Administrator: Job Profile and Role

Every company has various departments with their own specific qualifications, competencies, and daily tasks. Ideally, each of these departments works like a well-oiled machine, thus ensuring smooth workflow and supply and communications chains. One person who is responsible for both smooth workflows and communications chains is the company’s administrator who is also in charge of most administrative tasks. With strong interpersonal and filing skills and attention to detail, an administrator is a business’s good soul. Maybe you see yourself in this position since these skills alone are part of you who are?

In the following blog, we will take a close look at the job of an administrator. You will find out which qualifications you need to enter this profession and which skills are typically required if you want to work as an administrator and which employers will ask for these things. Also, you will get a first idea of the annual salaries you can expect, what your career path can look like and which tasks you will likely be asked to perform daily. Lastly, you will get tips for thriving as an administrator.

Short Summary

  • As an administrator, you are in charge of all administrative tasks within a company or office. 
  • As an administrator, you are often the link between your superiors and other members of a company as well as outside people like clients, vendors, and suppliers.
  • As an administrator, you should have strong accountancy and time-management skills which help you keep track of invoices, expenses, and travel arrangements, to name but a few.

Job description

As an administrator, you are in charge of all administrative tasks that accumulate in a company. That includes dealing with invoices, keeping track of expenses, and making travel and other business arrangements for your superiors. It is also your job as an administrator to be the face of your company and your boss, respectively. You are one of the first people potential clients, business associates, and future employees see and meet upon entering your employer’s company. Furthermore, it is your administrator’s job to stay on top of all the relevant communication, be it emails, phone calls, or other means of getting in touch with your company and superior(s).


  • IT Support
  • HR Support
  • Financial Tasks
  • Reception Duties
  • Event Coordination
  • Office Management
  • Travel Arrangements
  • Document Preparation
  • Database Management
  • Compliance and Regulations

Different types of Administrators

  • Legal Administrator
  • Office Administrator
  • School Administrator
  • Marketing Administrator
  • Human Resources Administrator


Administrators in the UK earn between £22,900 and £30,000 per year, with Scotland and Wales currently paying wages at around £23,000. Besides the location, your administrator’s salary will be affected by your position. Entry-level administrators – admin assistants – start at £14,000 annually. A further salary-influencing factor is your future employer which can mean both fewer and higher wages per year.

Working hours

As an administrator, you will work between 35 and 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Typically, the job of an administrator is a traditional 9 to 5 job that mainly takes place in an office. Depending on your employer’s policies, remote work might also be an option meaning that your work time is split between your office and your home. Due to the office nature of the job, travelling does not tend to feature in the average working hours. However, note that overtime can occur which can result in evening and weekend work.


As an administrator, you are usually employed by any company that needs secretarial and/or pastoral work. Therefore, you can find work as an administrator in various industries and sectors, for instance, in schools, at universities, in healthcare, the public sector, and in corporate offices. Since the employment options are diverse, you should always make sure that your future employer shares your visions and interests. This will make for a mutually beneficial work relationship.


You do not need a specific academic degree to become an administrator in the UK. Generally, most administrators have either completed a college course or an apprenticeship related to business or administration. Further options available to you to become an administrator are gaining relevant work experience or applying directly to the job of an administrator. We recommend that you check the mandatory qualifications in the job posts.

Besides the educational background, as an administrator, you should also be proficient in bookkeeping/accountancy. You should also have sufficient computing skills that include an in-depth knowledge of spreadsheets, such as Excel or Google Sheets, PowerPoint or similar presentation software, and word processing, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

The job as an administrator could be suitable for you if you have one or more of the following qualifications:


As a future administrator, you should have soft skills that complement your qualifications/hard skills. Particularly important are strong writing skills since you will deal with a lot of written communication in your job. Also, you should have strong computing skills since filing, writing, and making business arrangements will mainly take place online. What other skills you should have as an administrator is what we will look at in this section. As with the required qualifications, you should always check the necessary skills in the job advertisements that have caught your attention.

Is the administrator job a good fit for you? Typically, an administrator should have or develop the following skills:

Research Skills

You might think that research skills are better suited to copywriters and academics who need to find the information relevant to their respective jobs? Though this is true to a certain extent, it does not mean that you, as an administrator, should not also have these skills. Imagine you are asked to book a flight, accommodation, or a table at a restaurant for a business meeting. Having brilliant research skills will help you find the best offers, the best places to stay, and the best places to conduct a business meeting. Therefore, being a good researcher will help you perform your job more than just well.


Having a trustworthy and confidential nature will be one of your most important assets when working as an administrator. After all, you will be dealing with very personal information ranging from your employer’s contact details to his or her bank details. Typically, no one will divulge this kind of information if they do not need to. But since you are the administrator, your employer needs to give you that information so you can perform your duties and trust you to not misuse them. Also, as an administrator, you may be privy to meetings. Needless to say, whatever happens in these meetings must not go any further than your desk and office.

Filing Skills

Administrators are in charge of filing various documents, be it invoices, expenses, or meeting minutes. This record-keeping is vital for a company and in most cases, even mandatory. Since you, as an administrator, are in charge of all these documents, you need to have excellent filing skills that nowadays also stretch into digital filing. 

A few more Skills an Administrator should have

An outstanding administrator should have a whole bouquet of skills that make him or her brilliant at the job. An admin should be team-oriented and willing to actively seek collaboration with other departments. An admin should also be a strategic thinker with attention to detail and the ability to be decisive, while at the same time being thoughtful and conscientious. 

