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NOC Code: NOC Code: 1411 Occupation: General office support workers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
General office support workers prepare correspondence, reports, statements and other material, operate office equipment, answer telephones, verify, record and process forms and documents such as contracts and requisitions and perform general clerical duties according to established procedures. They are employed in offices throughout the public and private sectors. General office support workers prepare correspondence, reports, statements and other material, operate office equipment, answer telephones, verify, record and process forms and documents such as contracts and requisitions and perform general clerical duties according to established procedures. They are employed in offices throughout the public and private sectors.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • 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 Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 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
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2

  • 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.

  • Read memos regarding new systems, employees, policies and procedures. (1)
  • Scan notes, letters, invoices and reports to determine where to file them. (1)
  • Skim incoming mail to determine who can deal with it. (1)
  • Read short text entries on forms, e.g. read short comments on requisition forms to learn how to authorize purchases. (1)
  • Scan files to locate misfiled documents. (1)
  • Read short notes from co-workers, e.g. read notes from supervisors to learn the timelines for entering information, such as registrations. (1)
  • Read forms that are relevant to the job, such as letters of credit and completed payroll and billing adjustment forms. (2)
  • Read minutes from staff meetings to establish a distribution list. (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 instructions and procedures, e.g. read sequenced instructions to learn how to process licenses and permit applications. (2)
  • Proofread letters, reports and presentations that are being sent out of the office to clients. (2)
  • Read business magazines or other industry-specific material to obtain an overview of developments in the industry. (2)
  • Read journals, magazines, books and any other reference materials that are relevant to your job, e.g. workers employed with medical clinics may read reference materials to learn the definitions of medical terms. (3)
  • 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)
  • Read computer manuals, e.g. read manuals to learn how to batch files and produce reports using online registration systems. (3)
  • Refer to computer manuals to learn how to perform certain functions or how to use new software packages. (3)
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  • Keep an up-to-date record of files that have been removed by entering information in a Records Retrieval Log. (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)
  • Write email messages to supervisors and co-workers. (1)
  • 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 notes requesting more information when unsure of where to file a document. (1)
  • Write lists of files created, indicating the file type, name and number. (1)
  • Write letters and reports from rough drafts received from the managers. Organize the information, insert any missing information and make minor revisions. (2)
  • Write letters to clients regarding overdue accounts and respond to client requests for information. (2)
  • Write reports to justify action taken, such as the reasons for calling in security when there was a commotion at the front counter. (2)
  • Write email and short letters, e.g. write email to suppliers to inquire about products and shipping information. (2)
  • Write contracts and financial reports. These are usually based on the format of previous documents. (3)
  • Write the minutes of staff meetings. (3)
  • 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)
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Document Use
  • Look up phone numbers and addresses in phone books and office directories. (1)
  • Read labels on supplies, shelves and incoming mail and produce mailing labels for outgoing mail. (1)
  • Locate data, such as names, dates, codes and dollar values, on files, labels and tags. (1)
  • Read file and file box labels to organize files and groups of files. (1)
  • 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)
  • Refer to the index of the records classification system manual. (2)
  • Read forms to identify the subject matter and decide how to classify and file them. (2)
  • Scan supplier catalogues when preparing purchase orders. (2)
  • Read indexes in computer manuals. (2)
  • Interpret graphs, e.g. workers with educational institutions scan graphs to locate information about enrolments and completed registrations. (2)
  • Complete a variety of forms such as supply order forms, courier waybills, bill payments, invoices and fax forms. (2)
  • 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)
  • Complete accounts payable and accounts receivable reports. (3)
  • Complete daily register sheets and balance sheets. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use office equipment, such as printers, scanners, fax machines, copiers, binding machines and postage meters, to perform a variety of clerical tasks. (1)
  • Use databases to enter and retrieve data, such as registrations, sales and costs. (1)
  • 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)
  • 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 communications software. For example, send email messages to co-workers and to clients. (2)
  • Enter client information in a database. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, type reports, memos and letters. (2)
  • Use specialized database software to complete and electronically submit claim forms, registrations and applications. (2)
  • Use intranets and email applications to exchange information and documents with co-workers, customers, suppliers and government agencies. (2)
  • Use contact management software to schedule appointments, generate automated reminders and produce mailing lists. (2)
  • Use graphics software to create slide presentations with imported images. (2)
  • Use spreadsheets to track registrations, times and expenditures. (2)
  • Use browsers to access forms and guidelines on government websites. (2)
  • Use browsers and search engines to locate product information from suppliers, such as costs and specifications. (2)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and trainers. (2)
  • Use specialized Internet applications to send medical records, x-rays and referral information to insurers and medical practitioners. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, prepare charts and graphs for reports using graphics software. (3)
  • Use a spreadsheet. For example, produce spreadsheet tables using software such as Excel. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Talk to clients, in person or on the phone, and provide them with information. You are often the clients' first contact with the office. (1)
  • Talk with contractors and suppliers to discuss discrepancies in invoices or to order supplies. (1)
