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Occupation description

Administration clerks and assistants are employed across organisations in business specific roles including finance, human resources (HR), training, sales, communications and marketing. They are also employed in depots and other operational areas. Their role is to provide administration support to others including managers. Tasks may include sorting and delivering mail, filing, writing business letters, reports and documentation, answering telephone enquiries from customers, attending to visitors, operating office equipment such as photocopiers, banking, organising travel, or even payroll and rostering functions. Your tasks may vary if you are working in freight or passenger rail.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To succeed in this role, you will need strong technical skills including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the ability to learn role-specific tools such as rostering and payroll software. You also need strong interpersonal, team, time management, organisational, written and oral communication skills. A high degree of confidentiality is required.

Working conditions

Administration staff may work indoors, alone, or in a team, on site, with other administrative assistants, and with professional and technical staff. Experienced administrative assistants may undertake more complex tasks and responsibilities.

Entrance requirements and ongoing training and development

There are no specific requirements, however most organisations will require completion of relevant secondary school qualifications and very good written and spoken English. Much of what you need to know will be learnt on the job and through in-house training courses. However, there are vocational qualifications in business and business administration which may be offered as a traineeship. Depending on location, you may need to do specific safety-related training and certification.

The value of a career in the rail industry

For even more details on what you might earn, the diversity of companies you could work for and the career opportunities available, visit the following careers and training websites. Careers in Rail by the Australasian Railway Association; About the Rail Industry by Rail Skills Australasia and Rail Training by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC).

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Career paths

With experience and sometimes further study, it is possible to advance to higher positions, such as supervisor, office manager or administration manager. Strong administration skills combined with project management skills are well regarded and may enable you to move into more specialised roles in payroll, finance, marketing and HR. In Australia, there are many related vocational qualifications in customer service, business administration and project management that may help you in your career.

This information is generic.  Job titles and the experience and qualifications needed to move into other jobs may vary slightly from state to state depending on the structure and needs of your organisation, and government rules and regulations.

For more information on training opportunities, visit:

Career Path Flowchart

Typical career path for administration careers