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Administrators (or administrative assistants) provide administrative and general office support to a business. There many different types of administrator, for example a finance administrator, a banking administrator or an educational administrator - the list is almost endless as every business needs their admin function to run smoothly.
All businesses produce a paper trail and it'll be your job to help co-ordinate this to ensure the business achieves all its targets in terms of legal requirements (eg tax returns), cash flow (eg production of invoices) and client contact (eg general correspondence). Whilst the job is varied depending on which sector and industry you work in, there are some common daily duties you'd be expected to perform. These include:
You're usually on a 9 to 5 shift and based in an office environment. This is subject to the type of business you're in and obviously during busy periods you may be expected to work longer hours.
In terms of qualifications, at entry level, all that is usually required is a sound education, to GCSE level at least (preferably with Maths and English). Some employers desire A Levels and sometimes even a degree. It won't do your chances any harm if you study independently for a qualification such as the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL), NVQs in Business and Administration or RSA qualifications offered by OCR.
Many administrators are content with being just that but if you feel like you want to further your career, then it's often possible to move up the ladder in an organisation. A good example of this would be perhaps an administrator in an HR department may well get the opportunity to graduate into a full HR role.
Regardless of your qualifications, employers will be keen to employ candidates who have certain skills such as:
Entry level salaries can range from £10000 to £15000 depending on where and what type of business you're working for. A few years' experience can improve this to around the £18000 level. Some senior administrators can earn north of £25000 plus benefits though these salaries are generally seen in the City of London.
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