This post presents exhaustive information on the office clerk job description and career, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.
It also provides ideas on how to become an office clerk and the requirements you need to fulfill to be hired for the position, as well as the salary office clerks earn.
What Does an Office Clerk Do?
An office clerk is a white-collar worker who attends to general office tasks, or a worker who engages in similar sales-related duties in a retail environment.
The job description of the office clerk involves filling, record keeping, staffing service counters, and other administrative tasks.
Clerks are called different names: clerical assistants and clerical workers are just two of them. Whatever your title as an office clerk, you’ll help manage the more routine administration tasks within an organization and your role will be more or less the same.
Office clerks are a jack of all trade in and around the office. They might process data and answer phones. They might also be involved in faxing, message delivery, running errands, envelope stuffing and mailing, and sorting incoming mails.
Each office clerk job varies and is a little different by the office type. For instance, a clerk working in a marketing firm will have different duties compared to one working in a hospital office.
You will more likely be doing a little bit of everything while getting started as an office clerk, however, as you gain more skills, you will be become a clerk manager or be able to specialize.
Office Clerk Job Description Example/Sample/Template
The following example of job description consists of duties, tasks, and responsibilities which you will perform as an office clerk in an organization:
- Greet clients warmly and answer phones
- Assist the office in filing duties
- Perform basic bookkeeping duties
- Compile financial records
- Perform dictation stenography
- Reroute calls to appropriate quarters
- Answer inquiries about company
- Get water for staff and/or prepare coffee
- Insert bills in mails and envelopes
- Hang company policies on walls around the office
- Operate office machines like personal computers, scanners, photocopiers, facsimile machines and voice mail systems
- Retrieve files for personnel
- Take and deliver messages
- Sort as well as distribute incoming mail
- Fix malfunctioning office equipment or call the person in charge of maintenance
- Count or measure mail
- Regularly adhere to business procedure guidelines
- Obey all safety procedures
- Maintain all reporting documentation and logs and, pay attention to detail
- Perform other duties assigned and take part in cross-training
- Operate copy, scanning and mailing equipment
- Handle shipping and receiving
- Handle time-sensitive material like urgent and confidential packages
- Demonstrate friendly and cooperative attitude and maintain high level of customer care
- Scan incoming mail to recipients
- Perform file pulls and purges
- Create and ship files
- Provide backfill as needed
- Enter information into spreadsheets daily
- Sort and deliver small packages and mail
- Schedule meetings and also prepare conference rooms
- Call IT department for computer assistance when needed
- Post work schedules
- Perform data entry
- Prepare payroll checks
- Restock supply closet with printing ink, pens, paper, paper clips, staplers, folders, files, and correction fluid
Office Clerk Job Description for Resume
A resume for the office clerk position can be written using information from the job description sample above, especially in writing the job history part of the resume.
Office Clerk Requirements: Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success
Here are important qualities any one aspiring to the position of office clerk should possess to be considered for employment by most employers.
- Communication: office clerks always receive incoming calls and other information that needs to get to the right department. Because they work closely with several people in the office, they must have good people skills and speak clearly
- Computer Skills: it is a must for office clerks to possess computer skills because you will have to work with computers to create data, spreadsheets, word processing documents and many other projects
- Possess customer service skills
- Ability to give attention to details without giving room to avoidable mistakes or errors
Office Clerk Salary
The average salary for an office clerk is $63,277 per year. The highest paying states are: New York, NY, $73,389; Los Angeles, CA, $69,540; Chicago, IL, $68,743; Baltimore, MD, $66,458; and Brooklyn, NY, $66,370 per year.
There are currently over 1,155,304 office clerks employed in the United States.
Women make up 76.7% of all office clerks, while men make up 23.3%.
An employed office clerk is 46 years old on average.
White office clerks are the most common ethnicity (55.4%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (23.4%), Black or African American (10.6%), and Asian (7.4%).
Office Clerk Career Opportunities
An office clerk can go into other career paths, including:
A career in accounting will usually involve keeping financial records, preparing tax documents, and working with bookkeeping software.
Professional accountants sometimes work outside of the office (staying in contact via telephone and email and performing their work on laptops), although many spend up to half of their time at an outside location such as a client’s office, commercial establishment or production facility.
In a clerkship, the individual will normally work under the supervision of a lawyer for an agreed period of time.
At the end of this period, once the individual has had time to get to know the clients and their requirements, it may be possible to start preparing briefs or preparing documents at home if their circumstances allow.
An operations job involves working in a clerical job in a fast-paced environment where routine, repetitive tasks must be carried out by a team.
The duties of this job frequently require a high level of organization and attention to detail.
These positions are almost always office-based and, unlike many clerical jobs, they often come with a full suite of benefits.
4. Detectives/Law Enforcement
In addition to their clerical duties, clerical workers who work in law enforcement may also be expected to perform some detective duties such as gathering information about a suspect or an incident.
They may also be required to document the evidence that is collected at the scene.
These duties might include taking photographs, collecting fingerprints, and interviewing witnesses.
A secretarial career involves working as a secretary or assistant to a member of an office staff.
In a clerical setting, the secretarial position may involve administration tasks, such as filing and organizing reports.
The position would entail typing letters and memos, making phone calls, and organizing office supplies.
