Admin Assistant

    If you are wondering how to become an admin assistant, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this area of administration and job prospects for office workers in the UK.

    The Job Description
    Clerical assistants deal with administrative tasks and may be known by other job titles, such as clerical worker, office junior, clerk or administrative assistant.

    Duties include:
    * organising and retrieving documents
    * sourcing information by telephone, letter or in person
    * maintaining data using computerised or manual systems
    * dealing with correspondance
    * other general office duties

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of a good admin assistant include:
    * good IT skills
    * clear handwriting and good spelling and grammar
    * basic mathematical skills
    * accuracy and attention to detail
    * good communication and teamworking skills
    * good organisational abilities
    * initiative and concentration

    How to become an administrative assistant
    There are no set qualifications for administration. Entry requirements can vary, but some employers may desire GCSEs (A-E)/S grades (1-5) including maths and English, while others test keyboard, organisation and communication rather than asking for qualifications.

    Temporary work can be good for gaining experience and may lead to permanent employment.

    You may find it helpful to take a course in administration before looking for clerical work, although it is not essential. There are a range of courses available, including:

    * NVQ / SVQ in Business and Administration
    * Pitman, OCR (RSA) and LCCIEB (London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board) qualifications.

    Training and Development
    You will usually be trained on the job and as an office junior or admin assistant you will usually start with routine tasks and be trained on more complex duties later. You may receive formal training with an in-house trainer or company training centre.

    You could gain qualifications such as NVQs / SVQs in Business and Administration or other administration qualifications and you may be able to work towards them through vocational training, day-release or part-time college study.

    You could take further qualifications as you progress to more senior and managerial office work.

    The Pay
    Starting salaries are usually £10.5k to £13k per annum.
    With experience this can rise to £16k+ per annum.

    Job Prospects
    As a clerical assistant you can work at almost any kind of company or organisation anywhere in the UK or Ireland. Employers can include industrial and commercial businesses, local councils, the health service or the Civil Service.

    Jobs are advertised in the local press, online, at Jobcentre Plus and employment agencies.

    In large organisations, you can receive promotions to office manager or transfer to accounts, IT or other divisions.

    Useful resources:
    Council for Administration (CfA)
    6 Graphite Square
    Vauxhall Walk
    London SE11 5EE
    Tel: 0207 091 9620

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