Are you always the ‘organised one’ in your friendship circle or at work? Are you always sorting out every detail of your life, from booking dinners, sorting out travel arrangements and even filing the receipts after? And do you find yourself secretly enjoying it? Have you ever thought about a career as a administrator?

So, what will I actually be doing?

If you want to become an information officer like our interviewee in the video above then a job as an administrator can put you firmly on that career path. Filing, making travel arrangements, taking bookings, looking after visitors... Every office needs an efficient administrator who can ensure that everything behind the scenes of a successful company is running smoothly. Without one, things quickly start to fall apart.

This is a great job for those who like to dabble in a variety of tasks and can multi-task with ease. As an office administrator you’ll be expected to turn your hand to jobs such as:

  • Sorting out the post
  • Answering the phones
  • Ordering office stationery supplies
  • Greeting clients
  • Typing
  • Filing
  • Managing diaries

The finer details...

You’ll usually be based in an office, and full-time administrators will work 35 hours plus a week.

However, there are plenty of part-time and flexible working options for administrators, and having a good work/life balance is a perk of the job.

Money, money, money

Entry-level salaries are in the region of £13k rising to around £23k (depending on the area and your responsibilities).

See what people are earning in this job

The good points...

"The job involves a lot of structure as you have a number of set tasks to work through on a daily basis. It’s very satisfying working through the regular list of 'to dos' and completing these on time, ready for the list to start again," says Johanna Mead who works for a community action group.

"You also get to work directly with a wide range of individuals at all levels - regular staff, management and directors, external clients and suppliers - so this can make the job varied and interesting."

"Because you know everything about the working of the organisation, there is the possibility of potential career progression," says Johanna.

"If you do a good job and are trusted and wish to move up to other roles in the organisation then you are in a good place to do this as an administrator." Many administrators use this role as a springboard to becoming a supervisor, personal secretary or office manager.

...and the bad

"Sometimes, your role as an administrator can be taken for granted. The people who don't have to make sure that all the boxes are ticked day to day behind the scenes don't always appreciate the impact your administration has on the smooth running of the organisation. The salary for the role is typically not very high."

Is there study involved?

You don’t have to have a CV bursting with qualifications to become an administrator. While most employers will value good levels of literacy and numeracy, many will also look for top-notch typing, telephone and organisational skills. However, why not keep one step ahead of the competition with one of the following certificates?

  • NVQ/SVQ in Business and Administration, Levels 1-4
  • OCR Awards, Certificates and Diplomas in Administration (Business Professional), Levels 1-4
  • BTEC Level 3 Award & Certificate in Principles of Business & Administration

Need additional qualifications? Find a course at our Learning Zone

OK, I'm interested... But is it really the job for me?

Just like being a real human octopus, this role is especially suited for multi-taskers who love to balance a myriad of jobs.

You’ll also need to be fairly chatty, as you need to be able to communicate with a variety of people from the chief executive right down to the office juniors. Other skills that will help you succeed include:

  • Good attention to detail
  • Ability to stay calm under pressure
  • Methodical and thorough approach to work
  • Organised
  • Good at juggling tasks and prioritising
  • A great team player
  • A desire to show initiative

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