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Top 11 General Assistant Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most popular and valuable general assistant certifications available today.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are an important part of a general assistant's job market success. Certifications demonstrate to employers that the individual has a certain level of knowledge and expertise in their field, which can give them an edge over other applicants. They also provide proof that the individual has taken the necessary steps to learn and stay up-to-date on industry standards and practices. Additionally, certifications can help individuals stand out from other applicants as they show employers that the individual is committed to their profession and willing to invest in their own education. Ultimately, certifications can help create a competitive advantage for general assistants in the job market.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for General Assistants and explain how they can help advance a general assistant's career.

What are General Assistant Certifications?

General assistant certification is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill in the field of general office assistance. This certification proves that an individual has obtained the necessary training and education required for a successful career as a general assistant.

The certification is typically earned by completing a specialized program offered by a college or university, or through an employer-sponsored course. The curriculum covers topics such as database management, administrative organization, spreadsheet software, word processing, customer service principles, and other related topics. Successful completion of the program provides the individual with the skills needed to assist with basic office duties such as filing paperwork, answering phones, scheduling appointments, managing databases and spreadsheets, creating reports and correspondence, and other tasks.

Having this certification can help individuals stand out from their competition when applying for jobs or promotions. It also serves as proof that they have achieved a certain level of expertise in their chosen field and have demonstrated that they possess the necessary skills to perform their job well. In addition, having this certification can help employers determine if an applicant is qualified for specific positions in their company.

Pro Tip: Consider becoming certified in a specialized field to stand out from other general assistants. Specialized certifications can help demonstrate expertise, and may provide more job opportunities.

Related: What does a General Assistant do?

Top 11 General Assistant Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to General Assistants today.

1. Certified Administrative Professional (CAP)

Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) is a professional certification program offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). It is designed to recognize and validate the skills and knowledge of administrative professionals. The CAP credential demonstrates that an individual has mastered the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required for success in today’s complex workplace.

The CAP program consists of four exams: Business Writing & Communications, Office Technology & Procedures, Human Resources Management & Administration, and Financial & Project Management. Candidates must pass all four exams to earn their CAP credential. The exams are offered twice a year in April and October.

To become certified as a CAP, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements. These include having two years of full-time administrative experience or equivalent part-time experience within the last five years; completion of an accredited college degree or its equivalent; completion of at least one IAAP-approved training course; and successful completion of all four CAP exams.

The cost to become certified as a CAP varies depending on whether you are an IAAP member or non-member. For IAAP members, the cost is $399 for all four exams; for non-members it is $499 for all four exams. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with taking the exam such as registration fees or proctoring fees if you take the exam at a testing center rather than online.

2. Certified Professional Secretary (CPS)

Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) is a professional certification offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). It is designed to recognize individuals who demonstrate a high level of competency in office administration, management and technology. The CPS certification is highly valued by employers and demonstrates that an individual has the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the administrative field.

To become a Certified Professional Secretary, applicants must have at least two years of full-time employment in an administrative role, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. They must also pass an exam that covers topics such as business communication, office systems and procedures, office technology, project management and customer service.

The exam can be taken online or at a testing center. It costs $225 for IAAP members and $275 for non-members. The exam takes approximately three hours to complete.

Once certified, individuals must maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits every three years. These credits can be earned through attending IAAP conferences or workshops, taking online courses or participating in other approved activities.

3. Certified Executive Assistant (CEA)

Certified Executive Assistant (CEA) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of proficiency in the field of executive assistance. The CEA program is offered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), a professional organization for administrative professionals.

The CEA program requires the completion of an online application and passing an exam that covers topics such as office management, communication, technology, project management, and problem-solving. It also includes a practical component in which you must demonstrate your ability to apply what you have learned in real-world situations.

The exam takes approximately two hours and can be taken at any IAAP testing center or online through ProctorU. The cost of the exam is $125 USD for IAAP members and $175 USD for non-members.

Once you have successfully passed the exam, you will receive your CEA certificate and are eligible to use the designation “CEA” after your name. You will also receive access to exclusive resources from IAAP such as webinars, conferences, job postings, and more.

4. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is a certification program that validates an individual’s skills in Microsoft Office applications. It is designed to recognize and validate the expertise of individuals who use Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access.

The MOS certification program consists of two levels: Core and Expert. The Core level certifies the basic skills needed to successfully use the software while the Expert level certifies advanced skills. To become certified at either level, you must pass one or more exams that test your knowledge and skills in using Microsoft Office applications.

