what is an office administrator?

As an office administrator, you ensure the company's operations run efficiently and smoothly. You assist other professionals by providing administrative support like processing payroll, organizing company files and basic bookkeeping tasks. You perform a mix of logistical and administrative duties to ensure appointments are confirmed, and colleagues have the necessary information at their fingertips. You answer phone calls, take inventory and organize the office calendar to ensure managers aren't double-booked for appointments.

Office administrators can work in any industry that requires support to organize the work environment. Whether you work in legal offices, hospitals or consultancy firms, it's important to be a flexible multi-tasker and detail-oriented to keep up with business processes efficiently.

Apart from supporting other workers, an office administrator ensures the office has the resources to run smoothly. This involves coordinating repairs for malfunctioning office equipment and organizing regular maintenance. You also manage the use of office supplies and replenish stationery and cleaning supplies.

Would working as an office administrator suit your organisation and multitasking skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an office administrator role.

office administrator jobs

average salary of an office administrator

The salary of an office administrator in Canada can vary depending on several factors, including the location, level of experience, the size and type of the company, and the specific duties and responsibilities of the role. On average, the salary for an office administrator in Canada typically is $54,000 ranging from $41,000 to $67,000 per year. However, these figures can vary, and in larger cities with a higher cost of living, salaries may be higher.

how to increase the salary of an office administrator

The salary of an office administrator depends on the level of education and qualifications. When you have more experience in the job, you will receive job offers with higher earnings. You can also demand more compensation when you hold qualifications in your field. The transferrable skills you bring when joining a company increase your bargaining power for better payment.

Your employer also influences your compensation package. For instance, if you work in a hospital, you are likely to earn more due to the complexity of your responsibilities. Retail businesses may pay considerably less due to the minimal duties involved. Working in large towns and cities also increases your earning potential due to the high demand for office administrators.

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types of office administrators

The types of office administrators depend on the business sector and specialism they work in. Some types of office administrators include:

  • medical office administrators: as an office administrator working in healthcare, your job involves handling administrative tasks. You assist with filing and organizing patient documents and assist doctors in keeping up with appointments.
  • legal office administrators: when you work in law firms or other legal settings, you perform clerical duties and assist lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries with their work. You may supervise legal secretaries and other administrative workers to ensure the office runs smoothly.
  • construction office administrators: as an office administrator working in the construction industry, you assist the professionals with administrative work. You organize the documentation for construction projects and handle clerical and bookkeeping duties.
office administrator
office administrator

working as an office administrator

Working as an office administrator requires multitasking and organizational skills, as you will be juggling multiple tasks. Here is a breakdown of the specific functions and responsibilities of office administrators.


office administrator skills and education

Office administrators don't need specific educational achievements, but the following qualifications can boost your employment prospects:

  • high school diploma: many entry-level office administrator positions may only require a high school diploma or equivalent. However, having a diploma with a strong academic background, including subjects like English, mathematics, and computer skills, can be advantageous.
  • post-secondary education: some employers may prefer candidates with post-secondary education, such as a certificate, diploma, or associate's degree in administrative studies, office administration, business administration, or a related field. These programs typically provide training in office procedures, computer applications, communication skills, and other relevant topics.
  • bachelor's degree: while not always required, having a bachelor's degree in a field such as business administration or management can open up more advanced opportunities in office administration or administrative management roles.
  • certification: obtaining certification can also enhance your qualifications. Organizations like the Canadian Institute of Management (CIM) and the Association of Administrative Professionals (AAP) offer relevant certifications that can demonstrate your competence and dedication to the field.

skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an office administrator include:

  • communication and interpersonal skills: as an office administrator, you need outstanding listening and interpersonal skills to work with a team of administrative staff. Listening skills help you serve clients better, while interpersonal skills are essential for delegating and scheduling duties.
  • flexibility: two days are rarely the same when you are an office administrator. That means you need to adapt to new duties daily. There are also interruptions when something urgent comes up.
  • computer skills: as an office administrator, you need excellent computer applications and software knowledge. Many of your duties involve creating reports, answering emails and inputting data.
  • attention to detail: as an office administrator, you need a good eye for detail to write accurate reports and avoid errors in bookkeeping and data entry.


FAQs about working as an office administrator


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