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An administrative assistant associate degree can lead to career paths in numerous fields. Almost every industry requires these professionals, who perform clerical tasks such as scheduling appointments, preparing reports, and maintaining databases. Many graduates work in the medical, legal, and educational sectors, or as government employees.

Although many assistant positions are in decline, the growing need for assistants in the healthcare sector provides a bright spot. TheBureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% job growth for medical secretaries and administrative assistants from 2019-2029.

OurAssociate in Administrative Assisting Program Guide offers an in-depth look into career opportunities, how to pick the best program for your professional interests, and the steps required to earn your degree.

What Are the Best Online Administrative Assistant Associate Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 5:

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Rank School Location
1 Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
2 Northeast Community College
3 McHenry County College
4 Minnesota West Community and Technical College
5 Vincennes University
How We Rank Schools

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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.

2021 Best Accredited Online Administrative Assistant Associate Programs

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Rank School Location Description Toggle
1

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Founded in 1912 and located in Shell Lake, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College offers anadministrative coordinator associate degree that focuses on preparing students for administrative work in a variety of industries. For example, learners who graduate from this online program can pursue jobs in nonprofit, education, and healthcare settings.

The curriculum covers software/hardware knowledge, as well as interpersonal communication skills. Coursework also focuses on event planning, troubleshooting technology needs, and serving as a successful virtual assistant. Interested applicants need a high school diploma or GED certificate to apply.

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Administrative Coordinator (Administrative Professional) Associate Degree
School Status: Public
Tuition: $163 per credit (in-state); $232 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

2

Northeast Community College

Located in Norfolk, Nebraska, Northeast Community College offers over 130 academic programs. Theadministrative professional degrees offered by the college focus on developing strong technical skills.

Students can pursue a 64-credit AAS or a 60-credit AS. Coursework in both programs covers topics like accounting, records management, data processing, and keyboarding. Students in the AAS track also complete an internship, gaining important on-the-job-experience.

The International Association of Administrative Professionals supports students in this program with networking events and other opportunities. All applicants need a high school diploma or a GED certificate to apply. Northeast Community College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Administrative Professional - Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Arts
School Status: Public
Tuition: $105 per credit (in-state); $147 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 60 or 64 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

3

McHenry County College

Founded in 1967 and located in Crystal Lake, Illinois, McHenry County College's online administrative office management program focuses on topics like human relations, communication, and the latest technology procedures.

Graduates can pursue work as office managers, medical office assistants, and office support specialists. To improve their employment prospects, individuals can also take national certification exams offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals upon graduation.

Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate, and applicants should have a high school diploma or a GED certificate. McHenry County College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Administrative Office Management - Associate of Applied Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: In-district: $169 per credit (in-district, in-state); $427 per credit (out-of-district, in-state); $522 pre credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 64 weeks
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT scores used for placement

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

4

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Based in Worthington, Minnesota West Community and Technical College delivers online classes as well as on-campus options in multiple locations throughout the state, including Canby, Granite Falls, Jackson, and Pipestone.

The school's online administrative assistant associate program awards an AAS and features coursework that provides students with essential knowledge in word processing, data entry, business communications, public relations, and more. Students also go over records management and proper filling systems. Interested applicants need a high school diploma to apply. Minnesota West Community and Technical College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Administrative Assistant - Associate of Applied Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $194 per credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

5

Vincennes University

Vincennes University — based in southwest Indiana — enrolls over 17,000 students across multiple campuses and online. The school's online associate of science in information technology program offers a concentration in business office management technology. Graduates can pursue entry-level employment in the field or transfer to a four-year institution.

Students in this program learn about using communication tools in a professional office environment. Specific courses include business documents and presentations, web page design, and information and data security. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED. Vincennes University is regionally accredited by the HLC.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Associate of Science in Information Technology With a Business Office Management Technology Concentration
School Status: Public
Tuition: $220 per credit (in-state); $275 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

6

Barton County Community College

Founded in 1969, Barton County Community College now enrolls over 15,000 students annually. The school's online associate of applied science in business administrative technology program prepares students for high-level administrative support roles. Participants learn to prepare statistical reports, handle information requests, conduct research, and perform clerical functions.

Graduates conduct a job search project at the end of the program and perform mock interviews in order to prepare for employment. This degree is intended to prepare graduates for entry-level careers, and it may not be suitable for students interested in transferring to a four-year school after graduation. Applicants need a high school diploma or GED to enroll.

