Registrar of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

Administration, business and management

Career outlook for registrar of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would take details of important events in people’s lives, like getting married or the birth of a baby, for the official records.

You would collect and record information for all births, marriages and civil partnerships in the local area. You’d also take details of deaths and stillbirths. All this information is then kept by the National Records of Scotland.

You would:

  • Talk to parents after their baby is born
  • Speak to relatives after a death
  • Fill in computerised and paper records
  • Issue birth or death certificates
  • Notify the legal authorities if there are suspicious circumstances in a death
  • Collect statistics to send to the National Records of Scotland
  • Take payment for copies of certificates
  • Keep accurate records

You’d need to be able to relate to people from all backgrounds and cultures.

Some registrars conduct civil ceremonies. You could perform marriage, civil partnership, citizenship and naming ceremonies at register offices and other venues.

Many of these events are emotional times for people. Sometimes, when recording a death or stillbirth, people may be very upset. Patience and empathy is very important in this job.

You could also work as a celebrant, which means you would conduct civil ceremonies such as marriages, civil partnerships and civil funerals but wouldn’t work on registering births and deaths. As a celebrant you might be employed by a local council, or you could work independently.

If you share humanist beliefs, you could become an officiant or celebrant.

Working conditions


In a full-time job you would work 37 hours a week, including some weekends and bank holidays. You may also work on-call outside of normal office hours. Part-time work is often available.


You would normally be based at a local register office. In some remote areas, you may be based at home or in a local post office and work when needed.


You may attend marriages in various types of locations such as hotels, stately homes and civic buildings.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Observation
  • Attention to detail
  • Sorting
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management
  • Reliable

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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.


Entry qualifications depends on each individual local authority but administrative experience and computing and keyboard skills may be necessary.

You would normally enter as an assistant registrar

You normally need three subjects at National 5 including English.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most employers)
  • Maths
  • Administrative subjects
  • ICT
  • Social studies.

Languages may also be of value.

You will also need

  • Assistant Registrars must be at least 18 years old
  • Registrars must be at least 21 years old
  • A driving licence is useful and may be essential