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Top 11 Administrative Supervisor Certifications

This article outlines the best certifications for administrative supervisors to help them advance their careers.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 19 min read

Certifications are important for an administrative supervisor in the job market because they demonstrate to potential employers that the candidate has the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job. Certifications also provide proof of a supervisor's expertise in specific areas such as budgeting, personnel management, and project management. By having certifications, an administrative supervisor can demonstrate to employers that they have the qualifications and experience required for the position. Having certifications is also beneficial because they can help an individual stand out from other applicants who may not have them. In addition, certifications can help an administrative supervisor stay current with best practices and trends in their field and keep their skills sharp.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Administrative Supervisors and explains how they can help to advance an administrative supervisor's career.

What are Administrative Supervisor Certifications?

Administrative supervisor certification is a professional credential designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of administrative supervisors. It is typically awarded through a formal assessment process that evaluates an individual's mastery of topics related to supervising administrative staff, such as human resources management, personnel supervision and development, financial management, and office operations. The certification may be earned by passing an exam or completing a portfolio review.

Having an administrative supervisor certification can help advance one’s career in many ways. It can demonstrate a commitment to professional development and provide proof of expertise in the field. It also demonstrates to employers that the individual has acquired the advanced skills necessary for successful management of administrative staff. In addition, it can give individuals access to specialized training programs and job opportunities that are not available to those without certification. Finally, having this credential can make one more attractive as a candidate for promotion or other leadership roles within their organization.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to become an administrative supervisor, it is important to pursue certification. Certification can help demonstrate your knowledge and experience in the field, as well as provide you with the necessary qualifications for career advancement. Additionally, certification can also provide a competitive edge when applying for jobs or promotions.

Related: What does an Administrative Supervisor do?

Top 11 Administrative Supervisor Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Administrative Supervisors today.

1. Certified Administrative Supervisor (CAS)

Certified Administrative Supervisor (CAS) is a professional certification program designed to help administrative professionals develop their skills and knowledge in the field of office management. CAS is offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). The certification program consists of three levels: Certified Administrative Professional (CAP), Advanced Certified Administrative Professional (ACAP), and Master Certified Administrative Professional (MCAP).

The Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) level requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of experience in an administrative role and pass an exam covering topics such as office management, communication, customer service, problem solving, and technology. The Advanced Certified Administrative Professional (ACAP) level requires applicants to have a minimum of five years of experience in an administrative role and pass an exam covering topics such as project management, organizational development, human resources management, financial management, and leadership. The Master Certified Administrative Professional (MCAP) level requires applicants to have a minimum of eight years of experience in an administrative role and pass an exam covering topics such as strategic planning, change management, information systems design and implementation, risk assessment and management, and marketing.

It typically takes about six months to complete the entire CAS program from start to finish. To get started on the path to becoming certified as a CAS you must first submit your application for the certification program online through IAAP’s website. Once your application is approved you will be able to register for the exams associated with each level. After passing all three exams you will receive your official CAS certificate from IAAP.

The cost for taking all three exams varies depending on location but typically ranges between $400 - $800 USD.

2. Certified Professional Supervisor (CPS)

Certified Professional Supervisor (CPS) is a professional certification offered by the Center for Credentialing & Education (CCE). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the practice of supervision. The CPS credential is intended to demonstrate that an individual has met the standards of knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to effectively supervise others.

The CPS credential requires applicants to have a minimum of two years of professional experience in supervision or management roles. Applicants must also successfully pass an exam that covers topics such as communication, conflict resolution, organizational development, and leadership.

It typically takes between four and six months to complete the process of earning the CPS credential. During this time, applicants must complete the application process and submit all required documentation. They must also register for and pass the exam. Once these steps are completed, applicants will receive their official certification from CCE.

The cost for obtaining the Certified Professional Supervisor (CPS) credential varies depending on whether you choose to take the exam online or at a testing center. If you take it online, it costs $395 USD; if you take it at a testing center, it costs $495 USD.

3. Certified Manager of Supervisors (CMS)

Certified Manager of Supervisors (CMS) is a certification program offered by the International Institute of Certified Professional Managers (IICPM). The CMS certification is designed to demonstrate a supervisor’s ability to lead and manage a team. It requires supervisors to demonstrate their knowledge of management principles, processes, and techniques.

The CMS certification requires completion of an online course and passing an exam. The online course covers topics such as leadership, communication, problem-solving, decision making, conflict resolution, and performance management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions based on the material covered in the online course.

The cost for the CMS certification varies depending on the provider. Generally, it costs around $1,000-$2,000 for the entire program including the exam fee. The cost may also include additional fees for study materials or other services provided by the provider.

It typically takes about 6-12 months to complete the program and become certified. However, some providers offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 3 months or less.

4. Certified Office Manager (COM)

Certified Office Manager (COM) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of experienced office managers. The COM certification requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in an administrative role and pass a comprehensive exam.

