What does an office administrator do? (With salary)

Updated 10 May 2023

An office administrator oversees the day-to-day operations of an office. They supervise the office staff, making sure that all employees have the resources necessary to competently perform their assigned tasks. Learning the duties and responsibilities of an officer administrator can help you determine if this career suits your skills and personality. In this article, we discuss what an office administrator does, how much they earn, what their work environment looks like and how to become one.

What does an office administrator do?

The answer to the question 'what does an office administrator do?' can be broad, as they're administrative professionals who perform a range of clerical tasks to help a company's operations run efficiently and smoothly. Depending on the industry, an office administrator's primary duties may include processing payroll, performing bookkeeping, arranging travel for executives, organising files and providing administrative support to employees. Here are some of the other responsibilities of an office administrator:

  • overseeing administrative functions and supervising other members of the administrative team

  • greeting clients, answering phone calls and replying to client emails

  • operating and maintaining office equipment, such as computers, fax machines and copy machines

  • conducting research and compiling reports for supervisors, managers and other employees

  • scheduling events and meetings and organising any necessary materials for them

  • assisting human resources with recruiting and onboarding new employees

Average salary of an office administrator

Office administrators are usually full-time, salaried employees. The average salary of an office administrator is £19,888 per year, but this amount may vary depending on several factors, including the organisation you work for, its geographic location, your experience level and your job responsibilities. You may also earn more per year in cash bonuses and have eligibility for employee benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance and annual leave.

Related: How to negotiate a better salary

Work environment of office administrators

Office administrators usually work full-time in an office setting, though some may work part-time. They work in a range of industries, including business, healthcare and education. Office administrators may spend much of their workday sitting at a desk and using company equipment, such as scanners, printers, phones and computers.

Related: Types of work environments (plus how to improve yours)

How to become an office administrator

Here are the steps you can take to become an office administrator:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

Many employers require aspiring office administrators to have a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE). Others may require a bachelor's degree in business administration or in another relevant field. While in college, consider taking classes in spreadsheets, word processing and other computer skills. If you've already finished college, you may also choose to take technical courses about database software, office procedures, business communication, database management and bookkeeping.

2. Complete on-the-job training

Your employer may require you to complete on-the-job training, which usually lasts between a few weeks to a couple of months. During the training, you have the opportunity to learn company operational procedures and practices. If you work in a medical or technical field, you may receive additional extensive training on the database an organisation uses to manage patient medical records.

Related: Common Interview Questions for an Administrator Job

3. Obtain certifications

If you have clerical experience, you may consider becoming a Certified Administrative Professional. This certification combines real-world administrative knowledge with theories and applied concepts. To earn this certification, it's important to have at least four years of administrative experience or a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and two years of administrative experience. This certification programme covers skills and topics such as general office procedures, human resources, scheduling, written communication and managing records.

4. Develop your skills

Here are some important skills you can develop to become a successful office administrator:

Time management and organisation skills

As an office administrator, you're responsible for a wide range of tasks, such as filing, attending meetings and answering company emails. As such, it's important to have strong organisational skills to succeed. You may also be responsible for keeping track of not only your own calendar and tasks but also that of the other employees, in addition to the calendars of the company's executives. This makes strong time management skills crucial to success in this role.

Communication skills

You may interact with customers and other employees regularly, which means having excellent communication skills is important. Writing and speaking in a professional manner helps establish a harmonious office environment. Sometimes, you may handle customer complaints, so having the ability to communicate calmly and clearly can help you defuse tense situations.

Leadership skills

As an office administrator, you're often in charge of other administrative professionals, which is why it's important to have strong leadership skills. It's essential to lead by example and encourage cooperation and teamwork between employees. It's also important to be approachable to ensure that team members feel comfortable asking for your help.

