For Students

Becoming a Records Manager: A Comprehensive Guide

Huzzle Author Charlie
Charlie Mart
Founders Associate @Huzzle

Are you interested in a career as a records manager? Whether you're a student exploring career options or looking to make a switch, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to know to become a successful records manager in the UK.

Understanding the Role of a Records Manager

Before delving into the educational pathways and job prospects, it's crucial to understand the role of a records manager. Records managers play a vital role in ensuring that organizations effectively manage and maintain their records, both physical and digital.

Records managers are responsible for overseeing the entire lifecycle of records within an organization. This includes everything from the creation and organization of records to their eventual disposal or preservation. By implementing effective records management policies and procedures, records managers help organizations maintain accurate and reliable records that are easily accessible when needed.

One of the key responsibilities of a records manager is developing and implementing records management policies and procedures. This involves creating guidelines and protocols for how records should be created, stored, and accessed. By establishing these policies, records managers ensure consistency and standardization in records management practices across the organization.

In addition to policy development, records managers are also responsible for organizing and categorizing records in a systematic manner. This involves creating a logical and consistent filing system that allows for easy retrieval of records. By implementing effective classification systems, records managers ensure that records can be located quickly and efficiently, saving time and resources for the organization.

Ensuring compliance with data protection regulations is another crucial aspect of a records manager's role. With the increasing importance of data privacy and security, records managers must stay up-to-date with relevant laws and regulations. They must ensure that records are handled and stored in accordance with legal requirements, protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access or disclosure.

Establishing retention schedules for different types of records is another key responsibility of a records manager. Retention schedules outline how long different types of records should be kept before they are either destroyed or transferred to long-term storage. By establishing appropriate retention periods, records managers help organizations maintain compliance with legal and regulatory requirements while also minimizing the storage and maintenance costs associated with unnecessary record retention.

Training staff on proper records management practices is also an important part of a records manager's role. They must educate employees on the importance of records management and provide training on how to effectively manage records. This includes teaching staff how to properly classify and file records, as well as how to use recordkeeping software and technologies.

To excel in this role, records managers must possess a range of skills. Strong organizational and analytical skills are essential for effectively managing large volumes of records and ensuring their accuracy and accessibility. Attention to detail is also crucial, as records managers must meticulously organize and categorize records to ensure their proper management. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are necessary for effectively communicating records management policies and procedures to staff members. Additionally, records managers must have a solid understanding of relevant laws and regulations, as well as proficiency in recordkeeping software and technologies.

In conclusion, records managers play a critical role in helping organizations effectively manage and maintain their records. By developing and implementing records management policies, organizing records, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations, establishing retention schedules, and training staff, records managers contribute to the efficient operation of organizations and the protection of valuable information.

Educational Pathways to Become a Records Manager

If you're considering a career as a records manager, there are several educational pathways you can pursue. While there is no specific degree required, having a relevant educational background can give you a competitive edge in the job market.

Records management is a field that requires a strong understanding of information organization, preservation, and retrieval. Pursuing a degree in fields such as library and information science, archives management, or records management can provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in this profession.

Relevant Degree Programs

Many records managers hold a degree in fields such as library and information science, archives management, or records management. These degree programs provide a strong foundation in records management principles and practices.

For example, the University of Liverpool offers a comprehensive Master of Archives and Records Management program. This program covers topics such as archival theory, digital preservation, and information governance, equipping students with the necessary skills to manage records effectively.

Another renowned institution, the University of Dundee, offers a Master of Archives and Records Management program. This program focuses on the practical aspects of records management, including appraisal, arrangement, and description of records, as well as digital records management.

If you prefer a broader perspective on information management, the University of Glasgow offers a Master of Information Management and Preservation program. This program explores various aspects of information management, including records management, digital curation, and information governance.

Certifications and Training

In addition to a degree, obtaining professional certifications can further enhance your credentials as a records manager. The most recognized certification in the field is the Certified Records Manager (CRM) offered by the Institute of Certified Records Managers.

The CRM certification demonstrates your expertise in records and information management, and it is highly valued by employers. To earn this certification, you must meet specific education and experience requirements, as well as pass a comprehensive examination.

It's essential to stay updated with the latest trends and best practices in records management. Various professional associations, such as the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS), offer training and development opportunities through events, webinars, and workshops.

