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Civil service administrative officers form the biggest group of UK government staff. They're responsible for day-to-day operational work that keeps the country running smoothly.

What does a civil service administrator do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Tasks can vary massively according to the department and the role within it. Job titles can vary too: the title 'administrative officer' refers to a pay grade rather than a specific job. So, while there's likely to be administration involved in the job, there are many other tasks involved too.

These could include:

  • liaising with customers and following up their queries
  • processing payments
  • research
  • updating databases and other information sources
  • handling complaints.

Many civil service administrative officers work in London, but there are plenty of roles outside the capital too. As you progress in your Civil Service career, you're likely to need to move to London, as the majority of senior posts are based there.

Most people in administrative officer roles work regular hours, although, as with other public sector employers, there may be opportunities for flexible working. Continual professional development and training are important.

Typical employers of civil service administrators

  • Government departments
  • Executive agencies

Jobs are advertised on the civil service website and on local and national job sites. The Civil Service graduate scheme – known as the Fast Stream – opens for new applications every autumn, and you can explore and apply for these roles online.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a Civil Service career for both university graduates and school leavers.

You don't need a degree to become a civil service administrative officer, but the skills – particularly communication and organisation skills – you gain at university may strengthen your application.

Work experience in public service

Key skills for civil service administrators

  • logic
  • creativity
  • the ability to work with people from all backgrounds
  • IT skills
  • decisiveness
  • a mature attitude
  • great communication skills.

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In Partnership

This content has been written or sourced by AGCAS, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, and edited by TARGETjobs as part of a content partnership. AGCAS provides impartial information and guidance resources for higher education student career development and graduate employment professionals.

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