Administrative Support Pathway


Is your student organized, detail-oriented, and passionate about “to-do” lists? Able to manage multiple tasks in a high-paced environment with ease? If so, they might want to explore a career as an administrative assistant!

Administrative assistants keep offices everywhere running smoothly by scheduling important meetings, contacting vendors, restocking office supplies, and more. Many administrative assistants go on to careers as executive assistants, supporting CEOs and senior staff, or pursue careers in operations or human resources.

The Career Prep* Administrative Support Pathway prepares students to step into a job assisting in a company’s daily office needs and managing general administrative activities.

Gain real-world skills through project-based learning.

Career Prep has implemented project-based learning (PBL) for many of the courses in this pathway. PBL curriculum is designed to hone students’ problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and team collaboration skills. With PBL, there’s little to memorize and repeat. Instead, students are given a real-life problem to solve and must work with a team to develop a creative solution.

Students who choose this pathway will prepare for a career as an administrative assistant by learning from our project-based learning curriculum, taking classes taught by experienced business professionals, and training in the Microsoft Office suite.**

Our Administrative Support Curriculum in Detail

All of our students take the core courses required for high school graduation in their state. The chart below shows the additional classes students take as part of the Administrative Support Pathway. You can see the rest of the curriculum by viewing the full course list.

These courses provide an opportunity for students to gain insight into potential careers.

These courses are building blocks that prepare students for more specialized pathway courses.

These courses prepare students for industry-recognized certification exams.

Business and Marketing Explorations
Intro to Business Information Management
Business Information Management: Data Essentials

Introduction to Office Administration
Office Administration 2

Introduction to Business Communications
Business Communications 2
Legal Admin Specialist 1
Legal Admin Specialist 2

Note: Pathway courses are subject to change.
New in fall 2022

Get credentialed.

In a world where competition for jobs, pay increases, and academic success continues to increase, certifications provide a credible, third-party assessment of a student’s skills and knowledge of a given subject. The Administrative Support Pathway curriculum prepares students to take these industry-recognized certification exams:**

These baseline certifications indicate students have mastered domain-specific, entry-level job skills.

These certifications indicate students have acquired skills needed to perform a job with little or no support.

NOCTI Administrative Services (Pathway Assessment)
NOCTI Administrative Assisting (Job Ready Assessment)
NOCTI Business Information Processing (Job Ready Assessment)

ASAP Professional Administrative Certification of Excellence (PACE)
Brainbench Legal Secretarial Skills

Get ahead of the competition.

We encourage students to jumpstart the job search by helping them create a professional résumé, cover letter, and profile on Tallo, the leading professional networking platform for Gen Z. Plus, they connect virtually to working business professionals and entrepreneurs through Nepris.***

Find a school near you that offers administrative support.

Career Prep programs with the Administrative Support Pathway are available at tuition-free, K12-powered, public online schools in the following states:

Don’t see your state? Check out the tuition-based option here in the Administrative Support Pathway. There are also tuition-free options in related fields like the General Management Pathway!

Choose a career. Prepare for the future.

Students in this pathway can prepare for a wide variety of administrative support careers, including:

Bookkeepers use bookkeeping software, spreadsheets, and databases to record financial transactions, including all payments made and revenue received. They produce reports, such as balance sheets and income statements, which are reviewed and certified by an accountant. Accounting clerks do similar tasks but typically work for a larger accounting firm and specialize in a particular area. Auditing clerks assist auditors in ensuring that financial transaction records are accurate and correctly classified.

2021 Median Salary

Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030

Typical Entry-Level Education
Some college

This data reflects the information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook on July 1, 2022. To learn more about this occupation, visit

Compensation specialists research compensation trends to advise management of appropriate compensation ranges for each position; they also ensure that the organization’s pay practices comply with federal and state laws and regulations, such as workers’ compensation, minimum wage, overtime, and equal pay laws. Benefits specialists administer the organization’s benefits programs, including retirement plans, leave policies, wellness programs, and health and other insurance policies, and conduct research to make recommendations regarding benefit levels, providers, and options. Job analysis specialists, also known as position classifiers, work with managers to develop job descriptions and determine the appropriate level and salary range. In small organizations, one person might take on all three roles, advising on employee compensation, benefits, and position classifications, working under the oversight of the human resources director.

2021 Median Salary

Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030

Typical Entry-Level Education
Bachelor’s degree

This data reflects the information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook on July 1, 2022. To learn more about this occupation, visit

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform clerical and administrative duties. They use computer software to create spreadsheets; manage databases; and prepare presentations, reports, and documents. They may also negotiate with vendors and purchase supplies. Executive assistants support senior-level staff and have many years of experience. They often handle more complex responsibilities, such as reviewing incoming documents, conducting research, and preparing reports. Some also supervise clerical staff. Legal secretaries prepare legal documents, such as summonses, complaints, motions, and subpoenas under the supervision of a paralegal or attorney.

2021 Median Salary

Expected Job Growth Rate for 2020–2030

Typical Entry-Level Education
High school diploma/GED plus knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint

This data reflects the information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook on July 1, 2022. To learn more about this occupation, visit


While many administrative assistants have college degrees, a college degree is not necessary. However, administrative assistants will need to demonstrate proficiency with the Microsoft Office suite and have excellent typing and organizational skills. That’s why we provide students with practical, hands-on training in the Microsoft Office suite. Students can also take accounting courses to maximize their career opportunities. The skills learned in these courses will give students added value to employers since they’ll be equipped to take on bookkeeping and accounting clerk duties.

If your student is interested in becoming an administrative assistant, they can take courses in the Microsoft Office suite and gain relevant certifications. They can also take more general business courses such as accounting or typing classes. Students in the Administrative Support Pathway take two full semesters of hands-on, practical training in the Microsoft Office suite, as well as two full semesters of accounting.

Learn more about course offerings in other career fields.

Administrative Support Pathway image 5 (name farming)

Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

Administrative Support Pathway image 6 (name business management)

Business Management & Administration

Administrative Support Pathway image 7 (name criminal justice)

Criminal Justice & Community Services

Administrative Support Pathway image 8 (name education and training)

Education & Training

Administrative Support Pathway image 9 (name engineering and manufacturing)

Engineering & Manufacturing

Administrative Support Pathway image 10 (name health sciences)

Health Sciences

Administrative Support Pathway image 11 (name hospitality and tourism)

Hospitality & Tourism

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Information Technology (IT)

Administrative Support Pathway image 13 (name marketing)


Administrative Support Pathway image 14 (name visual arts and communications)

Visual Arts & Communications

*Career Prep is a program for grades 9–12. Some schools offer career exploration in middle school.
**Many Microsoft®️ Office certificates can be earned after completing one course. Other certificates require more classes to be better prepared, and students who participate in the program for at least two years will have further preparation for certification testing.
***Opportunities vary by school; please visit your school page or check with your school counselor.