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 Sinead Lew from Irish Tax Institute to give some advice for people considering this job:


Sinead Lew

Tax Manager

Irish Tax Institute

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  Sinead Lew
I thought the job would solely be to compute an individual’s / company’s tax liability but it extends to so much more beyond that. You are not just solely a person or organisation’s tax advisor; you are a general business adviser helping them to make key business/commercial decisions.

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Related Career Sectors

Clerical & Administration Clerical & Administration

Administrative and Secretarial Occupations

Key points for selected Administrative and Secretarial Occupations

  • In 2015, there were approximately 148,000 persons employed in administrative and secretarial occupations, accounting for 7.6% of Ireland’s workforce.
  • Between 2010 and 2015, overall employment in the selected occupations contracted by 1.6% on average annually (in contrast to a 0.8% increase observed nationally).
  • There were almost 13,000 net job losses.
  • Over the period 2010 to 2015, the change in employment varied by occupation; the strongest increase (expressed in both rates and levels) was observed for office managers & supervisors.
  • In contrast, the strongest declines (both rates and levels) were observed for government administrative occupations (6.6% on average annually) and PAs & other secretaries (3.6% on average annually).
  • Between 2014 and 2015, employment contracted by 2.3% (translating into 3,500 net job losses); there was no significant change in employment levels for most occupations.
  • At least two thirds of those employed in each occupation was aged 25-54; the age profile of employed receptionists was the youngest, with 13% aged 15-24; in contrast, it was the most mature for records & library clerks, with one quarter aged 55 or older.
  • Overall, the share of persons employed in administrative and secretarial occupations who had attained higher secondary/FET qualifications was well above the national average (50% compared to 37%), with the share for each occupation exceeding the national average.
  • In contrast, the share with third level qualifications was below the national average (43% compared to 48%); however, the share was higher than the national average for office managers & supervisors (57%), and for records & library clerks (49%).
  • At least 70% of persons employed in each occupation was female.
  • The share of persons in part-time employment was above the national average for most occupations, while the share of non-Irish nationals was below average across all occupations.

Shortage Indicators

In 2015, there were many vacancies for administrative and secretarial roles. However, many of the clerical vacancies were arising due to replacement (7,800 transitions to inactivity were identified for clerks, in 2015) and turnover (13,700 transitions between employers).

The incidence of high churn is further underlined by the presence of both a high number of vacancies (11,000) at the same time as a comparably high number of job seekers (11,600 job ready clerks looking for work in May 2016).

In addition, there were over 5,800 QQI awards in business and administration made to FET learners in 2015, mostly at NFQ level 6.

Supply is estimated to be sufficient to meet the recruitment requirement and no shortages exist at present. While there is no shortage of general administrative skills, there is evidence that demand for specific administrative skills is increasing, particularly for procurement agents/officers (especially indirect procurement).

Labour Market Research 21

These links are to well established sources of information used to review, evaluate and predict changes in our labour market.

Regional Labour Markets Bulletin October 2016 
A Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS.
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2014 
Report prepared by the Skills and Labour Market
Research Unit in SOLAS aimed at providing an analysis of the key labour market indicators for each of Ireland’s eight administrative
regions: Border, Dublin, Mid-East, Midland, Mid-West, South-East, South-
Addressing the Demand for Skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics Sector in Ireland 2015 – 2020 
February 2015 EGFSN report assessing the skills and competency requirements for the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland up to 2020
Vacancy Overview 2014 - EFGSN 
The Vacancy Overview 2014 produced May 2015 by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit in SOLAS on behalf of the EGFSN, draws on data from newly advertised job vacancies in the following sources: DSP Jobs Ireland and The analysis focuses
Monitoring Ireland's Skills Supply 
July 2015 report on those entering and leaving the Irish education system (primary, post-primary,further education and training, and higher education) spanning the ten levels of the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)
Regional Labour Markets Bulletin 2015 
Annual report produced by the EGFSN which identifies variations in skills supply and demand across 8 regions (Border, Dublin, Mid East, Mid-West, Midland, South East, South West and West).
Assessment of Future Skills Requirements in the Hospitality Sector in Ireland 2015-2020 
Report from the EGFSN assessing the skills demand within the Hospitality sector in Ireland to 2020 to ensure the right supply of skills to help drive domestic hospitality sector business and employment growth.
Vacancy Overview 2015 - EGFSN May 2016 
A report produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs contextualising 2015 vacancy data with what is occurring in the Irish labour market
Future Skills Needs of the Biopharma Industry in Ireland August 2016 
This report reviews the supply of, and demand for, skills within the Biopharma Industry in Ireland up to 2020, with a specific focus on Biologics manufacturing as a growing sub-sector within the industry. It is estimated that 8,400 potential job openings
Assessing the Demand for Big Data and Analytics Skills 2013 - 2020 
May 2014 EGFSN report identifying measures to build up the Big Data and analytics talent pool in Ireland over the period up to 2020 in line with enterprise demand.
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Current Labour Market Info 4

These sites provide news of current events that relate to our evolving labour market.

IBEC Quarterly Economic Trends 
Download publication in PDF format.
SCSI Employment Opportunities & Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying 2014-18 
New report April 2014 from SCSI outlining the Employment Opportunities and Skills Requirements for Construction and Property Surveying projected from 2014-2018
Shortage of craft/entry level staff in the Hotel Sector 
Hotels and guesthouses are experiencing serious difficulties recruiting suitably qualified craft/entry level staff - IHF Annual Conference 24/2/14
National Skills Bulletin 2015 
The National Skills Bulletin 2015 provides an overview of the Irish labour market at occupational level, drawing on a variety of data sets, which have been systematically gathered in the National Skills Database (NSD) since 2003.

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