Certified Professional Secretary Career and Certification
Are you an experienced secretary that is looking to advance your career? Would you like to gain a competitive edge and earn professional certification in your field? Continue reading to learn about the changes in the certification process of becoming a Certified Professional Secretary. Schools offering Administrative Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Changes are Happening with the Certified Professional Secretary Designation?
As of November 2011, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), the organization that grants professional certification for the field, is in the process of eliminating the Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) rating (www.iaap-hq.org). This means that the CPS designation will no longer be recognized, as the IAAP has transitioned to a new base rating for the industry, the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP). All previously certified CPSs will have their ratings changed to the CAP designation.
How do I Become a CAP?
You must have administrative work experience and pass an examination in order to become a CAP. The IAAP specifies that all work experience must be from the past 15 years, with at least one year of continuous employment with one employer in the past five years. The minimum amount of experience required depends on your level of education; to be eligible to take the CAP examination, you must have completed:
- Four years of administrative experience if you do not have a college degree
- Three years of experience if you have an associate's degree
- Two years of experience if you have a bachelor's degree
What Can I Expect from a Career in this Field?
Secretaries and administrative professionals are typically responsible for clerical and organizational tasks, which can include answering phones, operating office equipment, maintaining an employer's schedule, organizing events and even conducting research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for this profession was expected to grow 11% from 2008-2018, with individuals who are competent in computer software or who hold bachelor's degree seeing an advantage with job opportunities (www.bls.gov). According to the same source, executive administrative assistants and secretaries earned a median annual salary of $43,520 in 2010.
How Will my Career Benefit From the CAP Designation?
The CAP designation signifies to employers that you are a top-level administrative professional that is experienced and competent in the field. Becoming certified will likely help you obtain higher-level positions, like an office manager or an executive secretary. Additionally, improving your professional qualifications will help to increase your salary. You also have the potential to receive college credit for your CAP rating.
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