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NOC Code: NOC Code: 1222 Occupation: Executive Assistants
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Executive assistants coordinate administrative procedures, public relations activities and research and analysis functions for members of legislative assemblies, ministers, deputy ministers, corporate officials and executives, committees and boards of directors. They are employed by governments, corporations and associations. Executive assistants coordinate administrative procedures, public relations activities and research and analysis functions for members of legislative assemblies, ministers, deputy ministers, corporate officials and executives, committees and boards of directors. They are employed by governments, corporations and associations.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2 3
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read reminders and notes from co-workers. For example, read notes specifying dates, times, participants, agenda topics and supporting materials for conference calls and board meetings. (1)
  • Read text entries in forms. For example, legislative assistants read entries in communication forms to understand why citizens wish to speak to members of legislatures and parliaments. Corporate executive assistants read biographies of people invited to join boards of directors in personal information forms. Executive assistants working with societies and non-profit agencies read contributing patrons' profiles in database forms. Executive assistants read descriptions of hotels' amenities in booking forms when organizing events. (2)
  • Read email and memos from co-workers, board and committee members, suppliers and members of the general public. For example, constituency assistants read email about job tasks and priorities from members of parliament. Corporate executive assistants may read email from co-workers who express concerns about new administrative procedures. Executive assistants may scan executives' email to determine priorities and actions to be taken. They may also proofread memos on newly-established procedures to verify form and content. (2)
  • Proofread memos, newsletters and reports. For example, executive assistants in large corporations may proofread memos on newly-established work procedures to verify the accuracy of content and the effectiveness of the layout. Constituency assistants may proofread newsletters to constituents. Board executive assistants may proofread reports produced by directors. (3)
  • Read letters from suppliers, members of the public and colleagues. For example, read suppliers' letters of agreement which provide terms and conditions for purchasing office supplies and equipment. Executive assistants in non-profit and fundraising organizations read letters from individuals who request information on making donations. Constituency assistants read letters from members of the public on topics such as accessing government and community agencies. Executive assistants for directors of non-governmental organizations may read letters from partnering groups on topics such as causes of heavy water use by irrigation projects. (3)
  • Read manuals. For example, review software manuals when using word processing and page layout programs to design documents such as newsletters, entry forms and brochures. Review the organization's policy and procedures manuals to clarify duties, responsibilities, obligations and rights. (3)
  • Read legislation, codes and bylaws. For example, executive assistants in municipal governments read bylaws and regulations to understand the implications of changes to zoning codes. They may review the Local Government Act to understand boundaries separating municipal and provincial governance. (4)
  • Read reports, discussion papers and studies. For example, executive assistants in large corporations read quarterly and annual reports to identify topics which may be of interest to managers and department heads. They may read reports generated by other organizations such as health authorities and various levels of government to understand risks and challenges in their fields. (4)
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Writing
  • Write reminders and notes to the executives you support. For example, write reminder notes of tasks to be completed and jot comments on documents you handle. Write notes to inform executives of meeting times and locations and of customers who have arrived for appointments. (1)
  • Write letters. For example, write letters to suppliers to confirm terms and conditions for new office equipment leases and purchases. Write follow-up letters to job candidates to acknowledge receipt of employment applications. Corporate executive assistants write letters on behalf of executives and board members to accept invitations to speak at various functions and to thank individuals for hospitality. (2)
  • Write email and memos. For example, confirm meeting dates, times and locations and inform co-workers of financial reporting deadlines using email. Ask for directions and clarifications of assigned tasks, provide cost comparisons for office equipment purchases and inform executives, managers and board members of incidents which may require their attention. Write memos to co-workers explaining procedures to be followed when submitting expense reports and registering for mandatory training sessions. (2)
  • Summarize meeting discussions and decisions. Prepare minutes of management and board meetings which serve as official records of decisions and action plans. (3)
  • Write manuals, procedures and terms of references for the organization. For example, write manuals to outline boards of directors' responsibilities and conflict of interest policies and procedures on topics such as requesting personal leaves, acquiring credits for completed continuous learning activities and protocols to follow when applying for internal job postings. Draft terms of references for newly-formed committees, outlining their mandates, boundaries and procedures for appointing chairs. (4)