Attending these professional development activities can help you expand your knowledge, network with industry professionals, and stay abreast of emerging technologies and methodologies in records management.

Additionally, some organizations offer specialized training programs in records management. These programs provide hands-on experience and practical skills that can complement your academic background.

By combining a relevant degree program with professional certifications and ongoing training, you can position yourself as a highly qualified records manager, ready to tackle the challenges of the ever-evolving information landscape.

The Job Market for Records Managers

The demand for records managers continues to grow as organizations realize the importance of efficient records management. Here's what you need to know about the job market in the UK:

Records management is an integral part of many industries, including healthcare, finance, legal, and government sectors. As more organizations embrace digital transformation, the need for skilled records managers who can handle electronic records and information governance is on the rise.

In the healthcare industry, records managers play a critical role in ensuring the accuracy and accessibility of patient records. They are responsible for implementing systems and processes that comply with regulatory requirements, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Financial institutions rely on records managers to maintain the integrity of financial records and ensure compliance with industry regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). These professionals help organizations mitigate risks associated with data breaches and fraud by implementing robust records management practices.

In the legal sector, records managers are essential for maintaining the confidentiality and security of sensitive legal documents. They work closely with lawyers and paralegals to organize and retrieve case files, ensuring that information is readily available when needed. Additionally, they assist in e-discovery processes, helping legal teams locate and retrieve electronic evidence for litigation purposes.

The government sector heavily relies on records managers to ensure transparency, accountability, and efficient public service delivery. These professionals are responsible for managing vast amounts of public records, including legislative documents, administrative files, and historical archives. They play a crucial role in preserving the nation's cultural heritage and facilitating access to information for researchers and the general public.

To increase your chances of finding a job, consider targeting industries that have a high demand for records managers. Stay informed about industry-specific challenges and emerging technologies to demonstrate your value to potential employers.

Starting your career as a records manager can lead to various career opportunities. With experience and expertise, you can advance to managerial positions overseeing larger records management programs or transition into related roles such as information governance manager or data privacy officer.

Continuous professional development and staying up-to-date with industry trends and technological advancements will be crucial for your career progression. As technology evolves, records managers will need to adapt to new tools and methodologies for managing electronic records effectively. This may include learning about artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for automating records management processes or exploring blockchain technology for enhancing data security and integrity.

Day-to-Day Life as a Records Manager

Wondering what a typical day as a records manager looks like? Here's a glimpse into the day-to-day life:

As a records manager, your day may involve a wide range of tasks and activities that are crucial for maintaining an efficient and organized records management system.

Typical Tasks and Activities

One of the key responsibilities of a records manager is creating and implementing records management policies and procedures. This involves developing guidelines and protocols for the entire organization to follow when it comes to record creation, storage, retrieval, and disposal.

In addition to policy development, records managers also play a vital role in developing classification systems for records organization. This includes creating a logical and intuitive system for categorizing records, making it easier for employees to locate and access information when needed.

Another important aspect of the job is training staff on proper records handling and storage. This involves conducting workshops and training sessions to educate employees on best practices for managing records, including how to properly store physical documents and how to use digital records management systems effectively.

Records managers are also responsible for conducting audits to ensure regulatory compliance. This involves regularly reviewing records management practices within the organization to ensure that all legal and regulatory requirements are being met. Audits help identify any gaps or areas for improvement, allowing the records manager to take corrective actions as necessary.

Collaboration with IT teams is another crucial part of a records manager's role. They work closely with IT professionals to manage digital records and information systems. This includes overseeing the implementation and maintenance of electronic records management systems, ensuring that they are secure, accessible, and user-friendly.

Lastly, records managers are responsible for overseeing the secure disposal of records that have reached their retention period. This involves developing and implementing processes for the destruction or deletion of records in a manner that complies with legal and regulatory requirements.

Work Environment and Schedule

Records managers typically work in office settings, either within organizations or as consultants. The work environment may vary depending on the industry and organization size.

Most records managers work full-time, Monday to Friday, with occasional overtime during projects or audits. Flexibility is essential, as some organizations may require records managers to be available during specific business hours or for emergency situations.

Overall, the day-to-day life of a records manager is dynamic and multifaceted. It requires a combination of technical expertise, organizational skills, and the ability to work collaboratively with various stakeholders to ensure effective records management practices throughout the organization.