The COM certification exam consists of four sections: Business Writing & Communication, Technology & Information Management, Leadership & Professionalism, and Office Administration. Each section contains multiple-choice questions that test the applicant’s knowledge in the given topic area.

To obtain the COM certification, applicants must first register with IAAP and pay an application fee. After completing the registration process, applicants can begin studying for the exam using IAAP’s study materials. Once they feel ready to take the exam, they can schedule their testing appointment with Prometric or Pearson VUE testing centers.

The cost of obtaining the COM certification varies depending on how many sections of the exam you choose to take. The application fee is $150 USD for one section or $225 USD for all four sections. Additionally, there is a $125 USD fee for each section taken at a Prometric or Pearson VUE testing center.

5. Certified Human Resources Administrator (CHRA)

Certified Human Resources Administrator (CHRA) is a professional designation that demonstrates a commitment to the highest standards of human resources management. It is awarded by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The CHRA certification requires individuals to demonstrate knowledge and skills in areas such as employee relations, recruitment and selection, compensation and benefits, training and development, labor relations, safety and health, and organizational development. To be eligible for CHRA certification, applicants must have at least three years of professional-level human resources experience.

The process to become certified typically takes about six months. The first step is to apply for the exam through SHRM’s website. Once approved, applicants must then register for the exam which consists of two parts: a multiple-choice test and an essay portion. After passing both parts of the exam, candidates will receive their CHRA certification from SHRM.

The cost to take the CHRA exam varies depending on whether you are a SHRM member or not. For non-members it costs $400 while members pay $300. In addition to the exam fee there may also be additional fees associated with studying materials or other related expenses.

6. Certified Public Manager (CPM)

Certified Public Manager (CPM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize and promote excellence in public service management. It is administered by the National Certified Public Manager Consortium, which consists of several state governments and universities. The CPM program provides a comprehensive curriculum that focuses on the core competencies of public service leadership, including ethics, communication, problem-solving, decision-making, financial management, human resource management, and organizational development.

The CPM program typically takes two years to complete. During this time, participants must complete a series of courses covering topics such as budgeting and finance, personnel management, strategic planning, organizational behavior and leadership development. After completing the required courses and passing an examination, participants are awarded the CPM designation.

To get certified as a CPM requires completing an application process that includes submitting transcripts from all prior college or university coursework; providing proof of current employment in a public sector organization; and submitting three letters of recommendation from supervisors or colleagues who can attest to your qualifications for the position. Additionally, applicants must pass an examination that covers the core competencies taught in the CPM program.

The cost of becoming a Certified Public Manager varies depending on where you take the courses; however it generally ranges between $2,000 - $3,000 USD.

7. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is a globally recognized professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge, experience, and competence in project management. PMP certified professionals are sought after for their ability to lead and direct projects from initiation to completion.

In order to become a PMP certified professional, individuals must meet certain criteria. This includes having at least four years of project management experience and 7,500 hours leading and directing projects as well as 35 hours of formal project management education. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam administered by the PMI.

The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as initiating a project, planning and executing it, monitoring progress and controlling changes, closing out the project, and professional responsibility. The test takes around 4 hours to complete and has a passing rate of about 70%.

The cost of obtaining the PMP certification varies depending on whether you are already a PMI member or not. For non-members, the cost is $555 while members pay $405. In addition to this fee, there may be additional costs associated with taking classes or studying materials for the exam.

Overall, obtaining the PMP certification can take anywhere from 3 months to 1 year depending on how much time you have available for studying and preparing for the exam. However, once you have obtained your certification it will open up many new opportunities in your career as a project manager.

8. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification that recognizes an individual’s knowledge and skills in the application of Lean Six Sigma tools and techniques. It is designed to help organizations improve their processes, reduce waste, and increase customer satisfaction.

The Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification program typically takes about four weeks to complete and requires a minimum of 25 hours of instruction. The program consists of six modules: Introduction to Lean Six Sigma, Define Phase, Measure Phase, Analyze Phase, Improve Phase, Control Phase. Each module includes lectures, case studies, exercises and quizzes.

To get certified as a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt you must pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The exam covers topics related to the six modules including process improvement strategies, data analysis methods and project management principles.

The cost of the Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification program varies depending on the provider but typically ranges from $500 to $2,000.

9. Professional in Human Resources (PHR)

Professional in Human Resources (PHR) is a certification issued by the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). It is designed to demonstrate an individual’s mastery of the technical and operational aspects of human resource management. The PHR certification is specifically designed for those who are currently working in or aspiring to work in the HR field.

It typically takes up to six months to complete the PHR certification process. To become certified, individuals must first meet certain educational and experience requirements. They must also pass an exam that tests their knowledge of various HR topics, including labor relations, employee benefits, recruitment and selection, compensation and performance management.

