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Occupational Profile

Administrative Assistant

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

  • Avg. Salary $51,699.00
  • Avg. Wage $26.86
  • Minimum Education 1 year post-secondary
  • Outlook Average
  • Employed 33,100
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

NOC & Interest Codes
The Administrative Assistant is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
General Office Clerks
NOC code: 1411
OBJECTIVE

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

METHODICAL

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

innovative

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

Duties
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.

Campbell College Ltd.

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

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 South

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

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

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.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 10, 2017

Average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

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 are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2141: Administrative assistants.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Administrative assistants occupational group earned on average from $22.09 to $32.99 an hour. The overall average wage was $26.86 an hour. For more information, see the Administrative assistants wage profile.

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

eCampusAlberta website: www.ecampusalberta.ca

International Association of Administrative Professionals website: www.iaap-hq.org

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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