Certified Administrative Professional Education Requirements

Administrative professionals assist in all areas of business, carrying out a variety of administrative tasks. Certified administrative professionals can include secretaries, administrative assistants, office managers, office coordinators, office supervisors and more - ranging from entry-level positions to executive assistant positions to managerial positions.

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Certified Administrative Professional Overview

Certified administrative professionals require advanced leadership, planning and administrative abilities. These abilities include spreadsheet, accounting or project management skills. Certified administrative professionals generally have a higher earning potential than their uncertified counterparts and tend to climb up the promotion ladder more quickly, partly due to the pursuit of continuing education implied by the certification.

Educational Requirements

High school graduates who possess basic computer and office skills can qualify for entry-level administrative positions. Many high schools offer vocational training in administrative work, as well as temp and placement agencies that provide training to qualified applicants. Students who wish to become certified administrative professionals can also complete administrative professional programs at vocational schools and community colleges. For those interested in executive or managerial administrative positions, a bachelor's degree is usually necessary. Business degrees or degrees related to the field in which the professional will work are recommended. Liberal arts degrees that emphasize writing, communication and technology are also useful. Administrative professionals who wish to work in more specialized fields, such as medical or legal administration, may be required to seek additional training.

Certification

To receive certification, individuals must pass the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) exam, which is offered through the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). The exam tests applicants in areas like office administration, office systems, technology, management, human relations and communication. In addition, certain work experience and educational criteria must be met for certification. The exam is offered only to members of the IAAP. Administrative professional applicants with bachelor's degrees need to have two years of experience working as executive assistants to qualify for membership. Applicants with associate degrees need three years of work experience, and those with high school diplomas need four years.

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Administrative Professional Certification and Degree Program Options

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