Category: Office Assistant


Office Assistant or Medical Office Assistant, What’s the Difference?

No matter what office you’re in, an Office Assistant will likely play a vital role in the day-to-day running of things. They play a crucial part in making sure that things go smoothly, with companies relying on them to be pillars in the office environment.

But what’s the difference between an Office Assistant and a Medical Office Assistant? These roles may overlap in many ways, but they can also be extremely different in the tasks each type of assistant will encounter during daily work. Our post will explore the differences and the qualifications needed to help you decide which Office Assistant role is right for you.

What Is An Office Assistant?

An Office Assistant is a professional who provides administrative and clerical support to an organization or an individual in an office setting. The role of an Office Assistant can vary depending on the size and type of the organization, but their primary responsibility is to ensure smooth and efficient office operations.

Some of the common tasks of an office assistant include:

  • Answering phone calls and emails
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Organizing files and documents
  • Ordering office supplies

This role often requires being able to adapt regularly to suit the needs of the office that day, week or month. Good communication, organization and administration skills are the backbone of any great Office Assistant.

Qualifications Needed To Be An Office Assistant

The qualifications needed to become an Office Assistant may vary depending on the organization and the specific job requirements. However, in general, most employers look for candidates who possess the following qualifications:


: While a high school diploma or GED is typically the minimum educational requirement for an Office Assistant position. Some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a Business Administration diploma program or an Office Assistant diploma program, such as the programs offered at Citi College, at their Ontario campuses.

Computer skills

: Proficiency in computer skills, including word processing, spreadsheets, and email, is essential for an Office Assistant. Knowledge of specific software, such as Microsoft Office or Google Suite, may also be required.

Communication skills

: Excellent verbal and written communication skills are necessary to effectively communicate with colleagues, clients, and vendor partners.

Organizational skills

: Office Assistants should have strong organizational skills to manage multiple tasks and priorities in a fast-paced office environment.

Customer service skills

: Often an Office Assistant position requires interacting with clients or customers, so candidates should have good customer service skills.

What Is A Medical Office Assistant?

A Medical Office Assistant is a professional who provides administrative and clinical support in a hospital, medical office or health clinic. The role of a Medical Office Assistant may vary depending on the size and type of the healthcare facility, but their primary responsibility is to manage the front desk and ensure the efficient flow of patients and paperwork.

Some of the common tasks of a Medical Office Assistant include:

  • Answering phone calls
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Greeting and registering patients
  • Maintaining patient records
  • Managing medical billing and coding

This role requires strong multitasking capabilities, the ability to work efficiently under pressure, and a natural inclination for prioritizing tasks in order to maximize efficiency. The successful candidate must be able to demonstrate their aptitude in these areas.

While many of the requirements and necessary skills needed to be a medical office assistant overlap with that of an office assistant, there are key differences. For example, a medical office assistant will need to have a detailed understanding of OHIP billing, as they will have to handle this on a regular basis.

Qualifications Needed To Be A Medical Office Assistant

The qualifications needed to be a Medical Office Assistant may vary depending on the employer and job requirements. However, in general, most employers look for candidates who possess the following qualifications:


: A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum educational requirement for a Medical Office Assistant position. However, some employers may prefer candidates that possess a post-secondary education, such as Citi College’s Medical Office Assistant diploma program.

Computer skills

: Proficiency in computer skills, including electronic health records (EHR) and medical billing software, is essential for a Medical Office Assistant position.

Communication skills

: Strong communication and interpersonal skills are necessary for a medical office assistant to interact with patients, medical staff, and insurance companies.

Attention to detail

: Medical Office Assistants must be highly detail-oriented in order to accurately and efficiently maintain patient records, process insurance claims, and manage other administrative tasks.

Get The Qualifications You Need With Citi College

Both Office Assistants and Medical Office Assistants play a valuable role in their respective workplaces. While both positions involve administrative tasks such as answering phones, scheduling appointments, and managing office paperwork, the tasks performed by a Medical Office Assistant are more specialized and focused on healthcare-related tasks.

