Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mark Spain from An Garda Síochána to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mark Spain

Garda Trainee

An Garda Síochána

Read more

  Mark Spain
If you are unsure I would recommend coming to an open day in the college and if possible also doing the Garda Reserve. It gives the best insight imaginable into the work of Gardaí.

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Study Skills
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Civil Service - Administrative Officer

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€29k > 60 
Civil Service - Administrative Officer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€29 - 60 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: April, 2015

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Gathers and assesses information to help Government Ministers make policy decisions.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 5

Alan Gilligan
Administrative Officer  

Alan began working in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in June 2012 after finishing his studies of Economics in National University of Ireland, Galway. Alan was attracted to the Civil Service because it offered a role in formulating public policy at a time when Ireland’s economic challenges were most pressing.

Go to Interview  
Edel Butler
Administrative Officer  
Edel Butler is an Administrative Officer with the Revenue Commissioners. Currently she works as a technical expert within the Audit team. Edel holds a Degree in Civil Law from UCD and is also a qualified Solicitor and is an AITI Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).
Go to Interview  
Sarah Kennelly
Administrative Officer & Developer  

Sarah Kennelly is an Administrative Officer and Developer with the Department of Education and Skills. In her role she liaises with business users within the department and works to develop new software applications to help them. 

Go to Interview  
Simon Nix
Administrative Officer  

Simon Nix works as an Administrative Officer in the Department of Finance. Simon studied Political Science and Sociology with Classical Civilisations at NUIG, followed by a Law degree.  His work involves finding the best laws to protect the regulation of financial markets. 

Go to Interview  
David Crowe
Administrative Officer  

David Crowe is currently Administrative Officer for the Department of An Taoiseach. He graduated from NUIG with a degree in corporate law. His duties include preparing answers for parliamentary questions and writing speeches for An Taoiseach. David found a career in the civil service appealing as it enabled career progression.

Go to Interview  

The Work header image

Administrative Officers are usually engaged on critical analysis and research over a wide range of government activities. In their initial assignments they work closely with experienced officials.   
As they gain in experience they may be assigned to a broader range of duties involving, for example, the drafting of briefing and other documents for Ministers and the Government and contacts with other Departments, professional bodies or international organisations.   
As Administrative Officers are employed in most Departments, they can be assigned to a wide variety of functional responsibilities - the development of the health services, education policy, environmental protection, industrial development, to name but a few.   
The greatest number are appointed to the Department of Finance where they could be involved with such matters as short-term management of the economy, the allocation of financial resources or the development of human resources policy and practice in the Civil Service.   
The work of administrative officers involves visiting business premises or peoples homes. A lot of time would be spent on paperwork, statistics, numerical work and using computers.   
Administrative officers responsible for running these types of offices are accountable for giving advice to staff and clients and dealing with problem cases. Some of the decisions made could be unpopular and therefore the work can be stressful.


Personal Qualitiesheader image

  • Able to rapidly absorb complex information and critically evaluate its meaning and relevance
  • Highly capable at planning and organising tasks and schedules to ensure efficient delivery of projects to the required standard
  • Strong at making distinctive individual contributions to an area and adding richness/value to the current thinking
  • Excellent at communicating clearly and getting your message across consistently using a variety of media
  • Accomplished at working with others in a way that mutually supports effective outcomes
  • Prepared to focus on developing your own contribution within an area and prepared to take on more extensive responsibility
  • Determined to keep going and see things through to a satisfactory outcome despite obstacles and/or setbacks
  • Very comfortable operating to high internal standards and clear and committed in terms of focus on personal achievement
  • Interested in public affairs and committed to the concept of public service

What are the particular competencies required in an Administrative Officer? View the PAS Competency Model here

Entry Routesheader image

The Administrative Officer (AO) grade is the highest level to which staff are regularly recruited to the general administrative grades of the civil service. From this grade, more senior posts are filled.

On appointment, AOs are assigned to a government department/office -  areas such as education, health, social welfare, tourism or finance. From here, they progress in their career.

Details of all current competitions are made available on the Public Jobs website. Applicants will be required to undergo the selection procedures as set out for the particular competition. Applications must be submitted on the official application form that can be obtained online or from the office of the Civil Service and the Public Appointments Service (PAS).   

The key entry level grades for graduates in the Civil Service include the Executive Officer, the Administrative Officer and the Third Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and other professional roles such as Statistician, Economist and many more. 
While the specialist skills developed by some civil servants in the course of their work have been much sought after by other employers in recent times, most civil servants still develop their careers within the service. For this reason, the civil service has an interest in the long-term development and welfare of its staff.   
Recruits to the service are provided with the training necessary to develop the potential that they have shown in the recruitment process. A wide variety of training courses are available in the Civil Service Centre for Management and Organisation Development, the Institute of Public Administration and other training agencies.   
On-the-job training, that is the structured use of work experience for developmental purposes, also plays an important role in enabling recruits to realise their potential.   
The Civil Service strongly encourages its staff to further their education and improve their qualifications. A scheme providing for the refund of fees for third level courses has been in place for many years and paid study leave is allowed for staff attending such courses.

Last Updated: July, 2014

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Administrator - from:  icould [UK] Video
Go..Civil Service Administrative Officer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Civil service administrator/manager - from:  GradIreland
Go..Local Government Administrative Assistant - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Public Appointments Service
  Address: Chapter House, 26/30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1
  Tel: (01) 858 7400 or Locall: 1890 44 9999
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here


Job Search

Industry Expert

Career Articles

Life as an Administrative Officer with the Revenue Commissioners
Life as an Administrative Officer in the Dept of An Taoiseach
Life as an Administrative Officer in Public Expenditure and Reform
Life as Administrative Officer in the Department of Finance
Administrative Officer - Department of An Taoiseach
Administrative Officer - Revenue Commissioners

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Civil & Public Service, Local Government, Politics & EU
Clerical & Administration
Business Organisation & Business Management

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 42