When available, this job would often involve working from home via the Internet or other means that allow for reasonable remote work.
In this position, the individual would normally be responsible for managing the day-to-day running of the office.
In some cases, this may involve spending long periods at an outside location, such as a client’s office or commercial establishment.
Individuals working in administration may have the opportunity to work from home in this role.
7. Financial Secretary
In a financial secretary position, the individual would usually be responsible for managing all aspects of the office’s finances, from handling office cash to managing the office budget.
The duties of a financial secretary include handling and routing payments, filing bank reports, maintaining invoices and keeping track of expenses.
Financial secretaries might have the opportunity to work from home in this role.
8. Legal Secretary/Personal Assistant
In a legal secretary/personal assistant position, the individual will normally be assigned to the office of a lawyer.
This is often the case in large law firms or in federal and state governments.
The duties of this job would include taking messages, organizing calendars, collecting case files, and maintaining client information.
This position would often involve working remotely from home via the Internet or other means that allow for reasonable remote work.
9. Executive Secretary
In an executive secretary position, the individual would usually be responsible for managing general office matters for a senior staff member.
Duties might include making travel arrangements, preparing expense reports, answering the phone, and taking minutes at meetings.
The executive secretary may also be required to organize the office’s computer system and handle other administrative responsibilities.
In a clerical or administrative role, an office clerk may be asked to create videos that require special filming and editing skills.
Individuals may need to work with basic video equipment, as well as use a computer and a digital camera.
The general duties of clerical workers who work in the field of videography would include creating videos that are used to communicate directly with viewers or customers.
Challenges faced by Office Clerk on the Job
Some of the challenges faced by office clerks in their job include:
- Occupational Hazards
Working in an office can be dangerous, especially for office workers who perform safety-related duties.
In a workplace with many employees, the risk of injury to a clerk can be substantial due to the number of people that are working in close proximity.
Occupational hazards that occur frequently in clerical work include trauma from accidents involving machinery or vehicle incidents.
2. Job Insecurity
Job insecurity is a term that refers to the constant fear or anxiety that one will lose their current job.
One of the biggest reasons for this is the outsourcing of jobs. Because of cheap labor in other countries, many companies are choosing to outsource their work, causing more people to lose their jobs back home.
Some other causes of job insecurity would include the reduction and consolidation of companies, cost cutting measures that could result in layoffs, and budget cuts for office expenses.
3. Time Pressure
Another common challenge faced by office clerks is time pressure. Clerks are constantly being expected to achieve more in less time and with fewer resources.
This has led to many clerks feeling rushed when doing their work. Because of this, they often make mistakes and fail to perform their duties as well as they could have done if they had more time or resources.
How to Become an Office Clerk
If you are interested in becoming an office clerk, here are the steps you can take:
- Complete High School
An office clerk typically requires a High School diploma. If their high school offers them, aspiring clerks should take computer skill and office practice classes to prepare themselves for an office clerk job.
2. Finish a Certification Course
Aspiring clerks should think about taking a course in general office procedures, computer literacy, and common computer applications like word processing and spreadsheets.
Though, the completion of a certification course is not required, taking one voluntarily will help aspiring clerks gain the skills required for the job.
Certificate programs for office clerks are typically offered at vocational schools or community colleges.
3. Apply for Office Clerk Jobs
Candidates should research companies with open office clerk positions and send their resumes and cover letters in accordance with the application instructions.
4. Obtain on-the-job Training
Office clerks are trained to perform specific tasks and learn the company’s operational practices in addition to basic office skills such as typing, word processing, and phone etiquette.
For example, if the company uses a database or accounting software, the employer will train the office clerk on how to use the database effectively.
Major Benefits of an Office Clerk Career
The office clerk career comes with different benefits like the following:
- Very Lucrative
The office clerk career is very lucrative. It offers high-paid jobs; also it is an emerging career choice in the United States.
The annual salary of an office clerk ranges from $25,000 to $65,000 per year depending upon the nature and experience requirement for the job.
2. Job Growth
The office clerk career offers a lot of job growth in the coming years. There will be a high demand for office clerks in the coming future.
3. Good Career Choice for Women
For women who want to start a lucrative career, but are afraid of risk of working in a construction site or other male-dominated environment, the office clerk job offers a great option.
4. Suitable for Mothers
The office clerk job gives you options to be a mother and work at the same time because it is not stressful at all, unlike the careers which are demanding.
5. Job Stability
The most significant benefits of being an office clerk is job stability because the office clerk career does not have a high turnover rate.
This is because office clerks are required to be consistent in their work and do not miss out on a lot of time.
6. Low Stress
The office clerk career is a low stress one. It is not very demanding and has limitations on your working hours.
The only pressure that comes with this job is the time pressure. The clerk has got to juggle with the time to complete all the tasks given to them before they go home because some work include handling of information and documents that are very confidential.
7. Start-up or Entry-level Career
Working as an office clerk is a great start up career. It is a prestigious job, which can open other doors for you to go for higher jobs.
It is evident that office clerks have many benefits and are a great career choice for all ages.
This post is helpful to individuals interested in becoming an office clerk, to learn all they need to know about what the role entails.
It is also useful to recruiters/employers who want to write a job description for the position; they can apply the sample office clerk job description provided above in making one for their organizations.