Over a million people work in administration roles in the public services sector. To join their ranks gain an insight into some of the most popular administration jobs

Bid writer

In this administration role, you'll prepare documents used to pitch for contracts or project funding. Salaries usually begin at £20,000, with experienced bid writers commanding upwards of £55,000.

You'll identify potential business opportunities and converse with clients, before designing, writing, editing and submitting bids.

Some employers expect entry-level applicants to have a Bachelors degree. Bid writers preparing pitches for international funding may also benefit from speaking a second language.


Also referred to as accounts clerks, accounting technicians or payroll administrators, bookkeepers ensure that an organisation's financial records are kept up to date. You can expect to earn £26,000 a year on average.

Bookkeeping duties include preparing wages, managing expense claims, completing VAT returns, checking the accuracy of accounts and dealing with income, payments, receipts and sales invoices.

Entry-level applicants often have A-levels in mathematics, economics and/or business studies, while professional qualifications in accounts or bookkeeping are also highly sought-after. Read about bookkeeping courses and other finance qualifications.

Credit controller

Often referred to as debt collection agents, credit controllers help organisations to retrieve money that's owed to them. They typically work for a third-party debt collection agency or a company's finance department and earn between £18,000 and £28,000 per year.

Main tasks include checking credit records and tracing missing debtors, drawing up repayment plans, working with debt counsellors and launching legal proceedings if debts go unpaid.

Any experience in an office environment would be useful, especially if it's within an accounts or customer service department.

A professional qualification in accounting or bookkeeping would also be beneficial, or you could begin your credit control career by doing an apprenticeship.

HR administrator

In administration roles within human resources (HR), you’re responsible for managing employee happiness and satisfaction.

Admin work involves taking general enquiries from staff, updating personal information, managing holiday and sickness records, setting up continuing professional development (CPD) training and events for employees and organising and chairing meetings.

You'll typically earn between £18,000 and £23,000. There's no set path into the role, meaning you won't need a degree, although you could increase your chances of finding a job by completing a college course or apprenticeship approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the sector's professional body.

If you're interested in entering this profession, explore the role of an HR officer and discover how to get a job in HR.

Immigration officer

Sometimes known as Border Force officers, immigration officers impose immigration and customs regulations at UK entry points such as ports and airports, ensuring that people are legally allowed to enter and remain in the country. They typically command a salary of £24,883 to £27,372, with this rising to between £37,450 and £41,193 for senior roles.

Day-to-day tasks include:

  • checking passports, travel documents and work permits
  • searching people, luggage and vehicles
  • interviewing and taking the fingerprints of those entering the UK
  • working alongside the police on major criminal cases.

Entry requirements are fairly rigid. You must have lived in the UK for at least five years previously, gained security clearance and, in some cases, passed a medical examination and/or obtained a driving licence.

Budding immigration officers, especially those participating in anti-smuggling operations at sea, can improve their chances of success by learning a second language.

Explore the role of a Border Force officer and find out more about what it's like working in law enforcement and security for the Home Office.

Medical secretary

Earning an average of £23,000 per year, medical secretaries provide office support in GP surgeries, hospitals and private clinics.

To be eligible to apply, you'll need GCSEs in English and maths, a word processing qualification (along with excellent keyboard skills) and knowledge of medical language. You'll also have to pass a background check.

Responsibilities include:

  • managing a waiting list of patients
  • dealing with confidential information and updating patient records
  • typing letters and clinical reports
  • sending samples for testing
  • managing a doctor's diary
  • dealing with questions from patients and medical staff.

The work is office-based, Monday to Friday, although doctors' surgeries may allocate working hours on a rota basis.

Learn more about working in healthcare.

Personal assistant

Otherwise known as a PA or executive assistant, as a personal assistant you'll earn between £17,000 and £50,000 a year depending on your level of experience.

Duties include dealing with enquiries for your manager, as well as booking meetings, making travel arrangements, and greeting and looking after visitors. In some roles, you'll take on managerial responsibilities and be involved in decision-making processes.

Working as a personal assistant may be stressful at times and involves a high level of contact with people, both inside and outside the organisation you work for. The role is open to all graduates, however, an HND or undergraduate degree related to business and/or management will improve your chances.

Learn more about the role of a personal assistant.


This role involves recording births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships. You'll typically earn around £44,000 per year and be employed by a local authority.

Duties include:

  • interviewing parents and relatives after a birth or death
  • issuing birth or death certificates
  • informing the coroner of any suspicious circumstances surrounding a death
  • performing ceremonies such as marriages, civil partnerships and civil funerals.

Registrars must possess strong skills in IT, public speaking and customer service. The role can be secured via an apprenticeship and is often the result of a promotion from the position of deputy registrar.

School secretary

You'll provide administrative support to ensure the school day runs smoothly, and typically earn a salary between £16,000 and £19,000, with experienced school secretaries earning up to £28,000.

Working at a state or private school, tasks include:

  • keeping paper and electronic records up to date
  • ordering resources and paying invoices
  • greeting visitors, ensuring they have the correct means of identification
  • acting as the main point of contact between parents and the school
  • scheduling appointments
  • drafting, typing and sending emails and letters.

To get a job as a school secretary, it's useful to have GCSEs in maths and English, previous office experience and computer literacy. A first aid qualification may also come in useful. You'll also need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

Find out more about working as a secretary/administrator and gain an insight into the teacher training and education sector.


Also referred to as a switchboard operator, a telephonist answers and connects calls, while earning between £17,000 and £25,000 per year.

Your day-to-day tasks will vary as this function is often combined with other administrative duties. However, telephonists always use a switchboard system, update directories, take and pass on messages, test lines and report faults.

You'll need strong IT skills and must have previous administrative experience.

Many further education colleges offer courses in call centre and customer service techniques - having professional qualifications can be extremely helpful when looking for these types of admin jobs.

Town planning assistant

As a town planning assistant, you'll be responsible for planning and writing reports, carrying out data surveys for planning applications and building and managing technical libraries and databases. Average salaries start between £18,000 and £25,000, reaching £30,000 to £45,000 with experience.

You'll typically need GCSEs and A-levels in related subjects such as geography, economics and graphic design to apply for jobs. Otherwise, entry routes include completing a degree accredited by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), or an apprenticeship in town planning technical support.

With experience, you could progress to the role of town planner.


Earning an average of £14,000 to £24,000 per year, typists produce letters, reports and other documents.

Duties usually include copy typing, audio typing, shorthand typing, answering the telephone, using office equipment and dealing with emails.

You'll therefore require strong skills in IT, as well as existing experience in an office environment.

Some employers prefer applicants to have a recognised qualification in business administration, though apprenticeships in this role are also widely available.

Find out more

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