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1241.0 – Administrative assistants

Administrative assistants perform a variety of administrative duties in support of managerial and professional employers.

Profile

Example titles Help

  • Administrative assistant
  • Executive secretary (except legal and medical)
  • Office administrative assistant
  • Private secretary
  • Secretary (except legal and medical)
  • Technical secretary

Main characteristics Help

  • General learning ability to set up and maintain manual and computerized information filing systems and to determine and establish office procedures; may conduct research
  • Verbal ability to prepare correspondence, and edit and proofread reports, publications and related material
  • Form perception and Clerical perception to read shorthand, to record and prepare minutes of meetings and to observe details when arranging travel schedules and making reservations
  • Motor co-ordination and Finger dexterity and Manual dexterity to key in correspondence, invoices, presentations, brochures, publications, reports and related material from shorthand, machine dictation and handwritten copy
  • Social interest in speaking with people to schedule and confirm appointments and meetings for employers, to greet visitors, to determine the nature of visitors' business, to direct visitors to employers or appropriate persons, and to answer telephone and electronic questions and relay telephone calls and messages
  • Objective interest in operating computers and other office equipment; may train staff in use of current software, word processors and typewriters
  • Directive interest in compiling information to distribute mail and other material, to co-ordinate the flow of information, internally and with other departments and organizations; and to order office supplies and maintain inventory; may supervise and train other staff; may organize conferences; and may compile data, statistics and other information

Aptitudes Help

One of five levels assigned for each factor, with levels representing normal curve distribution of the labour force:

G
General learning ability
V
Verbal ability
N
Numerical ability
S
Spatial perception
P
Form perception
Q
Clerical perception
K
Motor co-ordination
F
Finger dexterity
M
Manual dexterity

Levels legend
  1. The highest 10% of the working population
  2. Upper third, exclusive of the highest 10%
  3. Middle third of the working population
  4. Lowest third, exclusive of the lowest 10%
  5. Lowest 10% of the working population

An individual's overall capacity to learn the skills needed to perform job duties is based on his or her specific aptitudes for acquiring information and transforming it into action.

General learning ability G-3

Ability to 'catch on' or understand instructions and underlying principles; to reason and make judgments.

Verbal ability V-3

Ability to understand the meaning of words and the ideas associated with them, and to use them effectively; to comprehend language, to understand relationships between words and to understand the meaning of whole sentences and paragraphs; to present information or ideas clearly.

Numerical ability N-3

Ability to carry out arithmetical processes quickly and accurately.

Spatial perception S-4

Ability to think visually about geometric forms and comprehend the two dimensional representation of three dimensional objects; to recognize the relationships resulting from the movement of objects in space. May be used in such tasks as blueprint reading and in solving geometry problems. Frequently described as the ability to 'visualize' objects of two or three dimensions.

Form perception P-3

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in objects and in pictorial and graphic material; to make visual comparisons and discriminations and to see slight differences in shapes and shadings of figures and widths and lengths of lines.

Clerical perception Q-2

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in verbal or tabular material; to observe differences in copy, to proofread words and numbers, and to avoid perceptual errors in arithmetical computation.

Motor co-ordination K-3

Ability to co-ordinate eyes, hands and fingers rapidly and accurately when required to respond with precise movements.

Finger dexterity F-3

Ability to move the fingers and manipulate small objects with the fingers rapidly and/or accurately.

Manual dexterity M-3

Ability to move the hands easily and skillfully; to work with the hands in placing and turning motions.

Interests Help

Three of five descriptive factors, assigned in order of predominance and lower case rating indicating weaker representation:

D
Directive
I
Innovative
M
Methodical
O
Objective
S
Social

Social S

Social persons like dealing with people. They enjoy caring for and assisting others in identifying their needs and solving their concerns. Social persons like working and co-operating with others. They prefer to be involved in work that requires interpersonal contact.

Objective O

Objective persons enjoy working with tools, equipment, instruments and machinery. They like to repair and/or fabricate things from various materials according to specifications and using established techniques. Objective persons are interested in finding out how things operate and how they are built.

Directive d

Directive persons like to take charge and control situations. They like to take responsibility for projects that require planning, decision making and co-ordinating the work of others. They are able to give direction and instructions easily. They enjoy organizing their own activities. They see themselves as independent and self-directing.

Data, people, and things Help

Data

0
Synthesizing
1
Co-ordinating
2
Analyzing
3
Compiling
4
Computing
5
Copying
6
Comparing
7
N/A
8
Not Significant

People

0
Mentoring
1
Negotiating
2
Instructing - Consulting
3
Supervising
4
Diverting
5
Persuading
6
Speaking - Signaling
7
Serving - Assisting
8
Not significant

Things

0
Setting up
1
Precision working
2
Controlling
3
Driving - Operating
4
Operating - Manipulating
5
Tending
6
Feeding - Offbearing
7
Handling
8
Not significant
Data Compiling 3

Accumulating information usually recorded physically but which may be stored mentally; gathering, collating and classifying information about data, people and things; frequently reporting and/or carrying out a prescribed action in relation to the information.

