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 Weak growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 740 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

  • Estimate 3555 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 9370 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. General Office Support Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The majority of job opportunities in this occupational group occur through the need to backfill vacant positions, many of which are part time or casual. There is a fairly large potential pool of workers available which seems to balance-out the demand. Office automation technology has reduced the need for workers with a lower skill level so many positions today require both a broader and higher level of skills. Jobseekers may find that holding a post-secondary certificate is now a requirement for many openings. Many employers have a preference for applicants with experience in a broader range of tasks, such as bookkeeping or the management of social media accounts, so applicants with backgrounds in these areas may have more success securing employment. Applicants with less developed skills and experience will likely face competition, even for lower-paying, entry-level jobs.

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$20.49

Median

$27.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$6,155

Minimum

$30,706

Median

$52,565

Maximum

Compared to: All Business, Finance, and Administration

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$23.00

Median

$38.50

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

$33,003 median annual income
14.9%

North Shore

$29,636 median annual income
14.3%

Cape Breton

$27,819 median annual income
12.3%

Annapolis Valley

$30,711 median annual income
10.6%

Southern

$27,607 median annual income

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

Various, NS

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

Dartmouth, 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

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

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, 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.