Working as an Admissions officer

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Sam spends the summer holidays looking through UCAS application forms from school leavers hoping to enrol on a university course. As an admissions officer at university she is responsible for checking all applications. In addition, she gives talks to schools and colleges in the area about the courses and opportunities available.

What are your responsibilities?

I manage and supervise the university's admissions office and its workforce.We have to respond to each application and let prospective students know whether they have been successful in enrolling for their courses. I have to monitor targets and ensure that they are achieved and also produce reports on admission processes and any other reports required by the Recruitment and Admissions committee. I advise senior management and other members of the university community on all admissions matters. I also have to advise potential students about how to apply, what qualifications are needed and the courses we offer.

Do you have a typical day?

Not really, because the work is so varied. Apart from the work generated by my responsibilities, there is always a mountain of application forms to process and decisions to make on whether the candidate has the necessary qualifications for entry to a course.

What hours do you work?

Officially, 35 hours a week, but I usually work a bit later each day. Sometimes I need to work the occasional evening and weekend if the work load is heavy.

Why did you choose this type of work?

I enjoy meeting people and being able to help, and sometimes I actually have to act as a salesperson and convince people that the university would be suitable for them.

Did you receive special training for this job?

Not really as I had some experience of higher education admissions in my previous job. If I had not got this experience I would have received specific training though. This would have ranged from learning about the admissions procedures to the computer programs and databases we use.

What do you enjoy and least like about the job?

I like being able to help and guide students through to the next level of education and giving them the opportunity to pursue education to degree level. On the other hand, I cannot go on holiday during the summer as this is the time when we are most busy enrolling students.

What are your long-term career goals?

Higher education administration has good career prospects. You do not need to stay in one area and it is possible to move to other areas within the university's administration services. My aim is to become head of the section.

What are the skills and qualities needed for this job?

You have to be a methodical, organised person who likes administration. You must also be able to cope under pressure with any problem that occurs in the area for which you are responsible. Above all, you need to enjoy meeting young people.

How to become an Admissions officer

  • S Grades (GCSE equivalents in Scotland)
  • Scottish Highers
  • Degree in English language and literature

How do i become an Admissions officer tips

  • Keep in touch with current school and university qualifications.
  • Work experience in a university or college environment will help.

Admissions officer related jobs

  • Civil Service administrative assistant/officer
  • Civil Service executive officer
  • Company secretary
  • Human Resources officer/manager
  • Local Government committee administrator

Admissions officer salary information

  • Salaries in higher education administration vary depending on the location and seniority of the job.
  • The starting salary is about £20,000, rising to £40,000 for senior roles.

What do you need to become an admissions officer?

  • There are many routes to enter education administrative posts.
  • A degree is necessary for senior posts but the subject can be varied. Some people enter the sector with marketing skills, experience in call centre environments, local government or the civil service.
  • You can start at clerical levels in education authorities, schools or colleges with GCSEs/S grades in English and maths – progressing to more senior positions in universities and other higher education establishments with experience.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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