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Registrar of births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships

Registrars collect and record details of all births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £17,000 to £48,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

You may find it useful to have GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and excellent customer service, public speaking and IT skills.

You might get this type of experience working at managerial level in a registrar’s department, local council or private sector company.

You could start as a deputy registrar and with experience and on-the-job training, progress to a registrar position. 

You may also be able to get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Each local authority sets its own entry requirements - check with them for details.

Doctors, midwives, ministers of religion, funeral directors and anyone working in the life assurance industry are not allowed to become registrars.

The Local Registration Services Association (LRSA) has more information about becoming a registrar.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to relate to people from all backgrounds and cultures
  • tact, patience and empathy, for dealing with people who may be distressed
  • the ability to understand and apply rules and laws
  • clear and accurate handwriting
  • the ability to work under pressure
  • administrative skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • interviewing parents and relatives after a birth or death
  • completing computerised and paper records
  • issuing birth or death certificates
  • informing the coroner (or procurator fiscal in Scotland) if there are any suspicious circumstances surrounding a death
  • collecting statistics to send to the General Register Office
  • taking payment for copies of certificates
  • keeping accurate records
  • performing civil ceremonies
You could also be employed as a celebrant, conducting civil ceremonies such as marriages, civil partnerships and civil funerals without the responsibility of registering births and deaths.

You could be employed by a local council, or you could work independently.

If you share humanist beliefs, you could also become an officiant or celebrant of the British Humanist Association.

4. Salary

Starter: £17,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000 (fully qualified)

Highly Experienced: up to £48,000 (superintendent registrars)

Part-time celebrants usually earn a set fee for each ceremony they conduct.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll work 37 hours a week, including some weekends and bank holidays. You may also work on-call outside of normal office hours. Part-time work is often available.

You’ll be based at a local register office, and may also attend marriages in various types of locations like hotels, stately homes and civic buildings. 

In some remote areas, you may be based at home or in a local post office and work when needed.

You'll usually need a driving licence.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could be promoted from assistant registrar to deputy registrar, then to registrar and superintendent. Each district has at least one superintendent registrar and deputy, and each sub-district has a registrar and deputy.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017