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Administrative Assistant

Administrative assistants perform administrative duties ranging from general office tasks to acting as special assistants in particular departments.

  • Avg. Salary $52,068.00
  • Avg. Wage $26.49
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 19,800
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Administrative Support Personnel, Clerical Assistant, Information Clerk, Office Personnel, Secretary

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: General Office Clerks (1411) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: General Office Clerks (B511) 
  • 2011 NOC: Administrative assistants (1241) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Administrative Assistant is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
General Office Clerks

Interest in operating equipment such as computers and photocopiers; and in using fax machines and electronic mail to send and receive messages and documents; may service office equipment


Interest in compiling information to maintain and prepare reports from manual or electronic files, inventories, mailing lists and databases


Interest in speaking to clients and the public to provide general information; may verify applications, receipts, expenditures, forms and other documents; may order office supplies and arrange for servicing of major repairs

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Apr 10, 2017

Technology is constantly changing and so are administrative assistants' duties. However, in general, administrative assistants may:

  • use word processing, spreadsheet, database or presentation software to prepare invoices, reports, memos, letters, financial statements and other documents
  • answer telephones, greet visitors, meet with clients, and handle business and administrative details
  • arrange and organize meetings
  • prepare meeting agendas, attend meetings, and record and transcribe minutes
  • open, sort and distribute correspondence (including faxes and email) and respond to routine inquiries
  • draft correspondence and reports
  • schedule and manage supervisors' appointments and meetings using electronic calendar systems
  • make travel arrangements, prepare expense reports, order and maintain office supplies
  • develop or maintain a records management system (including classifying and coding electronic, as well as hardcopy files)
  • train staff members in computer applications and troubleshoot hardware and software problems
  • research information on the Internet, prepare Intranet documents and assist in the maintenance of company websites
  • handle basic bookkeeping duties such as accounts payable and receivable and the reconciliation of accounts
  • operate office equipment such as fax machines, photocopiers, voice mail messaging systems and computer scanning equipment
  • transcribe material from handwritten notes or digital dictation
  • edit or format documents for executives
  • use specialized software to create forms
  • manage projects and industry specific databases
  • manage events (for more information, see the Special Event Co-ordinator profile)
  • supervise, manage or train other staff members
  • manage social media platforms for the company and specifically for their supervisors.
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Administrative assistants work in office environments. They usually work standard office hours but overtime may be required to meet deadlines. Some work in virtual environments (an environment that allows employees to work from any location by using technology such as laptop computers, cellular phones, and internet access).

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Administrative assistants need the following characteristics:

  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good interpersonal skills
  • good organizational and time management skills
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • effective decision making skills
  • the ability to demonstrate professionalism
  • keen sense of initiative.

They should enjoy working with people, using computer applications, and compiling and organizing information.

Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Most employers, particularly in specialized fields, require administrative assistants to have related post-secondary education and computer skills.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Cambrooks College - Downtown Campus

Campbell College Ltd.

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West

CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Red Deer

East-West College of Business & Technology

Evergreen College - Calgary

LaSalle College International Vancouver - Vancouver

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Okanagan College

Red Deer College

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

Thompson Rivers University

University of Victoria - Victoria

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Administrative assistants may be employed in any industry. Some are self-employed and work from home as virtual assistants.

Experienced administrative assistants may advance from routine clerical tasks to a skilled specialty or to supervision of other office assistants.

Administrative assistants are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 1411: General office clerks. In Alberta, 77% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 4,500 Albertans are employed in the General office clerks occupational group. This group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 77 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As administrative assistants form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for administrative assistants.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Salaries for administrative assistants vary depending on the responsibilities of the position and the qualifications of the worker.

Administrative assistants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $14.81 $29.49 $22.38 $22.56
Overall $17.73 $37.44 $26.49 $25.37
Top $19.20 $44.28 $30.32 $28.62

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Health Care & Social Assistance
Transportation and Warehousing
Public Administration
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Wholesale Trade
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Educational Services
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Forestry, Logging, Fishing and Hunting
Accommodation & Food Services
Retail Trade

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Information Processing
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
Other Sources of Information
Updated Apr 10, 2017

International Association of Administrative Professionals website:

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 03, 2016. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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