The length of time it takes to get MOS certification depends on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exam(s). Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on your level of experience with the software.

To get MOS certified, you must first register for an exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or online through Certiport. After registering for an exam, you will need to purchase a voucher code from Certiport or another approved vendor in order to access the exam. The cost of each voucher varies depending on which application you are taking an exam for and whether or not you are taking the Core or Expert level exam.

In summary, Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) is a certification program that validates an individual’s skills in Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access. It consists of two levels – Core and Expert – which require passing one or more exams that test your knowledge and skills in using these applications. The amount of time it takes to get MOS certified depends on how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exams; however it generally takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months depending on your experience with the software. Finally, in order to take an exam you must first register with Pearson VUE or Certiport then purchase a voucher code which varies in cost depending on which application you are taking an exam for and whether or not it is Core or Expert level.

5. CompTIA A+ Certification

CompTIA A+ Certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates the skills and knowledge of entry-level IT professionals. It is a vendor-neutral certification, meaning it is not tied to any particular product or technology. The CompTIA A+ certification covers a wide range of topics related to computer hardware, software, networking, security, and troubleshooting.

It typically takes between 3 to 6 months to complete the CompTIA A+ certification process. To get certified, you must first pass two exams: 220-1001 (Core 1) and 220-1002 (Core 2). Both exams are 90 minutes long and consist of multiple choice questions.

The cost of the CompTIA A+ certification varies depending on where you take the exam. Generally speaking, it costs around $200 per exam. In some cases, discounts may be available for students or members of professional organizations such as CompTIA or IEEE. Additionally, many employers will cover the cost of the exams for their employees as part of their professional development program.

6. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a professional certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMP is the most widely recognized and respected project management credential in the world. It demonstrates that you have the experience, education, and competency to lead and direct projects successfully.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to get PMP certified. To become certified, applicants must meet certain educational and professional experience requirements, pass an exam, and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct.

To get PMP certified, applicants must first complete an application form on the PMI website. Once approved, they must then take a four-hour exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions. They must also provide proof of 35 contact hours of project management training or education prior to taking the exam.

The cost for PMP certification varies depending on your membership status with PMI. For non-members, it costs $555 USD for the application fee plus $405 USD for the exam fee. For members, it costs $405 USD for the application fee plus $275 USD for the exam fee.

7. Certified Legal Secretary (CLS)

Certified Legal Secretary (CLS) is a professional certification for legal secretaries. It is awarded by the National Association of Legal Secretaries (NALS), an organization that promotes excellence in the field of legal secretarial work. The certification is designed to recognize and reward those who have achieved a high level of proficiency in their job duties and responsibilities as a legal secretary.

In order to become certified, an individual must pass the CLS examination, which consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as legal terminology, court procedures, document preparation, filing systems, and professional ethics. The exam typically takes two hours to complete and is offered at various locations throughout the year. The cost of the exam varies depending on location but generally ranges from $150-$200.

In addition to passing the exam, applicants must also meet certain educational requirements in order to be eligible for certification. These include having a high school diploma or equivalent; completing at least one year of post-high school education; and having at least one year of experience working as a legal secretary or paralegal.

Once certified, individuals are required to maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits each year. This can be done through attending workshops or seminars related to legal secretarial work or taking online courses from NALS approved providers.

8. Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA)

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) is a professional certification offered by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). The certification is designed to demonstrate an individual's knowledge and expertise in medical office administration. It covers topics such as medical terminology, coding, billing, scheduling, insurance processing, and medical record keeping.

The CMAA certification typically takes about six months to complete. To get certified, you must pass a proctored exam that covers the topics mentioned above. The cost of the exam varies depending on your location and whether or not you are a member of NHA. Generally speaking, it costs between $125 and $175 to take the exam.

In addition to passing the exam, you must also meet certain educational requirements in order to be eligible for certification. You must have either completed a formal training program in medical office administration or have at least two years of experience working in a medical office setting.

Once you have passed the exam and met all eligibility requirements, you will receive your CMAA certification from NHA. This certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by taking continuing education courses or retaking the exam every three years.

9. Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB)

Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB) is a professional certification offered by the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, experience, and skills of bookkeeping professionals. The CPB certification is a mark of excellence that demonstrates an individual’s commitment to the highest standards in bookkeeping.

