Top 15 Online Associate in Office Administration Programs for 2019

Careers in office administration, including jobs as secretaries and receptionists, are in demand, especially for professionals who hold an associate degree in the field.

According to the BLS, the median salary in these occupations is around $37,000 per year, and jobs are becoming available at a steady rate. An associate degree in office administration prepares graduates to work in a wide array of fields, including medical settings and corporate offices.



Piedmont Community College Roxboro, North Carolina

Piedmont Community College’s associate of applied science in office administration program requires students to earn 67-69 credits. The curriculum includes courses in word processing, keyboarding, and spreadsheets. Core courses include administrative management, office finance solutions, and database concepts. Students in the program also learn basic Spanish for the workplace. This office administration associate degree online prepares you a career in many different settings. Graduates are qualified for entry-level, supervisory, and middle-management roles.

The program usually takes about two years, or four semesters, to complete. Coursework is delivered asynchronously. To apply, students should submit an online application and a high school diploma, transcript, or GED. An office administration diploma and certificate are also available. Students can earn certificates that show proficiency in Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint; they are recognized worldwide.


Surry Community College Dobson, North Carolina

Surry Community College’s 47-credit hour diploma in office administration blends hands-on learning, such as keyboarding and records management, with more theoretical courses such as people skills and personal finance. Graduates have mastered the Microsoft Office Suite. Coursework is delivered synchronously during scheduled class hours, and students must attend at least 85% of these hours to pass. Students use discussion boards and lectures to interact with peers, providing a more intimate office administration degree online.

The program usually takes about two years to complete. All applicants must submit a high school diploma, transcript, or GED, and the school accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities.


Western Technical College La Crosse, Wisconsin

Western Technical College’s 63-credit associate of applied science in supervisory management program prepares students for middle-management positions in modern workplaces. The office administration degree online takes two years to complete. A six-course technical diploma in leadership essentials and a twelve-course technical diploma in leadership and supervision professional is also available.

All applicants must send in a diploma and transcript or GRE test scores. They must also complete an ACCUPLACER test in reading, writing, and math. Students complete coursework in leadership development, human resource management, and project management. Students also learn how to use business and management apps. Graduates are prepared for careers as store managers, office managers, production supervisors, and more.


Southern Arkansas University Tech Camden, Arizona

Southern Arkansas University Tech’s associate degree in office management prepares graduates to work in banks, medical settings, and businesses. The office administration associate degree online provides a hands-on approach. The program requires students to complete an internship during their final semester. Students are expected to master the Microsoft Office suite and learn how to use relevant software to manage their future offices.

About 95% of the coursework can be completed online, though students must complete the final 5% in person at the school’s Camden, Arkansas campus. All applicants must submit official transcripts, complete placement tests, and provide proof of two MMR shots. Students are prepared for careers in business and industry as personal assistants, support specialists, and administrative assistants.


Robeson Community College Lumberton, North Carolina

Robeson Community College’s associate in applied science in office administration program has many connections with local employers, such as Robeson County public schools, Southeastern Health, and BB&T bank. The 64-credit program includes 15 hours of general education requirements and 49 hours of major and elective courses. The asynchronous program usually takes four semesters, or two years, to complete.

Students study word processing, spreadsheets, marketing, and management. Students also have the option to earn a Microsoft Office Specialist certificate. Students are prepared for careers as entry-level assistants and middle managers.


Lenoir Community College Kinston, North Carolina

Lenoir Community College’s 73-credit hour associate in applied science in office administration degree usually takes students four semesters, or two years, to complete. Coursework for the office administration associate degree online teaches foundational skills in word processing, keyboarding, and spreadsheets in addition to general education requirements. A college success course is also required.

All applicants must submit official high school transcripts or a GED, complete a placement test, and meet with a Lenoir adviser to choose courses. The office administration program is delivered asynchronously, allowing students to work part-time while they earn their degree. Students can also earn a certificate in receptionist, transcriptionist, word processing, and office administration.


Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, North Carolina

Wake Technical Community College’s associate in applied science in office administration program prepares students for careers in the government, banks, law offices, real estate agencies, and other businesses. The 67-credit program includes coursework in word processing, office systems, and text entry. Students have the option of sitting for certification exams in Microsoft Office and Quickbooks. The program usually takes four semesters, or two years, to complete.

Students interested in applying to the asynchronous program must complete an online application, submit official high school transcripts, and complete a placement test. They must also meet with an adviser and attend an in-person or online orientation.


Wayne Community College Goldsboro, North Carolina

Wayne Community College offers an office administration associate degree. It's a 63-credit program that gives students the opportunity to earn certificates in Microsoft Applications, including Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and Quickbooks. The program usually takes students four semesters, or two years, to complete.

In addition to standard coursework for online office administration degrees, such as keyboarding, text entry, and records management, Wayne offers work-based learning courses, which are relevant internships with local businesses. The program offers a theoretical background in the field through courses like business ethics, human resource management, and business communication. Wayne also offers each student access to a career coach; they help figure out what students can do with their degree.


Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville offers a 60-credit associate in science in office administration degree that takes students five semesters, or about two years, to complete. The final semester consists of a relevant internship in the office administration field. Students can choose between an office management and a medical administration concentration. Students complete coursework in areas such as microcomputer applications, applied business communications, and spreadsheet concepts and practices.

Thanks to local connections in Jacksonville, graduates can find employment with schools, government agencies, hospitals, real estate agencies, and insurance agencies. Students can enroll in the fall, spring, or summer terms. The program is taught asynchronously.


South Central College North Mankato, Minnesota

South Central College’s associate in science in office administration program requires students to earn at least 60 credits. The curriculum includes courses in financial and managerial accounting, public speaking, and interpersonal communication. The program is designed for students with professional experience or entry-level employees seeking the skills to earn a promotion.

The program usually takes two years to complete. Students can begin in the fall or spring semester. All applicants must have basic keyboarding skills or commit to completing a course in keyboarding. Graduates can transfer the degree to Winona State University and earn a bachelor's in business education.


Gateway Technical College Kenosha, Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Gateway Technical College offers an office assistant technical diploma and an administrative professional associate degree. The technical diploma consists of 30 credits. It takes a year to finish and includes coursework in keyboarding, office proofreading/editing, and record management. The associate degree comprises 66 credits and takes two years to complete. The degree prepares students for a bachelor’s program and entry-level employment. Coursework includes business trends, Microsoft Office, and business communication.

Students in either program can also pursue one of six professional certificates in office administration. All applicants must apply online and submit official high school and college transcripts or a GED.


Broward College Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Broward College’s associate of science in office administration program emphasizes the common skills that are required in office personnel. Students must earn at least 60 credits, which takes 10 terms if you study part-time, and six if you attend classes full-time. Students learn a variety of skills, including keyboarding, records management, workplace communications, and word processing. Business topics are also covered. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification in Word.

All applicants must submit a high school diploma or GED. The online version of the program is specifically designed for working professionals. The program is taught asynchronously. Related programs include risk management, office management, and medical management.


Daytona State College Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona State College offers a two-year associate in science in office administration program that offers concentrations in general office, legal, and medical administration. The 60-credit program usually takes four semesters to complete as a full-time student. In addition to general education requirements, students complete survey courses in keyboarding, business English, and business communications.

Applicants must submit an online application and high school and college transcripts or a GED. Graduates are prepared for entry-level work and a bachelor’s degree in office administration. Students can earn certificates in office management and office support. Learners must earn a minimum grade of C in core courses.


Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia, Mississippi

Northwest Mississippi Community College’s office administration program is designed for working professionals who want to earn a promotion or prepare for a four-year program. Students learn the basics of the office administrator trade, learning about databases, word processing, and filing systems. Students also learn what it takes to keep an office running smoothly.

Students who want to earn their online office administration degree at NMCC must submit an online application and official high school or college transcripts or a GED. NMCC requires students to submit SAT or ACT scores. Graduates are prepared for roles as office managers, administrators, and secretaries.


