Understanding the administrator job description

Are you that person that has a place for everything, always files their receipts away for safe keeping and has a diary organised with military precision? If the thought of order and calm excites you then you’re probably a born administrator and a job sorting out someone else’s chaos could be right up your street.

Administrators are the backbone of any well-functioning business, acting as the glue that holds everything together. Without efficient administrators, most businesses would quickly fall apart!

What do administrators do on a day-to-day basis?

If you’re good at multi-tasking, then you’ll be great as an administrator because you will probably be dealing with several things on the go. Tasks could include any of the following and more:

  • Opening mail
  • Organising files
  • Managing diaries
  • Bookkeeping
  • Managing phone calls and emails
  • Making appointments and meetings
  • Keeping track of office supplies
  • Budgeting
  • Submitting reports
  • Word processing and data entry

FACT: The average administrator earns between £15,000 and £30,000 a year though senior administers can earn up to £50,000

Personality

Naturally, you need to be seriously organised to be an administrator but being approachable and friendly is really important too. Everyone has met an office ogre at some time or another – you don’t want to be one of them. Your job is to facilitate the smooth running of the office so being personable, helpful and enthusiastic are just as important as your ability to organise the office diary because you’ll be dealing with all sorts of co-workers and you need to able to work positively with them all.

Skills

There are plenty of skills you probably already possess and plenty more you can pick up-on-job as you get used to your new role. Having a business, maths or computer science degree can be useful but isn’t essential and lots of companies will give you on-the-job training. Before you apply for jobs though ask yourself how many of these skills you already have:

  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Trustworthy
  • Team player
  • Good communicator
  • Excellent spelling and grammar skills
  • Excellent organisation
  • Dependable and enthusiastic
  • Good at juggling tasks

Opportunities

Administrators are essential in most organisations but your role will depend on the size. In a small business, you might find yourself taking on HR or accounting functions. In a larger company, your role might be clearly defined and concentrate on data entry and storage, for example. 

There are loads of areas you can specialise in but popular ones are education, communications, websites and healthcare. Gaining extra qualifications or becoming chartered can also lead to a higher paid position, a job in a FTSE 100 company, office manager or other operational roles.

Starting out as an administrator also allows you to get a foot in the door and move into other internal jobs in sales, marketing and HR.

Your friends might sometimes chuckle at your insane ability to organise absolutely everyone and everything but those same traits can give you a real boost up the administrator career ladder.

Apply for administrator jobs

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