It typically takes 6-12 months to complete the requirements for the CPB certification. To become certified, individuals must pass a comprehensive four-part exam administered by AIPB. This exam covers topics such as accounting principles, financial reporting, payroll processing, income tax preparation, and more.

To get started on your journey towards becoming a CPB certified professional, you will need to register with AIPB and pay an application fee. After registering with AIPB, you will be able to access study materials and practice tests to help prepare for the exam. Once you have successfully passed all four parts of the exam, you will receive your Certified Professional Bookkeeper (CPB) certificate from AIPB.

The cost of obtaining a CPB certification varies depending on whether or not you are an AIPB member. For non-members, it costs $495 for the application fee plus $495 for each part of the exam ($1,980 total). For members of AIPB, it costs $395 for the application fee plus $395 for each part of the exam ($1,580 total).

10. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Six Sigma Green Belt Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a person’s expertise in Six Sigma methodology and tools. It is designed for professionals who are responsible for leading and managing improvement projects within their organization. The certification requires the completion of a rigorous training program, which typically takes between two to four weeks to complete.

In order to obtain the certification, individuals must first complete a course that covers the fundamentals of Six Sigma, including its history, concepts, tools and techniques. After completing the course, they must then pass an exam administered by an accredited organization such as ASQ or IASSC. The exam consists of multiple choice questions related to Six Sigma topics and requires candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the material covered in the course.

The cost of obtaining a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification varies depending on the provider, but typically ranges from $500-$2,000 USD. This cost includes both the training and exam fees. Additionally, some organizations may offer discounts or other incentives for those who wish to pursue this certification.

Overall, obtaining a Six Sigma Green Belt Certification can be beneficial for individuals looking to advance their careers in quality management or process improvement roles. It provides employers with evidence that an individual has been trained in the principles of Six Sigma and is capable of leading successful improvement projects within their organization.

11. Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP).

Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) is a certification offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). It is designed to recognize professionals who have achieved a high level of knowledge and expertise in the field of information technology.

The CITP certification requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of various aspects of IT, including software development, database design, systems integration, network security, and project management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as system architecture, programming languages, operating systems, networks, storage solutions, web technologies, and more.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the CITP certification process. To get started on your journey towards becoming a CITP certified professional you must first submit an application to ICPM. Once your application has been accepted you will be required to take an online assessment which will assess your current knowledge and skills in the areas covered by the CITP exam. After successfully completing this assessment you will be able to register for the official CITP exam.

The cost of taking the CITP exam varies depending on where you are located but generally ranges from $200-$400 USD.

Do You Really Need a General Assistant Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual and their specific career goals. For some, a General Assistant Certificate may be beneficial in helping them to advance in their current field or to gain entry into a new one. It can also provide evidence of a person's aptitude for certain tasks and help them stand out from the competition.

For others, however, it may not be necessary. If an individual already has experience in the areas that would be covered by the certificate, they may not need to pursue it. Alternatively, if they are just starting out and have no experience at all, they may find that completing the coursework is too much of an investment for a relatively small return.

In either case, it is important for individuals to consider their own situation carefully before deciding whether or not to pursue a General Assistant Certificate. Doing so will help ensure that any time and money spent on obtaining the certificate will result in tangible benefits for them down the line.

Related: General Assistant Resume Examples

FAQs About General Assistant Certifications

Q1: What is a General Assistant Certification?

A1: A General Assistant Certification is an accreditation that demonstrates a person’s knowledge and proficiency in the field of general office support. It is designed to help employers identify qualified and competent individuals for administrative roles.

Q2: What are the requirements for obtaining a General Assistant Certification?

A2: Requirements may vary depending on the certifying organization, but typically include passing an exam, completing a certain number of hours of training or experience, and demonstrating job-related skills.

Q3: How long does it take to complete the certification process?

A3: The time required to complete the certification process varies depending on the certifying organization and individual circumstances. Generally, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete all requirements and receive your certificate.

Q4: Is there an age requirement for obtaining a General Assistant Certification?

A4: No, there is no age requirement for obtaining a General Assistant Certification. However, some certifying organizations may require applicants to be 18 years of age or older in order to apply.

Q5: Where can I find more information about becoming certified as a General Assistant?

A5: You can find more information about becoming certified as a General Assistant by researching different certifying organizations online or contacting them directly. Additionally, many educational institutions offer classes and programs related to general office support that you may be able to take in order to gain experience or knowledge in this area.