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Secretaries and administrative assistants take care of the various clerical and administrative duties required in running a business, usually in an office setting. Tasks might involve answering phones, replying to emails, sending memos, and other related tasks. In order for a business to run efficiently, each of these tasks must be performed with the utmost speed and accuracy. Administrative assistants usually receive on-the-job training, but it may do well to consider attending a secretary school or program in Illinois.

Illinois Secretary Schools

Most administrative assistants can enter this career at the entry-level with a high school diploma. However, some may consider an associate degree program to better prepare for the job, or increase opportunities to move up later on. Here are a few examples of Illinois schools that may offer business associate degrees, or programs for administrative work. 

  • Black Hawk College: Located in Moline, Black Hawk College offers a wide range of special purpose and community service programs as well as more than 140 career, certificate and transfer programs.

  • Carl Sandburg College: In addition to its specialty in continuing ed/adult learning, Carl Sandburg College offers exceptional associate degree level education for students of all ages.

  • Danville Area Community College: Serving the community for over 65 years, Danville Area Community College offers education to earn a wide range of career degrees and certificates.

  • Heartland Community College: Heartland Community College has a variety of degree programs and areas of study with a focus on small class sizes and personal attention.

  • Parkland College: Located in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Parkland has provided both educational opportunity as well as community enrichment since 1967.

  • Southwestern Illinois College: With classes hosted at five different Illinois campuses, Southwestern Illinois College provides an accessible way to earn both certificates and degrees from over 150 different programs.

  • Wabash Valley College: Part of a group of four total community colleges to create the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Wabash Valley College offers a smooth transition to senior institutions of the area and a variety of degrees.

  • Lincoln Land Community College: Recognized as an affordable top quality institution, Lincoln Land Community College is located in Springfield, the capital city of Illinois.

What to Expect from Illinois Secretarial Programs

Secretarial programs will generally involve training in utilizing programs such as word processors, spreadsheets, and database software. Programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel are common in most offices as well as PowerPoint. Training may also include development of a reasonable typing speed.

General skillsets important in a high quality secretary include:

  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Writing skills

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

Illinois Secretarial License

The state of Illinois does not require licensing in order to become a secretary. However, earning certification may demonstrate proficiency in the role to employers.

For general secretaries, the International Association of Administrative Professionals offers certification in the field of office administration called the Certified Administrative Professional or CAP. In order to take the qualifying exam, candidates must have a college degree (or equivalent work experience) as well as relevant work experience.

Legal secretaries have a few different certification options. The Accredited Legal Professional or ALP certification is offered by the National Association of Legal Secretaries as long as you have at least 1 year of office experience. The association also offers Professional Legal Secretary certification which is viewed as an even more distinguished certification.

Legal secretaries also have the option of obtaining the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification, offered by Legal Secretaries International, though this certification often requires at least 5 years of legal experience in addition to passing an exam.

Resources for Secretaries in Illinois

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Programs
  • AAS in Business Administration - Office Management
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
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Programs
  • Applied Business Fundamentals

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

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More Illinois Secretary Training Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Moline
Associate
6,311
Galesburg
Associate
2,693
Glen Ellyn
Associate
25,768
Grayslake
Associate
16,010
Danville
Associate
2,832
Chicago
Bachelor
1,144
Elgin
Associate
9,613
Normal
Associate
4,827
Freeport
Associate
2,049
East Peoria
Associate
11,804
Fairfield
Associate
2,102
Robinson
Associate
1,445
Olney
Associate
1,610
Mount Carmel
Associate
4,206
Carterville
Associate
7,559
Quincy
Associate
2,417
Joliet
Associate
13,149
Kankakee
Associate
3,591
Centralia
Associate
5,041
Malta
Associate
4,466
Mattoon
Associate
7,177
Godfrey
Associate
7,875
Springfield
Associate
6,655
Crystal Lake
Associate
5,274
Peoria
Bachelor
641
Palos Hills
Associate
15,859
Cicero
Associate
5,057
Des Plaines
Associate
10,805
Champaign
Associate
9,407
Chicago Heights
Associate
5,507
Ina
Associate
4,821
Decatur
Associate
3,274
Rockford
Associate
7,923
Chicago
Bachelor
1,289
Dixon
Associate
2,700
South Holland
Associate
6,260
Harrisburg
Associate
2,606
Belleville
Associate
13,713
Canton
Associate
2,139
River Grove
Associate
15,658

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Secretaries

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Illinois. 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.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Carbondale 810 $28,250
Marion 810 $28,250
Champaign 1340 $32,950
Urbana 1340 $32,950
Danville 390 $31,450
Decatur 840 $28,930
Bloomington 1890 $33,010
Kankakee 600 $30,350
Peoria 2880 $30,660
Rockford 2390 $32,740
Springfield 1710 $32,570

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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