  • Interact with other employees, in person or by telephone, to share information about tasks, meetings, deadlines, work methods and the location of various documents. (1)
  • Interact with couriers to clarify pickup and delivery times. (1)
  • Page employees over an intercom system. (1)
  • Leave and listen to messages, e.g. leave voicemail messages with customers to remind them of upcoming appointments. (1)
  • Provide information to customers, registrants and patients, e.g. explain course registration processes to students applying for courses at colleges and universities. (2)
  • Receive instructions from supervisors and discuss tasks and priorities with them. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings to discuss problems and new policies and to exchange opinions on current procedures. (2)
  • Exchange information with co-workers, e.g. speak with co-workers about changes to how office supplies are ordered. (2)
  • Provide detailed instructions and explanations, e.g. explain detailed processes about administrative tasks to new employees. (3)
  • Speak with dissatisfied customers, e.g. speak with and attempt to satisfy customers who are unhappy with long wait times or billing errors. (3)
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Money Math
  • Handle cash, credit card and debit card transactions and provide change. (1)
  • Calculate discounts, taxes and currency exchanges. (2)
  • Calculate and verify invoice and receipt amounts. Calculate amounts for goods and services, determine discounts and surcharges, and add federal and provincial sales taxes. (3)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Record payables and receivables against various accounts in general ledgers. (1)
  • Balance the daily debits and credits in the accounting records. (2)
  • Calculate summary averages, e.g. calculate the average number of permits processed per week and month. (2)
  • Process purchase orders for office supplies. (2)
  • Enter receipts and expenses in the bookkeeping system and check the totals by adding and subtracting. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Count and sum totals, e.g. tally supplies to establish inventory counts. (1)
  • Measure dimensions and weights using basic measuring tools, e.g. weigh outgoing mail using electronic scales. (1)
  • When preparing complex documents, convert between fractions, decimals and percentages to make precise alignments for footers, margins, headers and columns. (2)
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Data Analysis
  • Make simple comparisons of data, for example, comparing monthly reports. (1)
  • Calculate the average volume of various types of work activities over a period of time to establish workload trends. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • General office support workers organize their own job tasks based on priorities set by their organization. Their tasks are mostly repetitive but are frequently interrupted by phone calls from clients or suppliers or requests from supervisors. They often do work for several managers and need to juggle deadlines to ensure that service is provided to all of them in a balanced way. (2)
  • File clerks perform repetitive tasks. They organize and plan their own job tasks based on information provided by supervisors and co-workers. They set priorities based on the immediacy of requests for files and the importance of the requests. They may encounter frequent interruptions, resulting in reprioritizing of tasks. (2)
  • Administrative clerks 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)
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Decision Making
  • Decide to whom to refer callers, based on the subject matter and the availability of staff. (1)
  • Decide when to interrupt telephone conversations and put people on hold. (1)
  • Decide what purchases, such as office supplies, are required. (1)
  • Decide which software package is best suited for a specific assignment or project. (2)
  • Select suppliers, e.g. decide which suppliers to use for the purchase of supplies, such as forms and paper. (2)
  • Decide the order of tasks and your priorities, e.g. decide the order in which to complete tasks by considering deadlines and priorities. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • An error is noticed in a document. Contact the individual who produced the document to find out what wording was intended. (1)
  • Discrepancies have been found in the dollar figures when reconciling the accounting ledger. Compare slips and ledger entries to find the error. (1)
  • A file is lost. Attempt to locate it by checking probable locations and contacting individuals likely to have it. (1)
  • Encounter delays due to equipment faults, e.g. discover that you cannot access online registration systems because of equipment faults. Inform supervisors and technology support staff about the glitches. Perform registrations manually until repairs are made and systems are operational. (1)
  • A client's mail has been returned as undeliverable. Check with co-workers or make phone calls to locate a correct address. (1)
  • A document is held up at the printing office and it will be difficult to get tasks completed within a set timeframe. In this case, you may have to adjust the schedule to be ready to give priority to the delayed document as soon as it arrives. (1)
  • A computer or photocopier is malfunctioning. Try to fix the problem or call a technician. (2)
  • Encounter dissatisfied customers and co-workers, e.g. deal with registrants who are unhappy about long wait times. Speak with the dissatisfied persons about their complaints, explain processes and seek acceptable solutions. (2)
  • An individual has requested a file; however, the classification number is not known. Try to narrow down the scope of the file and then look in the most obvious places. (2)
  • Encounter delays due to incomplete records, e.g. you have difficulty finding particular documents when only limited information is available. Track the document through the processing steps, phone other departments and conduct physical searches. (2)
  • Encounter errors in administrative and financial records. Check forms and computer records and speak with co-workers from various departments. Locate the errors and correct the records. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Refer to databases to locate information on clients or companies. (1)
  • Look up names, addresses, phone numbers and sources for supplies and materials in the white and yellow pages of the phone book or in supplier directories. (1)
  • Retrieve files from an established file system. (1)
  • Find out how to complete forms by reading directions and by speaking with co-workers and government agencies. (2)
  • Locate information about processes by reading memos and procedure manuals, watching videos and speaking with co-workers. (2)
  • Obtain financial, legal, medical, security and policy and procedure information by contacting co-workers or departments and checking reference books. (2)
  • Use computer manuals for assistance when using computer programs. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Assess the legibility, accuracy and completeness of completed forms. Compare the information presented in forms to requirements to identify potential errors and information gaps. (2)
  • Evaluate expense claims and invoices. Compare fees and costs to industry standards and price lists to identify potentially incorrect and fraudulent charges. (2)
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