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From answering phone calls to managing schedules and budgets, program assistants are important positions to the program managers they work for. In fact, without program assistants there to coordinate meetings and process financial documents, program managers probably wouldn't know what to do.

Sure, program assistant jobs aren't hard to come by (in fact, we can't think of an industry where the position isn't available), but if you really want to get ahead of the competition, you might want to consider earning a degree. Whatever helps you become really great at management or gives you experience in administrative duties will surely put you as a front-runner when it comes to being selected for a job.

Did you know that the majority of program assistants stay in that position for a long time. In fact, over 40% of program assistants stay in that position for over six years. So if you're looking for a long-time job, this is a great professional solution.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a program assistant. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.99 an hour? That's $33,256 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 13% and produce 52,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Program Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many program assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed compassion, problem-solving skills and time-management skills.

Learn more about what a Program Assistant does

How To Become a Program Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a program assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 61.7% of program assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.6% of program assistants have master's degrees. Even though most program assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a program assistant. When we researched the most common majors for a program assistant, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on program assistant resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a program assistant. In fact, many program assistant jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many program assistants also have previous career experience in roles such as administrative assistant or cashier.

Program Assistant Career Paths

Average Salary for a Program Assistant

Program Assistants in America make an average salary of $33,256 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $41,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Program Assistant Salary
$33,256 Yearly
$15.99 hourly
$26,000
10 %
$33,000
Median
$41,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Program Assistant Education

Program Assistant Majors

17.6 %

Program Assistant Degrees

Bachelors

61.7 %

Associate

15.2 %

Masters

9.6 %

Top Colleges for Program Assistants

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

3. California State University - Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,942
Enrollment
13,871

4. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

5. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

7. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

8. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

9. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

10. University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,167
Enrollment
30,279

Top Skills For a Program Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.7% of program assistants listed communication on their resume, but soft skills such as compassion and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Program Assistant Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Program Assistant templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Program Assistant resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Program Assistant Demographics

Program Assistant Gender Distribution

Female
Female
75%
Male
Male
25%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among program assistants, 75.2% of them are women, while 24.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among program assistants is White, which makes up 55.9% of all program assistants.

  • The most common foreign language among program assistants is Spanish at 51.3%.

Online Courses For Program Assistant That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
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Shh! 12 Secrets Only the Best Administrative Assistants Know
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Step by step tutorials for over 30 tools that will make your Virtual Assistant business and productivity skyrocket!...

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Best States For a Program Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a program assistant. The best states for people in this position are Connecticut, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado. Program assistants make the most in Connecticut with an average salary of $40,215. Whereas in North Dakota and Alaska, they would average $37,785 and $37,375, respectively. While program assistants would only make an average of $36,559 in Colorado, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Program Assistant Jobs:
228
Highest 10% Earn:
$44,000
Location Quotient:
1.51 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Program Assistant Jobs:
675
Highest 10% Earn:
$52,000
Location Quotient:
1.26 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. District of Columbia

Total Program Assistant Jobs:
317
Highest 10% Earn:
$60,000
Location Quotient:
1.17 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Program Assistants

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Top Program Assistant Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ program assistants and discovered their number of program assistant opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Johns Hopkins University was the best, especially with an average salary of $31,457. Boys & Girls Clubs of America follows up with an average salary of $26,655, and then comes Child Development Center with an average of $33,256. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a program assistant. The employers include St Joseph Medical Group, Emory University, and Emory Healthcare

Becoming a Program Assistant FAQs

How long does it take to become a Program Assistant?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a program assistant. That is the time it takes to learn specific program assistant skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 6 to 8 years years to become a program assistant.

How can I be a good program assistant?

To be a good program assistant requires excellent communication skills, strong time management abilities, and keen attention to detail. Most program assistants are responsible for performing general office duties such as answering phone calls, keeping records, data entry, and addressing customer concerns.

How do I get a job as an assistant?

To get a job as an assistant, you need to choose an area of work and prepare yourself to work for a professional in that field. Many professionals need assistants; therefore, the preparation to work under a professional depends on the chosen field of work.

What are the qualifications to be an assistant?

The qualifications needed to be an assistant include a high school diploma and some prior related work experience. An assistant can work in many different industries (e.g., technology, academic, publishing) and on many different levels (e.g., assistant to the manager, assistant to the CEO) within the company.

What are the roles of a program assistant?

The roles of program assistants can vary depending on the industry, but the main focus is carrying out administrative tasks that impact the daily operations of a business. Most program assistants are responsible for performing general office duties such as answering phone calls, keeping records, data entry, addressing customer concerns and so on.

What is a graduate program assistant?

A graduate assistantship is a salaried student employment opportunity for graduate students. Graduate assistants work a set number of hours per week and, in return, receive a tuition waiver and, oftentimes, a monthly living stipend.

What skills does a program assistant need?

The skills needed to be a program assistant are communication skills, interpersonal skills, time management skills, creative thinking, among others. Communication skills, including active listening, are essential for program assistants, as program members often approach them with requests, ideas, orders and issues.

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