what is an administrator?

As an admin, you perform various administrative functions in an organisation. For instance, you design office workflows and support the office managers and department heads with running work activities. You also maintain communication with internal and external parties in a company. Since you are the first point of contact for visitors, you need exceptional people skills to assist customers, vendors and clients.

Regardless of the industry or employer, an administrator acts as an organisational backbone. You ensure various departments, processes, and employees are all working in unison. You facilitate the flow of information so that all parties are on the same page regarding company projects and goals.

As an administrator, you can work in most business sectors, from retail to transport, hospitals, universities and schools. Your job is to supervise the administrative staff and ensure they carry out their duties well. While your day-to-day functions depend on the industry you work for, typical tasks include organising data and generating reports. Your customer-facing duties, such as processing customer orders and handling complaints, are also vital for the company's success.

The role of administrator suits people with a systematic approach to processes. Highly organised and detail-oriented individuals are also a perfect fit as you will be working independently, and your work should be error-free.

Would working as an administrator suit your systematic approach to issues? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an administrator role.

administrator jobs

average salary of an administrator

According to ONS, an administrator takes home a median salary of £22,500 per year. Newly trained administrators have minimal experience and attract a salary of £21,000 annually. As a senior administrator, your earnings are over £27,992 per year. Some experienced administrators earn over £35,000 annually.

Apart from the base salary, administrators enjoy various benefits like house and transport allowances. Some companies provide medical insurance and pension contributions. Employers often offer overtime pay and annual bonuses.

what factors affect the salary of an administrator?

Your salary depends on the hours you work and company policy. However, some factors can increase your salary prospects. For instance, if you have additional educational qualifications and experience, your compensation package is higher than a trainee's or an apprentice's. Your skills and competencies also affect your earnings. Administrators need technical skills, and if you have experience working with various software and computer systems, you are likely to receive better pay.

Your area of specialisation can also influence your salary. For instance, your compensation package if you only perform clerical tasks is lower than someone who performs more complex administrative duties or system management functions. That's why a system administrator earns more than an office administrator. Your location impacts your earnings due to the fluctuating cost of living and demand for administrators. You are likely to earn more in Birmingham or London than in smaller towns in the UK.


smiling woman on work
smiling woman on work

types of administrators

Some types of administrators include:

  • office administrator: as an office administrator, you are responsible for the effective and smooth running of an office. You perform clerical and administrative functions like preparing reports and operating a switchboard. Apart from general office duties, you also speak with clients and visitors.
  • school administrator: your job is to monitor the operations of a primary or secondary school. You file documents from various departments in the school and ensure accurate record-keeping.
  • university administrator: you can work for the central administration or specific university departments. You are the contact point for staff and students. Your role often involves bookkeeping and taking care of the university finances.
  • systems and network administrators: you maintain the computer infrastructure, from configuration to ensuring correct operation. You monitor the networks and test them for weakness. You also install and implement updates to the systems.


working as an administrator

Working as an administrator requires exceptional organisational skills to ensure the smooth running of an office. Unlike assistants who can work remotely, you need to be physically present to accomplish your duties. Some of the roles and work environments of administrators are outlined below:


education and skills

Some of the educational qualifications of an administrator include:

  • college and training: to become an administrator, you should pursue business administration and IT courses. You can find a college and training provider that provides a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in business administration. For the Level 2 course, you need 2 GCSEs with grades 9 to 3, while Level 3 courses require 4 to 5 GCSEs with grades 9 to 4.
  • apprenticeship and traineeship: you can join a traineeship that provides training in business administration for two weeks to six months. Alternatively, join an apprenticeship programme that takes three years and provides on-the-job training and coursework. When you complete the intermediate apprenticeship, you can proceed to the advanced apprenticeship and become an administrator.

skills and competencies

Here's a closer look at the skills of administrators:

  • work standards: administrators have to demonstrate high standards and morals. They must be articulate and endorse the employer's culture and philosophy. As an administrator, you have to exude integrity, respect and diplomacy.
  • decision making and organisational strategy: administrators use the best strategies to maximise overall unit, department and company health. They encourage success in everyone by communicating well-defined objectives.
  • diversity: administrators need to treat all people equally and know how to best utilise them based on their unique talents, skills and experiences.
  • collaboration: a good administrator encourages teamwork across all levels and departments. Workplaces need a collaborative culture, and good administrators can facilitate that.
  • willingness to learn: administrators don't need to know everything, but morale is boosted if everyone in the organisation believes you care and have an open mind. Operate under the assumption that everyone is both a student and teacher.

smiling employee
smiling employee


FAQs about working as an administrator

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