An office clerk job description shows that they are the person in the office who completes many of the necessary but often overlooked tasks. They are key to an office running smoothly. Clerks help with organization, answering phones, accommodating visitors, and scheduling meetings. These professionals are expected to know how all of the equipment in the office works and troubleshoot as necessary.
If you are interested in learning all about what they do, then this office clerk job description will give you basic information and more. The article covers the education and experience required, what they daily tasks are, what skills are necessary to doing the job well, and if there is a positive or negative job outlook.
What Does a Clerk Do?
Every day the office clerk will do something different. Therefore, their job varies based on the needs of the business where they work. They will have to answer incoming phone calls and transfer them to the appropriate person, receive packages and sign for them if necessary. In addition, clerks need to prepare documents or presentations for different meetings, scan, fax, or copy documents, keep an inventory of supplies and order new supplies when needed and write checks for various bills.
This clerk job description specifies requirements of a high school diploma, or equivalent, and excellent organizational skills. The median office clerk salary is $12.00 an hour or $30,293 annually. Additionally, they can get bonuses and profit shares if the business is doing well.
Clerk Job Description for Resume – Responsibilities
It is likely that an office clerk resume can include many responsibilities beyond those described below. This is due to the multifaceted nature of the job. However, the points below are a good starting place for you to build the experience section of your resume if you’re interested in clerical work.
- Answer telephone calls, take appropriate messages and know when people can take direct calls or when voicemails should be left.
- Enter basic data information either for a research lab or a data science company.
- Schedule meetings using the appropriate software.
- Sort incoming and outgoing mail and deliver it to the right people.
- Place informative packets for clients or visitors and replenish materials when necessary.
- Make copies of appropriate documents and send and receive faxes.
- Keep accurate records of incoming and outgoing payments.
These are based on a list of duties from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Clerk Required Skills
- Typing skills. Clerks will have to type many different documents all day. Superior typing speed helps them accomplish their tasks faster. There are a variety of free training modules online to improve typing ability.
- Microsoft Office skills. An office clerk who comes in with a certain level of proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, or Outlook will be able to complete their job effectively. Luckily, the features in these products are relatively limitless.
- Customer service skills. A smiling face and polite yet confident personality are crucial for office clerks. They are the first person that a client, customer, or visitor sees. Therefore, their presence leaves a strong impression of the company or business.
- Organizational skills. Staying organized is perhaps the most important of the clerical skills. They handle many different documents and files both in physical and electronic format. Using a functional organization system and naming protocol will make the work of the company more seamless.
How to Become a Clerk
Office clerks require a high school diploma or G.E.D. However, they can learn most of the clerical skills on the job. Many colleges offer certificates or training. These certificates are optional but can show a potential employer that you are serious about becoming the best clerk you can be.
Education & Training Requirements
The clerk job description requires a diploma. If a student seeks employment in this field, then they can take courses in a business or vocational track. These tracks should expose them to valuable clerical skills and classes such as business math, accounting, computer applications, and business communications.
Certificates are optional for these professionals, and they show an added level of expertise. An example certificate program is 12 credits, and students take professional keyboarding, introduction to Microsoft Office, business communications, and applied computer technology. If finances are a concern, Goodwill offers online training in Microsoft Office for free.
Much of the training for these professionals occurs on the job. The first couple of months of employment will be training. They will learn different tasks and processes such as the protocol for answering phones, scheduling meetings, or sending listserv emails.
There is no prior work experience needed for a clerk. However, experience in customer service is preferred. They can learn the hard skills during training. That includes entering data correctly, preparing documents, and scheduling meetings. However, excelling in customer services only comes with clerical experience.
Some employers may prefer that office clerk managers or supervisors have prior experience. However, there are placement companies that can help you find a position that suits your experience. These companies look at various job descriptions and match you with possible positions.
There are office clerks in all industries from healthcare to education to for-profit corporations. Around 75 percent of clerks work full time and 25 percent work part time. They will work normal office hours from either 8 AM or 9 AM to 4 PM or 5 PM. Evening, weekend, and holiday hours are virtually unheard of for clerks. A normal day involves checking email, scheduling meetings, making phone calls, greeting visitors, saving necessary information, and creating documents or reports.
Their work environment is indoors and sedentary. Office clerks do not often get a say in the furniture or lighting of their desk. However, finding a company that embraces user-design can lead to a more productive work climate because it gives the user power in establishing their space.
Office clerk job growth depends on the economy and indirectly to technological developments. Some industries are set to experience more rapid growth than others. Thus, projections of clerk employment vary by industry. Healthcare fields will experience higher growth. Technology has impacted their jobs because AI can handle many of the tasks they do such as data entry, transcription, or phone calls.
Career advancement looks promising for these professionals. Typical paths are to become an administrative assistant, office manager, customer service representative, or accounting clerk. The median clerk salary is $30,293. From an hourly perspective, professionals who work in government see the highest median pay followed be healthcare, education, and administrative services.
Once seen as a fundamental part of all office settings, clerks are still necessary but experiencing a rapid change in their job structure. A clerk job description shows that technology impacts what they need to do and companies have transferred their responsibilities to other professionals. They have a lot of variation in the tasks they complete and enjoy high job satisfaction. The skills learned as a clerk are also transferable to many other settings. In many ways, their occupation resembles that of a paralegal, only in a different setting.