How to get a job in admin

Fri, 15/03/2013 - 18:39 -- nick

UnemployedNet supports The Mirror's Get Britain Working campaign.

The campaign has moved on to telling you how to get a job in admin.

This is one of the biggest work areas in the UK, and can be as diverse as any other, with jobs in public and private sectors, big and small companies, and jobs are available across the country.

Although the starting salaries aren't always the best, a senior personal assistant can earn much more; Monster currently has a PA job paying up to £40,000.

And it can be a stepping stone into management and even higher: did you know that Rebecca Brooks, the ex-editor of The Sun newspaper, joined the company as a secretary?

'We find the sectors that currently have vacancies, bringing you the lowdown on who is recruiting and where – and let you know what it’s really like working in the industry.

As we continue our campaign to Get Britain Working, we have found 35,181 jobs in the world of business administration and office work.

It’s no wonder – businesses large and small cannot run without the right admin support. David Holland, of Skills CFA, says: “People who choose to develop business and administration careers can be assured that their roles are vital. They ensure an organisation is run effectively by ­co-ordinating processes and systems.”

Business skills have increased in ­importance over recent years and range from solving business problems, supporting sustainability and managing risk.

He adds: “We believe that in the future, employers will move more towards wanting people with excellent general business skills.

“This is a vital step towards making the economy more flexible and competitive.”

Currently, more than 3.25million people in the UK work in the sector with a further 12million working in positions that require similar business skills. Starting out is ­straightforward. David says: “If you wanted to start a career in business and ­administration, an apprenticeship or professional qualification would give you skills that set you apart from the rest.”

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

Where are the jobs

At we found 26,346 jobs ranging from 2,057 receptionists and 5,018 general office assistants and clerks to 622 filing clerks and 1,308 stock control clerks.

These include a debt administrator in Trowbridge, Wilts (from £15,500), an administrator in Derby (£6.50 an hour), another in Peterborough (£6.70), a receptionist in Manchester (from £6.85), a clerk in Birmingham (£6.50) and an administrator in Doncaster (£6.50).

At there were 540 jobs including a resource management administrator (from £150 a day), a PA in London (£160 a day), a customer and project support administrator in Montrose, Angus, (£14 an hour) and an administrator in Norwich (from £8).

Another 6,278 jobs appeared at including a temporary secretary in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, (£10 a day), a property team secretary in London (from £28,000), a receptionist in Lincoln (£8), a virtual PA in Salford, Greater Manchester, (£14,000), a receptionist in Watford (up to £6.50) and a school receptionist/administrator in Bristol (£8).

At there were 235 administration jobs while listed 326 office and secretarial jobs.

Also, check out the NHS at where we found 1,456 administrative and clerical jobs listed such as a maternity ward clerk in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, (from £14,153) and a receptionist in Warwickshire (from £14,153).

Worker's view

In search of an office-based career, Sally Stephens decided to find a job in business administration.

Sally, 22, says: “Although I had worked in retail ever since leaving school, I wanted to have something that would allow me to learn new skills and then work my way through the ranks.”

At the end of last year, she found exactly what she was looking for: an ­apprenticeship with a busy supply teaching agency Classpeople, close to where she lives in Gloucester.

Sally loves her job as a compliance administrator and finds the work varied and interesting, from working her way through emails or on spreadsheets to chatting to supply teachers and sorting out their references.

“The variety of work is just amazing,” she says. “I never know what each day is going to bring and I love meeting so many people and doing what I can to help.”

Most of Sally’s Level 3 Business and Administration NVQ is assessed on the job and once a month she attends a local college for various apprenticeship workshops.

Although she had always been good at IT and enjoyed computers, Sally decided to work in Topshop and Dorothy Perkins after school.

“I really enjoyed it and am so pleased I did it. I was never very confident but that gave me the confidence I needed and the customer service skills I learned are so helpful to me today. It was the perfect stepping stone for me.”

In her search for a new career Sally read about the apprenticeship opportunity on the website of Gloucestershire College.

“Before that I hadn’t even considered an apprenticeship as an option. These days having a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee a job and the market is pretty competitive right now. This seemed the perfect way in for me.

“To build a foundation with a company through an apprenticeship is a fantastic way to develop skills and work experience. The fact that Classpeople is keen to take me on permanently at the end of my apprenticeship is wonderful.”

Classpeople are hoping to take on more apprentices in the future.


Salaries vary between £12,000 and £20,000 a year for administrative assistants, depending on location and responsibility.

Receptionists can earn between £12,500 and £19,000 while secretaries range from £11,000 to £14,000, rising to £19,000 with experience.

Personal assistants and secretaries with specialised duties (such as medical) can earn beyond £25,000.


Via The Mirror