How to become a Local Government Administrative Assistant Job. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about this career.
What does a Local Government Administrative Assistant do?
As an administrative assistant in local government, you would provide clerical support to managers and teams in local council departments, and give information to members of the public.
You could work in any local authority department, for example housing, social services, education or planning. Your duties would vary according to the department you worked in, but they might include:
- dealing with enquiries by phone, in writing or in person
- looking up information on a computer system
- filing and photocopying
- producing and sending letters
- sorting, recording and distributing mail
- dealing with cash and payments
- updating computerised and clerical records
- acting as a secretary or personal assistant (PA) to a manager or department
- liaising with staff in other departments.
You may also be known by a number of different job titles such as administrative officer, clerical officer, customer service assistant, or support officer.
In a full-time job you would work 35 to 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Part-time and temporary work are often available.
The work is mainly office-based. In some departments you may spend some of your time handling enquiries at a counter or reception desk.
How much do a Local Government Administrative Assistant earn?
Salaries are usually between £17,000 and £25,000 a year, depending on experience and responsibilities.
Some local authorities have performance related pay schemes.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
For most jobs, you will need a good standard of general education, and good computer or keyboard skills. You will usually find it useful to have experience of customer service or office work.
Although you may have an advantage with some GCSEs including maths and English, many councils do not ask for formal qualifications. Instead, they will test you in the skills you need for the job, for example communication, IT and ability with numbers.
You should check with individual councils about the exact qualifications and experience needed for each job.
You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more, visit the Apprenticeships website.
Training and Development
Your employer will provide induction training when you start, followed by on-the-job training plus any formal training courses that you might need.
You may have the chance to achieve work-based qualifications in administration or customer service, or other areas relevant to your particular department, for example:
- democratic services
- human resources
Skills and Knowledge
- good spoken and written communication skills
- a polite, tactful and friendly manner
- accuracy and attention to detail
- good organisational skills
- the ability to work well as part of a team
- computer skills.
Local authorities across the UK employ administrative assistants in all departments.
Jobs are advertised in the local press, Jobcentre Plus, council websites and the LG Jobs website.
- LG Careers, A-Z of local councils
- LG Jobs
With experience, you could progress to office manager, or jobs with more responsibility in other departments. Alternatively, you could move into administrative work in other sectors.