How to Become an Administrative Assistant

Executive and administrative assistants are much more respected than the secretaries of the past. With the advancement of technology and computers, everyone now knows that being an administrative assistant is a challenging and respectable job. Administrative assistants are the backbone of every office, using their skills to make business happen.

Here's what you can do to become an administrative assistant:


  1. Get your high school diploma or General Education Degree Having basic office skills can help you get an entry-level secretarial position with only a high school diploma or a General Education Degree. Most high schools and vocational schools offer courses in typing, word processing and other computer programs [source: BLS].
  2. Build skills in lower-level office jobs Start out working as a temporary employee, doing data entry or at some other lower level office position. As your experience and understanding of how offices work in the business world grows, you will be more prepared and qualified for higher positions [source: Job Guide].
  3. Earn a degree Getting one of the better office jobs will require at least an associate's degree. Many community or junior colleges, technical schools and universities offer programs for executive assistants or similar positions [source: Education-portal]. If you really want to succeed, keep in mind that more and more employers are looking for candidates with bachelor's degrees related to the business industry [source: BLS].
  4. Certify your skills There are numerous tests and certifications for office skills that could help you prove your qualifications to future employers, as well as further your advancement with your current employer. Organizations offering widely accepted certification include International Association of Administrative Professionals, National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS), Legal Secretaries International and International Virtual Assistants Association (IVAA) [source: BLS].