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How to become an Administrator?


Job Role Administrator


Completing forms, taking internal phone calls, creating reports and organising data.

What do I need to do to become an Administrator? 

Administrators can work in most sectors of the job world. Whether it’s for a retail business, transport company, hospital, school, university or travel company, you’ll be working hard to make sure all administrative duties are taken care of so the business can run smoothly.

According to the website payscale.com, salaries do not directly increase in line with years of experience. So administrators with lots of experience do not earn significantly more than those just starting out. However, this role gives you many transferable skills that will help you gain higher paying jobs in the admin industry, or in other sectors of work.

The content of your day-to-day duties will often depend on the type of company that you work for. But common tasks will include completing forms, taking internal phone calls, creating reports and organising data. Administrators may also have some customer-facing duties, such as taking and processing customer orders, dealing with customer issues or complaints, arranging postal deliveries and bookkeeping.

So, how do you land a job as an administrator? Vacancies are often advertised on specialist job boards or on the career page of a large company’s website. When applying, make sure you read through the advert fully. Then show how you meet the main points in their criteria on your CV and your cover letter, or on the online application form. Even if you don’t meet all of their requirements, it is still worth applying, as long as the job is within your experience remit. There is no use in applying to be the manager of an admin team, if you’ve never done the job before.

When you get invited to interview, it’s essential that you arrive on time and give a great first impression. Be polite, smile and try not to show that you’re nervous. After all, an interview is just as much for you to gauge whether you want to do the job, as it is for a potential employer to meet you.

In the modern world, computer skills are vital for any administrator. This includes strong typing and numeracy skills, data entry, computer-based record-keeping and more. This role naturally suits highly organised characters. This means you are able to sort through and process information, and do not need someone checking over all of your work for mistakes. A keen eye for detail and the ability to manage your own workload will also help. You also need to be able to communicate effectively. This includes written and verbal communication with your team and others in the company.

Any experience you have working in an office, answering phone calls or keeping records, will be useful when applying for administrator jobs. When writing your CV and in an interview, also be sure to highlight any examples you have of working well in a team. Working in an administration department, or even if you’re the company’s only administrator, you’ll be working with a wide range of employees.

Employers will also be looking to see that you are capable of meeting deadlines and key performance indicators (KPIs). If you haven’t worked in a similar role, think of examples that might show this.

You don’t need any formal qualifications for most administrator roles. However, if you want to, you could consider a business degree or business-related national vocational qualification (NVQ). Training provider City & Guilds has information about lots of work-based qualifications on their website. You can choose to start at different levels of NVQ depending on your education and experience in the workplace.

Once you’re settled into a new admin role, your daily duties will often start with reading, replying and following up emails. It is likely that most of your work, whether it’s communicating with colleagues or customers, will be done via email. Keep your inbox tidy, create labels and anything else that will keep you as organised as possible. Assess your workload for the day and prioritise the most important things. You’ll also be supporting other members of staff, and, if you have a customer-facing role, you’ll also be attending to phone calls.

If this is your first ever job or first role in the administrative sector, you may start as an admin assistant. This usually means working with a supervisor who will guide you and help manage your workload. It’s a great place to get your foot on the ladder and start learning; for most office-based careers it will teach you lots of transferable skills that can be used in a variety of industries.

Once you’ve got a few years of experience under your belt, or less if you’re motivated, you can look to move up to an administrator role, and then progress to a senior administrator. If you like the company you’re working for, you can look for internal job vacancies that could expand your skillset. You’re more likely to be successful if you’ve already proven you’re hard-working, reliable and an asset in your current role. And sometimes it’s necessary to side-step in order to move up.

If you are intending to make a career in the administration world, you may want to think about specialising in a certain sector, such as a legal or medical administrator.

As well as job-specific transferable skills, you’ll also develop important soft skills that will be useful in any workplace. These include interpersonal skills, such as liasing with colleagues, sourcing help when you need it and learning how to work well with different types of people. Listening skills and learning how to express an alternative opinion in a professional way is also something you may learn.

Working as an administrator can sometimes feel like a thankless task, and sometimes you may not receive direct praise or credit. But don’t let this stop you, keep in mind your own goals, realise when you’ve done something well and bare in mind what sort of skills you’re learning.

This is a great role for anyone starting out in the world of work, and a place to improve your IT and interpersonal skills. Starting out as an admin assistant or administrator doesn’t have a clear career path but you can take it into whichever sector interests you, or look at moving on to marketing, human resources, project management or secretarial work.

Browse the latest administrator jobs.

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