Administration Officer - How to enter the job
Āpiha Whakahaere Mahi
Administration officers perform a range of administrative tasks to ensure an organisation runs efficiently.
Entry-level administration officers usually earn
$35K-$45K per year
Experienced administration officers usually earn
$45K-$62K per year
Source: 'Hays Salary Guide', 2014
Current job prospects
How many people are doing this job?
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
Pay for administration officers varies depending on their experience and skills.
- Entry-level administration officers with limited experience and basic keyboard skills usually earn between $35,000 and $45,000 a year.
- Senior administration officers with five to 10 years' experience usually earn between $45,000 and $62,000.
Source: Hays, 'The 2014 Hays Salary Guide: Salary & Recruiting Trends'
What you will do
Administration officers may do some or all of the following:
- prepare and track budgets, pay bills, and do banking and invoicing
- monitor and/or maintain equipment and supplies
- ensure health and safety issues are addressed, including making staff aware of building safety procedures and safe work practices
- work on reception
- organise meetings and take minutes
- oversee, distribute and file correspondence
- project or database management
- research, records management and filing.
Skills and knowledge
Administration officers need to have knowledge of:
- budgeting and office finance systems
- health and safety laws
- minute taking and report writing.
- usually work regular business hours and often work part time or job-share
- usually work in offices and reception desks of businesses.
What's the job really like?
Judi Brennan - Programme Manager Service
Behind the scenes enabling teams to function
"Spreadsheeting and HR and all that is part of administration, but understanding the people you work with is paramount.
"I work for the Department of Conservation. I’ve been out with the goat hunters, I've helped identify weeds and I did a night at a hut listening for kiwi.
"So I don't see my job as just being in administration. What I do enables our teams to get rid of possums and keep our huts and tracks going so people can visit them."
Juggling teams and priorities
Judi runs budgets, recruitment processes, health and safety and business planning, so she has to be well organised and adaptable.
"After a month's rain, we can't get into the back country to the huts – the team has to have something else to do – it's juggling all of that.
"Understanding the team is paramount. They come to me for advice, or to bounce around ideas.
"I don't often say no to requests. I would feel I was not doing my job! I know how to prioritise, I can say, 'not now' – but I can't say no."
There are usually no entry requirements to become an administration officer as skills are learned on the job.
NCEA Level 1 in English and maths is usually required to become an administration officer. However, many employers prefer staff to have at least NCEA Level 2 English and maths. Keyboard and computing skills are also useful.
Administration officers need to be:
- good time managers and able to prioritise and multitask
- good communicators
- skilled writers
- able to use a variety of computer software
- able to work well in a team environment
- able to show initiative
- friendly and approachable
- discreet and diplomatic when dealing with confidential issues
There are so many menial tasks that can make up your day. If you get bogged down in that it can become too much – you’ve got to decide what’s important. If you can’t do that, you’ve got to get someone to help you.
Judi Brennan - Programme Manager Service
Useful experience for administration officers includes:
- administration or reception work
- information technology (IT) work.
Find out more about trainingCheck out related courses
What are the chances of getting a job?
Experienced administration officers are in demand because:
- increasing turnover of administration officers as the economy picks up
- employers want administration officers who can multi-task and help their organisation save money, for instance with purchasing plans.
Opportunities for new administration officers who are willing to start in temporary roles
Although opportunities are more difficult to find for new administration officers, entry level positions still become available as some employers prefer to train a new staff member at a lower pay rate than pay more for an experienced worker.
If you are new to this work, you may need to start with a part-time or temporary administration role to demonstrate your worth to an employer.
Many organisations employ administration officers
Most organisations employ administration staff, so you can work for a variety of employers including:
- private businesses
- government departments
- the armed forces
- legal offices.
- Hays, '2014 Hays Salary Guide', (www.hays.net.nz)
- Hays,' 2014 April - June Quarterly Report - Office Support', (www.hays.net.nz)
- Hudson '2014 Office Support Salary and Employment Insights', (www.hudson.com).
- Lloyd, E, Association of Administrative Professionals NZ Inc, Professional Development Subcommittee chairman, Careers New Zealand interview, May 2010.
- Michael Page, 'Salary and Employment Forecast 2013/14 - Office Support', (www.michaelpage.co.nz)
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, ‘2003-2012 Occupation Data’ (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
- Robert Walters, '2014 Forecast Overview - Secretarial and Business Support', (www.robertwalters.co.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Administration officers often progress into other administrative positions that have more responsibility, such as personal or executive assistant, or office manager.
Administration skills, such as time management, communication, and prioritising and delegating tasks, can be transferred to other roles, such as event manager or project manager.
Last updated 28 January 2016