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Secretaries and administrative assistants handle the clerical and administrative duties of a business, usually in an office setting. This can involve answering phones, replying to emails, sending memos, and other related tasks. As each of these tasks are necessary in order to run a functioning business, secretaries and administrative assistants are a vital part of any office's employee structure.

California Secretary Schools

There are a number of different ways to prepare for a career as a secretary or administrative assistant. Typically a high school diploma is the minimum, but more recently it's been common for even entry-level workers to earn some type of postsecondary degree or certification. Here are a few examples of California schools that might offer business or admin programs:

  • Bakersfield College: Founded in 1913, Bakersfield College is one of the nation's oldest community colleges and serves 20,000 students.

  • American River College: American River College is a state-funded community college whose history dates back to 1942 when it was established to train civilians for nations service in WWII.

  • Cerritos College: Focusing on delivering high quality education to a diverse student body, Cerritos College ranks second in the state for Mexican-American/Latino student transfers to California State Universities.

  • Chaffey College: Set in the vibrant community of Chino, Fontana, Montclair and Rancho Cucamonga, Chaffey has been serving the community and its students since 1883.

  • City College of San Francisco: Since 1935, City College of San Francisco has been offering high quality education to the Bay area communities for over 80 years.

  • De Anza College: With a combination of 170 certificate and associate degree programs, De Anza College provides multicultural learning and engages students creatively.

  • Grossmont College: Drawing a student body primarily from suburban locations in East San Diego County, Grossmont College offers more than 150 certificate and associate degree programs as well as career development and workforce training.

What to Expect from California Secretarial Programs

Secretarial programs will most likely cover training in mastering programs such as word processors, spreadsheets, and database software. Programs like Microsoft Word and Excel are commonly found in most offices as well as PowerPoint, so these might also be topics of training. Coursework could also involve developing a high typing speed.

Secretarial skillsets crucial to the role could include:

  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Writing skills

More specific training tasks might cover developing knowledge of handling incoming and outgoing mail and faxes, answering telephones and taking messages, arranging meetings, preparing memos, editing documents, maintaining databases and filing systems both electronic and paper, performing basic bookkeeping, scheduling appointments, etc.

California Secretarial License

The state of California has no mandatory licensing procedures for the secretarial position. However, receiving relevant certification might demonstrate a high level of competence and even expertise in the role to employers.

For general secretaries, the International Association of Administrative Professionals offers certification called the Certified Administrative Professional or CAP specific to the area of office administration. To take the qualifying exam though, candidates must not only have a college degree (or equivalent work experience) but relevant work experience as well.

California specifically has the additional certification of the California Certified Legal Secretary (CCLS) from LSI. Certification is achieved by passing an exam focused on legal procedures, legal terminology, performance skills, reasoning and ethics, law office administration, communication, and legal computations, with previous experience of two years as well as recertification procedures.

The options for legal secretaries regarding certification are more expansive. The National Association of Legal Secretaries offers the Accredited Legal Professional or ALP certification as long as you have at least one year of office experience. The National Association of Legal Secretaries also offers Professional Legal Secretary certification, certification that is even more distinguished from the ALP.

Legal secretaries also have the opportunity to obtain the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification which is offered by Legal Secretaries International. This certification however will often require at least 5 years of legal experience in addition to passing an exam.

Resources for Secretaries in California

Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
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Results:  7
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Programs
  • Administrative Office Professional
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto and Redding in California, and Salem in Oregon.
Programs
  • Business Office Administration (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dedicated to providing career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
Programs
  • Computerized Office Specialist
  • Computerized Office & Accounting Specialist
  • Offers health care and business programs that prepare students to enter the working field in as little as 8-16 weeks.
  • Provides morning, afternoon, and evening classes for most courses.
  • Offers career placement assistance to help students with their resumes, job-searching techniques, interview practice, and more.
  • Engages students through hands-on learning in labs, internships, and externships.  
  • Gives students the option to break up tuition costs into interest-free payments over the course of their education.  
     
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Riverside
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Programs
  • MS-Office
  • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
  • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
  • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
  • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
  • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
  • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
  • Military friendly school.
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Los Angeles
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Programs
  • Certificate - Medical Office
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
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Madera
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Programs
  • Medical Administrative Specialist
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Alhambra
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Programs
  • Certificate - Medical Office Administrative Assistant

You can advance your career with a degree from Charter College Online. We offer several Associates and Bachelors degrees in the business, health care, accounting and legal fields. Our accelerated programs are designed to help you complete your degree as quickly as possible. We offer year-round classes and flexible scheduling - study anytime from anywhere. We help students get not only with the technical skills necessary for success, but also job search and placement assistance so you can find new opportunities after graduation.

