How to get a job in admin

Fri, 21/12/2012 - 13:30 -- nick

UnemployedNet supports The Mirror's Get Britain Working campaign.

The campaign has moved on to work in administration and business administration.

With many jobs spread across the country, in both public and private sectors, admin can be a great career for anyone.

If you're starting out it is helpful if you already have good skills in computing, communication - particularly written and spoken English - and information management.

You can show your information skills outside the workplace by starting your own jobsearch diary and database for your employment contacts, by registering on UnemployedNet and going to My Homepage.

'AS we continue our campaign to Get Britain Working, we have found 39,380 jobs in the world of business administration and office work.

“Good business administration is at the heart of an organisation’s success and the skills needed in an ­administrative career can be ­developed and used in every business,” says Jenny Hewell of Skills CFA. “Businesses can’t run without effective administrative professionals.”

What’s more, at least 3.25 million people in the UK work in business and administration, with 1.1 million job openings expected in the next seven years.

“So many roles in business require administration skills,” says Jenny.

“Skills in ­communication and negotiation, the management of ­information and data, solving ­business problems, supporting sustainability and managing risk are all ­fundamental to business success.”

The great news is that there are many ways to get yourself on to the career ladder – but apprenticeships are a particularly good method of getting practical qualifications.

“Work-based learning is one of the most effective routes into a business and administration career with apprenticeships proving to be a vital route,” says Jenny.

“There has been 184% growth in business ­apprenticeship starts over the last two years.”

The work can be very flexible too. Whether you want full or part-time work, or even work from home, there are chances galore up and down the country.


FINISHING her A-Levels last summer, Georgina Hatton was deciding whether to push ahead for university or opt for an apprenticeship.

“While I could see that university could be great fun, there was also the huge issue of getting into debt and then not even having a job at the end of it all,” she says.

Georgina applied to university for a ­business studies course but she also went online to look at apprenticeships.

She found two that appealed: one at her local council in the Forest of Dean, ­Glos, and another at The Warranty Group, which provides extended warranties and insurance around the world.

“I applied for both and got interviews,” says Georgina, 18. “I was so chuffed when I got offered the job as a learning and development administrator with The Warranty Group.

“I started in July – only a matter of days after leaving school.”

From day one Georgina, from ­Mitcheldean, knew she’d made the right decision.

She explains: “I just love being in an office and part of a team. I work with the trainers and act as their support – booking courses, coordinating ­feedback and keeping on top of the emails. I’m starting to get involved in the customer relations side of things, too.”

One day a month Georgina attends Gloucestershire College and is regularly assessed by a trainer as part of getting her NVQ and BTEC in Business Administration.

A mentor is always on hand to help her where needed.

“I’ve found I’ve just slipped into the role,” says Georgina.

“I’ve had a Saturday job in a local bakery since I was 13 – in fact I still do it. That had given me a lot of confidence so when I started work I just got on with it.”

Georgina hopes to have completed her studies by next summer and then plans to “crack on” with the career she loves.

She says: “I love the working environment and knowing that I am learning such valuable skills.”


At, the Government’s jobs match service, we found 29,807 roles ranging from 2,411 receptionists and 6,301 general office assistants and clerks to 683 filing clerks and 1,785 stock control clerks.

These include an administrator in Basingstoke, Hants (£6.70ph), a ­receptionist in Canning Town, East London (from £7), a clerk in Gloucester (£6.20), a receptionist in Manchester (£6.50) and an administrator in Ely, Cambs (£6.50). At there are 1,453 jobs including a legal secretary in Winchester, Hants (from £19,000), a personnel officer in Birmingham (from £22,067), a finance ­administrator in Cardiff (£16,000) and a receptionist/administrator in Bishop Auckland, Durham (£7).

We found another 5,509 jobs at, including a sales administrator in Peterborough, Cambs (£8), an office PA in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex (£16,000), a junior personal assistant in Mayfair, West London (£15,000), a sales administration ­coordinator in Runcorn, Cheshire (£16,000) and a sales administrator based in Fradley, Staffs (£7).

At there were 451 administration jobs while listed 267 office and secretarial ­positions.

Check out the NHS at, where we found 1,893 administrative and clerical jobs listed. These include a medical staffing assistant in Gloucester (from £16,110), a secretary in Cardiff (from £16,110), a call handler in Yorkshire (£16,110) and an administration support worker in Lincoln (£7,076).


Salaries range from £12,000 to £20,000 a year for administrative assistants, depending on location and responsibility. Receptionists can earn between £12,500 and £19,000 while secretaries can get from £11,000 up to £14,000.

With experience this can rise to between £15,000 and £19,000 a year, while personal assistants and ­secretaries with specialised duties (such as medical) can earn up to £25,000 a year.


Skills CFA (formerly the Council for Administration)

Institute of Administrative Management (

Apprenticeships (

Careers Advice (

City & Guilds (

The Warranty Group ('

Via The Mirror