Job Trends

The CAOT curriculum offers students the opportunity to earn a wide variety of certificates and an Associate in Arts degree. It is a fact that if you continue to earn more certificates and broaden your skills, you can expect to receive the highest starting pay. Here is a quote from Thomas Staffing, a leading staffing services company in Southern California: 

Our graduates are in demand!!

"Irvine, CA – Southern California administrative and support staff employees are expected to receive starting salary increases ranging from 3% to 10.6% compared to last year’s survey . . ., according to statistics from the 15th Annual Employment Survey commissioned by Thomas Staffing, a leading staffing services company. The data also indicates that Executive Secretaries are expected to receive the highest paid starting salaries, with Secretaries who have Word Processing Skills ranking second . . . Rising 10.6% from last year’s projected starting salary, the Secretaries with Word Processing Skills position also reflects the highest percentage of change. Slack continues, 'a job candidate with multi-tasking abilities has become extremely desirable and is currently in high demand.'"


Note: The career resource Web site,, indicates that from 12/24/00 to 1/25/01, there were over 985 jobs listed in the Administrative/Support category for the Los Angeles area.

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics1

bullet Click here for statistics on Secretaries and Administrative Assistants and for General Office Clerks and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.
bullet   College graduates age 25 and over earn nearly twice as much as workers who stopped with a high school diploma.
bullet College graduates have experienced growth in real (inflation-adjusted) earnings since 1979. In contrast, high school dropouts have seen their real earnings decline
bullet From 1979 to 2000, the earnings of college-educated women grew nearly twice as fast as the earnings of men, but these women still earn less than men.
1U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Working in the 21st Century," n.d., <> (March 5, 2003).

Growth Areas

bullet Clerical & administration support - 17% 
bullet Management support workers - 20.9% 
bullet Medical secretaries - 12% 
bullet Desktop publishing specialists - 72.6% 
bullet Legal secretaries - 13% 
bullet Office & administrative support supervisors & managers - 19.4%

Please visit to see a fascinating slide show entitled Working in the 21st Century.  It is a portrait of the U.S. workforce at the beginning of the New Millennium. It includes a set of charts and related information about subjects ranging from education levels to retirement plans.  

Continue in the slide show to and see "Workers with computer skills are in demand." Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics document the job market for students trained in computer skills with projections to the year 2008. "Of the 10 fastest growing occupations, the top 5 are computer-related. Three of the top 10 are health-related: personal care and home health aides, medical assistants, and physician assistants." Computer support specialists is projected to have a 102% growth rate.

Continue through the slide show to "These 10 occupations are projected to add a total of about 5 million jobs during the 1998-2008 period, nearly one-fourth of the projected job growth over the decade. Occupations with the most job growth tend to have a large number of workers already. Six of the 10 occupations—retail salespersons, cashiers, general managers and top executives, truck drivers, general office clerks, and registered nurses—each employed at least 2 million workers in 1998." The 10 projected occupations include Office clerks, General at a projected growth rate of 463,000 and Computer support specialists at 439,000. Proceed to where you will see statistics about jobs in the temporary help industry." The number of jobs in the temporary help industry grew sharply for much of the 1980s and 1990s." "Workers employed by temporary help firms work in a range of occupations, including computer systems analysts, engineers, clerical workers, janitors, and construction laborers."

Visit the home page for the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is and browse around. Go to for the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002-03 Edition.

Do a search for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, and you will see this: "Secretaries and administrative assistants are responsible for a variety of administrative and clerical duties necessary to run an organization efficiently. They serve as an information manager for an office, schedule meetings and appointments, organize and maintain paper and electronic files, manage projects, conduct research, and provide information via the telephone, postal mail, and e-mail. They also may prepare correspondence and handle travel arrangements. . . Secretaries and administrative assistants are aided in these tasks by a variety of office equipment, such as facsimile machines, photocopiers, and telephone systems. In addition, secretaries and administrative assistants increasingly use personal computers to create spreadsheets, compose correspondence, manage databases, and create reports and documents via desktop publishing, and using digital graphics—all tasks previously handled by managers and other professionals. At the same time, these other office workers have assumed many tasks traditionally assigned to secretaries and administrative assistants, such as word processing and answering the telephone . . . Some secretaries and administrative assistants, such as legal and medical secretaries, perform highly specialized work requiring knowledge of technical terminology and procedures. For instance, legal secretaries prepare correspondence and legal papers such as summonses, complaints, motions, responses, and subpoenas under the supervision of an attorney or paralegal. They also may review legal journals and assist in other ways with legal research, such as verifying quotes and citations in legal briefs. Medical secretaries transcribe dictation, prepare correspondence, and assist physicians or medical scientists with reports, speeches, articles, and conference proceedings. They also record simple medical histories, arrange for patients to be hospitalized, and order supplies. Most medical secretaries need to be familiar with insurance rules, billing practices, and hospital or laboratory procedures. Other technical secretaries who assist engineers or scientists may prepare correspondence, maintain the technical library, and gather and edit materials for scientific papers.

Employment: Secretaries and administrative assistants held about 3.9 million jobs in 2000, ranking among the largest occupations in the U.S. economy. The following tabulation shows the distribution of employment by secretarial specialty.

Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive


Executive secretaries and administrative assistants


Medical secretaries


Legal secretaries


Training: "High school graduates who have basic office skills may qualify for entry-level secretarial positions. However, employers increasingly require extensive knowledge of software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, and database management. Secretaries and administrative assistants should be proficient in keyboarding and good at spelling, punctuation, grammar, and oral communication. Because secretaries and administrative assistants must be tactful in their dealings with people, employers also look for good interpersonal skills. Discretion, good judgment, organizational or management ability, initiative, and the ability to work independently are especially important for higher-level administrative positions.

"Secretaries and administrative assistants acquire skills in various ways. Training ranges from high school vocational education programs that teach office skills and keyboarding to 1- and 2-year programs in office administration offered by business schools, vocational-technical institutes, and community colleges."

Do a search for Office Clerks, General, and you will see this:

Training: "Employers usually require a high school diploma, and some require typing, basic computer skills, and other general office skills. Familiarity with computer word-processing software and applications is becoming increasingly important. Training for this occupation is available through business education programs offered in high schools, community and junior colleges, and postsecondary vocational schools. Courses in word processing, other computer applications, and office practices are particularly helpful."

Job Outlook: "Employment of general office clerks is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Employment growth, the large size of the occupation, and high replacement needs should result in plentiful job opportunities for general office clerks in many industries. Furthermore, growth in part-time and temporary clerical positions will lead to a large number of job openings. Prospects should be brightest for those who have knowledge of basic computer applications and office machinery, such as fax machines and copiers. Job opportunities will also be most favorable for those with good writing and communication skills. As general clerical duties continue to be consolidated and the ability to perform multiple tasks becomes increasingly necessary, employers will seek well-rounded individuals with highly developed communication skills."