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