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Overview of the Role of an Administrative Officer

The administrative officer role is a senior executive position. Unlike the manager, the administrative officer focuses on managing office work and procedures, rather than people. Professionals who work in an administrative role perform four main functions; coordination, planning, organization, and delegation. Job positions that are regarded as administrative roles include secretary, front desk officer, personal assistant, director, supervisor, and other related roles. The duties of an administrative officer differ according to the specific role, company, and industry he works. However, a professional in this role is expected to deal with office paperwork, maintain a supply of relevant resources needed to promote workflow in the office, and ensure that all activities go on smoothly.

What are the Duties of an Administrative Officer?

An administrative officer is required to:

  • Keep a record of available office supplies and place the order for more, to restock when necessary.
  • Manage the company’s database system and update them accordingly.
  • Take note of reservations, schedule meetings, and book relevant appointments.
  • Organize and control access to official documents.
  • Prepare a calendar of important programs and events to be organized by the company.
  • Distribute work schedules and necessary correspondence to all members of staff.
  • Ensure that all company staff stays up-to-date on new and existing policies.
  • Implement new company policies and update old ones accordingly.
  • Organize internal and external events hosted by the company.
  • Make relevant preparations for staff training, and business trips or external meetings.
  • Write reports on the company’s transactions – keep a record of the organization’s cash inflow and outflow, assets and liabilities, and acquired deals.
  • Attend to inquiries and complaints from clients and coworkers and redirect them to the appropriate professionals when necessary.

Requirements for an Administrative Role Include:

  • A degree in business administration, management, or other related courses.
  • In-depth knowledge of the use of management software like the Microsoft Suite, and operating systems.
  • Knowledge of general office procedures.
  • Experience working in an administrative role, or handling work-related tasks in an office setting.

Soft Skills Required to Excel as an Administrative Include:

1. Leadership skills

Although an administrative officer may not directly manage employees, it is part of their duties to relate instructions from the company’s management to members of the organization’s staff. Good leadership qualities will come in handy when implementing relevant policies made by the company and enforcing mandatory rules and regulations.

2. Interpersonal Relations Skills

Interpersonal relation skills are a necessity in every job role. As an administrative officer, you may be required to manage employees’ clients’ accounts, which places you at the receiving end of all their complaints and queries. It takes a great deal of patience and tolerance to keep calm (and calm the other party as well) in such situations, to prevent unnecessary friction and conflicts.

Good interpersonal relations skills also come in handy when organizing company programs and events.

3. Proficiency in English

Writing reports is a typical everyday activity for an administrative officer. Whether you are a secretary, a front desk officer, a supervisor, or a database administrator, you will often need to give reports of meetings held, projects handled, transactions made, queries attended to, and so on. To write reports effectively, proficiency in English and good writing and editing skills are required. Data entry and typing skills are a plus.

4. Great Communication Skills

Verbal and written communication skills are essential skills needed to excel in any career path. Good communication skills will make your phone calls with clients, e-mail correspondence, and other related tasks more pleasant and misunderstanding-free. It also comes in handy when attending to inquiries and complaints from clients and coworkers, and superiors.

5. Analytical Skills

An administrative officer may have to deal with a lot of queries and complaints in one day. From simple misunderstandings to system errors, it takes analytical skills to decipher the root cause of issues that are brought to his attention. To excel in an administrative role, you need to be a critical thinker, and pay keen attention to details.

6. Proficiency in Mathematics and Statistics.

Some general office tasks like keeping track of financial transactions, calculating profits, making an estimate for expenditures, preparing budgets and writing reports often require the use of numbers. While an administrative officer does not require complex mathematical skills, simple things like rounding off decimals, interpreting statistics using charts and graphs, and making conversions require knowledge of basic mathematics. As an administrative officer, you’ll often have to work with figures – spreadsheets, calculators, and pens are your most used tools.

7. Organizational Skills

The job of an administrative officer involves lots of paperwork and documentation. A typical day in the life of an administrative officer involves sourcing and vetting information, documenting and filing evidence of important transactions, sending e-mails, distributing circulars, and so on. Dealing with paperwork can often leave your desk messy and untidy, and your mind as cluttered as your office space. To excel in an administrative role, you need great organization skills to declutter your mind and office space and keep your desk tidy while still attending to all the tasks you have for the day efficiently.

8. Computer Literacy

An administrative officer consistently needs to take records and give reports. He is constantly working with database systems and managing data entry. He may also be responsible for managing employees’ and clients’ accounts, monitoring their work progress, and fixing issues that may arise with them (such as an unprovoked pay cut, or a smartcard declining access at the entrance).

 In this digital age, all of these tasks require the use of computers, digital tools, and software. An administrative officer should be knowledgeable in the use of operating systems, software packages, and other relevant forms of technology that improve work productivity. Experience handling printers, perforators, scanners, photocopying, machines, and other similar machines that are useful in data entry also comes in handy.

9. Quick thinking and Decision-making Ability

Administrative officers often have to make independent decisions in some critical situations. When companies hire for an administrative position, recruiters look out for candidates who can work efficiently and produce quality results with little supervision. That is because this role requires the ability to draw logical conclusions and make split-second decisions regarding events and situations most of the time. Developing quick thinking and decision-making ability means that you can form your own opinions about important topics, and this makes you a valuable asset to any company. Employers value administrative officers who can make meaningful contributions during meetings and bring up wonderful ideas during important deliberations – you need to be innovative and a fast thinker, to be such an employee.

What is the Average Salary of an Administrative Officer?

The starting salary of an administrative officer in Nigeria ranges from NGN41,000.00 to NGN48,000.00. The maximum pay range currently is between NGN3,240,000.00 and NGN3,726,000.00. The pay for an administrative officer varies depending on the particular job title, industry, and organization he works at. Administrative officers who work in the legal and oil and gas industries, are reported to be the best paid.


If your dream job is to be a secretary, an executive officer, a project supervisor, or a similar professional, then you plan to start a career in administration. A degree in business administration, office management, or a related course will give you an edge over other candidates during a hiring process. Soft skills like leadership management, conflict resolution, problem-solving ability, and so on will make you appear more valuable than most during the screening.

Experience working in customer service will come in handy when applying for jobs if you are switching from a different career path. If you are a fresh graduate and new to the workforce, instances where you played an informal administrative role (maybe you were your students’ association’s secretary, or you helped organize events and outreaches or worked as a cashier during the holidays) also count as experience. I hope you find this article helpful in your journey to success!

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Oputa Okwanuzor is a freelance writer skilled in the art of weaving words into stories for brand boost through copywriting, or make a soothing read using creative writing. In her free time, she loves to share personal development talks, fashion inspos and writing tricks on her blog.

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