How to Become an Administrator

How to Become an Administrator

If you’re highly organised and you like things to be in an orderly fashion, working in an administrator position could be the perfect job for you. You’ll need to have good maths, English and IT skills, and you’ll need to be very efficient. Administrators’ job duties and responsibilities involve completing a variety of office-based tasks on a daily basis, so you will need to have good multitasking skills if you want to succeed in this role.

Are you cut out for this demanding job role? By reading the following information, you will be in a better position to discover whether the job is right for you. You’ll find out where administrators work, what the job actually entails and what key skills you’ll need to possess to do the job successfully.

You will also find out what qualifications and work experience you need, how much you can potentially earn as an administrator and how you can progress in your career. Read on to learn more.

What is an administrator?

Most sectors of the job market employ administrators. In this position, you could work for organisations such as law firms, doctors’ surgeries, retail businesses, schools or shipping companies. Whichever business you work for, it will be your job to deal with administrative duties to ensure the company is organised well and runs smoothly.

Working hours for an administrator are usually standard business hours, as you’ll be working in an office environment. You can typically expect to work from Monday to Friday between the times of eight a.m. and six p.m. Full-time administrators generally work between thirty-five and forty hours a week.

If you have no experience or higher-level qualifications, you may begin your career as an administration assistant. This will involve working with a supervisor who will guide you with your work and help you to manage your workload. This will teach you the skills you need to become a fully-fledged administrator.

What do administrators actually do?


As an administrator, your duties and responsibilities can vary a lot depending on the type of industry and company you work for. If you work for a small firm, your daily tasks could include a multitude of tasks, from keeping records and inputting data to being receptionist and secretary.

In a larger company, you’ll usually work in a specific section and have specialised duties to perform. If you work as an administrator for a specific work sector, like doctors’ surgeries or law firms, you will need to have specialised knowledge in that field.

Whichever type of organisation you work for, you’ll be in charge of a number of clerical duties, from typing up documents to answering telephone calls. You will play a key role in the company to ensure everything runs well on a daily basis. You’ll also be implementing essential procedures within the company.

Administrator Job Description

Although the company you work for and the industry you work in can affect your day-to-day duties and responsibilities, common tasks include completing forms, organising data, bookkeeping and creating reports.

You will usually be involved in some face-to-face-tasks with customers too, such as taking and processing customers’ orders, arranging postal deliveries and handling customer complaints. Other duties of an administrator job description include:

  • Administrative errands, such as faxing, photocopying and ordering stationery.
  • Organising paperwork.
  • Implementing and operating the company’s filing system.
  • Managing incoming and outgoing post.
  • Scheduling meetings.
  • Taking and redirecting telephone calls.
  • Handling email communications and social media enquiries.
  • Logging computer records.
  • Stock-taking and ordering supplies.
  • Taking minutes at meetings.

Key Skills for an Administrator

To succeed in the career of administrator, it’s crucial you have a high level of organisational skills. You’ll need some technical skills, such as computer literacy, as well. In this job role, you’ll be in charge of ensuring the office runs as smoothly and effectively as possible, which can be stressful at times. You therefore also need to be able to work well under pressure. Other key skills of an administrator include:

  • Strong numeracy skills.
  • Strong typing skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent listening skills.
  • Excellent time-keeping ability.
  • A methodical approach to working.
  • The ability to work on your own initiative.
  • The ability to work well in a team.
  • The ability to multitask.

Useful Work Experience

It’s usually the case that employers don’t require you to have completed work experience before you apply for the position of administrator. However, as with any job role, having previous experience can be beneficial.

If you want to gain experience to find out whether you’re suited to the job, you can get temporary work in an administrative capacity through a temping agency.

This will not only give you a good insight into exactly what’s involved with the administrator role, it will also allow you to be in good standing with potential employers when you decide to apply for a full-time job.

Average Salaries for an Administrator

Salaries for administrators can vary a great deal. The amount you can expect to earn depends on the sector you work in, the specific organisation you work for, your location and the amount of experience you have. On average, administrators earn around £17,000 per year.

Entry-level administrators can expect to begin on around £12,000. The highest salary most administrators can earn is around £23,000 per year.

Online Admin Courses

At The Course Mix we offer a variety of online admin courses that are designed to provide a stepping stone for those joining the industry.

These admin courses give students the chance to gain an accredited certification which they can include on the CV.

Popular courses in the admins sector include:



Qualifications for an Administrator

There are no mandatory qualifications required to work as an administrator.

However, most employers like you to have GCSEs in English and maths, or equivalent qualifications.


This is because the job is reliant upon you having excellent numeracy skills to complete records and reports, and having strong English skills to type up letters and input data.

Although you don’t need to have qualifications to become an administrator, employers will certainly be impressed if you do hold related qualifications. There are a variety of courses you could enrol with, such as a business-related NVQ or a business studies degree.

Career Progression

There are several options available to you if you want to progress further in your administration career. You could progress to a senior administrator position or an office manager role within the company you work for or another organisation. You could also look for other internal vacancies if you like the company you work for.

This could involve moving into a different role where you can expand your skillset. It’s sometimes best to take a side step in order to eventually move up.

Another option is to specialise in a certain area of administration work, such as medical administration, financial administration or legal administration. These roles involve having specialised skills and knowledge, so they will pay better than a general administrator position.

If you have a level two qualification in a business-related subject, you could enrol with a level three course to expand your skills and expertise. By having a qualification like a Level Three Diploma in Business Administration, you will be more qualified to move up the career ladder.

You could then progress even further by earning a higher qualification, such as a Level Four Certificate in Office and Administration Management. Also, some organisations offer advanced IT courses to their administration employees. The more skills and knowledge you gain, the more easily you can progress in your administration career.


In Conclusion

The role of administrator naturally suits highly-organised people. You will have to be able to sort through and process information and have a keen eye for detail. You’ll also need to be able to work on your own initiative and have excellent communication skills.

In addition, administrators need to have excellent maths, English and IT skills. Your daily duties and responsibilities will involve a variety of clerical tasks, such as keeping records, inputting data and organising paperwork. You may answer telephone enquiries, type letters and schedule meetings as well.

Although you don’t need to have completed work experience before you apply for an administrator position, the more previous experience you have, the more likely you are to be offered a job. The same goes for qualifications.

Usually, you don’t need to hold any certificates above GCSE level in maths and English. However, if you do have qualifications like an NVQ or a degree in business studies, it will be looked upon favourably by potential employers. Having qualifications also allows you to progress in your career more easily and move into other sectors.

Working as an administrator can often feel like a thankless task. Much of your time will be spent supporting others, so you may not receive much praise or credit for the work you do. This can be frustrating if you’re more interested in a self-led job role, as you may not have the chance to take the lead on your own projects.

If you’re not put off by the challenging aspects of this job, and if you’re highly efficient, can work well under pressure and can multitask well, the role of administrator could be the ideal job for you.