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Administration and Secretarial Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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Administration assistants and secretaries organise businesses and keep them running smoothly. Roles vary from assisting one employee to carrying out tasks for the whole company; in both cases and everything in between, you'll be leaving other workers free to focus on more specific work.

Duties are usually based around organising the company or employee you're responsible for, and communicating with other companies. You could be answering and making telephone calls, composing or typing up drafted letters and emails, maintaining files and filing systems and organising employees' diaries and events. There is often some crossover with these roles to those of personal assistants (otherwise known as PAs). In some cases, more specific tasks like making travel arrangements, managing budgets and maintaining websites will be on your to-do list for the day.

Work has changed a lot over the years, with roles varying wildly between sectors and different companies. Most companies will have some form a graduate administration role.

Roles can be incredibly diverse and employment can be found in nearly all sectors, including jobs in:

  • Government
  • Public organisations
  • Private companies
  • Universities
  • Hospitals
  • Legal and financial services
  • Retail and leisure
  • Management

Regular tasks for graduates working in administration or secretarial roles include, copy typing, letter writing, word processing, dealing with telephone enquiries, arranging meetings and organising travel for staff.

These roles are typical taken by females and the majority of secretarial jobs are still taken by women.

What degree do I need? TOP ^

While it is not essential to have a degree to enter into the administration and secretarial professions degrees in secretarial studies, government/public administration, business or management, languages and law could increase your chances in getting higher paid roles with more responsibility.

Postgraduate secretarial courses are available and this kind of training is useful for entry into the legal or medical roles.

What skills do I need for a career in administration and secretarial roles? TOP ^

To work in the administration or secretarial roles you will need to be comfortable working with people and have strong organisational and communications skills. In some cases specific skills such as shorthand are beneficial.

Some of the skills that administration recruiters might look for are:

Graduates from many degree disciplines will have the necessary skills for working in administration. Degrees offer a good set of skills in logical thought, presentation, analysis and communication all of which are important for a career in banking.

What graduate administration or secretarial job can I do? TOP ^

There are several different graduate jobs in business across different areas of work. The main areas of work in business are:

  • Administrator
  • Company secretary
  • Office manager
  • Personal assistant
  • Education administrator
  • Human resources office
  • Barristers clerk

Average administration and secretarial salaries TOP ^

Jobs outside London have a typical starting salary of between £13,000 and £18,000, with jobs in the capital starting at between £17,000 and £22,000. Jobs in banking, finance and law firms tend to be the highest paid positions.

With experience and increased responsibilities salaries can rise to between £25,000 and £30,000. Gaining chartership or additional qualifications, or being employed by a FTSE 100 company may bring higher salaries.

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