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Administrative & Clerical

Are you a whizz with a keyboard? Do you enjoy working with computers and have a good eye for detail? If so, an administrative or clerical career could be for you.

What is administration and clerical?

Administrative and clerical jobs are office-based roles that involve keeping a company's paperwork and records up to date.

Some of the tasks you might perform include record keeping, dealing with customer enquiries by email, organising customer accounts and other office duties like scanning, faxing and answering telephones.

Administrative and clerical roles are essential and the backbone of any business.

What administration and clerical jobs can I do?

There are various different admin and clerical job roles to choose from. In theory, you can work in just about any industry as every business needs someone to take care of their admin.

Some jobs include:

Administrative assistant

Some of the tasks you’ll carry out on a daily basis in this role include dealing with post, reception duties, handling email enquiries, keeping records up to date, managing staff appointments and setting up meetings. Your exact duties will vary depending on the particular industry the company works in.

Data entry clerk

In this role, your main duties will be to input, update and amend information held on computer systems. You will typically work with databases, spreadsheets and other word processing applications. If you have a skill for typing quickly and accurately and enjoy working with computers, a data entry clerk could prove a very satisfying job. Again, you could work for a number of different industries and your exact duties will vary according to the company.

Personal assistant

Working as a personal assistant (PA) can be a varied and interesting job. Managers, CEOs and even celebrities make use of personal assistants regularly and often rely on them to organise their day and keep track of their schedule. To be a personal assistant, you’ll need to have good organisational and computer skills.

Is a career in administration and clerical for me?

If you have good typing skills, enjoy working with computers and pay attention to fine details, then a career in administrative and clerical work could be for you. You’ll need to be an organised person and good at organising others.

You should have a strong focus on customer service and enjoy communicating with people face to face, over the phone and by email. Having an interest in technology would also be an advantage in this career as certain roles may require you to participate in video conferences.

How can I start a career in administration and clerical?

Working in administrative and clerical roles requires some training but not necessarily a degree. An apprenticeship is a good way to begin a career in this area.

Employers look for different things in candidates and although qualifications are important, they aren’t always the be-all and end-all of a job specification. Some employers will expect you to have GCSEs, including English and maths, whereas others will be more interested in your experience and abilities.

A lot of admin and clerical workers start out in temporary jobs or by gaining work experience in order to build up their skills and expertise. In some cases, temporary jobs often turn into permanent positions.

Most colleges in the UK offer part-time and full-time administration courses that could give you a competitive advantage when applying for positions.

An apprenticeship could be a good way into a career in administrative and clerical. A business administrator programme is available at advanced level, with opportunities offered by employers across many different industries.

You can also gain administration and clerical certificates and diplomas online, through distance learning courses offered by the Open University and City and Guilds.

What administration and clerical qualifications are available?

If you secure a full-time role with a company who are keen to invest in developing your skills, you may be able to gain qualifications through your employer. Many administrative and clerical workers go on to be trained in IT and gain qualifications like the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).

If you do an apprenticeship, you will gain at least one relevant qualification at the level of the programme - for example, the business administrator apprenticeship will provide you with a level 3 qualification.

Your employer may also be keen for you to study for a broader qualification related to their specific industry. Many admin and clerical workers also have legal, medical and energy qualifications to their name.

Did you know these administration and clerical facts?

According to 2022 government statistics, around one in 10 people in the workforce have an administrative or secretarial job.

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