Start the Path to a Career as a Secretary or Administrative Assistant!

The Business Information Worker I (BIW I) certificate is designed, as the first level in a series of certificate options, to prepare students for entry-level office and administrative support job positions.

A photo of a student's hands on a keyboard.

As an administrative assistant, you’ll help your office run more efficiently. Often, this involves managing information: setting up meetings and appointments, organizing files, and providing information by phone and email. Some roles may also include doing research and managing projects.

You’ll get training on the latest business computer software, practice interviewing, and develop the skills to become a valuable administrative team member.  

Program Information

  • Program Eligibility
    • Students must be 18 years or older
    • Complete an NOCE Admissions Application
    • Complete online general orientation at least 24 hours before registering
    • Recommended: Have basic English language reading, writing, and speaking skills, and/or be at an ESL Intermediate Low level
    • Recommended: Have basic math skills
  • Skills You’ll Need to be Successful
    • English language proficiency – reading, writing, and speaking skills usually at or above an ESL (English as a Second Language) level of Intermediate Low
    • Time management
    • Active listening
    • Basic computer and software knowledge
    • Character skills like integrity, dependability, independence, and attention to detail
  • Skills You’ll Learn
    • Search the Internet
    • Use Microsoft Office at a professional level
    • Type a minimum of 35 net words per minute (NWPM) with five or fewer errors
    • Perform administrative tasks such as trip planning, file management, and preparing payroll
    • Create letters, memos, and reports with proper business formatting
    • Answer phone calls and take messages
  • Program Guide and Resources


  • Secretary
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Administrative Associate
  • Office Assistant
  • Clerk Typist
  • Administrative Specialist

Get Started!

NOCE certificate programs can put you on the path for exciting new career opportunities and more earning potential. Get started today!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do I receive when finished and how long does it take?

    Students who complete the Business Information Worker I program receive a certificate. The program can be completed in as little as 9 months.

  • How much does it cost?

    The Business Information Worker I courses are tuition-free. However, students are responsible for covering the cost of textbooks, software, course supplies, and a parking pass.

  • What are the jobs and how much do they pay in California?

    Career opportunities include positions such as secretary, administrative assistant or associate, office assistant, or clerk typist.

    • Number of jobs in 2018: 159,382
    • 2018-28 projected job growth: 2%
    • Entry-level pay in 2018: $26,624/annually, $12.80/hour
    • Median pay in 2018: $34,424/annually, $16.55/hour

    Note: Salary and employment outlook is for Orange County, CA, and will vary depending on skill, experience, employer, and geographic location.