administrative assistant jobs in canada

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everything you need to know about being an administrative assistant

As an administrative assistant, you have your finger on the pulse of your company. You perform routine clerical and administrative duties, but mostly you assist with and organize the daily activities of department heads, managers and executives.

Your workday varies depending on the schedules and responsibilities of others. You’re computer and tech savvy – a valuable skill, as you work on a computer for much of the day, completing tasks such as word processing, scheduling, and creating and managing spreadsheets.

In your role, you may also answer phones, file, operate office equipment, input data, and prepare correspondence, reports, invoices, forms and other materials.

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average administrative assistant salaries in canada

Administrative assistants can make anywhere from $36,000 to $60,000, depending on their level of experience and location. The average administrative assistant salary in Canada is just over $45,000.

Junior administrative assistants with a year of experience or less will typically make near the lower end of this range, while senior administrative assistants with 5+ years of experience can expect to make in the mid to high range.

Administrative assistant salaries are fairly consistent across the country, so you will have a range of administrative assistant jobs to choose from, no matter where you choose to reside in Canada.



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what being an administrative assistant entails

What you do in the course of your workday depends on what industry you’re in, the type of company or organization you work for, and who you support in the organization.

If you work for a smaller company, you may function as more of an office manager. You may even find yourself managing some human resources functions at your company.

To succeed as an administrative assistant, you'll need basic clerical skills and whatever skills are relevant to your industry. For example, if you’re employed in the healthcare field, you’ll need to know the correct terminology and industry software such as appointment scheduling technology.

your day to day tasks

As an administrative assistant, tasks you may find yourself doing include:

  • bookkeeping
  • answering phones and providing customers or clients with information
  • scheduling and coordinating meetings
  • entering or organizing data
  • preparing and sending packages
  • planning or overseeing functions
  • operating office equipment, such as computers, printers, fax machines, photocopiers, scanners, and telephone answering systems

where you can work

Administrative assistants are employed in a variety of industries, businesses and organizations, in both the public and private sectors. What you do depends on the industry you’re employed in, and who you support.

You will usually work at a desk in an office, although some administrative assistants may be able to work virtually. Full-time in-house workers typically follow a 9 to 5 schedule of 35 to 40 hours per week but may be called upon to work evening or weekend hours to accommodate the needs of executives. Sometimes, executive assistants will be asked to accompany their manager to out of town meetings.

what you bring to the table

To thrive as an administrative assistant, you'll need exceptional communication skills. Clerical skills, technical skills, and the ability to multi-task are also important.

In addition to the above skills, successful administrative assistants also need to possess the ability to:

  • work gracefully in stressful situations
  • pay close attention to details
  • solve problems efficiently
  • remain organized at all times
  • be dependable, flexible, and discreet

training and certifications

A high school diploma is required by most companies hiring administrative assistants. Many also look for basic computer skills, familiarity with word processing software, and other general office skills.Some positions may also require technical expertise.

Some employers now require an undergraduate degree related to the business, as well. While a degree isn’t a necessity, it will definitely set you apart from other candidates. Vocational schools can offer certifications also. 

where your career is headed

The future looks bright for administrative assistants!

As an administrative assistant, you can work your way up to more advanced administrative positions with more responsibility, including managerial roles.

Skilled, experienced administrative professionals are a cornerstone of many Canadian industries such as healthcare and social services. As new technologies and automation are adopted, they will only allow you to become more productive.

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