More California Secretary Training Schools

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
South Gate
Associate
103
Santa Maria
Associate
13,176
Sacramento
Associate
33,821
Lancaster
Associate
13,312
Bakersfield
Associate
17,405
Barstow
Associate
2,906
Berkeley
Associate
5,287
Oroville
Associate
12,228
Aptos
Associate
15,114
Redwood City
Associate
5,764
Norwalk
Associate
22,273
Ridgecrest
Associate
4,577
Hayward
Associate
13,229
Rancho Cucamonga
Associate
18,736
Glendora
Associate
11,467
San Francisco
Associate
46,411
Fountain Valley
Associate
9,316
Alameda
Associate
5,979
San Mateo
Associate
10,516
Santa Clarita
Associate
17,499
Eureka
Associate
6,025
Visalia
Associate
11,697
Weed
Associate
2,782
Sonora
Associate
2,734
San Pablo
Associate
7,147
Sacramento
Associate
12,967
Yucaipa
Associate
5,382
San Luis Obispo
Associate
10,920
El Cajon
Associate
9,358
Cypress
Associate
13,592
Cupertino
Associate
24,115
Pleasant Hill
Associate
19,768
Monterey Park
Associate
28,889
Torrance
Associate
24,895
San Jose
Associate
8,707
Quincy
Associate
1,688
Folsom
Associate
8,193
Los Altos Hills
Associate
18,132
Fresno
Associate
21,624
Fullerton
Associate
20,719
Gilroy
Associate
6,049
Glendale
Associate
16,827
Huntington Beach
Associate
13,354
El Cajon
Associate
17,359
Salinas
Associate
9,890
Stockton
Bachelors & First Professional
756
Imperial
Associate
8,682
Irvine
Associate
9,805
South Lake Tahoe
Associate
2,576
Oakland
Associate
11,745
Livermore
Associate
8,024
Susanville
Associate
1,829
Long Beach
Associate
25,536
Los Angeles
Associate
17,204
Wilmington
Associate
8,850
Sylmar
Associate
8,493
Woodland Hills
Associate
19,526
Los Angeles
Associate
6,095
Los Angeles
Associate
13,194
Valley Glen
Associate
17,264
Pittsburg
Associate
8,360
Ukiah
Associate
4,347
Merced
Associate
10,890
Oakland
Associate
6,944
Oceanside
Associate
10,682
Santa Clara
Associate
8,832
Modesto
Associate
18,546
Monterey
Associate
9,238
San Jacinto
Associate
14,197
Walnut
Associate
29,842
Napa
Associate
7,169
Fremont
Associate
11,083
Costa Mesa
Associate
24,424
Oxnard
Associate
6,803
Blythe
Associate
3,831
San Marcos
Associate
27,222
Pasadena
Associate
26,672
Porterville
Associate
3,773
Reedley
Associate
12,158
Riverside
Associate
30,961
Sacramento
Associate
24,596
Mission Viejo
Associate
18,371
San Bernardino
Associate
12,839
San Diego
Associate
17,013
San Diego
Associate
21,437
San Diego
Associate
10,650
Stockton
Associate
18,668
San Jose
Associate
9,805
Santa Ana
Associate
33,514
Santa Barbara
Associate
21,632
Santa Monica
Associate
28,958
Santa Rosa
Associate
25,626
Orange
Associate
14,085
Redding
Associate
9,102
Rocklin
Associate
18,859
San Bruno
Associate
8,359
Fairfield
Associate
11,163
Anaheim
Bachelor
396
Taft
Associate
9,328
Ventura
Associate
12,603
Victorville
Associate
10,149
Coalinga
Associate
2,833
Lemoore
Associate
3,833
Culver City
Associate
9,975
Saratoga
Associate
11,210
Marysville
Associate
9,904

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Secretaries

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for California. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Secretaries

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Secretaries relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Bakersfield 3700 $36,490
Chico 1160 $35,270
El Centro 580 $38,260
Fresno 4540 $35,160
Hanford 420 $34,540
Corcoran 420 $34,540
Sacramento 12960 $36,400
Roseville 12960 $36,400
Arden 12960 $36,400
Arcade 12960 $36,400
Salinas 1920 $39,220
Los Angeles 82890 $39,170
Long Beach 82890 $39,170
Anaheim 82890 $39,170
Madera 530 $32,650
Merced 680 $35,860
Modesto 2440 $35,460
Napa 970 $42,410
Oxnard 4400 $38,330
Thousand Oaks 4400 $38,330
Ventura 4400 $38,330
Redding 910 $32,440
Riverside 19290 $37,670
San Bernardino 19290 $37,670
Ontario 19290 $37,670
San Diego 19020 $38,600
Carlsbad 19020 $38,600
Santa Rosa 2740 $41,410
San Francisco 33110 $45,760
Oakland 33110 $45,760
Hayward 33110 $45,760
Stockton 2860 $37,050
Lodi 2860 $37,050
San Jose 12280 $44,620
Sunnyvale 12280 $44,620
Santa Clara 12280 $44,620
Vallejo 1640 $36,910
Fairfield 1640 $36,910
Visalia 1790 $35,300
Porterville 1790 $35,300
San Luis Obispo 1970 $36,090
Paso Robles 1970 $36,090
Arroyo Grande 1970 $36,090
Yuba City 650 $34,180
Santa Cruz 1320 $39,710
Watsonville 1320 $39,710
Santa Maria 2550 $41,370
Santa Barbara 2550 $41,370

Sources:

  • Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm#tab-4 accessed September 17, 2016

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