Administration

 27 November 2012

Administrators deal with customers, run offices, and take care of the day-to-day running of a jewellery business.

You will need to be very well-organised and to be someone who enjoys working with computers to manage data and prepare documents. Photo: Hol
You will need to be very well-organised and to be someone who enjoys working with computers to manage data and prepare documents. Photo: Hol

What do administrators do?

If you are working in administration you could work in a wide range of places. Responsible for the vital day-to-day processes that keep the organisation running, you might be based in the head office of a jewellery retailer or wholesaler.

Alternatively, you might be based in the office of a large high-street retail jewellery branch or pawnbroker.

Administrators working in a wide range of different head office functions.

These can include:

What is the job like?

There are lots of interesting and varied roles within administration – the opportunities are endless.

Your work could vary, but might include:

  • managing the cash office in a large and busy high street jewellery branch
  • administering loans and insurance policies for a pawnbroker
  • helping to manage the smooth running of the company’s website
  • using databases, spreadsheets, email and preparing Word documents
  • dealing with people over the telephone and answering enquiries.

How do I become an administrator in jewellery?  

You will need to be very well-organised. You also need to be someone who enjoys working with computers to manage data and prepare documents.

An interest in jewellery is a distinct advantage.

You will also need:

  • excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
  • a good standard of numeracy
  • a high standard of accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to multi-task, plan, prioritise and to work effectively as part of a team.

You may find you are at an advantage if you also have:

  • accurate and fast keyboard skills
  • expertise in standard IT office packages such as spreadsheets, word-processing, databases and email
  • additional skills in creative software – often particularly useful if you are working on websites or in marketing and publicity roles.

If you start in an administrative role within a jewellery company,l there can be good opportunities to progress within the organisation, perhaps to management or other specialist roles such as accountancy or marketing.

You may be able to undertake further training to gain professional qualifications in these areas on a part-time basis, in the evening, via day-release or using distance/online learning.

Relevant school qualifications at GCSE or A level include English, maths and business studies. Take the opportunity to develop your organisational skills by accepting positions of responsibility either inside or outside school. 

What qualifications and training do I need?

Courses

Qualifications in business studies or IT will provide you with the ideal background for an administrative role in the jewellery industry.

Relevant qualifications include:

  • a BTEC Level 1 Introductory in Business – a one-year course where you need GCSEs at grade D or below
  • a BTEC Level 2 First Diploma in Business – a one-year course where you need around two GCSEs at grade D or above, or the BTEC Level one course as above
  • a BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Business – a two-year course where you will need four GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and maths or equivalent qualifications such as the BTEC First Diploma
  • IT courses such as the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)
  • a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Studies – entry is usually with one to two A levels, an equivalent qualification such as a BTEC National Diploma, and GCSEs at C or above in English, maths and normally three other subjects
  • a degree in Business Studies – entry is usually with two to three A levels or an equivalent qualification, and GCSEs at C or above in English and maths. Courses are listed on the UCAS website. Foundation degrees in Business Studies are also available.

Certain head office functions, including professional roles such as law, finance, human resources or marketing, may require specific qualifications.

For example, to work in accounting you will need professional accountancy qualifications such as those offered by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

Human resources qualifications are offered by the Chartered Institute of  Personnel & Development (CIPD). The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) offers qualifications relevant to marketing. You could work towards these at college or university or whilst working on the job.

Qualifications or expertise in web technologies are also sought after, such as content management systems and new media. College and university courses in IT and related subjects will often include these areas.

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship could be a good way to gain the experience and skills you will need to find work in jewellery administration. Alternatively, you may find that jewellery companies are able to offer apprenticeships in administration.

Available apprenticeships are shown on the Government's apprenticeships website. Look at the Business, Administration and Law section and follow the links to Accounting, Business Administration, Customer Sales, Marketing, Payroll or Sales and Telesales. 

It's a good idea to prepare an eye-catching CV and covering letter and send it to companies that interest you.

All these areas of employment would provide good experience for an administrative career within jewellery.

If you want to work in jewellery administration, it's a good idea to prepare an eye-catching CV and covering letter and send this to the human resources departments of companies that interest you. Vacancies are also sometimes advertised on jewellery company websites.

What can I earn?

The minimum wage for an apprentice is £2.68 per hour, although many employers pay more than this.

Starting salaries in administrative roles can vary according to the type and location of the company, but could range from £13,000 to £16,000 per year.

With more experience in an administrative role, you could except to earn from £18,000 to £24,000.

Professional roles, including accountancy, offer higher salaries which at management level range from £30,000 to £80,000 and beyond.


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