Best Online Associate in Administration and Management Programs

Pursue a flexible college education with an online associate in administration and management. This guide covers courses, costs, and careers.

An associate in administration and management is an undergraduate degree that prepares learners for entry-level careers in the business field or transfer to a bachelor’s program.

This degree typically takes 1.5-2 years of full-time study to complete. Students can typically expect to spend between $5,000-$30,000 in tuition and fees, depending on their school selection and residency status. In-state and online learners typically pay the lowest attendance costs.

Graduates enjoy a favorable job outlook, since all industries rely on administration and management professionals to function smoothly. Popular careers include administrative assistant, bookkeeping clerk, and retail store manager. Many jobs pursued by business and administration graduates pay annual salaries between $40,000 and $60,000, as detailed below.

What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Administration and Management Program?

An online associate in administration and management requires 60-70 credits of coursework. Studying full time, learners typically graduate in two years. Some programs offer accelerated pacing options that allow for completion in 1.5 years.

Students can pursue an online associate in administration and management in one of three formats:

  • Associate of Arts (AA): Provides general education and career training, with a more flexible curriculum. Designed for transfer to a bachelor’s program.
  • Associate of Science (AS): Provides general education and career training, with a narrower focus on technical subjects. Designed for transfer to a bachelor’s program.
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Provides career education and training, with a focus on practical skill building. Typically not designed for transfer to a bachelor’s program.

Some schools offer concentration and certificate options for learners interested in customizing their degree based on academic or professional interests. Common options include:

  • Accounting
  • Culinary/Food Services
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Small Business Management

Online associate programs typically do not require in-person components. However, some programs allow students to pursue relevant internships locally. Internships enable students to network, gain experience, and put their practical skills to use.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Administration and Management Program?

Principles of Management

This essential core course introduces students to the concepts, terminology, and principles of management. Students explore different management theories and relevant issues in the modern management field.

Business Law I

Students in this course explore how the U.S. legal system impacts business operations. Discussion topics include sales and common law contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, transfer of title and risk, and product liability.

Accounting Principles

This course introduces students to U.S. accounting principles. Students gain hands-on skills in the preparation of balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements.

Principles of Marketing

This course introduces learners to marketing functions, marketing research, and methods for identifying consumer and organizational needs. Coursework also explores economic, psychological, and sociological issues in marketing.

Business Computer Applications

Students in this course learn about computer terminology, hardware, and software use in business environments. Coursework covers professional computing behavior, word processing, and spreadsheets. Students also learn about databases and presentation graphics.

What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Administration and Management Degree?

Career Outlook

Graduates of associate in administration and management programs may enter a favorable job market. Every industry relies on administration professionals to keep daily operations running smoothly. Popular fields include retail and food service, hospitality, general business, and professional and technical services.

Demand varies by occupation. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of bookkeeping clerks is projected to decline by 3% from 2020-2030, while employment of food service managers is projected to increase by 15%. Competition for these jobs varies by geographic location, industry, and population density.

Program graduates can expect to earn between roughly $40,000-$60,000 annually. For comparison, associate degree-holders in all disciplines earn a median of $46,120 each year, according to the BLS.

Explore how far a career in business administration can take you.

Career Paths

Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants perform routine clerical and organizational tasks for a business organization. Duties include answering telephones, scheduling appointments, and handling mail. They also file documents and purchase supplies. Administrative assistants work in almost every industry. The largest employers include healthcare and social assistance, educational services, and professional services industries.

Median Annual Salary: $40,990 (May 2020)

Bookkeeping Clerks

Bookkeeping clerks maintain an organization’s general ledger. They record all business transactions and produce financial statements and reports for managers. Bookkeepers handle cash and checks, prepare bank deposits, and verify receipts. In some organizations, bookkeepers also handle payroll, make purchases, and prepare invoices.

Median Annual Salary: $42,410 (May 2020)

Retail Store Manager

Retail store managers oversee personnel and operations in specialized retail and department stores. These managers maintain procedures and standards implemented by the store owner, supervising director, or regional manager. Common duties include scheduling staff, training new hires, and ensuring proper customer service.

Average Annual Salary: $50,120 (Dec. 2021)

Food Service Manager

Food service managers oversee a restaurant’s daily operations. Common tasks include hiring, scheduling, and evaluating employees. They also order supplies, address customer complaints, and manage budgets and payroll. These managers may need several years of experience in the food service industry as a cook, counter attendant, or member of waitstaff. They may also need food handling certifications.

Median Annual Salary: $56,590 (May 2020)

Executive Assistant

An executive assistant is a specialized type of administrative assistant who provides direct support for top executives within an organization. Common tasks include managing the executive’s itinerary, scheduling meetings and travel, and running errands. Executive assistants may also screen phone calls, supervise clerical staff, and draft documents.

Average Annual Salary: $58,080 (Dec. 2021)