General Office Support Workers

(NOC 1411)

in All Business, Finance, and Administration

General office support workers prepare correspondence, reports, statements and other material, operate office equipment, answer telephones, verify, record and process forms and documents like contracts and requisitions and do general clerical duties according to procedures. They work in offices throughout the public and private sectors.

Job Outlook

Average

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  • Estimate Decline sharply employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate -265 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

  • Estimate -1305 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4210 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

A moderate number of general office support workers were laid off in March and April due the temporary closure of certain types of business. Many have since been rehired. Workers in this occupation are spread across several different industries, some of which may have been affected more than others by COVID-19. Those in hospitals and government organizations are far less likely to have been laid off than those in harder hit industries, like retail. With the increase of virtual communication, sanitization, and occupancy restrictions due the pandemic, many office support workers have experienced a change in work tasks.

Total employment in this occupation is expected to decline. Improvements in administrative software and other technological advancements have automated some of the simpler tasks performed by office support workers. As a result, the remaining positions have become more skilled. Vacancies created by retirements are a main source of opportunities. Presently, there are many qualified jobseekers for vacancies in this occupation. Successful job applicants are likely to be distinguished by amount of experience or industry-specific skills.

The median employment income for the 49% of General Office Support Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $39,226. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$13.57

Minimum

$20.00

Median

$27.40

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,155

Minimum

$30,706

Median

$52,565

Maximum

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$27.85

Median

$38.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,754

Minimum

$36,515

Median

$70,271

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

General office support workers prepare correspondence, reports, statements and other material, operate office equipment, answer telephones, verify, record and process forms and documents like contracts and requisitions and do general clerical duties according to procedures. They work in offices throughout the public and private sectors.

Job duties

General office support workers:

  • Prepare communication, reports, statements, forms, presentations, applications and other documents from notes or Dictaphone.
  • Respond to telephone, in person or electronic questions or forward to appropriate person.
  • Give general information to staff, clients and the public about company or program rules, regulations and procedures.
  • Photocopy and collate documents for sharing, mailing and filing.
  • Sort and file documents according to filing systems, locate and retrieve documents from files as requested and maintain records of filed and removed materials.
  • Maintain and prepare reports from manual or electronic files, inventories, mailing lists and databases.
  • Process incoming and outgoing mail.
  • Send and receive messages and documents using fax machine or e-mail.
  • Help with administrative procedures like budget submissions, contracts administration and work schedules.
  • Maintain inventory of office supplies, order supplies as required and arrange for office equipment servicing.
  • May complete basic bookkeeping tasks like preparing invoices and bank deposits.
  • May sort, process and verify receipts, expenditures, forms and other documents.
  • May organize the flow of work for other office support workers.

Sample job titles

  • administrative clerk
  • aircraft records clerk
  • file and classification clerk
  • filing clerk
  • general office worker
  • medical records clerk
  • office assistant
  • office clerk
  • records filing-system clerk
  • technical records clerk
  • ward clerk - hospital
  • warranty clerk

Skills

Good communication and interpersonal skills are important, along with a willingness to learn and adapt to continually changing equipment and software. Your work must be accurate, and you should enjoy repetitive tasks. Familiarity with computer software and other office equipment is needed. You should also be cooperative and able to work as part of a team.

Job requirements

  • High school is usually required.
  • High school or college business or commercial courses are usually required.

Other considerations

The use of computer technology to the tasks done by many clerks means that a solid foundation in computer skills is often necessary for entry into these jobs. Workers should be able to adapt to changes in technology. Some clerical experience may be required and on-the-job training may also be provided. Movement to supervisor, office management or officer level is possible with experience and additional training.

By the numbers

Quick look

7,505

employed in 2016

73.0%

employed full-time

3.7%

self employed

84.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
15.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
47.2

median age

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

63,775

employed in 2016

78.4%

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?

47.9%

Halifax

14.9%

North Shore

14.3%

Cape Breton

12.3%

Annapolis Valley

10.6%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

23.7%

Health care and social assistance

21.1%

Public administration

9.6%

Retail trade

5.1%

Finance and insurance

4.7%

Construction

What is the age of Employment?

25.0%

45-54

23.0%

55-64

18.0%

35-44

15.0%

25-34

12.0%

15-24

7.0%

65+

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

26.3%

45-54

22.6%

55-64

19.4%

35-44

16.7%

25-34

7.5%

65+

Top levels of education

37.3%

College Diploma

$32,865 median annual income
30.0%

High school

$28,269 median annual income
14.5%

Bachelor

$29,590 median annual income
6.9%

Less than high school

$18,514 median annual income
5.9%

Apprenticeship

$30,153 median annual income

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

33.8%

College Diploma

$36,304 median annual income
23.8%

High school

$32,903 median annual income
22.8%

Bachelor

$41,755 median annual income
5.8%

Apprenticeship

$34,807 median annual income
4.9%

Less than high school

$23,174 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

CBBC Career College Inc. - Sydney Campus

315 Jamieson Street

Sydney, NS B1N 2P7

(902) 564-2222

Eastern College - Halifax

6940 Mumford Road, Suite 111

Halifax, NS B3L 0B7

(902) 423-3933

Academy of Learning Career College - 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

Centre for Distance Education

222 George Street, Suite C

Sydney, NS B1P 1J3

(866) 446-5898

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 - 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 - Ivany Campus

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

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

45 Alderney Drive

Dartmouth, NS B1N 2P7

(902) 706-5529

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

Business administration and management - 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 plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. These programs include courses in management theory, human resources management and behaviour, accounting and other quantitative methods, purchasing and logistics, organization and production, marketing, and business decision-making.

Institutions providing this program

Maritime Business College

800 Sackville Drive

Lower Sackville, NS B4E 1R8

(902) 463-6700

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

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

Halifax, NS B3L 4P1

(902) 455-3395

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Middleton, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

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 - 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 - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

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

Business/commerce - General

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

This instructional program class includes any program that focuses on the general study of business, including the processes of interchanging goods and services (buying, selling and producing), business organization, and accounting as used in profit-making and non-profit public and private institutions and agencies. The program prepares individuals to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

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 Career College - 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.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.