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Civil Service administrative officer

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Civil Service administrative officers work in government departments to implement policy and run services for the public.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £24,500 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 36 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll need to meet certain nationality rules to apply. You’ll usually need to be:

  • a UK national
  • an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) national
  • another national with a right to live and work in the UK

You could work in a range of government departments or agencies. Each department sets its own entry requirements. You may also need:

  • 2 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for an administrative assistant role
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for an administrative officer post

You’ll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). You’ll also need to pass a security check.

GOV.UK has information about careers in the Civil Service and how to apply.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent communication and customer service skills
  • the ability to work well as part of a team
  • organisational and time management skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • IT skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work in a government department or agency that applies government policies and delivers services to the public. You’ll usually do this in:

  • a front line role dealing with customers over the phone, by email or face-to-face
  • a role away from direct contact with the public, processing requests from customers, making decisions on cases and supporting frontline staff

You could work in one of a range of departments like:

  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency
  • Ministry of Justice
  • HM Courts and Tribunals Service
  • Home Office
  • Crown Prosecution Service

Your day-to-day work will depend on the department or agency you work for, but may include:

  • handling enquiries from the public in person, by telephone or email
  • giving information to deal with customer queries
  • researching information
  • contacting customers to follow up enquiries
  • dealing with complaints
  • processing benefit payments
  • updating computerised and paper-based records
  • filing, photocopying and other administrative tasks

You’ll refer any complex queries or cases to an executive officer.

Working for the Civil Service has more information about what you’ll do.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £18,500 (administrative assistant)

Experienced: up to £24,500 (administrative officer)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work around 36 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You may need to work shifts which could include evenings, weekends and public holidays.

You’ll be based in an open plan office, which may be open to the public.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you’ll deal with complex enquiries or complaints, or take on more specialist work related to your department.

With further qualifications you could be promoted from administrative officer to Civil Service executive officer.

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Last updated: 11 September 2018