  • Write speeches and press releases. For example, write speeches for executives and board members. Include key points and details appropriate to particular audiences. Write press releases announcing corporate acquisitions and new appointments within the organization. (4)
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Document Use
  • Locate information in lists and tables. For example, locate contact information for co-workers, colleagues and customers in telephone directories and contact lists. Corporate and school district executive assistants review attendance lists for board meetings and other sponsored events. They also locate dates and details of upcoming events such as board meetings and enter appointments and travel dates in calendars. (1)
  • Locate information in a variety of forms. For example, confirm dates and arrival and departure times on travel itineraries. Identify work-related expenses on credit card statements and verify items ordered and received on suppliers' invoices. Skim shipping and courier labels for information about senders, contents and intended recipients. Scan timesheets to determine number of hours and reasons for overtime. Executive assistants in non-profit and fundraising organizations review donation histories of patrons and members' qualifications and areas of expertise in database records. (2)
  • Complete a wide range of forms. For example, record items and costs when completing expense reimbursement, cheque requisition and purchase order forms. Complete weekly, monthly and annual reports for leaves, training and sales performance summaries. Enter senders' and recipients' names, addresses, telephone numbers and brief content descriptions on waybills. Executive assistants working with societies and non-profit agencies may complete regulatory forms confirming their status, contact information and board members. (2)
  • Obtain information from graphs. For example, identify expenditures and sources of revenues which have been displayed in pie charts. Executive assistants for health authorities review bar graphs showing numbers and types of patients' treatments by region, number of overnight stays per care facility and durations of patients' wait times. Executive assistants in municipal governments view line graphs showing increases in property values over five year periods. Executive assistants for school superintendents review graphs showing current and projected student enrolments by school. (3)
  • Enter data into lists and tables. For example, enter appointments and travel dates in calendars. Record and summarize agenda items and key discussion points using table formats. Corporate and governmental executive assistants may review departmental financial reports and integrate critical data into spreadsheets for managers and director generals. (3)
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Computer Use
  • Enter and retrieve board and customer contact information using Access. Use customized database software to enter, view and approve purchase orders, prepare monthly cost centre reports and track correspondence received and actions taken. (2)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, synchronize calendar information in desktop computers and portable handheld devices. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to search for product information and venues for meetings and social events. Browse bookmarked directories of postal codes, telephone and address information. View the organization's intranet sites to access human resources information and to print standardized forms. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, use accounting software to enter and locate budget items and print reports. (2)
  • Use word processing software such as Word to prepare letters, meeting agendas, minutes and monthly reports. Modify existing templates such as fax cover sheets and memoranda, and save documents in portable document format. (2)
  • Create spreadsheets to accomplish accounting tasks and to collect, organize and analyze data on topics such as staff leave and overtime. Enter and adjust travel arrangements and record, track and total expense reimbursements for executives, managers and board members. (2)
  • Exchange email with executives, co-workers and customers. Attach press releases and advertisements for publication in newspapers. Use calendar functions to manage appointments, travel and due dates. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, use presentation software and insert tables, graphs, logos and photographs when preparing slide shows for others to use in meetings and conferences. Use page layout software to prepare monthly reports and newsletters for the organization. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Listen to recorded telephone messages and digital recordings. For example, listen to messages from co-workers outlining tasks to be completed and informing them of cancelled meetings. Listen to recordings of meetings when preparing minutes. (1)
  • Discuss products, prices and delivery times with suppliers. For example, place orders and discuss invoice discrepancies with office supply representatives. Negotiate service contracts with event planners and hotel managers when arranging meetings, conferences and special events. Plan itineraries with travel agents. (2)
  • Answer telephones, greet callers, screen and direct calls, take messages and provide information. For example, greet individuals arriving for meetings, question callers to determine purposes of their requests and take messages when other workers are unavailable. Provide information in response to customers' queries. (2)
  • Exchange information about ongoing work with co-workers and colleagues. For example, discuss project timelines and handouts for meetings with managers, board members and corporate executives. Explain protocols for contacting executives while they are travelling. Speak to other executive assistants to confirm details of upcoming meetings. Remind executives of formal motions required for board meetings and impending project deadlines. (2)
