Office administrator, clerical assistant, administrative assistant
Admin assistants give support to offices by organising meetings, typing documents and updating computer records.
Average Salary: £14,000 to £30,000 (full-time_
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Business and Administration.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship in business administration, or a business administrator advanced apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You might be able to start on a temporary contract through a recruitment agency. Sometimes this can lead to a permanent job. Qualifications in business administration may also help.
Volunteering and experience
You could volunteer with a charity in an office based role to get some experience and skills that are useful for administration work.
You could apply directly to become an admin assistant.
Employers may expect you to have:
- GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent qualifications, including English and maths
- telephone, typing or IT skills
Time management and the ability to prioritise tasks is really important in administration. This could be tested at interview. For example, you might be given some tasks to complete and asked to arrange them in order of importance.
Skills and knowledge
- administration skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to work on your own
- sensitivity and understanding
- to be flexible and open to change
- excellent verbal communication skills
- customer service skills
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
In this role you could:
- deal with queries on the phone, by email and on social media
- greet visitors at reception
- type letters, reports and other business documents
- update computer records
- print and photocopy items
- order office supplies
- set up meetings and take notes during them
- make travel arrangements for staff
You could work in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could progress from admin assistant to supervisor or office manager. You could also move into other departments, like IT, payroll or accounting.
With further training, you could specialise in an area like legal, financial or medical administration.