Job descriptions and industry overviews

Civil Service administrator: job description

19 Jul 2023, 09:02

Civil service administrators (also known as administrative officers) support the work done by specialists in government departments and agencies.

A male civil Service administrator sat at his desk using a computer.

Civil Service administrator : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Civil Service administrators’ daily tasks involve much more than administration, despite the job title. In fact, tasks vary widely according to your department and your role. For example, you could be supporting legal cases going through the court system, support projects for the Forestry Commission or carry out research for the Care Quality Commission.

Typical duties include:

  • managing inquiries from the public, including escalating them to senior colleagues when necessary.
  • keeping detailed and accurate records.
  • processing payments.
  • managing other staff.
  • keeping information secure, up to date and sharing it with the correct people.
  • carrying out research.
  • creating reports and other documents.
  • analysing data.
  • 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. Many government departments have offices in multiple locations and you can work at any of their premises. For example, the Government Digital Service has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, London, Manchester and York.

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, and you will be given opportunities to learn on the job and through formal learning.

Graduate salaries

The UK government reports that administrative assistants and administrative officers – common entry-level roles – earn around £21,000. Civil servants tend to get yearly pay rises.

Typical employers of civil service administrators

These include:

  • Government departments
  • Executive agencies.

Jobs are advertised on the Civil Service website. 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.

Although you don't need a degree to become a civil service administrative officer, many of the skills you gain at university, such as communication and organisational skills, could strengthen your application. Recruiters are likely to focus on your personal attributes and strengths as well as your experience.

School leavers can apply for apprenticeships within the civil service. These involve working towards a qualification (such as a qualification in business administration) while working in a relevant role.

You can learn more about ways of gaining public service work experience in this article .

Key skills for civil service administrators

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