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Registrar Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Registrar. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Registrar
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Registrar Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Registrars are legally responsible for recording the details of all births, stillbirths, deaths and marriages in their area. They may be required to attend some religious marriage ceremonies in order to register the marriage, and superintendent registrars in England and Wales conduct civil marriage services.

The registrar's main duties include:

  • interviewing parents after a baby has been born, completing relevant documentation and issuing a birth certificate
  • interviewing relatives after a death or stillbirth has occurred, completing relevant documents and issuing a death certificate
  • informing the coroner or procurator fiscal if there are any suspicious or unnatural circumstances surrounding a death
  • collecting statistical information to send to the Office of the Register General
  • taking payments for copies of certificates and keeping records of these transactions.

Registrars use computers on a regular basis to record information, and deal with a lot of paperwork.

Hours and Environment

Registrars normally work 37 hours a week, including some weekends and bank holidays. They may also work on call outside of normal office hours. Part-time work may be available.

Registrars are office based and interview people mainly by appointment. In remote parts of Scotland, some registrars are based in their own home or local post office.

Registrars may attend marriages in many different types of location, such as hotels, stately homes and civic buildings, or even in hospitals and prisons.

Skills and Interests

To be a registrar, you should be:

  • able to communicate with a variety of people in often difficult circumstances
  • discreet, tactful, honest and patient
  • capable of presenting neat and precise written information
  • able to use initiative and judgement for assessing the possibility of someone withholding information
  • able to organise and prioritise their own workload
  • computer literate.


England and Wales
There are no minimum entry requirements but a good standard of general education is required, and experience of dealing with a wide range of people is useful. Applicants from certain professions are prohibited from becoming registrars, including doctors, midwives, ministers of religion, funeral directors and anyone working in the life assurance industry.

Entrants need three GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) including English. Assistant registrars must be aged at least 18 and registrars 21.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
There is no upper age limit for entry into this work. Maturity is an asset.


Training takes place on the job and includes developing an understanding of the laws regarding registration.

In England and Wales training is co-ordinated by the General Register Office and staff take the Registrar Generals Certificate of Competence in Registration Law and Practice.

In Scotland, it is usual to take the examination of the Association of Registrars in Scotland and obtain a Certificate of Proficiency in the Law and Practice of Registration. Candidates are required to have at least two years' experience of registration before this award can be made.


There are about 1,750 full-time and part-time registrars in England and Wales, and around 500 in Scotland.

In England and Wales, registrars are appointed and paid by local authorities but are ultimately responsible to the Registrar General.

In Scotland registrars are employed by local authorities and receive instructions on their work from the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) and are answerable to this department wherever they are based.

Vacancies arise only occasionally. Promotion in England and Wales is from assistant registrar to deputy registrar, then to registrar and superintendent. Each district has at least one superintendent registrar and deputy; each sub district has a registrar and deputy.
In Scotland, there are two grades only: assistant registrar and registrar.

Opportunities may exist in some areas for registrars employed to conduct marriages only.

Note: In England and Wales, major changes are planned to take place by 2004/5 that may affect both the number of vacancies and the type of work done by registrars. There are plans to allow the registration of births and deaths online, by phone, or in person. Register offices will provide new services such as baby naming, reaffirmation of marriage vows and possibly civic funerals. Couples will also have more choice on where they marry and about the ceremony. More records will be computerised.

Similar changes are proposed in Scotland. Some changes have already been implemented by the Marriage (Scotland) Act 2002 which extended the range of places civil marriages could take place.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

The starting salary for registrars is around £15,000 to £16,000.
A superintendent registrar can expect to earn around £17,000 to £25,000.
Those with extensive experience and responsibility may earn up to £32,000 a year.

Further information

The Society of Registration Officers – Births, Deaths and Marriages
The Register Office
Aspen House (First Floor)
Temple Street
Tel: 01793 521734

The Association of Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages
Registrars Office
77 Bank Street
G83 0LE
Tel: 01389 608 980

Other Useful Registrar Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Registrar job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Registrar Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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