Administrative Assistants

(NOC 1241)

in All Business, Finance, and Administration

Administrative assistants perform a variety of administrative duties in support of managerial and professional employers. They are employed throughout the private and public sectors.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate stable employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 395 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 6600 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to remain largely the same over the next few years. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Administrative Assistants most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 54% of Administrative Assistants who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $40,076. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.26

Median

$27.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$8,517

Minimum

$34,236

Median

$52,509

Maximum

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$21.03

Median

$35.90

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,754

Minimum

$36,515

Median

$70,271

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Administrative assistants perform a variety of administrative duties in support of managerial and professional employers. They are employed throughout the private and public sectors.

Job duties

Administrative assistants perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Prepare, key in, edit and proofread correspondence, invoices, presentations, brochures, publications, reports and related material from machine dictation and handwritten copy.
  • Open and distribute incoming regular and electronic mail and other material and coordinate the flow of information internally and with other departments and organizations.
  • Schedule and confirm appointments and meetings of employer.
  • Order office supplies and maintain inventory.
  • Answer telephone and electronic enquiries and relay telephone calls and messages.
  • Set up and maintain manual and computerized information filing systems.
  • Determine and establish office procedures.
  • Greet visitors, ascertain nature of business, and direct visitors to employer or appropriate person.
  • Record and prepare minutes of meetings.
  • Arrange travel schedules and make reservations.
  • May compile data, statistics and other information to support research activities.
  • May supervise and train office staff in procedures and in use of current software.
  • May organize conferences.

Sample job titles

  • administrative assistant
  • executive secretary (except legal and medical)
  • office administrative assistant
  • personal secretary
  • school secretary
  • secretary (except legal and medical)
  • secretary-clerk
  • taxation service secretary
  • technical secretary

Skills

To work in these jobs, you need excellent grammar and communication skills. Accurate and fast typing speed is essential. You should have a working knowledge of computers, word processing software, and general office equipment. Interpersonal skills and the ability to work with others are important.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of a one- or two-year college or other program for administrative assistants or secretaries or previous clerical experience is required.

Other considerations

Computer use has drastically changed this occupation in recent years as many executives and professionals create their own documents and use e-mail as a primary mode of written communication. This has reduced the type of work traditionally done by secretaries. Some secretarial positions are being converted to office manager positions and more specialized clerical roles. It is increasingly common for secretaries to support teams rather than individuals. Working in these jobs may cause back and neck strain due to sitting for long periods of time, as well as eye strain from computer screens.

By the numbers

Quick look

5,120

employed in 2016

80.9%

employed full-time

4.0%

self employed

97.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
2.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
49.9

median age

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

63,775

employed in 2016

81.3%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

73.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
26.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.9

median age

Where will I likely work?

48.4%

Halifax

14.8%

Northern

13.1%

Annapolis Valley

12.4%

Southern

11.2%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

22.8%

Educational Services

19.7%

Public Administration

8.6%

Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Leasing

6.8%

Other Services

5.4%

Retail Trade

What is the age of Employment?

32.8%

45-54

21.7%

35-44

21.5%

55-64

14.4%

25-34

5.1%

65+

4.3%

15-24

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

36.5%

45-54

28.0%

55-64

18.6%

35-44

10.7%

65+

6.0%

25-34

Top levels of education

49.5%

College certificate or diploma

$36,380 median annual income
20.9%

High school

$34,269 median annual income
15.4%

Bachelor's degree

$32,633 median annual income
6.3%

Trades certificate

$32,217 median annual income
2.9%

Less than high school

$28,562 median annual income

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

34.4%

College certificate or diploma

$33,837 median annual income
23.7%

High school

$30,074 median annual income
22.9%

Bachelor's degree

$39,473 median annual income
5.8%

Trades certificate

$32,871 median annual income
4.7%

Less than high school

$23,775 median annual income

Education & training

Administrative assistant and secretarial science - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that generally prepares individuals to perform the duties of administrative assistants and/or secretaries and stenographers. These programs include courses in business communications, principles of business law, word processing and data entry, office machines operation and maintenance, office procedures, public relations, secretarial accounting, filing systems and records management, and report preparation.

Institutions providing this program

Cape Breton Business College

315 Jamieson Street PO Box 33 Whitney Pier

Sydney, NS B1N 3B1

(902) 564-2222

Maritime Business College - Dartmouth

45 Ochterloney Street, Suite 100

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2N6

(902) 463-6700

Eastern College - Halifax

6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111

Halifax, NS B3L 0B7

(902) 423-3933

Academy of Learning - Halifax

6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Island Career Academy

721 Alexandra Street

Sydney, NS B1S 2H4

(902) 564-6112

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Unit 37, 115 Chain Lake Drive

Halifax, NS B3S 1B3

(877) 491-6774

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

General office occupations and clerical services

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals to provide basic administrative support under the supervision of office managers, administrative assistants, secretaries, and other office personnel. These programs include courses in typing, keyboarding, filing, general business correspondence, office equipment operation, and communications skills.

Institutions providing this program

Academy of Learning - Halifax

6960 Mumford Road, Suite 155-1st Floor Mumford Professional Centre

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Centre for Distance Education

222 George Street, Suite C

Sydney, NS B1P 1J3

(866) 446-5898

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
10502 N Ambassador Dr., Ste. 100
Kansas City, Missouri 64153
Tel: (816) 891-6600
Fax: (816) 891-9118

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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