How To Become an Administrator in the UK

Are you interested in working as an administrator but don’t know where to begin? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with everything you need to know to work in this exciting field.

1.) Education and Training

The first step to becoming an administrator is to complete a college or online course. These courses are designed to bolster your office skills so that you can easily handle business letters, accounts, presentations, and spreadsheets with speed and efficiency. The way you choose to complete this course will depend on your preferred method of learning.

College courses are great for those who prefer direct, physical teaching within a classroom setting. Not only are they structured, but they will also allow you to engage with your tutor while keeping to strict deadlines.

If you prefer learning at your own pace without interference from a teacher, then online courses may be for you. Online courses allow you to study at a time, pace, or location of your choosing, and spend as little or as long as you want on each module. This level of flexibility is great for those with existing work or social commitments as you can easily fit your studies around them.

In either case, these courses will prepare you for working in an administrative environment.

Relevant courses:

Should you choose to go the online course route, the types of courses you should consider are:

2.) Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn within an office setting. Most apprenticeships contain a balance of studies and learning on the job; however, you must be prepared to earn less than what you will when you’re fully qualified. That being said, apprenticeships can offer you valuable work experience that will assist you when applying to posts in the future.

NOTE: To apply for a business administrator advanced apprenticeship, you will need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C). These should include English and Maths.

3.) Working Towards this Role

Similar to apprenticeships, you will get to learn on the job and work your way to becoming an administrator. The difference will be that you won’t be an official apprentice. Instead, you will climb the career ladder towards this post, gaining valuable experience along the way.

Tips for working towards this role:

  1. A great way to get your foot in the door is to get a temporary contract through a recruitment agency. Temporary contracts will allow you to gather experience from multiple businesses, but may also pave the way for you being offered a permanent role.
  2. Volunteering/shadowing office-based roles will not only give you a glimpse of what the job entails but will also allow you to gain useful work experience that you can use to apply for a job.
  3. There are occasions where your qualifications may be enough to help you get a foot in the door. For instance if a job posting says it is entry level, you will be able to apply using only your qualifications.

4.) Skills and Qualities

To secure an administrative position, you will be expected to possess the following skills:

  • Strong administrative skills
  • Great attention to detail
  • The ability to work confidently with others and on your own
  • A flexible approach to work
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Proficiency in IT
  • Strong problem solving abilities

If you possess these skills and qualifications, then you could have a rewarding and fulfilling career as an administrator.

5.) Career Progression

With salaries starting at £14,000 a year and progressing to £28,000 with experience; there is scope to climb the ladder and explore multiple avenues of work. Common jobs people go into once they have completed an administration qualification is working in IT, payroll, or accounting within one business. Alternatively, you could specialise legal, financial, or medical administration, or even become a personal assistant, or executive officer to a CEO.


To sum up, being an administrator requires a combination of qualifications and skills, as well as relevant work experience. By completing an administration course or apprenticeship, working towards the role, or applying directly, you can start your journey towards being an administrator.

Don’t forget to enhance your chances of securing a job by volunteering, shadowing, or completing a relevant qualification in business administration. Lastly, keep in mind that excellent time management skills, attention to detail, communication skills, and IT proficiency are essential for success in this field.

If you’re interested in gaining more knowledge and skills in payroll administration, consider our business and administration courses. To learn more, click here. 

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