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Office Administrator

Kaiwhakarite ā-Tari

Alternative titles for this job

Office Administrators help ensure organisations run efficiently.


Office administrators usually earn

$48K-$65K per year

Source: PERSOLKELLY, 2023

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as an office administrator are average for people without experience, but good for those with experience.


Pay for office administrators varies depending on their experience and skills.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Office administrators may do some or all of the following:

  • organise meetings, prepare agendas and take minutes
  • create, oversee, distribute and file correspondence and documents
  • work on reception
  • monitor and maintain equipment and supplies
  • prepare and track budgets, pay bills, and do banking and invoicing
  • ensure health and safety issues are addressed, including making staff aware of building safety procedures and safe work practices
  • project or database management
  • update websites
  • research, records management and filing.

Skills and knowledge

Office administrators need to have knowledge of:

  • software such as Microsoft Office or Excel
  • website management and database systems
  • budgeting and office finance systems
  • health and safety laws
  • keyboard and computing skills
  • minute taking and report writing.

Working conditions

Office administrators:

  • usually work regular business hours but may work part time or in evenings or weekends
  • usually work in offices.

What's the job really like?

Alison McKessar

Alison McKessar

Training and Education Co-ordinator

What does your job involve?

"I work for the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. I look after a couple of committees which also involves booking travel and catering. There are a number of administrative tasks that I undertake, such as report writing, website updates and document preparation. One of the committees changes members every year and I run the process for nominations, and elections if necessary.

"I'm also responsible for all the anaesthesia written, and medical and clinical examinations that take place in New Zealand."

What are the main challenges?

"The exams require a lot of time-critical tasks and I need to be really organised. I use checklists to ensure I don't miss anything but it can be very stressful."

What are your hours like?

"My normal day is 8.45am to 4.45pm and most of the time I don’t need to work late. However, the exams are sat at the same time as in Australia so I do work until 7pm when they take place, and on a Saturday twice a year. However, because the exams and courses are held in different places around New Zealand, I get to do a bit of travel which I really enjoy."

Administration officer (despatch administrator)

Miciah Tait talks about life as a despatch administrator – 1.43 mins.

Hi, my name is Miciah Tait and I'm a dispatch administrator.
So my job is making sure that these truck drivers here that drive these big
trucks, get paid. They'll go out, deliver their deliveries,
then I'll have run sheets come in. I check them over,
make sure their hours match and make sure they get paid correctly. So at the
I am checking [that] these logbooks of my truck drivers
match the times that they've clocked in on our online website.
And my position. I cover 44 truck drivers. So once the truck drivers head off,
they make multiple stops along their journey just like this here.
As you can see, this truck driver started in Auckland and traveled to Tūrangi
and then traveled back to Auckland. Sweet.
So this is a dispatch area here where I grab all my drivers' log books.
So after a shift the truck drivers drop in their logbooks and I come in here
and grab them. So yeah, it's a pretty entry level job.
You don't need any qualifications. When I first applied here,
I was very anxious and overwhelmed with the thought of being in the office.
I didn't feel smart enough, I guess .
But ever since I've started this job,
those little butterflies and everything have gone away. One of the best things
about my job is probably the office atmosphere. It's a very nice,
very busy beehive. So yeah, there's a lot of good banter that happens in here,
and it just makes it enjoyable.

Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements to become an office administrator. However, a business administration qualification, such as a certificate or diploma, may be useful.

Office administrators may also become members of the Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand (AAPNZ), which offers professional development opportunities.

Secondary education

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but accounting, businesses studies, digital technologies, English and maths to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Personal requirements

Office administrators need to be:

  • organised, and able to prioritise and multitask
  • good communicators and skilled writers
  • able to work well in a team environment
  • able to solve problems and show initiative
  • friendly and approachable
  • discreet and diplomatic when dealing with confidential issues.

Useful experience

Useful experience for office administrators includes:

  • administration or reception work
  • customer service experience
  • accounting
  • information technology (IT) work.

Find out more about training

Association of Administrative Professionals NZ -
0508 754 557 - -
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Multi-skilled office administrators in demand

Your chances of securing a job are best if you can combine general administration skills with skills in other areas such as accounting support, data entry, reception, health and safety or human resources. This is because some organisations have combined two administration jobs into one to save costs.

According to the Census, 36,231 office administrators worked in New Zealand in 2018.

Software skills improve chances of getting a job

Entry-level office administrators can improve their chances of getting a job if they have experience using software such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, or MYOB, as employers report a shortage of people with these skills.

Types of employer are varied

Most organisations employ administration staff, so you can work for a variety of employers including:

  • private businesses
  • hospitals
  • government departments
  • local government
  • the armed forces
  • legal offices
  • education institutes
  • not-for-profit organisations.


  • Hays, 'Jobs in Demand July - December 2018', accessed December 2018, ( 
  • Honeychurch, M, business director, Hays, interview, September 2018.
  • McKessar, A, president, Association of Administrative Professionals New Zealand, interview, September 2018.
  • Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Office administrators may move into other administrative roles, such as personal or executive assistant, or office manager. With further training, administration officers may progress to become event or project managers.

A group of people in business clothes sit a table, one man is making notes on a laptop

Office administrators may organise meetings and take meeting notes

Last updated 27 March 2024