How to Begin a Career in Administration
You’ve always been curious about a job in administration, but you don’t really know what it entails or how to even get there. Whether you’re just starting out or you want to expand your skillset, let us guide you through the world of an assistant administrator.
Why is Administration Important?
Almost every company in the land will have an office. Whether Cadbury World, Disneyland, or Fifa, all companies need an administrative department to ensure the business is run smoothly.
Keeping track of all accounting files, staff records, and anything else that’s business related is essential.
Without administration, these companies would fail, and most likely break quite a few civil laws. While we’ve seen Steve Carell’s office interpretation and laughed at the skin-crawling, awkward situations; an administration job can be incredibly satisfying, have a huge potential for career progression, and give you skills that are transferable to any area of this working world.
In 2017, it was estimated by the National Office for Statistics that over 3.3 million people worked within administrative departments in the UK.
Naturally, the quality of any administrative job relies on the company. Most see the value of a strong administrative backbone so will reward workers with regular incentives, team bonding exercises, and bonuses.
Now that you think a job in admin might be for you, how do you get there? Who does this job suit and is it a viable, long-term career?
What Qualifications Do You Need to Work in Administration?
Admin is a sector that doesn’t require too many specialist subjects. The core areas, according to the UCAS website, are maths, English, and computer science. Maths is necessary because a familiarity with numbers and formula reduces errors and speeds up efficiency. The reason English is needed is for report writing. If you need to create a document that explains to a client why a certain dataset is the way it is, you’ll need use appropriate language and correct grammar to communicate your point effectively. Finally, UCAS suggests a qualification in computer science to ensure positive usability with essential tools like Microsoft Office and sometimes, basic coding. Knowledge of these computing programmes are needed to help streamline work. An automatic formula in Excel can save a huge amount of time for the company.
As well as these three areas of preferred qualification, many universities such as Birmingham City University or the University of Hertfordshire offer a BA in Business Administration. As you’d expect, this qualification gives you experience in all relevant aspects of admin and many courses give the opportunity for a placement year. This placement year allows you to apply what’s learnt in the classroom to a relevant, useful year in the industry.
What Kind of Person is Suited to a Job in Admin?
The joy about an administration career is that it appeals to such a wide spectrum of people. Offices tend to have some of the best social interaction of any workplace, so it would appeal to a personable candidate with a high attention to detail. Due to the role’s need for multiple tasks being handled at one time, the ideal person is often one with great time management skills and the ability to work as part of a team to meet deadlines.
is the average starting salary for an Administration Assistant
While this isn’t the top end of salaries, the position has excellent potential for growth and promotion.
How Soon Could I Be Looking at Advancement?
We all love a promotion. It’s the recognition of your worth at the company and a piece of news that makes us feel elated.
There are plenty of avenues for promotion. Once an office administrator has full hands on the reins they are often among the most well-versed of the company. This means that they can advance not only in their own department but diagonally. For example, an office administrator in a sales department can move into a senior office administrator role or manager within the HR department quite seamlessly. While the progression is seen as quite fast, it’s also very varied and seemingly endless in possibilities. Furthermore, administrative staff are indispensable. As the backbone of the company, job security is often very assured.
of office administrators receive promotion within the first 1-4 years
is the median pay of a senior administrator
Typical Duties for a Job in Administration
Within an office, it’s most likely that you’ll have set hours. If you’re working a 35-hour week, it’s likely that it will be 9-5 or something similar (perhaps 8-4). Within this role you’ll probably be working in a team that corresponds with several others. To ensure smooth communication, it’s important to keep on top of emails and consider categorising them according to subject, importance, or sender. While working through emails, your day will perhaps also consist of finding, recording, and reporting data, as well as the odd phone call to correlate different data sets.
Sometimes administration is regarded as the less glamorous side of a company, however if you’re someone who loves organisation, thrives when trying to meet deadlines, and sees reward in a well-ordered filing system, you may very well be the ideal candidate.
If you’d like to learn more about expanding your administration skills, why not browse our Database and Administration and Development Courses for more information.