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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Administrative Clerks(1441)

Administrative clerks compile, verify, record and process forms and documents, such as applications, licences, permits, contracts, registrations and requisitions, in accordance with established procedures, guidelines and schedules.

Reading Help - Reading
  • Read short notes from co-workers, e.g. read notes from supervisors to learn the timelines for entering information, such as registrations. (1)
  • Read short text entries on forms, e.g. read short comments on requisition forms to learn how to authorize purchases. (1)
  • Read memos and bulletins, e.g. read internal memos to learn about changes to operating procedures. (2)
  • Read a variety of instructions and procedures, e.g. read sequenced instructions to learn how to process licenses and permit applications. (2)
  • Read brochures, information releases and newsletters, e.g. read brochures to be able to refer customers to appropriate resources and newsletters to learn about changes to programs. (2)
  • Read a variety of policy and procedure manuals, e.g. read policy manuals to learn about hours of work, dress code and grievance procedures. (3)
  • May read computer manuals, e.g. read manuals to learn how to batch files and produce reports using online registration systems. (3)
  • Read journals, magazines, books and any other reference materials that are relevant to their jobs, e.g. workers employed with medical clinics may read reference materials to learn the definitions of medical terms. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Locate data, such as names, dates, codes and dollar values, on files, labels and tags. (1)
  • Locate data in lists, e.g. scan contact lists to find names, addresses and telephone numbers. (1)
  • Enter data into a variety of forms, e.g. enter data, such as names, addresses, dates, codes and account numbers, into application forms. (2)
  • Locate information in a variety of forms, e.g. use weight tables to determine shipping costs, and schedules to determine the times and locations of upcoming events. (2)
  • May interpret graphs, e.g. workers with educational institutions scan graphs to locate information about enrolments and completed registrations. (2)
  • May complete complex forms, e.g. workers with shipping firms complete free-trade certificates by entering data, such as names and addresses of producers and importers, identification numbers, classification numbers and preference criteria. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminders and short notes to co-workers, e.g. write short notes to co-workers to remind them about upcoming meetings and report submission deadlines. (1)
  • Write comments in the remarks sections of forms, e.g. workers employed in the medical field write comments about presenting symptoms on patient intake forms. (1)
  • May write email and short letters, e.g. write email to suppliers to inquire about products and shipping information. (2)
  • May write detailed letters and memos, e.g. write internal memos to provide co-workers with detailed instructions on how to complete claim forms or details of new office procedures. (3)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy
  • May handle cash, credit card and debit card transactions and provide change. (1)
  • May record payables and receivables against various accounts in general ledgers. (1)
  • May review payables and receivables for accuracy. (1)
  • May measure dimensions and weights using basic measuring tools, e.g. weigh outgoing mail using electronic scales. (1)
  • May count and sum totals, e.g. tally supplies to establish inventory counts. (1)
  • May compare operating statistics to targets, e.g. compare the number of registrants to expected registrations to determine occupancy rates. (1)
  • Estimate times to carry out job tasks using past experiences as guides, e.g. estimate the time needed to complete procedures, serve customers and process documents, such as permits and application forms. (1)
  • May estimate levels of inventory. (1)
  • May calculate discounts, taxes and currency exchanges. (2)
  • May monitor budgets, e.g. compare purchases of office supplies to office supply budgets and adjust spending as required. (2)
  • May calculate summary averages, e.g. calculate the average number of permits processed per week and month. (2)
  • May calculate and verify invoice and receipt amounts. They calculate amounts for goods and services, determine discounts and surcharges, and add federal and provincial sales taxes. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Leave and listen to messages, e.g. leave voicemail messages with customers to remind them of upcoming appointments. (1)
  • Talk to suppliers, e.g. talk to suppliers about the availability of products and their costs. (1)
  • Exchange information with co-workers, e.g. speak with co-workers about changes to how office supplies are ordered. (2)
  • May provide information to customers, registrants and patients, e.g. explain course registration processes to students applying for courses at colleges and universities. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings to discuss problems and new policies and to exchange opinions on current procedures. (2)
  • May speak with dissatisfied customers, e.g. speak with and attempt to satisfy customers who are unhappy with long wait times or billing errors. (3)
