Administration and office support

Administration Careers comprise a variety of positions and tasks associated with administering the functions and activities to help companies run smoothly. Careers in administration range from managing the front desk and answering telephonic inquiries to working with the Chief Executive Officer compiling reports and conducting research. Administrators typically perform clerical tasks and should be able to effectively operate computer systems and relevant databases, as well as office equipment.

Administrators can be found in every industry and organisation. Depending on the size of an organisation, there may be a few to dozens of administrators performing particular roles. Because of this, administration professionals can work in a wide range of businesses and may benefit from developing expertise as an administrator in a specific field. Administrators are particularly important in managing the operations of the office, dealing with the general public and assisting management teams with administrative tasks. They are vital to a fully functioning and efficient work setting. Without them, companies operate at slower pace and other professionals typically dont have enough time to handle the daily administrative details with their other responsibilities.

Administrators should be highly organised and able to manage large quantities of paperwork and clerical activities, handling multiple tasks and simultaneously working on projects. They may need to manage the schedules of staff and set up meetings. They should have strong attention for details, since they are usually charged with ensuring that paperwork, reports and applications are submitted according to deadlines and specifications.

Administrators must portray a high level of professionalism as they may deal directly with the public and represent an image of the company. They should also have excellent communication skills to professionally work with many different professionals and situations. Administrators may start out in Administrative Assistant or Receptionist positions and work their way up. If they have an advanced degree or specialised knowledge and training, however, they may be able to start out in higher positions.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Careers in Administration and office support

Archivist, Curator and Records Manager

Archivists, Curators and Records Managers develop and manage historical documents, records and artefacts for the preservation of information. They may work for a variety of institutions including museums, libraries, historical societies and many others.

Betting Clerk

Betting Clerks place bets from customers either over the phone or in person at betting agencies and bookmakers stands.

Call or Contact Centre Workers

Call or Contact Centre Workers serve as representatives and references for organisations. They take orders for products and services and respond to questions and complaints from customers, through phone and web enquiries. They should have strong communication skills and try to ensure customer satisfaction.

Couriers and Postal Deliverers

Couriers and Postal Deliverers are in charge of handling and delivering letters, documents, packages and other forms of mail to the community. They must ensure that the mail and parcels are kept safe while in their care. Couriers and Postal Deliverers are required to also make sure that fragile packages are delivered unbroken and intact. They provide a vital service to the community.

Data Entry Operators

Data Entry Operators enter data into a computer and operate various office machines to store or process information. They input data in a quick and efficient manner and may edit and prepare reports based on the information they have inputted into the system. Data Entry Operators help organisations to keep up with recording and analysing the abundance of information received on a daily basis. They may work for a wide variety of public and private organisations.

Examination Supervisors

Examination supervisors are hired by schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions of learning to proctor examinations and ensure students do not cheat. Examination supervisors may be hired on a one-off, freelance basis, or they may work as part of one particular institutions permanent supervising staff.

Filing and Registry Clerks

Filing and Registry Clerks are responsible for a broad range of work, including processing documents and information and inputting that information into databases and systems; they also fill record requests, and respond to customer queries. Clerks also make sure databases and record systems are properly updated, and archive repeated files or information that is inactive, or no longer relevant.

Inquiry Clerk

Inquiry Clerks are very important to any business or government agency. They are always busy answering questions on the telephone, by mail, through email and even in person. They can make a great sale by knowing the right information or lose a sale by not knowing how to find the information that a person needs or failing to refer them to others with more detailed knowledge.

Keyboard Operators

Keyboard Operators enter data into a computer or storage system. They use a keyboard to input data for companies or organisations quickly and efficiently. They should have high typing speed and make few errors when entering data quickly.

Mail Sorters

Mail Sorters obtain, organise and distribute mail and packages in postal service facilities and within organisations. They should have strong organisational skills and attention to detail and be able to perform repetitive tasks sorting the mail.

Office Equipment Technicians

Office Equipment Technicians repair, test, and maintain office equipment such as copiers, faxes, video equipment and electronic control systems. Office Equipment Technicians also install new equipment and provide training regarding the use of the equipment.

Office Manager

Office Managers supervise and assign the responsibilities of administrative support personnel. Office Managers hire, train and promote clerical and administrative support staff.

Operators Switchboard

Operators (Switchboard) operate communication equipment to relay incoming, outgoing and interoffice calls. Operators (Switchboard) may provide general information by phone or in person.

Other Clerical and Administrative Workers

Other Clerical & Administrative Workers refers to members of this unit group that are not elsewhere classified. These workers perform a variety of duties as assigned by management.

Other Clerical and Office Support Workers

Other Clerical and Office Support Workers refers to members of this unit group that are not elsewhere classified. These workers are typically assigned specific responsibilities that are unique to the position.

Parking Inspectors

Parking Inspectors patrol areas assigned to him/her and issues parking notices/tickets to the owners of vehicles that are illegally parked due to exceeded parking times (meters, garages) or restricted parking zones. They may also discover stolen/abandoned vehicles and report them to authorities and make note of faulty or damaged signs, roadside equipment, etc. and report these as well.

Personal Assistants

The role of a Personal Assistant (often abbreviated PA) has evolved quite intensely over the past few years. Now, a personal assistant is someone who aids his/her superior in all matters, from business to personal issues. Personal assistants work in high-pressure environments and work in many different industries.

Production Recording Clerks

Production Recording Clerks record and compile production information for industrial companies. They maintain records of scale of production, raw material use and quality control. They should have strong recording and critical thinking skills.

Receptionists

Receptionists are typically the front line of an office building. In this capacity, they welcome visitors to an office and direct them where to go. They also answer questions, field phone calls, and complete administrative tasks like filing.

Secretaries

Secretaries support those in other professions by performing administrative and clerical work. Often, they work under managers and those in the legal profession. Their daily tasks include filing, writing messages, and scheduling appointments. In an office environment, a secretary will often be required to support various staff members.

Statistical Clerks

Statistical Clerks utilise statistical formulas to compile and compute data. Clerks gather information to be used by statisticians, which often is represented by charts and graphs.

Professional associations and industry bodies

Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Australia

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) 

Association of Taxation & Management Accountants 

CPA Australia

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

Institute of Internal Auditors

Institute of Public Accountants 

Tax Practitioners Board

Taxation Institute of Australia

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

Skills and personality

  • Ability to work for long periods of time in an office environment computing and analysing financial information
  • Able to interpret financial information including business expenses and returns and advise clients/ businesses on causes, effects and recommendations for financial situation
  • Adherence to accounting procedures and regulations
  • Advance knowledge of accounting computer software
  • High organisational skills
  • Highly analytical to understand business structure and figures
  • Problem solving capabilities
  • Strong communication skills to work well with clients and present material in a clear and cohesive manner
  • Strong mathematical capabilities
  • Thorough attention to detail and numbers