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Clerical jobs are an integral position in any company as their main goals are to perform various office tasks to keep the company running smoothly. To be successful in this entry-level position, top-notch clerks are capable of excellent communication with supervisors and other company leaders, have stellar computer skills and proper phone etiquette for favorable results.

Clerical Duties & Responsibilities

Clerks are the cornerstone of businesses as they are the workers that organize imperative documents and coordinate meetings with internal and external department heads with their excellent administrative skills.

Clerks are competent at starting, continuing, and completing tasks given to them by their supervisor. Clerks can delegate assignments to subordinate administrative agents to ensure the quality of work with more prominent projects.

Primary clerical responsibilities and duties are:

  •     Efficient utilization of office appliances for completion of assignments.
  •     Receiving and initiating outgoing phone calls
  •     Taking messages or redirecting calls to appropriate departments or supervisors.
  •     Maintaining inventory of office supplies.
  •     Retrieve, sort, prepare, and distribute mail.
  •     Taking minutes and documenting valuable information during meetings.

An essential skill for any clerical job is knowledge of computers and how to use them to accomplish any assignment that requires digital service.

Basic computer skills for clerical jobs come in the forms of navigating through the company’s chosen operation system like Linus, Windows, or iOS, superb use of a keyboard, creating online documents, and performing digital file management functions.

They are fast and accurate typists, a skill required for effective documentation and quick distribution of notes. Clerks will also learn about and become well-versed in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) programs like Microsoft Office and other data entry software.

Being a substantial clerk requires personal and professional traits that suggest competency in soft skills as well.

These soft skills look like:

  •     Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  •     Great organizational and multitasking skills
  •     Strong critical thinking skills
  •     Ability to work with minimal supervision
  •     Intact and appropriate professionalism

With experience, clerical workers will oversee office temporary workers, part-time students, and/or new hires and help them maneuver through different responsibilities and duties of a clerk.

Having solid skill in discretion is another trait of clerical jobs as these assistants have access to sensitive company information.

Clerical Work & Environmental Conditions

Clerks are the first people to greet incoming visitors, employees, and potential business partners. A clerk typically works indoors at a front desk, or assistants can work together as a group within a few feet of each other. Because of the nature of their work, clerks may experience noisy areas that can cause distraction and frustration.

Clerks’ work conditions can add moderate stress due to them having to be exact in their work and documentation, along with setting and completing projects with little consultation from their office manager.

Clerks work normal business hours of 8am to 5pm, with overtime during quarterly and annual meetings or tax preparation season. Clerks work Monday through Friday and have weekends and most federal holidays off with pay in some cases. The nature of work can also be repetitive which could cause boredom, frustration, and job dissatisfaction.

However, clerks have minor schedule flexibility with choosing between part-time or full-time work, and choosing whether or to work day shift, evening, or late-night shifts based on the office manager or supervisors work hours. Additionally, depending on the company, clerks may be entitled to traveling to other business locations for deliveries, pickups, or leadership meetings.

Clerical Degree & Education Requirement

The education for becoming a clerical worker requires the minimum of a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED). An associate degree also suffices as a credible degree for becoming an office worker.

The Associates degree comes in different forms like:

  •     Associates of Science
  •     Associates of Arts
  •     Associates of Applied Science
  •     Associates of Applied Business

With a minimum of one year of office experience, smaller companies could overlook the education in accordance with skill and superb references. In many cases, clerical workers have a bachelor’s degree. Choosing the right degree is important if you are considering becoming a clerical worker and working for a particular company or within a specific field.

Clerical workers can have higher level degrees in studies in:

  •     Business
  •     Psychology
  •     Criminal justice
  •     Accounting

Across different professional realms, clerical jobs have the same duties, but can alter based on the field of operation. Within these fields, an aspiring clerical worker can obtain certifications or licensures to enhance their resume and obtain a higher position, more qualitative responsibilities, and even higher pay.

According to PayScale, popular administrative and clerical certifications are:

  •     Notary Public
  •     Accounting Certificate
  •     Administrative Assistant Certification
  •     AAPC Certified Professional Coder (CPC)
  •     Professional in Human Resources

Other certifications can be obtained in human resource management, customer service, real estate and property management, forklift operations, and even accounting programs like QuickBooks. The average time to obtain any of these credentials is between six months and two years.

How Much Do Clerical Jobs Pay?

ZipRecruiter relays that as of February 2022, the nationwide wage for a clerical worker is $16 per hour and the medium salary is $35,330. The 25th percentile earns an average of $11.30 an hour, and administrative workers on the lower scale earn around $8.50.

However, the 75th percentile of clerical workers make an average of $15 an hour, while those with more experience and certification can make $30 an hour or more. ZipRecruiter also says that Arkansas, Colorado, and California are the top three states for the highest pay for administrative workers.

Clerical Job Outlook

Due to company’s streamlining their administrative duties with SaaS programs, employment for clerical jobs is projected to decline a mild 2% between 2020 and 2030, which is an approximate loss of about 324,000 general office jobs.

To stay competitive, future clerks should become knowledgeable with accounting and business organization software, and earn credentials that highlight professionalism, technical ability, and efficient organization skills

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