  • May provide detailed instructions and explanations, e.g. explain detailed processes about administrative tasks to new employees. (3)
Thinking Help - Thinking
  • Encounter delays due to equipment faults, e.g. discover that they cannot access online registration systems because of equipment faults. They inform supervisors and technology support staff about the glitches. They perform registrations manually until repairs are made and systems are operational. (1)
  • May decide what purchases, such as office supplies, are required. (1)
  • Encounter errors in administrative and financial records. They check forms and computer records and speak with co-workers from various departments. They locate the errors and correct the records. (2)
  • Encounter delays due to incomplete records, e.g. have difficulty finding particular documents when only limited information is available. They track the document through the processing steps, phone other departments and conduct physical searches. (2)
  • Encounter dissatisfied customers and co-workers, e.g. deal with registrants who are unhappy about long wait times. They speak with the dissatisfied persons about their complaints, explain processes and seek acceptable solutions. (2)
  • Decide order of tasks and their priorities, e.g. decide the order in which to complete tasks by considering deadlines and priorities. (2)
  • May select suppliers, e.g. decide which suppliers to use for the purchase of supplies, such as forms and paper. (2)
  • Assess the legibility, accuracy and completeness of completed forms. They compare the information presented in forms to requirements to identify potential errors and information gaps. (2)
  • Evaluate expense claims and invoices. They compare fees and costs to industry standards and price lists to identify potentially incorrect and fraudulent charges. (2)
  • May evaluate the suitability of administrative procedures. They consider a number of factors including speed of service and common bottlenecks. (2)
  • May plan their own job tasks, or follow established procedures and directives closely. Their tasks are repetitive, although the contents change to reflect the needs of different clients. Those that plan their own work determine the order in which to perform their tasks, but must respond to urgent requests for information and ensure that certain tasks are completed by specified times. They are interrupted frequently and must then reorganize their tasks to meet deadlines and maintain their efficiency. (2)
  • Locate information about processes by reading memos and procedure manuals, watching videos and speaking with coworkers. (2)
  • Find out how to complete forms by reading directions and by speaking with co-workers and government agencies. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • May use databases to enter and retrieve data, such as registrations, sales and costs. (1)
  • May use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software to record financial transactions. (1)
  • Use calculators and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to complete numeracy-related tasks, such as summing figures and calculating interest charges. (1)
  • Use office equipment, such as printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers, binding machines and postage meters, to perform a variety of clerical tasks. (1)
  • May operate point-of-sale equipment, such as electronic cash registers, bar scanners and touch- screens to complete tasks, such as registrations and financial transactions, e.g. use bar scanners to complete course registration processes. (1)
  • May use word processing programs to enter data into forms and write letters and memos. (2)
  • May use specialized database software to complete and electronically submit claim forms, registrations and applications. (2)
  • May use contact management software to schedule appointments, generate automated reminders and produce mailing lists. (2)
  • May use graphics software to create slide presentations with imported images. (2)
  • May use spreadsheets to track registrations, times and expenditures. (2)
  • May use intranets and email applications to exchange information and documents with co-workers, customers, suppliers and government agencies. (2)
  • May use browsers to access forms and guidelines on government websites. (2)
  • May use browsers and search engines to locate product information from suppliers, such as costs and specifications. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and trainers. (2)
  • May use specialized Internet applications to send medical records, x-rays and referral information to insurers and medical practitioners. (2)
  • May use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software to generate monthly financial statements, such as balance sheets and income and expense statements. (3)
Additional information Help - Additional information Working with Others

Administrative clerks work independently or in small teams. They may work jointly with partners and helpers to complete tasks, such as conduct inventories, and may work as a member of a team when assisting others during busy periods.

Continuous Learning

Administrative clerks continue to learn. For example, they receive training in the use of new software as it is added to the work environment. They may also take training offered by their employers in areas such as time management and specific job skill upgrading.

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