Salary and Compensation Expectations

Now, let's talk about salary and compensation expectations for records managers:

Records management is a crucial role within organizations, ensuring that important documents and information are properly organized and maintained. As such, records managers are compensated for their expertise and the value they bring to the organization.

Entry-Level Salary

As an entry-level records manager, you can expect a starting salary of around £20,000 to £25,000 per year. This salary range provides a fair compensation for individuals who are new to the field and are building their skills and experience.

It is important to note that entry-level salaries may vary depending on several factors. Location plays a significant role, as salaries in major cities such as London tend to be higher compared to other areas. Additionally, the industry and organization size can also impact the salary range. For example, records managers working in the financial sector may have higher starting salaries compared to those in non-profit organizations.

Salary Progression and Factors Influencing Pay

With experience and advanced skills, records managers can earn higher salaries. As you progress in your career, you can expect your salary to increase accordingly.

Senior records managers, who have accumulated several years of experience and have demonstrated their expertise in the field, can make anywhere between £30,000 to £50,000 per year or more. The exact salary will depend on various factors, such as the responsibilities associated with the role and the size of the organization.

Several factors can influence your pay as a records manager:

  • Years of experience: The more experience you have, the more valuable you become to employers. As you gain expertise in records management, you can negotiate higher salaries.
  • Level of education and certifications: Having a relevant degree or certifications in records management can enhance your marketability and potentially lead to higher-paying opportunities.
  • Industry and organization size: Different industries and organizations have varying budgets and resources allocated to records management. Industries such as healthcare and legal services, which deal with sensitive and confidential information, may offer higher salaries to attract skilled records managers.
  • Location: Salaries can also vary based on geographic location. For instance, records managers working in major cities like London may receive higher compensation compared to those in smaller towns or rural areas.

It's important to research and consider these factors when determining your salary expectations as a records manager. By understanding the market trends and demand for your skills, you can negotiate a fair and competitive compensation package.

Preparing for a Career as a Records Manager

Now that you have a good understanding of the role, educational requirements, and job market for records managers, it's time to prepare for your career:

Building a Competitive Resume

When crafting your resume, highlight your relevant education, certifications, and any hands-on experience you gained through internships or volunteering. Include keywords related to the field to ensure your resume stands out to hiring managers who use applicant tracking systems.

Don't forget to tailor your resume for each application, emphasizing your skills and experiences that align with the specific job requirements.

Acing the Interview Process

During interviews, showcase your knowledge of records management principles and demonstrate your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Be prepared to provide examples of how you have successfully implemented records management practices and handled challenges in previous roles or academic projects.

Show enthusiasm for the field and a willingness to learn and adapt to emerging trends and technologies. Stay updated with the latest industry news and developments to confidently discuss the current state of records management.

The Future of Records Management

As technology continues to advance and regulations become more stringent, the future of records management is evolving. Here are a couple of significant trends to watch:

Technological Advances in Records Management

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning has the potential to revolutionize records management. AI-powered solutions can automate record classification, retention scheduling, and even assist in records retrieval.

Cloud-based storage and collaboration tools also offer new opportunities for records managers to streamline processes, enhance accessibility, and promote remote work.

The Impact of Regulations and Compliance on the Role

Data protection regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have increased the importance of effective records management. Records managers must stay updated with changes in regulations and proactively ensure compliance within their organizations.

Additionally, environmental sustainability initiatives are influencing records management practices. The shift toward digital records and reducing paper usage aligns with sustainability goals while improving access and efficiency.


Becoming a records manager can be an exciting and rewarding career choice. As organizations recognize the value of efficient records management, the demand for skilled professionals continues to grow.

By pursuing relevant education, obtaining certifications, and staying informed about industry trends, you can position yourself as a strong candidate in the job market. Remember to tailor your resume, ace the interviews, and embrace technological advancements to stay ahead in the field.

With your knowledge and expertise, you'll play a pivotal role in helping organizations effectively manage their records in the digital age in the UK.

Charlie Mart
Aspiring business leader driven to change the world through tech⚡️ The late Steve Jobs once said 'the only way to do great work is to love what you do'. Following these wise words, I am currently focused on growing Huzzle so every student can find their dream graduate job 💚
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