What do administrator jobs involve?
Administrators offer administrative and clerical support within organisations, coordinating various activities to ensure efficiency and compliance. They may also take on responsibility for specific projects, overseeing the work of other members of staff.
Administrators are found in businesses throughout industry, meaning the exact nature of the role can vary considerably, depending on the sector, employer and level of seniority. You could find yourself undertaking a variety of different tasks on a day-to-day basis, including dealing with phone and email enquiries, maintaining internal office systems, organising travel arrangements and managing agendas for upper management, arranging events and much more.
What is an administrator’s salary?
Salaries for administrator jobs will depend on a number of different factors, such as the sector and organisation you’re working in, as well as your location, amount of experience and level of seniority. Larger organisations, as well as those in certain industries, such as finance and legal, are known to offer higher salaries.
In an entry level position, you can expect to earn anything between £16,000 and £24,000 per year. As you gain more experience and take on additional responsibilities, this can increase to between £28,000 and £35,000 per year.
If you gain extra qualifications or achieve chartered status, you can see your salary increase even further.
These figures are intended as a guideline only.
What skills do I need?
To be a successful administrator, you need to be highly organised, with excellent attention to detail and strong presentation skills. You need to be able to manage your own workload and be able to multi-task, maintaining an overview of numerous activities at the same time, to ensure deadlines are met.
You’ll be interacting with a wide range of people on a daily basis, so oral and written communication skills are key, as well as general interpersonal skills. A lot of your work will be untaken on a computer, so you’ll need knowledge and experience of working with common IT systems and programs.
While not essential, being able to speak another language can help in certain sectors, and can boost your earning potential.
What qualifications do I need?
There are a number of routes you can take into an administration career. The exact requirements may differ from one employer to the next. For example, in some industries, employers will value prior experience in a similar role over formal qualifications.
For those roles that do require specific qualifications, you’ll usually need to have an HND or undergraduate degree in a relevant business or administration subject.
Some industries will offer apprenticeship schemes for recent graduates or school-leavers, allowing you to train on-the-job, gaining vital experience and the opportunity to earn money at the same time.
What are the hours and conditions?
You can expect to work between 35 and 40 hours per week as an administrator. With the role being largely office-based, you can expect it to fall within the normal Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 bracket. There may be the possibility of flexible-working hours, but this is entirely dependent on your employer.
Part-time and temporary roles are common, but there are still plenty of permanent, full-time positions available. Traditionally this was seen as a female role, and while the majority of administrative roles are still held by women, we are seeing more men opt to enter this field.
Depending on the sector and organisation you’re in, there are some opportunities to progress and advance your career. One of the most common routes is to move from an administration role into office management, utilising your organisational and time-management skills. Alternatively, you could try to move into a different department within your organisation, such as IT, accounting or payroll.
One excellent way to progress your career is to join a professional body, such as the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), or work towards gaining chartered status.
Areas of specialism
Specialising in a specific area can provide excellent opportunities to advance in your career. For example, if you speak a second language, you could opt to move into a more specialist, bilingual administrative role. Another option is to specialise in a key field, such as legal, financial or medical administration.