Office clerks are an integral part of any office. They perform a number of tasks dependent upon the office and need. Office clerks do not have one specialized task they perform but a multitude of tasks instead.
What to Expect
Office clerks do not have a specific set of tasks and responsibilities that they are responsible for each and every day. Instead they must perform a series of tasks as directed by the office administrator, manager, or other head of staff.
The duties of an office clerk vary depending upon the office and situation. An office clerk employed in a medical office will spend his day handling medications, setting appointments, and anything else as needed by the physician.
An office clerk employed by a business will take inventory, track orders, and other similar activities. All office clerks perform a set of basic functions that are the same no matter the career field.
Common duties of an office clerk are;
- Answering phones
- Entering information into databases
- Setting appointments
- Gather material as requested
- Keep records on payroll and scheduling
Computer skills are a must for anyone wanting to enter into this career. For those inexperienced there are duties that can be performed such as organizing, stuffing envelopes, and keep track of any inquires made of the company or office.
Experienced office clerks will be trusted with tasks such as ordering inventory, speaking with vendors, and handling customers. In fact, the more experience an office clerk has the more responsibilities they will receive.
Office clerks work full time sometimes requiring overtime as needed. They work in an office setting where punctuality, a neat appearance, and attitude are all very important.
Education, Training, and Certification
Office clerks require only a high school diploma. Many employers prefer previous office experience or additional training in clerical duties. For those interested in a position as an office clerk training can be found in high school and various vocational schools and community colleges.
Office clerks will need to;
- Understand basic computer skills
- Be able to operate word processor and other similar programs
- Exhibit proper phone etiquette
- Be able to multitask
- Handle stressful office situations
Office clerks who preform extremely well may be promoted to supervisor positions where they will oversee other clerks. Office clerks often advance to other position through additional training such as administrative assistant.
Office clerks should exhibit several characteristics such as;
- Friendly attitude
- Ability to work well with others
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good writing skills
- Fine verbal communication skills
- Attention to detail
For the most part office clerks can be found in small businesses. Nearly every industry and field does have need of general office clerks many of the larger companies and businesses choose to hire several different individuals with different specializations instead of one or two office clerks.
Office clerks can work in physician offices and private businesses.
There will continue to be a need for competent office clerks. This is due to the growth of businesses and the need to replace clerks who either advance in the industry or leave the industry all together.
As technology continues to advance office clerks will find that more and more of their duties are not automated. This is creating a need to be skilled in areas that are not easily automated. Exceptional customer service skills and the ability to perform functions such as handling irate customers or vendors will soon be highly prized.
Office clerks can seek additional training in an effort to ensure their continued employment. This additional training will even provide opportunities for advancement as well.
The average annual income for office clerks average at $25,000. This can differ depending on the office, and experience of the office clerk.
The editors of McGraw-Hill and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Big Book of Jobs, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013 ©2009 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Material "Adapted"