Barton County Community College is regionally accredited by the HLC.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Associate of Applied Science in Business Administrative Technology
School Status: Public
Tuition: $150 per credit
Credit Requirements: 64 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

7

Chippewa Valley Technical College

Founded in 1912, Chippewa Valley Technical College has campuses in multiple locations across the state. The college also offers a variety of online programs, including an associate-levelexecutive assistant degree that prepares students to work in the legal or medical field with two different concentrations.

Coursework helps participants develop strong communication and computer skills. Students also learn to coordinate events, prepare presentations, support business leaders, and manage projects. The program offers several internship opportunities so students can gain real-world experience. Upon graduation, students may take the customer service representative or human resources administration certificate exam.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED certificate to enroll. Chippewa Valley Technical College is regionally accredited by the HLC, and its executive assistant program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Executive Assistant - Associate Degree
School Status: Public
Tuition: $149 per credit
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: No requirements specified

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

8

Jamestown Community College

Located in southwest New York, Jamestown Community College enrolls a little over 2,000 students every year. The college offers an online administrative professional degree that teaches students important communication, management, and organization skills.

Coursework in this associate of applied science program focuses on using industry-standard technology and filing within an organization. The curriculum also helps develop necessary soft skills, such as problem-solving and decision-making. Individuals need a high school diploma or a GED certificate to be eligible for enrollment. Jamestown Community College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Administrative Professional - Associate of Applied Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $217 per credit hour (in-state); $434 per credit hour (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT scores used for placement

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

9

Palo Alto College

With a main campus located in San Antonio, Texas, Palo Alto College offers in-person classes to students at multiple Texas locations. The school also oversees online programs, including anadministrative assistant associate of applied science program that covers organization, management, and industry technology. Graduates of the program leave prepared to work in a variety of administrative settings.

To customize their study, students can work towards a variety of certificates while enrolled in the program. These include general office, secretarial assistant, administrative assistance, and bill and account collector credentials. A milestone course on information and data entry is also required. Palo Alto College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Administrative Assistant - Associate of Applied Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $86 per credit (in-district, in-state); $215 per credit (out-of-district, in-state); $466 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum requirements
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

10

Chemeketa Community College

Located in Salem, Oregon, Chemeketa Community College boasts small class sizes throughout its multiple campus locations. The school also offers online programs, including a suite of offerings for aspiring administrative assistant. Learners can choose from online AAS degrees for aspiring accounting administrative assistants, medical administrative assistants, administrative office professionals, and virtual office assistants.

Coursework focuses on coordinating field-specific processes and producing documents in various professional office environments. Interested applicants need a high school diploma or a GED to enroll. Chemeketa Community College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Office Administration and Technology - Associate of Applied Science
School Status: Public
Tuition: $126 per quarter credit
Credit Requirements: 92-101 quarter credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Administrative Assistant Associate Program?

Core curricula center around the skills students need to excel in an office environment.

Students with a solid foundation in grammar and writing, strong communication skills, and innate organizational abilities are well prepared for a role as an administrative assistant.

Core curricula center around the skills and knowledge students need to excel in an office environment. These include the ability to use various computer software programs, manage records, and follow best practices associated with business communication processes.

Because this field is so broad, some programs offer specialized concentrations that provide classes geared toward a specific area. Learning this type of specialized knowledge is particularly important in the following industries and should be a strong consideration for those leaning towards a career in these fields.

Concentration Description
Legal Administrative Assistant Those interested in supporting the daily operations of a law office will find a legal concentration emphasizes important skills required to excel in this environment. Students come away with an understanding of legal terminology and law office procedures. Possible coursework specific to this concentration includes business law and legal research classes.
Medical Administrative Assistant An administrative assistant associate degree with a medical concentration prepares students to work in hospitals and medical offices. Developing an understanding of medical terminology, coding, and record transcription prepares graduates to succeed in this field.

Most associate degrees require about 60 credits of coursework, which can be completed in two years of full-time study. Some online administrative assistant associate programs offer accelerated options that reduce the time to completion. For those interested in specific concentrations, such as legal administration, an internship may be required; this requirement could extend the graduation timeline.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Administrative Assistant Associate Program?

Though coursework varies by concentration, all online administrative assistant associate programs cover the core essentials and technical skills necessary for this role. Curricula cover topics like basic bookkeeping; database management; and computer software instruction related to word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. The following five classes represent coursework typically found in this type of program.

Principles of Accounting

This course introduces students to basic accounting principles, such as elements in a financial accounting statement, auditing and reconciliation, interest calculations, and the fundamentals in payroll processing. Students who successfully complete this course gain an understanding of how to manage budgets and record/evaluate assets and liabilities.