The cost of obtaining the PHR certification varies depending on whether you choose to take the exam online or in-person. Online exams usually cost around $400-$500 while in-person exams can range from $800-$1,000. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with study materials and preparation courses.

Overall, obtaining the PHR certification can be a great way to demonstrate your expertise as a professional in human resources and open up new opportunities for career advancement.

10. Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP)

Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) is a professional certification program offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD). The CPLP credential is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary to design, develop, deliver, and evaluate learning programs that help organizations achieve their business objectives.

To become a CPLP, applicants must pass an exam that covers nine core knowledge areas related to learning and performance. These include: Instructional Design, Training Delivery, Performance Improvement, Measurement and Evaluation, Coaching and Mentoring, Human Resource Development (HRD), Knowledge Management, Technology-Based Learning Solutions, and Strategic Management of Learning.

It typically takes about six months to prepare for the CPLP exam depending on how much prior experience you have with the topics covered in the exam. To get started on your journey towards becoming a CPLP certified professional you can purchase study materials from ATD or use free resources such as webinars or online courses. Additionally there are many online communities dedicated to helping people prepare for their CPLP exams.

The cost of becoming a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance depends on whether you are an ATD member or not. For non-members it costs $795 USD plus applicable taxes while members pay $595 USD plus applicable taxes.

11. International Facility Management Association Certification (IFMA-CP).

The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) Certified Professional (CP) program is a professional development certification program for facility managers. It provides recognition of the knowledge and skills needed to manage and maintain a wide range of facilities, from corporate offices to medical facilities.

The IFMA-CP certification is designed to recognize the expertise of facility management professionals who have demonstrated proficiency in their field. The certification requires that applicants have at least three years of experience in facility management, as well as completion of an approved training program or coursework related to facility management. Applicants must also pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as budgeting, operations and maintenance, safety, security, emergency preparedness, sustainability and more.

The process of obtaining the IFMA-CP certification typically takes between six months and one year depending on the individual's experience level and availability for study. In order to get certified, applicants must first complete an online application form with details about their education and work experience. Once accepted into the program, they will receive an email with instructions on how to access the online learning platform where they can review course materials and take practice exams. After successfully completing all required coursework and passing the final exam with a score of 75% or higher, applicants will be awarded their IFMA-CP certificate.

The cost for obtaining the IFMA-CP certification varies depending on whether you are a member or nonmember of IFMA; members pay $495 while nonmembers pay $595 for registration fees plus additional fees for any courses taken through the online learning platform.

Do You Really Need a Administrative Supervisor Certificate?

Whether or not you need an administrative supervisor certificate depends on the type of job you are seeking. If your goal is to become a supervisor in an office setting, then having a certificate may be beneficial. It can demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to manage an office and its personnel effectively.

Having a certificate also shows potential employers that you are serious about your career and have taken the initiative to gain additional training beyond what is typically required for entry-level positions. Employers often look for candidates who are willing to go the extra mile in order to excel at their jobs, so having a certificate could help set you apart from other applicants.

On the other hand, if your goal is to work in a more specialized field, such as IT or healthcare management, then having an administrative supervisor certificate may not be necessary. These fields often require specific certifications or degrees in order to qualify for certain positions, which would take precedence over any general administrative supervision certification you may have earned.

In short, it really depends on the type of job you are looking for. If your goal is to become an office manager or similar position, then having an administrative supervisor certificate could be beneficial in helping you stand out from other applicants and show potential employers that you have taken the initiative to gain additional training in this area. However, if your goal is to enter into more specialized fields like IT or healthcare management, then there may be other certifications or degrees that would be more relevant and preferable than a general administrative supervisor certification.

Related: Administrative Supervisor Resume Examples

FAQs About Administrative Supervisor Certifications

1. What is an administrative supervisor certification?

Answer: An administrative supervisor certification is a professional credential that demonstrates expertise in overseeing office operations and providing leadership to staff members. It involves completing a program of study, which typically includes courses in topics such as budgeting, personnel management, and problem-solving.

2. What qualifications do I need to get an administrative supervisor certification?

Answer: Requirements for obtaining an administrative supervisor certification vary by provider, but typically include having relevant work experience and/or educational qualifications such as a degree or diploma in business administration or related field. Some certifications may also require passing an exam or completing a specific number of hours of training.

3. How long does it take to get an administrative supervisor certification?

Answer: The time it takes to obtain an administrative supervisor certification depends on the specific requirements of the program you choose, but most programs can be completed within one year.

4. How much does it cost to get an administrative supervisor certification?

Answer: Costs vary depending on the provider and type of program chosen, but can range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars for more comprehensive certifications.

5. How often do I need to renew my administrative supervisor certification?

Answer: Renewal requirements for certifications vary by provider, so check with your chosen program for details about their specific policies. Generally speaking, most certifications need to be renewed every 3-5 years in order to remain valid and recognized by employers.