Local government administrative assistants and officers work for the local council, providing clerical support to different departments such as education, housing, planning or social work.
You could be:
opening and sorting mail
keeping records and typing letters or reports on a computer
scanning, copying and printing documents
filing letters and other documents
recording accounts, invoices and payments
using specialist computer software to prepare salaries and wages and calculate staff holiday entitlement, sick leave and flexitime
ordering office supplies such as stationery
dealing with enquiries from other departments and members of the public, on the phone and face to face
attending meetings and taking minutes.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the local authority you work for
the demand for the job.
Salaries for local government administrative assistants in Scotland tend to be around £15,000 to £21,000 a year. Administrative officers earn around £19,000 to £27,000 a year. Administrative managers may earn up to £32,000 a year. There is usually a good pension scheme.
You would work in an office.
You would normally work a 35-hour week, Monday to Friday.
You might be able to work flexitime.
It is possible to work part time or on a job sharing basis.
You don't always need formal qualifications, but subjects at National 4 or 5, including English and Maths would be beneficial.
In some cases, employers may prefer you to have Highers.
You may consider taking a full time course before entering your first job. There are courses in administration or business and similar subjects at NC, NQ and HNC levels.
You usually need to have good keyboard skills.
You may get in through a Modern Apprenticeship.
You could enter through the Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship (FA), which you can start in S5 and study at school and college, whilst also gaining some practical work experience. Entry requirements vary between colleges, but you usually need 3 subjects at National 5 including English and Maths. You will usually be expected to study for some Highers alongside the Foundation Apprenticeship.
What Does it Take?
You need to have:
excellent organisational skills
good communication skills
a polite and friendly manner
good IT and keyboard skills.
You also need to be:
willing to use your initiative
able to get on with people from all backgrounds
able to work as part of a team
handle a number of tasks at one time.
Training is normally on the job.
Part time qualifications in administration and business are available at various levels, including SVQs and HNC.
You can use these qualifications to go on to courses at a more advanced level.
A Modern Apprenticeship normally leads to an SVQ, such as Business and Administration at SCQF Levels 5 and 6.
There is a clear promotion structure within local government.
With experience and the right qualifications, you could move on to be a local government administrative manager.
For the most ambitious, further promotion could lead into senior manager posts right up to chief executive level.