European Union Administrator

    Industry: Administration, Business and Management

    Summary: European Union (EU) administrators work in all institutions of the European Union including the European Parliament, the Council, the European Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Ombudsman. You could be a Grade AD administrator (developing and implementing policies) or a Grade AST administrative assistant (working in a supporting role).

    Average salary: Salaries are paid in euros. The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:where you work the department in which you work the demand for the job.Assistants earn between €2,654 and €4,349 a month. Administrators at AD5 grade can earn between €4,349 and €4,921 a month. AD6 and 7 grade administrators earn between €4,921 and €6,299 a month. A top level official with over four years of seniority on AD16 grade can earn €18,370 a month. There are generous allowances and a good pension scheme.

    The requirements

    • foreign languages
    • confidence
    • negotiating
    • adaptability
    • administration
    • decisive
    • general knowledge
    • good memory
    • handling complex information
    • meeting targets
    • First Degree
    • administration
    • communication studies
    • economics
    • science
    • finance
    • law

    Read further information about this career



    European Union administrator, EU administrator, European Commission, EC, European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the Court of Justice. You could be a Grade AD Administrator (developing and implementing policies) or a Grade AST Administrator (working in fa supporting role).

    The work

    Grade AD administrator You could be:

    • drafting policies and new laws in areas such as trade, environment, science and technology, social affairs, transport or agriculture
    • answering questions from members of the European Parliament and advising them on EU law and policy
    • representing the Institutions of the EU
    • researching, collecting and interpreting information
    • coordinating broad economic policy across different Member States
    • giving talks and writing reports
    • carrying out trade negotiations with non-EU countries
    • working with bodies such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or business groups
    • drafting a decision of the European Court of Justice or the European Ombudsman.
    Grade AST administrative assistant You could be:
    • providing secretarial, administrative or financial support to Grade AD administrators
    • managing documents and collecting and interpreting information
    • managing people, finances and budgets, computers and equipment.


    • You would work in Brussels or Luxembourg, but you might have to go to meetings anywhere in the world. The majority of EU staff work in Brussels.
    • You would spend most of your time at a desk or in meetings.
    • Hours are usually regular, except during important meetings or when you have to meet a deadline.
    • Part time work and flexi time might be possible.
    • Salaries are based on the highest waged member state and are attractive to UK staff.

    Getting in

    For Grade AD administrator

    • You need a degree in any subject to start as a junior administrator at AD5 grade.
    • You will need a degree and at least one year's relevant experience to start at grade AD6 or 7.
    • A degree in law, finance, economics, maths, statistics or science is specified for some jobs.
    • For some jobs you need 1-3 years suitable professional experience after your degree. Experience before your degree does not count towards this.
    For Grade AST administrative assistant You need 3-4 Highers and at least 2 to 3 years’ suitable work experience or a relevant Higher National Diploma (HND). For both grades
    • You must be a citizen of an EU state.
    • Entry is very competitive as there are few vacancies.
    • Your main language (the language you know best) must be one of the 23 official languages of the EU. You must besides this have a very good knowledge of a second language which must be either English, French or German.
    • Linguists (interpreters, translators, lawyer-linguists) must have additional knowledge of languages above the minimum stated above.
    • Application for all jobs is made through an annual selection process known as open competition. This is made up of two parts, a computer based test in your own country, followed by an assessment stage held in Brussels. The assessment comprises a case study, group exercise, oral presentation and structured interview.
    • Successful completion of this stage leads to you being placed on a reserve until a suitable job comes up. This could take up to one year.
    • Check the European Personnel Selection Office website or the Official Journal of the European Union for details of the competitions timetable and sample questions.
    Contract agents
    • As well as the permanent posts filled by open competition, vacancies arise from time to time for contract agent jobs which can lead to short term or lifelong posts.

    What does it take

    You should be:

    • interested in current affairs
    • able to make decisions and work to deadlines
    • willing to develop your knowledge and skills
    • able to understand complicated ideas
    • confident
    • able to negotiate
    • able to learn languages quickly
    • able to adapt quickly to living and working abroad.
    You should have:
    • a good memory
    • excellent analytical, organisational and communication skills
    • good general knowledge.


    • As a new member of staff you will have a series of induction courses and you will complete a 9-month probationary period.
    • Once you take up post, you do professional training, including intensive language study.
    • Before your first promotion you must show a knowledge of a third language.
    • You usually spend three to six years in each grade. There is an annual appraisal and promotion system.

    More Information

    The European Union (EU) is made up of 27 countries that work together for the benefit of their citizens. The largest employer of staff is the European Commission employing 32,000 staff.


    European Commission Office in Scotland
    Tel: 0131 225 2058
    Notes: The website for translation services is and for interpretation is

    European Parliament Office in Scotland
    The Tun 4 Jackson`s Entry Holyrood Road Edinburgh EH8 8PJ
    Tel: 0131 557 7866

    European Personnel Selection Office
    Candidate Contact Service Office C-80 00/40 B-1049 Brussels
    Tel: 32 2 299 31 31
    tel2: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11

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