  • Exchange business and technical information with co-workers. For example, seek assistance and advice from co-workers when encountering unusual and new situations with software programs. Discuss changes to media releases and electronic presentations, budget discrepancies and changes to work processes with executives and board members. Offer perspectives on the roles of board members and express opinions, as appropriate, on new logos under consideration for corporate branding. (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate reimbursements for expenses. Calculate travel claims using specified per diem and per kilometre rates. Add amounts for accommodation and incidental expenses. (2)
  • Calculate and confirm amounts on invoices. For example, calculate line amounts, subtotals and taxes for office supply invoices. Calculate discounts for volume orders. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Monitor budgets. For example, check travel expense claims and purchase orders to ensure budgets are not exceeded. Track costs for items such as office supplies, travel and catering. Compare expenditures to allocations to keep within the budget. (2)
  • Schedule ground and air travel. Review meeting locations, projected travel times and time zone changes. Consider alternatives should meetings be delayed and connections missed. (2)
  • Schedule appointments for the executives, legislators, managers and boards of directors you support. For example, when booking meetings and appointments with senior staff and business partners, allocate varying time periods, appropriate to subject matter and number of attendees. Assign times to agenda items to allow for discussion and consensus on each topic. Adjust daily schedules when appointments extend beyond allotted times. (3)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Take measurements using common measuring tools. For example, measure the sizes of meeting rooms to ensure space for tables, chairs and electronic equipment. Measure distances travelled when using personal vehicles for work purposes. (1)
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Data Analysis
  • Collect data and develop statistics to describe business and office operations. For example, calculate average monthly overtime hours. Executive assistants in financial settings may calculate year-to-date sales figures and compare these to past years and to other branches. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times needed to complete tasks such as preparing reports and agenda packages, times for the discussion of agenda items and times to travel to airports during rush hours. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Executive assistants work independently to complete administrative tasks assigned by executives, board members and managers. They determine their priorities and sequence their tasks and schedules in response to the needs of the executives they support. They adjust their work plans to accommodate interruptions and changing priorities. When preparing for meetings, they may coordinate job tasks with co-workers to maximize efficiency. In larger organizations, executive assistants may organize and assign work to assistants and other clerical staff such as filing, updating contact information and researching specific topics such as travel itineraries. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Set meeting agendas. Order agenda topics according to importance, leaving less important items for later in the meetings. (2)
  • Direct telephone calls, mail, email and visitors to co-workers and other work units within the organization. For example, when determining how best to route requests from the public, review procedures for handling requests and check the availabilities of individuals who could handle the requests. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Job tasks cannot be completed due to office equipment malfunctions. For example, when photocopiers are not working properly, inform co-workers of the malfunctions and take the work to other photocopiers. (1)
  • Direct contact with supervisors, board members and customers cannot be made. For example, when supervisors are in private meetings and cannot be disturbed, make contact using text messages. When board members are in remote areas, leave messages with the people the board members will be meeting. When customers cannot be contacted, leave voice messages on telephone systems. (2)
  • Receive products from suppliers that do not meet quality standards. For example, when a translation for a speech is too literal and does not flow well, an executive assistant may identify a staff member who can translate using a more conversational style. When suppliers provide inferior products, write letters of complaint identifying quality concerns. Monitor subsequent deliveries and inform suppliers and executives of status changes. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find travel information. For example, when planning travel to meetings in new destinations, read extensively, speak with co-workers and colleagues and search the Internet to gather data on topics such as childcare practices in other cultures. (3)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate completeness and accuracy of agendas, meeting minutes and presentations you have prepared. Review notes, recall discussions during meetings and verify accuracy of content with executives. When evaluating presentations, review resource materials provided, the organization of content and the suitability of vocabulary for intended audiences. (2)
  • Assess efficiency of travel plans. Review meeting locations, projected travel times, time zone changes, traffic patterns and potential for delays. Consider available alternatives should meetings be delayed and connections missed. (2)
  • Assess appropriateness of print materials for publication. Read critically to see if texts are accurate, in good taste and on topic. Assess texts' adherence to corporate policies governing confidentiality, privacy and conflict of interest. (3)
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