Administrative assistant

clerical assistant office administrator office junior clerk clerical officer administrative officer

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Six year jobs forecast

The information is supplied by LMI For All

What's it like?

You would run an organised and efficient office so your colleagues can get their work done.

You could work anywhere from a small business to a large employer such as the Civil Service or NHS.

Depending on the size of your department, you would:

  • Deal with post and emails
  • Make sure that there is enough stationery
  • Answer the telephone and pass on calls and messages
  • Do reception duties such as greeting and looking after visitors
  • Type and set up documents such as letters and reports
  • Keep computer records up to date
  • Organise records and files
  • Use office equipment such as printers and photocopiers
  • Arrange meetings and events
  • Make travel arrangements for staff

You'd need good skills in typing, spelling and grammar.

Working conditions

Hours

In most full-time jobs you would work between 35 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Flexible hours, part-time work and temporary work are widely available.

Environment

You would work in an office and spend a lot of your time using a computer.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Accuracy
  • Using computers
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

There are no fixed entry routes to this job but some people will:

  • Do a course in administration or business studies such as a National Certificate (SCQF level 4/5/6), a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8)
  • Or complete a Modern Apprenticeship in Business and Administration

You can enter some National Certificate or National Qualification courses (SCQF level 4-6) with no formal qualifications but most courses ask for National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.  

Entry to a Modern Apprenticeship depends on the employer; some may require National 4/5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Administration
  • ICT subjects
  • Business subjects

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show your employability, business and ICT skills such as Skills for Work Financial Services (SCQF Level 5).