Related: 13 leadership styles and their characteristics

Computer skills

Computer skills enable you to use computers effectively, including related equipment and computer applications. As an office administrator, you may spend much of your time creating reports, entering data and answering emails, so knowledge of various computer software types and applications is essential. Having strong online research skills and decent typing speed are also great assets for the position.

Customer service

In many instances, you may be the first person clients speak with when they contact or come into the office. As such, it's important to have the ability to interact with clients in a respectful and professional manner. Sometimes, as the first point of contact, you may manage customer complaints or refer their concerns to the appropriate employee. Managing these situations tactfully is important to maintaining a professional setting.

Interpersonal skills

As an office administrator, you're the central contact for clients and employees within the company. This means that you may interact with many different people throughout the day. Having strong interpersonal skills and a positive attitude can help you become a successful communicator, which is crucial for thriving in this role.

Related: Interpersonal skills: definitions and examples

Critical thinking skills

Some offices are prone to unexpected events. As an office administrator, it's important to have strong problem-solving and critical thinking skills to overcome each problem that may occur. If the food disappears in the kitchen, the bathrooms aren't clean and the printer breaks, it's your responsibility to find solutions to address these problems. If an issue occurs and you can't find an obvious solution, it's your job to think critically and develop a creative solution.

Budgeting skills

As an office administrator, you may be in charge of the office budget. This means it's essential to have excellent budgeting skills. Budgeting skills can help you predict the company's financial needs and analyse expenditures and income.

5. Create a strong CV

After you complete your certifications or education and gain enough experience, begin applying for office administration positions. Consider researching open office administration jobs in your area and update your CV to highlight skills most relevant to these job descriptions. Make sure to also highlight any related work experience and your highest level of education.

Office administrator CV example

Consider using the following office administrator CV example as a guide to help you create your own:

Harry Haddington

+44 (0)1234 567890 | harryhaddington@email.co.uk


Organised administrative professional with hands-on experience supporting business areas, such as human resources, database management and accounting. Collaborative team player with strong time management, decision-making and communication abilities.


  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Organised

  • Excel spreadsheets experience

  • Good time management

  • Meticulous attention to detail

  • QuickBooks knowledge

  • Strong problem-solving skills

  • Microsoft Office proficiency


  • Investigated and analysed client complaints to identify and resolve issues

  • Improved office organisation by compiling financial spreadsheets, budget reports, company data reports and organisational charts using advanced Microsoft Excel functions

  • Demonstrated proficiencies in fax, email, telephone and front-desk reception within a high-volume environment

  • Assisted with payroll preparation and entered data into cumulative payroll document

  • Facilitated the onboarding of new employees by processing paperwork, answering questions and scheduling training


Office Administrator

Jenkins Co. - London, England

11/2021 - Present

  • Maintained detailed procedural and administrative processes to improve efficiency and accuracy

  • Drafted meeting agendas, executed follow-ups for meetings and team conferences and supplied advanced materials

  • Managed the receptionist area, including greeting guests and responding to telephone and in-person requests for information

  • Designed electronic file systems and maintained paper and electronic files

  • Properly routed agreements, invoices and contracts through the signature process

Practice Coordinator

Crane Dental Clinic - London, England

10/2020 - 11/2021

  • Prepared and greeted patients for dental examinations

  • Coordinated appointment schedules and employee schedules for seven dental practices

  • Routinely completed inventory, supply orders and restocked supplies

  • Expertly filed patients' charts and processed payments and billing

  • Managed invoices and transaction receipts

Office Coordinator

Glassman Company - London, England

11/2019 - 10/2020

  • Maintained all required documentation, permits and licencing

  • Produced spreadsheets for all job costing

  • Maximised employee retention by establishing a positive work environment

  • Scheduled jobs and 40+ employees to ensure cost-effective completion


  • Punctuality

  • Adaptability

  • Communication

  • Project Management

  • Teamwork

  • Assertiveness

  • Leadership


Bachelor of Science in Office Administration

London University


Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌ Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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