Administrative assistants use clerical and communication skills to improve office function.

Administrative assistants perform basic clerical work and organizational tasks, and their services are sought by schools, medical and legal offices and government agencies. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment outlook for administrative assistants will increase by 12 percent through 2020. Those interested in pursuing the career can choose from a variety of online programs that prepare students for a rewarding career in the field.

Penn Foster Career School

Online learning allows students to complete course work on their schedule.

Penn Foster Career School offers an administrative assistant program that allows students to earn an accredited diploma in as little as three months. Lesson topics include stress management, records management and business math, writing speeches and other forms of business writing and lessons that will introduce students to commonly-used computer programs and technology like video teleconferencing. Penn Foster's online community allows students to chat with instructors or find study partners. Career guidance is also available online.

Allied Schools

Keyboarding and composition skills are necessary tools of administrative assistants.

The administrative assistant program at Allied Schools provides students the opportunity to master essential job tasks like creating office documents, record keeping and how to greet clients. To improve keyboarding skills, students receive lessons and CD-ROM software. Other materials include lesson modules that feature overviews, objectives and lessons. Students take multiple choice quizzes, complete practical assignments that hone office skills and exercises designed to improve keyboarding speed and accuracy. The course ends with an online final exam.

Bryant and Stratton

Lessons in the latest software prepare students for the workplace.

Bryant and Stratton's administrative assistant training allows students to specialize their course work to become an executive secretary or administrative assistant, receptionist, administrative clerk, legal or medical secretary or customer service representative. Lessons that introduce students to the latest equipment software prepare students to work in a digitally-driven office setting. Students also learn office accounting and administration. The average course completion time is two years. Graduates earn an Administrative Assistant Associate of Applied Science Degree.

Everest Continuing Education

Everest's administrative assistant program offers students the chance to earn a professional certificate in as little as four months. The course allows students to develop organizational and computer skills needed for success in an office setting. Lessons enable students to use popular computer software, such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Students also learn to improve their communication skills, draft professional correspondence and acquire tips to increase office productivity. Support includes 24-hour technical support and test preparation.