Skip to main content

Don't call them secretaries. In this role there are variety of tasks and there's room for mobility

<i>This is part of Globe Careers' series of stories looking at specific jobs, with their qualifications, descriptions, responsibilities and current salaries.</i><br><br> <b>Job:</b><br><br> Administrative professional<br>JACK HOLLINGSWORTH/Getty Images

1 of 9

<b>Salary:</b><br><br> From $34,000 to more than $80,000, depending on the company and your role.<br>BOBBY ABACK

2 of 9

<b>Education:</b><br><br> Postsecondary, with strong computer and organization skills.<br>HEMERA TECHNOLOGIES/Getty Images

3 of 9

<b>The role:</b><br><br> Don’t call them secretaries. The people who answer phones, file paperwork and co-ordinate meetings in offices across the country are called administrative professionals, and they have a lot more power than you might think.<br><br> “They are the backbone of all organizations,” says Hanna Vineberg, Central Ontario vice-president of Ranstad Canada, a staffing and recruitment firm.<br>SERGEY KARPOV

4 of 9

<b>Challenges:</b><br><br> Being an administrative professional today requires more skills than in the past, when a high school diploma and some typing skills were considered enough to get an administrative position.<br><br> Companies are increasingly looking for administrative professionals with a postsecondary degree and, in some cases, experience in human resources and marketing, Ms. Vineberg said.<br>JACOB WACKERHAUSEN

5 of 9

<b>Why they do it:</b><br><br> There is decent job security and the role can also lead to other roles within a company or industry. <br><br>“It’s a great foot-in-the-door job,” said Ms. Vineberg. While they aren't usually glamorous, administration roles are rarely boring, given the variety of work these professionals are asked to do.<br>

6 of 9

<b>Job Prospects:</b><br><br> The demand for administrative professionals is also growing. Ranstad Canada saw a 41-per-cent rise in administrative roles in 2012.<br><br> What's more, these positions are rarely cut in company downsizing, since administrative roles are often needed in daily operations.<br><br> There are also a lot of job opportunities for administrators, given that the role is essential in companies of all sizes, and across all sectors.<br>IVELIN RADKOV

7 of 9

<b>Misconceptions:</b><br><br> “Most people think of it as the typist in the Mad Men series. It’s not that any more,” Ms. Vineberg says. <br><br>“The traditional secretarial role no longer exists as it did 15 or 20 years ago. … They are doing some typing and filing; however they are doing thinking, making decisions and managing large agendas.”<br>Reuters

8 of 9

<b>Give us the real scoop:</b><br><br> Are you an administrative professional in Canada?<br><br> Write a note in the comments area and tell us what you would tell others who are interested in the profession, or e-mail your comment to<br><br> Want to read more stories from our salaries series? Go to<br>VLADIMIR KANIC

9 of 9