what is an office administrator?

As an office administrator, you ensure the company's operations run efficiently and smoothly. You assist other professionals by providing administrative support like processing payroll, organising company files and basic bookkeeping tasks. You perform a mix of logistical and administrative duties to ensure appointments are confirmed, and colleagues have the necessary information at their fingertips. You answer phone calls, take inventory and organise the office calendar to ensure managers aren't double-booked for appointments.

Office administrators can work in any industry that requires support to organise the work environment. Whether you work in legal offices, hospitals or consultancy firms, it's important to be a flexible multi-tasker and detail-oriented to keep up with business processes efficiently.

Apart from supporting other workers, an office administrator ensures the office has the resources to run smoothly. This involves coordinating repairs for malfunctioning office equipment and organising regular maintenance. You also manage the use of office supplies and replenish stationery and cleaning supplies.

Would working as an office administrator suit your organisation and multitasking skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in an office administrator role.


office administrator jobs

average office administrator salary

According to ONS, the median compensation package of an office administrator is £22,500 per year. At entry-level, office administrators take home a salary of £21,000 annually. When you have worked in the field for some years, your salary can increase to over £27,500 per year. You may also receive overtime pay and bonuses to boost your earnings.

how to increase the salary of an office administrator

The salary of an office administrator depends on the level of education and qualifications. When you have more experience in the job, you will receive job offers with higher earnings. You can also demand more compensation when you hold qualifications in your field. The transferrable skills you bring when joining a company increase your bargaining power for better payment.

Your employer also influences your compensation package. For instance, if you work in a hospital, you are likely to earn more due to the complexity of your responsibilities. Retail businesses may pay considerably less due to the minimal duties involved. Working in large towns and cities also increases your earning potential due to the high demand for office administrators.


woman putting away files
woman putting away files

types of office administrators

The types of office administrators depend on the business sector and specialism they work in. Some types of office administrators include:

  • medical office administrators: as an office administrator working in healthcare, your job involves handling administrative tasks. You assist with filing and organising patient documents and assist doctors in keeping up with appointments.
  • legal office administrators: when you work in law firms or other legal settings, you perform clerical duties and assist lawyers, paralegals and legal secretaries with their work. You may supervise legal secretaries and other administrative workers to ensure the office runs smoothly.
  • construction office administrators: as an office administrator working in the construction industry, you assist the professionals with administrative work. You organise the documentation for construction projects and handle clerical and bookkeeping duties.



working as an office administrator

Working as an office administrator requires multitasking and organisational skills, as you will be juggling multiple tasks. Here is a breakdown of the specific functions and responsibilities of office administrators.


education and skills

Office administrators don't need specific educational achievements, but the following qualifications can boost your employment prospects:

  • college course: to become an office administrator, it is useful to complete a college course to learn administrative and clerical work skills. For instance, you can pursue a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in business administration or T Level in management and administration.
  • apprenticeship: you can find apprenticeship opportunities and learn the skills for administration work while completing your college training. The business administrator advanced apprenticeship requires 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4.

skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of an office administrator include:

  • communication and interpersonal skills: as an office administrator, you need outstanding listening and interpersonal skills to work with a team of administrative staff. Listening skills help you serve clients better, while interpersonal skills are essential for delegating and scheduling duties.
  • flexibility: two days are rarely the same when you are an office administrator. That means you need to adapt to new duties daily. There are also interruptions when something urgent comes up.
  • computer skills: as an office administrator, you need excellent computer applications and software knowledge. Many of your duties involve creating reports, answering emails and inputting data.
  • attention to detail: as an office administrator, you need a good eye for detail to write accurate reports and avoid errors in bookkeeping and data entry.


smiling female
smiling female


FAQs about working as an office administrator

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