Career Path

Starting as an admin assistant, you step onto your career path in the administration world. With years of experience, you can rise through the ranks by first being an administrator. After that, you can think about progressing to more senior roles, such as the job of an executive assistant or an administrative manager. If you are especially career-driven, you might want to strive for the highest possible positions in administration, such as CAO and COO (Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Operations Officer, respectively).

Educational Background

To become an administrator, you can choose between working towards the role, applying directly, a college course, or an apprenticeship. Generally, two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) or four to five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) are needed to enter a college course and apprenticeship, respectively. Appropriate college courses can be a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Business and Administration and a T Level in Management and Administration. An appropriate apprenticeship can be the business administrator advanced apprenticeship.

Entry Level

As with almost all jobs, administrators start at entry-level positions before they can become proper administrators. Generally, one of those entry-level positions is the job of an admin assistant. Here, you usually have an administrator mentor, if you will, who shows you the ropes and supports you with valuable insights and tips. With these and consequent years of work experience, you will advance to the job of an administrator. Note that most entry-level positions last about a year or longer which also depends on your work performance and your set career goals.

Continuous Learning

As an administrator, you should always invest time into your personal and professional development to improve your soft and hard skills. To achieve this, you can look into online courses where you can earn further qualifications, for example, in time management, financial management, or office software applications. It is also a sensible idea to actively attend conferences and networking events where you can meet new business contacts and gain new insights into the job of an admin.

Personal Development Plan (PDP)

We suggest that you also look into a so-called PDP (personal development plan). This plan helps you to define your career goals and in which time you want to achieve them. It also helps you set times for earning further qualifications and certifications. It starts with an important question you have to ask yourself: Where do you see yourself five or ten years from now?

Based on your findings, you can then come up with several plans that generally involve short-term, mid-term, and long-term plans. They come with a timeframe which helps you to achieve your goals, for example, within a few months or a few years. Your PDP should include further qualifications as well as cornerstones that set the date for either changing jobs or progressing in your career as an administrator.

A Day in the Life of an Administrator

In the following section, we will take a look at some of the typical tasks in the working life of an administrator. You probably know that checking your emails and calendar is one of the daily tasks that you will spend some time on. But what other tasks will keep you busy in your job as an administrator? Continue reading and you will find out.

Filing and Documentation

We have already mentioned that filing is an important part of an admin’s job description. It does come as a surprise, then, that filing and documentation will feature in your working day. You will spend some time organising and filing documents and entering data into spreadsheets or other data-storing software.

Meeting Support

You will also be asked to support your superiors in organising meetings, starting with scheduling a time and a place and noting who will attend a meeting. This also involves getting in touch with the attendees and checking that they will be available at the suggested date. Also, you might be asked to prepare presentations and take charge of catering and setting up the meeting room.


Towards the end of your working day, you need to make sure that everything is in working order for the next day. Your daily wrap-up includes checking that every scheduled task has been completed, that the next day’s to-do lists are prepared, that all equipment and materials are stored away and that your office is secure for the night. 

Tips for Thriving as an Administrator

Even though the job as an administrator is currently your dream job, it does not necessarily mean that it will always be your chosen career. If, at some point, you are thinking about advancing to more senior positions with more responsibilities, tips for thriving will come in handy. They will also help you if you want to stay in your job but want to improve your skills, qualifications, and work ethic. Let’s therefore take a look at three tips for thriving as an administrator:

  • Vocational and professional qualifications
  • Data protection and GDPR
  • Languages

Vocational and Professional Qualifications

Qualifications are always a good way to thrive in a profession. If you want to grow your administrator’s qualifications portfolio, you can look into several options which you can find with the CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy ) and the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Other options can be BTECs (Business and Technology Education Council) and NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications).

Data Protection and GDPR

As an administrator, you deal with sensitive information daily which can include using your employer’s personal information and bank details to book a flight and/or a hotel. Nowadays, travel arrangements are done online. Even though this is the easiest and quickest way to book flights and accommodation, it also comes with risks in the form of data theft. Therefore, you should keep your knowledge about data protection up-to-date. This includes your knowledge about the GDPR, the general data protection regulation, and new software and tools to ensure secure e-signing and payment online.


Depending on your job description and your responsibilities, it might be a good idea you learn a second language (if you are not bilingual already, that is). Companies with international clients require administrators who speak at least two languages since this ability makes them more proficient in doing their job and dealing with international clients. 

Other jobs that are similar and might also interest you:

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does an administrator earn?

While admin assistants start at £14,000 per year, full-time and work-experienced administrators in the UK earn between £22,900 and £30,000 annually. The employer and the location also affect an administrator’s salary. Wages of around £23,000 per year can currently be expected for both Scotland and Wales, whereas England and Northern Ireland pay slightly less.

What qualifications do I need to become an administrator?

Most administrators in the UK approach their future careers by doing a college course or an apprenticeship. It is also possible to become an administrator through work or direct application to the job. Typically, a future administrator needs two or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) or four to five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C). Besides, an administrator should have sufficient computing skills, including presentation, spreadsheets, and word processing. Also, an administrator should have an in-depth knowledge of accountancy/bookkeeping.

What is the job of an administrator?

Being the face of a company or the management of said company is one of the jobs an administrator is tasked with daily. As the term administrator implies, an administrator is also in charge of all admin work related to a company. This includes scheduling appointments, making (travel) arrangements, filing and sending out invoices, and keeping up-to-date with expenses and budgets. It is also the job of an administrator to oversee all communication relevant to the daily running of a company, including emails and phone calls.