Understanding the differences between these two positions can help individuals decide which career path may be best suited for them and which private career college diploma program to register for.

Our campuses, both based in Ontario, offer an incredible education in unique fields, preparing you for the relevant career path ahead. Once you have decided what course is right for you, contact our Toronto campus or Mississauga campus and start your journey into one of these exciting careers.


What Skills Should an Office Assistant Have?

What Skills Should an Office Assistant Have?

Office assistant jobs are incredibly in-demand in Toronto and the GTA so, having the skills necessary for this kind of role could help you to stand out from the crowd. At the heart of the business, an office assistant is expected to have a plethora of skills that allow them to be able to support the smooth running of the office.

Office assistants need to have lots of common and easy-to-build skills and knowing what these are skills is important. With an office assistant program, you can find the areas where you may need to improve and what necessary skills you need to develop.

We have summarized a few of the key skills needed by office assistants below.


Communication is an essential skill for any office assistant, and by communication, we mean both verbal and written skills.

Good verbal communication skills allow for easy collaboration and will help you to effectively communicate with co-workers, management, and clients. You will be expected to take phone calls, speak with clients, and note down messages – all of which will benefit from good verbal communication.

Written communication, like verbal communication, can support the way you interact with clients. From drafting emails to mail correspondence, to taking detailed notes in meetings, your written communication skills need to be at a good level for a role as an office assistant.

You may be able to develop both written and verbal communication skills in an office assistant program.


An office assistant is likely to be expected to complete more than one task at once and so organization is key. You will likely be in charge of schedules and be expected to organize billing, filing, and data. Having good organizational skills will benefit you when it comes to these kinds of tasks, and it benefits the company!

Time Management

Time management goes hand-in-hand with good organization. Having to complete lots of tasks each day, all with competing deadlines requires you to be able to manage your time effectively. It would benefit you if you were able to plan out your days ahead of time to effectively execute all of your duties in a timely manner.

An office assistant course (GTA-based) can help you to build this kind of skill if you’re worried you may lack organizational abilities.

Technology Skills

Technology can be of great use to an office assistant and knowing how to use different computer software and programs will help you to stand out from the crowd.

An office assistant will be expected to be able to use lots of different programs, usually relating to spreadsheets and databases, and while the software can vary between companies, good proficiency on a PC is a must for all office assistants.

You can even use technology to help yourself through organizational and time management platforms that help you stay focused. This kind of proficiency can be achieved on a variety of office assistant program options.


An office assistant is likely to have to solve problems daily. This could include sorting out travel or accommodation for management, scheduling meetings, or just responding to issues within the office to support the smooth running of the business. Being able to think on your feet and solve issues quickly will really benefit you in this role.

Problem-solving is a skill you can build on an office assistant course (GTA locations available).


Resourcefulness is similar to problem-solving and requires you to be able to be flexible with your time and your work. An office assistant’s job can vary day-to-day, and you may find that you have to step into different kinds of roles some days. You need to be resourceful enough to take on these new roles easily.

Resourcefulness will also come in handy when it comes to multi-tasking, helping to support flexible working and a constantly changing set of duties.

The kinds of tasks you will generally be asked to do will be detailed for you on any office assistant course (GTA or other locations) that you take too.

Attention to Detail

In your role as an office assistant, you will need to ensure you’re focused on details. Whether it’s writing meeting minutes or entering important data into spreadsheets, managers will want an assistant they can rely on to be accurate and precise.

Office Assistant Programs in Toronto and Mississauga

Office assistants need a varied skillset to be able to keep up with their changing day-to-day duties. These skills are easily buildable and can be improved through an office assistant program. If you feel you already have some of these skills and would like to further develop them, Citi College offers an office assistant course (GTA-based) that you can enroll in. Our admissions counselors will work through your eligibility for the course and help you to kickstart your career as an office assistant.