

  1. College of the Albemarle
    Location

    Elizabeth City, NC

    Tuition

    $5401

    Based in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, COA offers an online associate in general business administration program that allows students to earn credits through work-based learning at businesses in their local communities. The program's curriculum covers topics like business law, personal finance, principles of macroeconomics, and people skills.

    The program maintains bilateral and articulation agreements with four-year degrees at Elizabeth City State University and Mid-Atlantic Christian University. Applicants must submit proof of a high school diploma or its equivalent, take placement tests, and attend an online orientation.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 67-69 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide
    Location

    Daytona Beach, FL

    Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, ERAU reaches students around the globe thanks to its Worldwide division, which offers an online associate in aviation business administration program. The 60-credit curriculum blends foundational business coursework in areas like microeconomics and macroeconomics with focused courses like science of flight and statistics with aviation applications.

    ERAU accepts applications on a rolling basis. Prospective students must submit proof of a high school or GED diploma, ACT or SAT scores, and a $50 fee.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $447/credit
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 60 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  3. Foothill College
    Location

    Los Altos Hills, CA

    Tuition

    $6639

    Located in Los Altos Hills, California, Foothill offers an online associate in business administration program that emphasizes business fundamentals. The program covers topics like financial accounting, business law, marketing, entrepreneurship, and finance. For elective courses, students can choose from fields like accounting and finance, marketing and technology, and management.

    Applicants must submit proof of a high school or GED diploma and complete a placement assessment.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $31/credit in-state; $236/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 45 major credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  4. William Rainey Harper College
    Location

    Palatine, IL

    Tuition

    $6938

    Based in Palatine, Illinois, Harper provides an online associate in administration and management program that includes specialization options in management, entrepreneurship, financial management, human resources management, and insurance. Students can also specialize in sales and social media. All learners can access Harper's Makerspace and Entrepreneur Center.

    The program prepares students to pursue four-year business degrees at DePaul University and Northern Illinois University. Applicants need a high school diploma or its equivalent.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $134/credit in-district; $391/credit out-of-district; $466/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 61 credits
    • Instruction Style: Asynchronous
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  5. Saint Leo University
    Location

    Saint Leo, FL

    Saint Leo's online associate program in business administration includes major courses in business law, economics, financial and managerial accounting, and marketing. All students complete a professional development seminar in their final semester. Distance learners can study abroad in countries like Switzerland and Italy. Program graduates work for organizations like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, AAA, and the Boy Scouts of America.

    Applicants must submit proof of a high school or GED diploma.

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $380/credit
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 60 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Private
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  6. McHenry County College
    Location

    Crystal Lake, IL

    Tuition

    $5497

    Based in Crystal Lake, Illinois, MCC offers an associate of applied science program in business management that allows students to graduate in 64 weeks. The curriculum includes courses like professional selling, management decisions, management accounting, and principles of marketing. Students can also choose to complete a relevant internship in the field.

    Applicants must submit a high school diploma or its equivalent. They must also take placement tests, although ACT or SAT scores can replace some placement exams.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $112/credit in-district; $370/credit in-state; $464/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 64 weeks
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 61 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  7. Northeast Community College
    Location

    Norfolk, NE

    Tuition

    $8457

    Based in Norfolk, Nebraska, Northeast also extends in-state tuition rates to residents of Iowa and South Dakota. The university's online associate in business administration program blends a liberal arts foundation with business fundamentals. The 60-credit curriculum includes courses like principles of accounting, business law, fundamentals of information technology, and principles of microeconomics.

    Prospective students must submit high school transcripts and ACT, SAT, or ASSET/COMPASS scores.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $105/credit in-state; $106/credit Iowa and South Dakota; $147/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 60 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  8. Bucks County Community College
    Location

    Newtown, PA

    Tuition

    $6908

    Located in Newtown, Pennsylvania, Bucks provides an associate of arts in business administration program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The curriculum covers business law, economics, management, statistics, and business communications. Distance learners can graduate within four semesters of full-time study.

    The program prepares graduates to transfer into four-year business programs throughout Pennsylvania. Prospective students must submit a high school diploma or its equivalent, take placement tests, and attend orientation.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $165/credit in-county; $330/credit in-state; $495/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 61-62 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  9. Lenoir Community College
    Location

    Kinston, NC

    Tuition

    $5021

    Based in Kinston, North Carolina, LCC offers an online associate of arts in business administration program that focuses on preparing graduates to transfer into bachelor's-level business programs at four-year schools in North Carolina. The program maintains an articulation agreement with the University of North Carolina System. The curriculum covers core business areas like financial accounting, microeconomics, business law, and managerial accounting.

    Prospective students must submit official transcripts and complete placement testing.

    Program Snapshot

    • Program URL: Visit Program
    • Cost-per-Credit: $76/credit in-state; $268/credit out-of-state
    • Program Length: 2 years
    • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 60-61 credits
    • Instruction Style: N/A
    • Format: Online
    • School Status: Public
    • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Administration and Management Programs

Is an associate degree in administration and management worth it? true

Yes. For the right student in the right circumstances, an associate degree in administration and management is absolutely worth the commitment. Compared to other college degree options, an associate takes the least amount of time and costs the least amount of money. Studying online offers expanded flexibility for working students, parents, and others who cannot commute to campus.

An associate degree builds fundamental skills in communication, accounting, marketing, and management. It also opens doors to diverse career and education opportunities. Graduates may immediately enter the workforce or decide to transfer to a bachelor's program.

How fast can I get an associate in administration and management degree online? true

Associate degrees often take two years of full-time study to complete. Motivated learners can earn their associate in administration and management faster. Students who max out on credits and study year round often graduate in just 1.5 years.

Several factors impact an associate degree's completion time. These factors include whether students transfer prior college credits, whether a program awards credit for prior learning, and the number of credits a school allows students to take at once. For information on program scheduling, reach out to admissions advisors.

Is an online associate degree in administration and management credible? true

Yes. Although remote education has faced stigma in the past, today's online degrees maintain a high credibility level with students and employers. Online programs offered by colleges and universities use the same curriculum and instructors as their in-person counterparts.

To ensure maximum credibility, make sure to pursue an accredited online associate in administration and management. Accreditation guarantees a program meets minimum academic standards set by an independent, third-party organization. Attending an accredited school also qualifies enrollees to receive federal financial aid and enables them to transfer their credits after graduation.

How much money can I make with an associate in administration and management?

An associate in administration and management prepares graduates for various well-paying jobs in small, mid-sized, and large businesses. On the low end of the pay scale, administrative assistants earn a median annual salary of $40,990. On the high end, food service managers earn a median annual salary of $56,590.

Common factors influencing earning potential include geographic location, industry, and experience. Food service and retail managers, for example, usually need several years of experience working in a restaurant or retail environment. However, administrative assistants may secure a job immediately after graduation.

Is an associate degree in administration and management in demand?

Demand for associate in administration and management graduates varies by industry and occupation. The BLS projects total employment of administrative assistants and bookkeepers to decline 7% and 3%, respectively, from 2020-2030. Even with an overall decline, however, the BLS projects job openings each year to replace workers who retire or change careers.

Opportunities that need specialized knowledge or training maintain stronger demand. The BLS projects employment of food service managers to increase 15% from 2020-2030. Similarly, the BLS projects lodging manager jobs to increase 9% over the same period.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Scholarships for Business Majors Your Guide to College Loans Your Guide to the FAFSA

Featured Image: shironosov / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.