Jefferson State Community College Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama’s Jefferson State Community College is unique among schools that offer an online office administration degree, because their program is technology oriented. Jefferson State’s associate in applied science in office administration technology program includes coursework in Microsoft Word, Quickbooks, and PowerPoint, among other applications. Students have the option of pursuing one of four specializations: medical office assistant, legal office assistant, accounting assistant, and office applications assistant.

The 16-course program usually takes about two years to complete, with students completing four courses each semester. Prospective students must complete an online application and submit high school or college transcripts or a GED.

How to Choose an Online Associate in Office Administration Program

Before choosing an online office administration degree, there are a few things you may want to consider. First, you will want to evaluate your academic and professional goals, and what you hope to achieve through an online program. If you plan to continue to work full-time while pursuing your online degree, programs that are completely online and taught asynchronously would be the best choice.

Also, consider how many credits are required for graduation and how long it generally takes students to complete the program. If you have already earned credits from another institution, you may also want to look into whether or not you can transfer those credits. Tuition and fees should also factor into your decision.

Educational Paths

Office administration associate degree online graduates are prepared for a variety of four-year programs. Earning a bachelor’s degree can often lead to more job opportunities and the possibility of higher pay in entry-level positions. Administrative services managers with a bachelor’s degree tend to earn more than those with an associate. Below, you’ll find a few possible choices for bachelor's programs you could transfer into after earning an associate degree in office administration.

  • Accounting

    An accounting degree includes coursework in areas like statistics and mathematics. Students may also take courses to prepare for the CPA exam.

  • Office Administration

    A bachelor’s degree in office administration builds upon the foundational skills gained during the associate program. Students may learn more about information technology and finance.

  • Business

    A general business degree is a great option for students looking to learn a wide set of skills in business and administration. Coursework emphasizes foundational business and entrepreneurial skills.

  • Finance

    Coursework in finance bachelor’s programs provide students with the skills to pursue careers in financial planning, bookkeeping, and market analysis.

Career Paths for Office Administration Graduates

An office administration degree online prepares students for many different careers. Qualified positions include administrative assistant, receptionist, and office manager. Below, you will find a few examples of career paths for graduates of office administration associate degree online programs and what those positions entail.

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants work in a variety of capacities. Often, they work in office settings, scheduling appointments, answering phone calls, and managing paper and electronic files. Depending on the specific job, sometimes these assistants may perform more personal tasks, such as running errands.

Median Salary: $38,007


Receptionists are found in many settings, including the offices of medical doctors and large corporations. They greet visitors as they enter the office, take messages, answer phone calls, make appointments, receive deliveries, and manage filings. They may also be responsible for maintaining visitor logs and directing phone calls.

Median Salary: $30,858

Office Manager

Office managers often work in fast-paced and demanding environments. They have a wide range of duties and must be able to handle them all at once. Job duties include purchasing office equipment and supplies, reviewing budgets, and maintaining records.

Median Salary: $45,124

Executive Assistant

Executive assistants often work under an executive-level employee within a large company. Duties include typical office management responsibilities and running personal errands. They schedule meetings and book travel for the executive. Sometimes the position includes supervising other administrative and clerical staff members.

Median Salary: $53,100

Executive Assistant

Some representatives work in actual storefronts, while others work in call centers. They are tasked with assisting customers with all sorts of issues and inquiries, including problems with products and troubleshooting. Depending on where they work, their hours may vary widely.

Median Salary: $36,836

Job Outlook and Salary

Salaries vary for office administration associate degree online graduates. Many of the positions that graduates are qualified for are projected to grow over the coming years, and the skills learned through an office administration degree online will prepare them more many entry-level careers. Salaries will differ based on specific career, industry, and location. Below, you will find the projected employment growth data for receptionist jobs.

Employment Growth for Office Administration
Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
1,028,600 1,126,300

Source: BLS


More experience leads to more money. Graduates at entry-level positions will likely make less than those who have been working in the field for more than five years. The table below outlines the median salary for different positions based on years of experience in the field.

To determine the best online associate in office administration programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school's commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 10 best online associate in office administration programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school's ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category's ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.