What Do Administrators Do? (With Types, Salary and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 11 December 2022

Published 1 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Administrators are professionals who undertake duties involving the day-to-day operations of the company. Their tasks vary widely but often include completing data entry, replying to and forwarding emails and preparing the necessary documentation for new employees. They have a key role in the running of any start-up and enterprising company, and learning more about this role could help you decide if it's right for you. In this article, we explain what do administrators do, enlist the different types of admins and give detailed advice on the qualifications and skills you need to become one.

What do administrators do?

Learning the answer to the question, 'What do administrators do?' can help you determine if this is the right career for you. Administrators ensure that the organisation runs smoothly. This means administrators have excellent communication and organisation skills to store and convey information effectively. Some of their other duties include:

  • greeting clients, answering phone calls and emails

  • assisting human resource manager in hiring new office employees

  • operating and maintaining office equipment like computers, fax machines and copy machines

  • scheduling meetings and organisation major office events

  • conducting research and compiling reports for managers and supervisors

Most administrators' duties vary according to the type of administrator they are and the company they work in. Regardless of the role, flexibility is an essential quality for admins.

Types of administrators

Here are some of the different types of administrators in the office:

  • System administrators: They are responsible for maintaining and configuring computer systems. They usually have the resources to monitor the internet connection for security risks, set up new users in the intranet and manage multi-user computers like servers to ensure they run properly.

  • Network administrators: They maintain the internet network of the entire organisation, and they're usually in charge of configuring routers, switches and servers. They may also assist architects in setting up the network's design, monitoring, updating and testing the network to ensure it meets the requirements of the company.

  • Server administrators: They are in charge of the servers of the company, and they may help design, install and optimise the company servers and maintain other components. This helps keep the data secure and improves performance with time.

  • Forum administrators: They oversee the technical and communications details of internet forums. Forum administrators are also responsible for performing database operations and making crucial decisions.

Related: How to Become a Contract Administrator (With Job Duties)

Most common administrative tasks

Apart from the company-specific administrative tasks, here are some of the everyday tasks you may expect administrators to do:

Communication tasks

Communication makes up a crucial part of their job. This not just includes verbal communication but written as well. The professionals comprehend the information written in graphics and numbers and translate it into reports that managers and supervisors can then read. Sometimes, they elaborate on the reports and emails to other organisation members. Their communicating administrative tasks include:

  • greeting visitors in the office

  • verbally explaining the data and reports to their seniors and juniors

  • taking and transferring phone calls from clients

  • solving client concerns and inquiries

  • business correspondence

  • forwarding client emails to the correct recipient

  • showing visual presentations of your reports in the meetings

  • writing and replying to emails

  • communicating and collaborating with your team members

Read More: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Onboarding tasks

As administrators know the insights of the office, many hiring managers prefer their assistance in the onboarding of new employees. They provide the relevant skills and qualifications needed to fill in the new job vacancy. They also provide the documentation required to prepare a new employee to work in the workspace and brief them through their regular duties.

Other onboarding duties include:

  • introducing the new employee to their direct management team and colleagues

  • demonstrating how to use the office software, conducting training and providing resources to extract the archive and other helpful data

  • setting them up for benefits like health insurance and 401(K) plans

  • helping them set up their professional company email and giving them a list of emails to refer to in case of need

  • offering them the office supplies they may need

Related: How to Welcome New Team Members (With 30 Example Messages)

Organisational tasks

Administrators usually exist in charities, government and many other kinds of organisations. They may require them to heavily handle various calendars, meetings, appointments, software and other events simultaneously. To effectively do this, a company may allocate you to do some organisational tasks. Some of them include:

  • organising office files and archives, so it's easier to access by other employees

  • arranging data into their specific folders and spaces

  • sorting and delivering mail to their respective recipients

  • bookkeeping most of the accounts to send it to the accountants

  • ordering and maintaining regular office supplies

  • organising both computer and physical files in the office

  • handling disputes regarding the operational matters

Computer and technology tasks

Administrators are reasonable for virtual and physical business operations. They excel at mastering the fundamentals of technology applications and software fundamentals. Besides the basic knowledge of office equipment like fax machines and printers, here are some other admin responsibilities to fulfil:

  • operating software like Microsoft Office Suite that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint

  • entering data from physical files to the computer

  • preforming searches online

  • creating and managing office documentation using a cloud-based software

  • sharing various documents and files with other team members

  • dictating meeting notes

  • using billing software to maintain client payment details

  • creating customer profiles with time-sensitive details like birthdays

  • scheduling and preparing international online conferences using video calling software

  • troubleshooting systems for error

Related: What Does a Database Administrator Do? (And How to Become One)

Office administrator qualifications

If you're thinking of becoming an office administrator, there are a few things that can help you become qualified. Some of them include:

Education

Many employers prefer administrator candidates to have an associate or bachelor's degree. This gives them the advantage of being well informed of database management, business communication, bookkeeping and other managerial roles. If you're working in a specific niche, like medical or accountancy, it's best to have basic knowledge of the technical details of that industry.

Aspiring office administrators with high school education can take diplomas in technical skills like spreadsheets and office procedures to increase their chances of employability.

Training

Training and experience before landing your ideal administrator are essential. Administrators working in the technical and medical fields go through extensive on-the-job training during internships to let them deal with real-life problems. You may include this training on your CV to help you attract a hiring manager's attention.

Certifications

Both experienced and aspiring office administrators can benefit from additional certifications. They help make your resume more appealing and to improve your work ethic, which leads to increased opportunities for productivity and promotions.

For example, after your bachelor's degree, you may opt for Microsoft Office Specialist certification, which trains people to learn the intricacies of MS products like OneNote, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Word. Office administrators also consider going for certification in Business Administration, which includes learning to fully manage a team, improve written and verbal communication skills, make clients and organise administrative tasks.

Skills

Here are some important skills that can help you become a successful administrator:

Bookkeeping

Digital bookkeeping is mostly in demand nowadays. It's best if you're familiar with the general procedures of bookkeeping to help you comprehend and manage financial transactions. Most companies may specify skills in bookkeeping software like Quicken, Turbo Tax and Excel, so you remove additional training hours in your new company. Organisations that offer internships specifically teach trainees bookkeeping software to improve their portfolios.

Research and analytical skills

As office administrators are responsible for preparing meetings and handling customer inquires and complaints, you may research new agendas to be discussed in the meeting and company history to solve disputes. Analytical skills can be useful in drafting reports using statistical data from previous years.

Read More: Definition and Examples of Analytical Skills

Attention to detail

Paying close attention to data when carrying out tasks like entering data from files, making travel arrangements and proofreading documents. This means being critical of the details and having the patience to understand the importance of intricate information. This skill is in high demand, so you may consider demonstrating it in your resume.

Read more: Attention to Detail: Definition and Examples

Flexibility

As administrators complete many duties in a single day, you may occasionally work outside the conventional timings to ensure you provide the best results. Therefore, an important skill is to have a flexible schedule for more or less work in the office. For example, your manager may ask you to postpone your data entry task for the day and instead make immediate travel arrangements to meet the deadlines.

Typing

Working on the computer makes a significant part of your job. Although many companies don't specify this skill, it's best to have a faster typing speed with 50 words per minute (wpm) with 100% accuracy. Luckily, this is a teachable skill that you can learn by practising or using typing software.

Average salary

The average salary of an administrator in Australia is $55,528 per year. This salary varies depending on employees' experience level, job responsibilities and geographic location.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. 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.

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