Secretaries and clerks perform a variety of administrative duties in support of managerial and professional employers. They are employed in offices throughout the public and private sectors.
Many businesses and organizations require clerks who ensure that records are properly kept and office equipment is used efficiently. Most of these clerks perform general clerical duties, although some have specialized tasks, or concentrate on one area of work.
General office clerks, typists, receptionists and file clerks are employed in offices in various government departments or agencies, in schools, in businesses, and in corporations.
Secretaries are responsible for information management. They make sure information gets to the people who need it, and they store and organize information so that it can be found easily.
They may do some or all of the following tasks:
Type correspondence, reports, invoices and related material on a computer
Use word-processing or desktop publishing software to format text drafted by others and prepare it for broader circulation
Prepare presentation materials
Prepare routine correspondence
Compile data, statistics and other information
Assist committees by taking minutes using laptop computers and/or recording software
Open and distribute incoming email and other correspondence
Do Internet searches
Answer telephone inquiries and relay telephone calls
Set up and maintain filing systems
Schedule and confirm their employer's appointments and meetings
Greet visitors and direct them to the appropriate person or department
Handle routine invoicing and payments
Order office supplies
Supervise other office workers
Sort and file material, and retrieve it as required
Executive secretaries and assistants are often called upon to provide their employers with strategic feedback, corporate history and advice, and time-management assistance.
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in Very High demand.
Most of the work in this job is in Whitehorse (81.2% of jobs). Earnings in this type of job are close to the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $41,800 in 2011.
First Nations Connections
Yukon First Nation governments and organizations rely on experienced clerical staff to enable their activities. Because secretarial and office administration skills can be acquired through distance education and work experience, these are good occupations for rural community members who want to stay in their community. They are also highly transferable skills that are in demand across Canada.
There are many secretaries and clerks employed in almost every type of business and in all government agencies and departments. They are primarily responsible for managing office paperwork and keeping track of information. They need to know how to use a variety of office machines such as computers, scanners, photocopiers, fax machines, and business telephone systems.
These workers generally work in comfortable, well-designed office settings during regular office hours. Some evening, weekend, or shift work may be required.
These positions have changed with technological change, becoming more general with fewer specializations. For example, receptionists may have fewer typing duties than in former times, but carry other clerical responsibilities on an office administration team. School secretaries, for example, have duties that are geared towards school activities, projects and programs.
Some secretaries and clerks are the “front-line face” of the organization and need excellent communication skills for customers and clients. Others are involved in more information-management roles such as filing, updating databases or processing forms.
Some sample job titles are:
Word processing clerk
Records system clerk
Answering service operator
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How Do I Get There
Most employers in this field prefer applicants with a high school diploma and courses in English, business and computer software programs.
The certificate-level office administration program at Yukon College includes administrative assistant and general office assistant options. The diploma-level business administration program provides training that teaches skills for more executive secretarial positions.
Office administration courses are offered online through many universities and colleges. For example, an Administrative Assistant Online course is offered through Capilano University in Vancouver, and an office administration diploma is offered online through a collaboration between Red Deer College, SAIT and Keyano College.