Secretaries and administrative assistants complete the clerical and administrative duties a business requires to run efficiently, and usually work in an office setting. Their tasks can include sending memos, answering phones, replying to emails, and other related tasks.
New Jersey Secretary Schools
There are many paths to becoming a secretary or administrative assistant, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics typically suggests some type of postsecondary training. Here are a few examples of schools in New Jersey that offer programs specific to secretarial work:
- Bergen Community College: With three sites and nearly 17,000 students, Bergen Community College offers modern facilities, community engagement and an accomplished faculty.
- Camden County College: One of the largest, most comprehensive New Jersey community colleges, Camden ranks among the nation's top 100 community colleges.
- Middlesex County College: Founded in 1964, Middlesex County College specializes in small class sizes and a dedicated faculty for all students.
- Union County College: The oldest community college in New Jersey, Union County College has focused on provided a strong liberal arts foundation while keeping its eye on the future since 1933.
- Mercer County Community College: Boasting a 35% graduate transfer rate, Mercer County Community College offers 75 degree program options and 30 credit certificate programs.
- Ocean County College: A two-year Country college in operation for over 40 years, Ocean County College focuses on equipping their students with tools they can apply in their future careers.
- Passaic County Community College: Passaic County Community College has been the recipient of several federal grant awards and has been operating since 1970.
What to Expect from New Jersey Secretary Programs
Secretarial programs will most likely require training in making use of programs like word processors, spreadsheets, and database software. Microsoft Word and Excel are also common in most office training as well as PowerPoint. Coursework might also involve developing of a high typing speed.
General skillsets important in a high quality secretary include:
- Organizational skills
- Writing skills
- Interpersonal skills
Other more detailed training areas may be maintaining databases and filing systems both electronic and paper, editing documents, performing basic bookkeeping, answering telephones and taking messages, scheduling appointments, arranging meetings, preparing memos, handling incoming and outgoing mail and faxes, etc.
New Jersey Secretarial Certification
The state of New Jersey doesn't require secretarial licensing in order to employed as such. However, role-based certification may prove expertise in the function to employers.
General secretaries have the option of obtaining the Certified Administrative Professional or CAP certification from the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Candidates must have a college degree (or equivalent work experience) in order to take the qualifying exam as well as relevant work experience.
New Jersey specifically has a certification for Office Administration Specialist offered by the New Jersey Career Center. It requires completion of a seven-month course focused on conducting effective research, utilizing Microsoft applications, and other office related tasks.
For certification, legal secretaries have a few options. As long as you have at least one year of office experience you can test for the Accredited Legal Professional or ALP certification, offered by the National Association of Legal Secretaries. The Professional Legal Secretary certification, also offered by the NALS, is an even more distinguished certification.
Though this certification often requires at least five years of legal experience in addition to passing an exam, legal secretaries also have the option of obtaining the Certified Legal Secretary Specialist (CLSS) certification, offered by Legal Secretaries International.
Resources for New Jersey Secretaries