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%

Trade Certification

$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%

Trade Certification

$34,807 median annual income
4.9%

Less than high school

$23,174 median annual income

Education & training

Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students for the duties of administrative assistants and/or secretaries and stenographers. They 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

Sydney, NS

Eastern College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Island Career Academy

Sydney, NS

Centre for Distance Education

Sydney, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

Springhill, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Various, NS

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Adult High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

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

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Adult Learning

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Business Administration and Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to plan, organize, direct, and control the functions and processes of a firm or organization. They 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

Lower Sackville, NS

Academy of Learning Career College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

Springhill, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Online Learning

Various, NS

Business/Commerce

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus 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. They prepare students to apply business principles and techniques in various occupational settings.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Association of Administrative Professionals
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.