How Much Does Administrative Assistant Training Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ Online Diploma/Certificate Program: $1,000-$3,000 $ $ Extensive Administrative Training: $12,000-$25,000

Administrative assistants are those professionals that make each office or business run smoothly.

The administrative assistants handle all basic daily office operations such as filing and maintaining databases of clients, answering multiple phone lines and writing general correspondence.

As a rule, the administrative assistants have high school diplomas or GED in addition to secretarial training from technical or vocational schools.

Typical Costs

The prospective administrative assistants can earn diplomas and certificates online for the sum of  $1,000-$3,000 total.

Most programs take less than six months to complete.

The Online Career Training, for example, provides a variety of administrative assistant training programs including Administrative Professional with Microsoft Office Specialist 2007 Training for $1,995 and administrative dental assistant for $1,595.

Other online schools secure extensive administrative training with specialized courses in business administration for the sum of $12,000-$25,000.

For example, Minnesota School of Business Online costs $19,140 for a nine-month training course covering accounting principles and business practices.

The textbooks and technology fees cost extra, which is typical $250-$800 per quarter.

The prospective administrative assistants can also attend classes in person.

The community colleges and technical schools secure in-person training for administrative assistants for $1,000-$12,000 based on a student’s residency status.

The Community College of Philadelphia, for instance, provides an office clerk proficiency certificate program for $1,152-$1,536, with the difference in price depending on whether the student needs a keyboarding course.

What Is Included

  • The coursework usually includes learning basic computer operating systems and software for word processing, spreadsheets, database management, and Internet browsing.
  • The training should further include basic math and business concepts, English and business writing techniques, plus effective communication skills.
  • The Education Portal outlines career information and requirements.
  • The International Association of Administrative Professionals provides information on education and certification for administrative assistants.
  • The Association of Executive and Administrative Professionals secures a list of recommended classes for office personnel.

Additional Costs

  • Microsoft Office Specialist certification is available through Microsoft for $125.
  • Textbook, software, and technology fees are usually not included in the tuition.
  • The textbooks depend on coursework and typically cost $200-$750 per quarter of study.


  • There is financial aid available to qualified students at junior or community colleges for degree-based programs.
  • Students can apply for federal financial aid online.
  • The online scholarship and grant finder Fastweb offers information on administrative assistant scholarships, including a scholarship for Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
  • Allied Schools offers a $100 discount for students who pay tuition in full at the time of enrollment.
  • Microsoft provides free training courses in each of its products.
  • The American Society of Administrative Professionals offers free membership which allows access to online training and webinars.

Shopping For Administrative Assistant Training

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics issues information on expected wages and job prospects for trained administrative assistants.
  • The College Board handbook, which is revised every year, is an excellent place to start when looking for schools.
  • This book costs $30 and lists 3,800 accredited colleges, universities and technical schools.
  • The Department of Education provides tips for finding a school and the College Navigator to help prospective students find the right school.

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