Job Description: ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Because Administrative Assistants play such a key role in Canada's work environment, there will continue to be an above average demand for these positions in the coming years, particularly for those with strong word processing and database skills. There is also a large market for temporary Administrative Assistants, and these jobs can lead to full-time employment.
Administrative Assistants generally work at a desk in an office environment, but some roles involve standing at a service counter, both of which require good ergonomic practices. They work with basic office equipment including but not limited to computers, printers, copiers, and fax machines and have regular interaction with people, whether co-workers or the public. Normal job hours are 9 to 5, Monday through Friday which is 35 to 40 hours weekly. Some high level positions can work as many as 50 hours a week.
The Administrative Assistant reports to upper levels of company management but sometimes they can be asked to assist various departments throughout the organization.
Administrative Assistants handle everything from basic clerical work and scheduling meetings to researching data, preparing reports, budgeting, bookkeeping and sometimes even managing clerical staff. There are times when Administrative Assistants take on the role of project managers because of their outstanding planning and organizational skills. Duties often vary based on the level of responsibility required and the managerial level they support.
Skilled Administrative Assistants can move into a variety of roles from supervising clerical staff to training, desktop publishing, research, information management, project management, and public relations.
A successful Administrative Assistant will have excellent knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets and desktop publishing applications as well as strong written and verbal communication abilities and outstanding organizational skills. Employers want someone who can understand their company and their industry and quickly become a reliable, beneficial member of their team. In short, they want someone who can think within the job requirements as well as outside the box.
Required Skills and Training
A college degree is preferred, but if you have solid experience, lots of energy and a desire to take on new challenges you can often overcome the lack of college education. Training through a high-school vocational program, business school or a job placement agency is also acceptable to some employers.
Entry level positions require 1 year of experience, intermediate positions 3-5 years, and senior levels 5 or more years.
Skills and Certifications:
No specific certifications are required, but Administrative Assistants can study to earn various certifications such as Qualified Administrative Assistant (QAA), Certified Professional Secretary (CPS), Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) and other job-specific certifications which can increase their salary and demand.
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