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Executive Assistant Certification and Diploma Program Information

Executive assistants are administrative professionals who perform higher-level tasks than administrative assistants and generally work with CEOs and other top executives. Individuals who possess good secretarial, organizational and communication skills may find this career to be a good fit.

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Certification of Executive Assistants

While certification isn't available specifically for executive assistants, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) offers the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) credential (www.iaap-hq.org). Eligibility for the CAP designation is based on a combination of work experience and education, with more years of experience required for individuals with less or no college education. The credential is awarded to candidates who pass a multiple-choice test. Beginning in November 2011, the IAAP also offers an Organizational Management (OM) specialty designation.

Diploma Program Information for Executive Assistants

Executive assistant training programs prepare individuals for advanced administrative roles in corporate or legal environments. Applicants to executive assistant training programs must have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Previous courses in keyboarding, word processing applications and other secretarial topics may be beneficial.

Some technical schools and community colleges offer specific executive assistant diploma or associate's degree programs. Students in diploma programs may learn skills in the areas of customer service, transcription, accounting and office management. For students in associate's degree programs, the curriculum may include classes in basic computer applications, office procedures and business English.

Some companies seek executive assistants with a minimum of a bachelor's degree. To become more competitive, aspiring executive assistants may want to consider choosing a major in the field in which employment is sought. Otherwise, some relevant majors for this career may include office administration, business information systems or business administration.

Additional Training Information for Executive Assistants

Besides formal education, aspiring executive assistants can learn the necessary skills for their career through training offered by temporary placement agencies. Training can also be acquired on the job or through software and other vendors.

Career Outlook for Executive Assistants

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that executive administrative assistants and secretaries would see little, if any, growth in employment opportunities from 2012-2022. Workers with strong computer skills and their bachelor's degrees were expected to see the best career opportunities. Executive administrative assistants and secretaries made an average yearly salary of $51,870 in May 2013, according to the BLS.

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