Records Management

Learning the fundamental skill sets required to create, maintain, and protect records makes up the majority of this class. Key topics include record retention guidelines; protecting digital and hard file storage; creating and updating procedures and policies; establishing distribution systems; and updating and maintaining client, inventory, and order databases.

Business Computer Software

This course focuses on computer programs commonly used in today's office environment, such as Microsoft Office Suite. Students create presentations using PowerPoint, build a spreadsheet database with Excel, and use advanced formatting features found in Word. Additional instruction involves creating tables, forms, and reports, as well as maintaining and querying databases using Microsoft Access.

Desktop Publishing

Students learn desktop publishing essentials that can be carried out with publishing software such as Adobe and MS Publisher. The class covers the best formatting and design principles for business cards, brochures, newsletters, and other types of media. By the end of the course, participants can create professional-quality publications.

Administrative Office Procedures

This course emphasizes the skills required to successfully provide assistance to office staff and executives. Fundamentals include travel planning, scheduling appointments, telephone etiquette, and best practices in business correspondence. Lessons in communication, time management, and organization teach participants the knowledge administrative assistants require to excel.

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What Can I Do With an Online Administrative Assistant Associate Degree?

Because these professionals work in just about every industry, an administrative assistant associate degree leads to varied opportunities. Students can choose from a career in finance, medicine, law, government, or just about any other industry depending on their abilities and desire.

According to the BLS, administrative assistants earn a median annual wage of $39,850, while the top 10% of earners make more than $65,510 a year. Many factors influence a worker's salary, including their professional experience and field. Learn more about administrative assistant careers and see where an administrative assistant associate degree can take you.

Administrative Assistant and Secretary

Administrative assistants work in varying roles depending on their industry. Common responsibilities include answering and transferring phone calls, preparing business communications, scheduling appointments and travel, and creating and maintaining various databases. Some professionals in this position also find themselves performing basic bookkeeping and payroll functions.

Financial Clerk

Financial clerks work for several different industries, including banking, insurance, and healthcare assistance services. Depending on the organization, typical duties may involve carrying out financial transactions (such as calculating invoices), reviewing a client's credit history, and processing insurance applications. This role usually entails some form of customer service and support.

Receptionist

Receptionists serve as the first contact for customers entering a business; their ability to make a positive first impression can be very important to an organization's overall success. In addition to a strong role in customer service, other administrative tasks include answering phones, responding to emails, maintaining the office supply inventory, and keeping appointment calendars.

Law Administrative Assistant

These professionals usually work in law offices under the direction of paralegals or attorneys. In addition to general administrative duties, they play a key role as litigation assistants and provide support in areas of correspondence, research, and preparing and filing court documents. Professionals in this field can expect to earn higher salaries than administrative assistants in other roles. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a legal administrative assistant is $47,300 — about $7,000 more than the typical administrative assistant.

Medical Administrative Assistant

Medical administrative assistants typically assist physicians, nurses, and other staff at hospitals, clinics, or private medical practices. Typical responsibilities include scheduling appointments, billing patients and insurance companies, and maintaining charts and reports.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Administrative Assistant Associate Programs

How much does an administrative assistant make with an associate degree?

An administrative assistant's annual salary varies depending on their location, industry, experience, and education. For instance, medical administrative assistants earn an average annual salary of $38,090, while legal administrative assistants earn $50,900.

Is an administrative assistant associate degree worth it?

Administrative assistants in the fields of medicine, law, or finance usually require a postsecondary education. Workers who hold an administrative assistant associate degree may also qualify for higher-level positions, such as an executive secretary. An associate program teaches you core skills that appeal to potential employers in a variety of industries.

Can you be an administrative assistant without a degree?

Depending on your target job/industry, you may not need an administrative assistant degree. Entry-level positions such as receptionist or general office clerk usually do not require a degree. However, candidates applying for advanced positions, or those in industries requiring specific skills and knowledge, may find that employers prefer applicants with an associate or bachelor's degree.

Is administrative assistant a stressful job?

In most cases, this role is not considered to be particularly high stress. However, administrative assistants work in just about every industry — some office environments are tremendously uplifting while others can feel draining and depleting. For this reason, consider your initial interview an opportunity to get to know who you might be working for, just as they are getting to know you.

What can I do with an administrative assistant associate degree?

An administrative assistant associate degree can provide entry into many different business settings. Potential roles include receptionist, secretary, customer service representative, and administrative assistant in legal, medical, financial, and government institutions.