Civil service 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

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would provide vital services to the public. You’d give people information and answer their questions. Or you could review a person’s situation and help decide which services can help them.

You could work in any of the Scottish Government directorates and agencies that serve the public, for example:

  • Communities Directorate
  • Enterprise, Environment and Innovation Directorate
  • Finance Directorate
  • Creative Scotland
  • Education Scotland
  • Forestry Commission Scotland

Depending on which department or agency you worked for you would:

  • Handle enquiries from the public in person, by telephone or email
  • Provide information to deal with customer queries
  • Research information
  • Contact customers to follow up enquiries
  • Process benefit payments
  • Update computerised and paper-based records
  • Do filing, photocopying and other administrative tasks
  • Deal with complaints

You might also be responsible for reviewing customer cases and making decisions based on set rules and regulations. You would refer any complex queries or cases, which required discretion or judgement, to an executive officer.

With experience, you could start to deal with more complex enquiries or complaints, or take on more specialist work related to your department.

Working conditions

Hours

You would usually work around 36 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Depending on the department you work for, you may need to work shifts which could include evenings, weekends and public holidays. Part-time work, job sharing and temporary work are all widely available.

Environment

You would be based in an open plan office, which may be open to the public.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Following instructions
  • Helping customers
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Accuracy
  • Using computers
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

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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

Each Civil Service department has its own entry requirements and advertises its own vacancies but administrative officers usually need at least five subjects at National 4 or 5 (SCQF level 4/5). 

Many applicants have Highers (SCQF level 6 ) or relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) qualifications.

Useful subjects

  • English (usually required)
  • maths
  • Business
  • Administrative
  • ICT
  • Languages
  • Social studies such as modern studies or history

You will also need

You may have to sit an entrance test covering areas such as teamwork, communication and number skills. 

You can apply for any job in the Civil Service if you are a UK national or have dual nationality with one part being British. If you are a Commonwealth citizen or a national of any of the member states of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), you can apply for about 75% of Civil Service jobs.

Helpful to have

Relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Business and Administration (SVQ level 2/3/4).

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