Secretary

administrator personal assistant office assistant

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 provide office support to keep all kinds of organisations running smoothly.

Your duties would depend on your employer. In general, you would:

  • Type up documents
  • Update computer databases and spreadsheets
  • Answer the telephone and handle enquiries
  • Make appointments and keep diaries
  • Take minutes at meetings, possibly using shorthand
  • Deal with incoming and outgoing post
  • Draft letters and other documents
  • Photocopy and print documents
  • Handle filing

With time, you could take on new responsibilities. You could handle accounts, manage the office, or be the personal assistant to a manager.

You would need to be comfortable communicating with a wide range of people, both in speech and through writing. Strong typing skills and great grammar and spelling would be very important.

Working conditions

Hours

In a full-time job you would usually work, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. In some offices flexitime working may be possible. Part-time hours, job share and temporary work could also be available.

Environment

You would normally work in an office. A lot of your work would be done using a computer.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

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
  • Following instructions
  • Being tactful
  • Accuracy
  • Using computers
  • Planning and organising
  • 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 set entry requirements for this role, however many employers value a good general education, such as qualifications at SCQF level 4/5 and/or a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) in administration or business.

Or you could complete a Modern Apprenticeship in Business and Administration.

Relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Business Administration (SVQ level 2/3/4) are also welcome. To enter a Scottish Vocational Qualification normally requires three subjects at National 4 or 5 including English and Maths as a minimum.

You can enter a National Qualification or National Certificate course with no formal qualifications though many courses ask for three to four subjects at National 4 or 5.

Entry requirements for an Higher National Certificate or Higher National Diploma are one to two Highers plus some subjects at National 4 or 5.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most course and employers)
  • Maths
  • Business
  • Administration subjects
  • ICT subjects