People speaking 6

Talking with and/or signalling people to convey or exchange information; giving assignments and/or directions to helpers.

Things Operating 4

Using the body, tools or special devices to operate equipment or move, guide, install and place objects or materials. Requires a significant combination of motor co ordination and manual and finger dexterity. Involves some latitude for judgment with regard to precision and selection of appropriate tool, object or material.

Physical activities Help

V - Vision

1
Close visual acuity
2
Near vision
3
Near and far vision
4
Total visual field

H - Hearing

1
Limited
2
Verbal interaction
3
Other sound discrimination

L - Limb co-ordination

0
Not relevant
1
Upper limb co-ordination
2
Multiple limb co-ordination

C - Colour discrimination

0
Not relevant
1
Relevant

B - Body position

1
Sitting
2
Standing and/or walking
3
Sitting, standing, walking
4
Other body positions

S - Strength

1
Limited
2
Light
3
Medium
4
Heavy
Vision Vision V-2

The use of sight in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the visual field involved in the performance of the work.

2 - Near vision

Work activities are performed near the worker. The scope of the visual field is broader than in Close visual acuity (1).

Examples:

  • reading and interpreting drawings and specifications
  • using computer keyboards and reading computer monitors
  • repairing automobile engines
  • setting up and operating machine tools
Colour discrimination Colour discrimination C-0

The use of colour descrimination to identify, distinguish and match colours and different shades of the same colours.

0 - Not relevant

Colour discrimination is not relevant in the performance of the work.

Examples:

  • cleaning windows
  • providing information over the telephone
  • interviewing, hiring and overseeing staff training
  • translating documents
Hearing Hearing H-2

The use of hearing in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the type of auditory discrimination involved in the performance of the work.

2 - Verbal interaction

Work activities involve communication with colleagues, clients and/or the public on a regular basis.

Examples:

  • operating directory listing systems to provide directory assistance to customers
  • resolving work problems and recommending measures to improve productivity
  • consulting with families of the deceased regarding funeral services
  • analyzing and providing advice on managerial methods and organization of establishments
Body position Body position B-1

Primary type of posture or body movement involved in performing the work. These postures or body movements range from simple to complex and from sedentary to mobile.

1 - Sitting

Work activities primarily involve sitting. Standing and/or walking (2) may occur but is incidental to the work being performed.

Examples:

  • reading and editing copy to be published or broadcast
  • preparing financial statements
  • issuing aircraft take-off and landing instructions to pilot
  • interviewing clients
Limb co-ordination Limb co-ordination L-1

The use of limbs in performing work.

1 - Upper limb co-ordination

Work activities involve co-ordination of upper limbs.

Examples:

  • keyboarding
  • performing maintenance services such as oil changes, lubrications and tune-ups
  • operating video cameras
  • instructing students in sign language
Strength Strength S-1

The use of strength in the handling of loads such as pulling, pushing, lifting and/or moving objects during the work performed.

1 - Limited

Work activities involve handling loads up to 5 kg.

Examples:

  • examining and analyzing financial information
  • selling insurance to clients
  • conducting economic and technical feasibility studies
  • administering and marking written tests

Environmental conditions Help

Location

L1
Regulated inside climate
L2
Unregulated inside climate
L3
Outside
L4
In a vehicle or cab

Hazards

H1
Dangerous chemical substances
H2
Biological agents
H3
Equipment, machinery, tools
H4
Electricity
H5
Radiation
H6
Flying particles, falling objects
H7
Fire, steam, hot surfaces
H8
Dangerous locations

Discomforts

D1
Noise
D2
Vibration
D3
Odours
D4
Non-toxic dusts
D5
Wetness
Location Regulated inside climate L1

The work performed is carried out indoors in a regulated environment, indoors in an unregulated environment, outdoors or in a vehicle. In many occupations, the Main Duties may be performed in more than one location. Therefore, a group may have more than one Location code, for example:

  • firefighting and fire prevention duties
  • maintenance of interior/exterior of buildings
  • managing operations and paperwork of farms

L1 - Regulated inside climate

A normal controlled environment such as an office, hospital or school.

Employment requirements Help

Education/training Help

1
No formal education or training requirements
2
Some high school education and/or on the job training or experience
3
High school
4
Course work, training, workshops and/or experience related to the occupation
5
Apprenticeship, specialized training, vocational school training
6
College, technical school (certificate, diploma)
7
Undergraduate degree
8
Post-graduate or professional degree
+
Additional requirement beyond education and training
R
Regulated requirement(s)
4, 5, 6
  • Completion of secondary 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.

Workplaces/employers Help

  • Establishments throughout the private and public sectors

Exclusions Help

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
1 – Business, finance and administration occupations
Skill level
B – Occupations usually require college education, specialized training or apprenticeship training
Major group
12 – Administrative and financial supervisors and administrative occupations
Minor group
124 – Office administrative assistants - general, legal and medical
Unit group
1241 – Administrative assistants
Version
2016.3
Date modified: