Program Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Program Assistant, or Program Coordinator, works to assist a team of people on a particular project. Their primary duties include conducting research, creating training materials, and performing data entry. Administrative support is common as well. Ultimately, the duties of a Program Assistant can vary quite a bit, depending on what program leaders need.

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Program Assistant duties and responsibilities

Program Assistants need to manage multiple tasks on the go, all while keeping their work and the program on track. The most common duties and responsibilities of a Program Assistant include:

  • Facilitating communication between general staff and senior staff
  • Sending and submitting documents to relevant parties
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Meeting with clients and customers, then relaying their concerns to the appropriate staff members
  • Maintaining client files and accounts
  • Maintaining an inventory of office supplies and placing orders when necessary
  • Updating file systems regularly
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Program Assistant Job Description Examples:


Example 1

BCIT’s Building Science Graduate Program is currently seeking a regular, part-time Program Assistant. The regular, part-time (60%) Program Assistant works with the Director, Building Science to ensure successful enrolment and delivery of the Masters of Engineering in Building Science and the Masters of Applied Science in Building Science programs, in full and part -time studies formats. The Program Assistant maintains an awareness of the department’s goals and objectives and plans and implements actions required to effectively support the development, organization, marketing, student enrolment and day to day operations of programs and courses. Duties & Responsibilities Duties AND Responsibilities: Working with BCIT Registrar, Admission and Student Record offices, develop, refine and incorporate procedures and processes that facilitate and support effective graduate program delivery Administer all program course logistics to support program delivery: scheduling, timetabling, course file (roll-over) updates, program updates, registration, room booking, and faculty assignment Provide program and admission information to domestic and international inquirers – verbal, written, or in-person meetings Coordinate registration activities: cohort course selection process and registrations, special permissions, student transfers, waivers, and refunds Troubleshoot student issues, in accordance to BCIT policy and procedures, provide guidance and refer students to appropriate departments for resolution Work with Admissions department, prepare for program’s selection process and attend selection meeting – request and collect referee reports, track and summarize admission documents, compile application packages Track student academic progress, prepare performance contracts, and report to director Coordinate and organize orientation and information sessions Create, update, and distribute Student Handbook and related forms Working with the Institute Marketing and Communication Department (Marcom), facilitate web contents creations, such as photos and videos, and produce print and online program promotional materials Working with Marcom, coordinate print and online ads including in professional magazines, students’ newspapers, Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Attend department exhibition booth in workshops, conferences, and higher education and industry events Maintain department websites Qualifications Qualifications: Grade 12, plus completion of up to one year of post-secondary education in business administration, accounting, or marketing Two years general plus one year experience in a related position, preferably in an educational environment Experience in graduate program operations and delivery is an asset An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered Demonstrated experience at the intermediate level of MS Office Suite, with a high level of spreadsheet and word processing skills Banner and Cognos experience an asset Excellent interpersonal skills with proven ability to communicate with internal and external contacts with tact, diplomacy, and professionalism Advanced writing skills, with the ability to edit and proofread a variety of written materials Ability to work independently and as a team member Strong customer service orientation required when dealing with students, instructors, and clients to maintain a good relationship and continuous business/working relations Proven ability to implement procedures and processes to support a busy and demanding environment Must be able to prioritize and organize a busy workload Demonstrated judgment and problem-solving skills with attention to follow-up on items requiring further action 50 wpm keyboarding skills required Results-oriented with a high level of initiative and creative problem-solving skills Will be required to work additional hours during peak times Additional Information Benefits OF Working AT BCIT: Being a part of BC’s Top 100 Employers, and a member of the CCDI. A generous Total Compensation package which includes extended health and dental benefits and a superb pension plan. Access to Professional Development Funds and opportunities for career development. Increase your knowledge with Tuition waivers for BCIT courses. Enjoy discounted access to our fitness facilities (including classes like Yoga and Zumba). Additional Wellness and Employee Assistance programs. Salary Range Salary grade 6- $48,127 to $52,127 Additional Salary Information External hires are initially placed at the minimum of the salary range with progression to the maximum. Salary prorated based on percentage and term of appointment. Posting Category Administration School/Service Area SOCE Dean's Office Campus Location Burnaby campus Bargaining Unit BCGEU Support Staff Job Status Regular Part-Time Number of Vacancies 1 Anticipated Start Date 07/05/[phone number]Anticipated End Date Competition Number 21B692 Competition Open Date 06/12/[phone number]Competition Close Date Open Until Filled? Yes Quicklink for Posting

Example 2

Union/Affiliation: [website] Local [phone number]Pay range: $[phone number]88 To $[phone number]54 Bi-Weekly SFU Department Descr: Student Services - International Services for Students Position Grade: 7 # of openings: 1 Biweekly Hours: 70 Performs diverse support services for International Services for Students (ISS) programs including support for field schools, academic exchanges, and faculty and staff mobility projects and implements a range of services for SFU's international community. Provides support to the Coordinator in scheduling, organizing travel and meetings, and the preparation of documents and proposals. Qualifications: High School graduation and one year post-secondary education with training in word processing, database, spreadsheet, desktop publishing applications and office procedures. 3 years of related experience. An equivalent combination of formal education, of study ad experience is acceptable. 55 wpm keyboarding skill with high degree of accuracy. Ability to use word processing, database and spreadsheet, and desktop publishing applications [website] MSWord, FileMaker Pro, Excel, CSS) in a PC environment and at an intermediate level. Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills. Excellent intercultural communications skills. Excellent organizational skills. Ability to exercise mature judgement and initiative. Ability to maintain records with a high degree of accuracy. Ability to handle material with discretion. Good mathematical skills [website] ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers and calculate percentages). Good problem solving skills. Good knowledge of university programs, policies, and procedures. Functional fluency in a language other than English. Availability to work occasional evenings and weekends. For external candidates, the starting salary is the first step of the salary range. Please include your cover letter and resume in one attachment. Job Description:

Example 3

JOB Opportunity: Food Program Assistant *Download PDF Job Posting* *Food Program Assistant – Directions Food Program *Competition #105 -21 ABOUT Directions YOUTH Services Directions Youth Services is a collection of services and locations supporting vulnerable youth. This includes a 24-hour drop-in centre, outreach teams, pre-employment programs, youth shelter program, transitional housing and transitions program, two safe houses, and a youth detox centre. The trauma-informed and client centred philosophy creates safety for youth to access a full spectrum of supports including primary care, mental health and substance use resources. Directions is a division of Family Services of Greater Vancouver (FSGV), which for 90 years has provided trauma counselling and essential resources for children, families and individuals facing life’s challenges. HERE’S WHAT WE CAN DO Together The Food Program Assistant is a full-time position that requires an individual with creative cooking skills and a passion for helping vulnerable youth with food security. This includes the nightly operation of our dinner program, support of volunteers, working with youth at our pre-employment program, and organizing donations. This position is a unique opportunity for individuals that enjoy working independently and want to work within social services as well as in the culinary industry. *Hours of work: * Flexible, 32-40 hours/week Thursday-Monday – 2pm to 10pm (8 hour shifts with paid meal break) OR – 2pm to 10pm (8 hour shifts with paid meal break) YOUR KEY Contributions * Responsible for kitchen operations including health and safety, nutritious menu planning, meal preparation, inventory upkeep, kitchen organization, and pursuing a zero waste environment, keeping the kitchen clean, hygienic, and tidy at all times. * Building positive relationships and empowerment with youth while overseeing the food program Leaders in Training (a youth engagement and skills training program). * Maintain accurate attendance records and report concerns to food program coordinator * Overseeing the sorting and storing of available donations with the food security volunteers. * Actively communicating with youth and staff around the services that the food program provides. * Take a leadership role in the management of emergency and crisis situations by personally employing non-violent crisis prevention and intervention strategies, initiating first aid, calling emergency services, and/or delegating these tasks * Maintain appropriate notes, statistics, logs and critical incidents * Ability to lift boxes up to 20 kg. WHAT YOU BRING *Education and training*: * Grade 12 plus one-year post-secondary education. * Food Safe certificate * Current First Aid Certificate and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training an asset * Proof of COVID-19 vaccination *Experience*: * 1-2 years related experience in a commercial kitchen. * 6-12 months experience working with youth, preferably in support of youth who have alcohol /drug misuse issues. * A combination of education and experience may be considered WHAT WE OFFER YOU Directions Youth Services offers purposeful careers, serving the most vulnerable members of our community. This role offers you the opportunity to make a positive impact in our community. We support career development and training for staff to reach their potential, and offer mentorship and professional advancement in a supportive environment. We recognize the importance of work-life balance, wellness and a safe, inclusive and welcoming workplace that values diversity and respect for all. *Salary/Pay Grade: * 5, Step 1 - $19.99 per hour (plus an additional 4% of vacation pay) *Start Date: * As soon as possible *Location: * [phone number]Burrard St Vancouver BC *Post End Date: * Until filled HOW TO APPLY If this describes you, please submit your application to us by clicking the &;Apply for this Position&; button below. Please indicate in your email and cover letter which schedule works better for you (as described above). *Only short listed candidates will be contacted for interviews. Thank you for your interest.* FSGV is committed to the principles of diversity. We encourage applications from qualified people of all genders expressions and identities, sexual orientations, visible minorities, Indigenous persons and persons with disabilities. If you require a accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment process, please email your resume and cover letter *(indicating the competition number #105-21 in email subject line)* outlining your interest and relevant experience to your contact information to [website] for follow-up. **if you are an internal candidate, please indicate “Internal Candidate” in the comments section of the application** Job Type: Full-time

Example 4

Minisewin Waska - The Pas Family Resource Centre; is accepting applications for a *Program Assistant* with our *Little Steps Program.* This position is under the direction and supervision of the Little Steps Program Coordinator. This position assists in the development, implementation, and delivery of program services and activities for families with children ages birth to 6 years old. *Key Duties and Responsibilities: * · Work as a team member to provide support to the Little Steps Program Coordinator in the delivery of programs and services for parents/families with children ages birth - 6 years. · Provision of childcare during parenting courses, programs, and relevant activities. · Inform the supervisor of any expressed concerns of any participants. · Coordinate with the supervisor in any requirements of families for specialized services, need for liaison, advocacy and/or referral services. · Assist in the delivery of early childhood education and pre-school activities. · Assist in the planning, organizing and implementation of family activities such as recreation, culture, education, etc. * · Grade 12 Graduate with 1 - 3 years related experience (other combinations of education and experience may be considered). · Must have a positive attitude and strong work ethic and the ability to work independently and as part of team. · Ability to maintain confidentiality of privileged information. · Demonstrated experience in working with children, families, and individuals. · Knowledge of the Indigenous culture, values, and traditions. · Ability to speak an Indigenous language is an asset. · Excellent oral and written communication skills. · The ability to facilitate communication in groups. · A current CPR First Aid and Safe Food Handler’s certificate is an asset. · Possess a valid Manitoba Driver's License. · Child Abuse Registry and Criminal Record checks must be successfully completed. · Previous experience with computers and various software applications. *Please submit Cover Letter & Resume to: * _Recruitment & Selection Committee_ _The Pas Family Resource Centre Inc._ *Drop off: * 202 Edwards Avenue *Mail to: or Fax to: * P.O. Box 97, 204-623-[phone number]The Pas, Manitoba R9A 1K3 Reference ID: Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Work remotely: * No

What does a Program Assistant do?

Program Assistants function much like Administrative Assistants, predominantly handling administrative tasks like record keeping, data entry, and answering phones. Depending on the program, Program Assistants may have other, more specialized tasks to complete, based on what the general staff needs. For example, sales-heavy industries will often require Program Assistants to maintain client files and accounts. Additionally, Program Assistants will relay information between upper management and general staff as well as communicate with clients.

Program Assistant skills and qualifications

Program Assistants need to possess a variety of skills to excel in their role. Some important skills and qualifications necessary for an effective Program Assistant include:

  • Excellent knowledge of scheduling and communication software
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • Negotiation and problem-solving
  • Active listening and empathy
  • Attention to detail
  • Proven typing speed and accuracy

Program Assistant experience requirements

Program Assistants with previous clerical experience could be prepared to excel in this role. Candidates who have previously worked as Administrative Assistants or Office Assistants are equipped with many transferrable skills. For those without experience, an associate’s degree is a suitable alternative. Look for candidates with soft skills like organization and communication, and those who can demonstrate fast and accurate typing skills. Experience talking on the phone, budgeting, and invoicing are all valuable whether from a previous paid position, internship, or volunteer work.

Program Assistant education and training requirements

Candidates should generally have a high school diploma, GED, or greater to apply for this role. A Program Assistant with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a relevant clerical field, such as business administration, should be well-qualified. 

Program Assistant salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average pay for a Program Assistant is $20.02 per hour. This average can vary based on many factors including experience, location and the hiring company.

Job description samples for similar positions

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Program Assistant job description FAQs

Does a Program Assistant stay in the office all day?

A Program Assistant generally spends most of their time in the office and works regular Monday to Friday hours. However, sometimes a Program Assistant may have to meet with a client, or see venues and manage logistics outside of the office. Program Assistants may organize travel for executives and other employees when necessary but are only rarely required to travel themselves.

What daily tasks does a Program Assistant handle?

A Program Assistant handles daily tasks like scheduling meetings, organizing files, and answering phones. As they’re often involved in event planning, their daily tasks can also involve budgeting, managing contact lists, and organizing event logistics. Program Assistants need to manage large filing systems and balance many tasks at once, which is why previous experience with clerical work is so important.

Is a Program Assistant position different at nonprofits?

Program Assistant positions within nonprofit organizations are similar to Program Assistant roles with for-profit companies. However, a Program Assistant for a nonprofit may need skills to answers client questions to increase contributions during specific times of the year, or when a new initiative needs support. The degree to which they’re involved in the marketing campaigns depends heavily on whether the nonprofit organization is a small local charity or a global initiative. Both positions require someone with strong organizational and communication skills.

What's the difference between a Program Assistant and an Office Assistant?

There are several similarities between a Program Assistant and an Office Assistant, but there are some key differences as well. Program Assistants are responsible for the same duties as an Office Assistant, and take on some additional tasks. Office Assistants must take care of clerical work, while Program Assistants also help meet with clients, customers, and sometimes charitable donors in addition to assisting with logistics and budgeting.

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