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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

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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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 3470 $34,900
Fresno 4250 $33,140
Hanford 370 $32,940
Corcoran 370 $32,940
Chico 1220 $34,250
El Centro 580 $35,870
Oxnard 4230 $37,610
Thousand Oaks 4230 $37,610
Ventura 4230 $37,610
Redding 760 $30,170
Riverside 17320 $37,290
San Bernardino 17320 $37,290
Ontario 17320 $37,290
Sacramento 12110 $35,900
Roseville 12110 $35,900
Arden 12110 $35,900
Arcade 12110 $35,900
Salinas 1900 $38,340
Madera 480 $34,420
Merced 760 $34,970
Modesto 2340 $33,120
Napa 980 $37,600
San Diego 19300 $38,150
Carlsbad 19300 $38,150
Santa Cruz 1300 $36,930
Watsonville 1300 $36,930
Santa Maria 2440 $39,550
Santa Barbara 2440 $39,550
Santa Rosa 2680 $39,770
San Francisco 30170 $43,750
Oakland 30170 $43,750
Hayward 30170 $43,750
Stockton 2770 $37,650
Lodi 2770 $37,650
San Jose 11280 $43,890
Sunnyvale 11280 $43,890
Santa Clara 11280 $43,890
Vallejo 1760 $37,020
Fairfield 1760 $37,020
Visalia 1800 $33,100
Porterville 1800 $33,100
Yuba City 600 $32,920
San Luis Obispo 1710 $35,030
Paso Robles 1710 $35,030
Arroyo Grande 1710 $35,030
Los Angeles 80460 $38,240
Long Beach 80460 $38,240
Anaheim 80460 $38,240

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