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Clerical Jobs - Become a Clerk

Clerical workers have always been the backbone of most offices. In the past, clerical staff members performed a wide range of tasks from answering the phone to answering customer correspondence, processing customer orders, and recordkeeping and entering data. Today, many of these tasks have become specialized jobs of their own, for example, customer service call centers and data entry departments. However, there are still many companies and government agencies that require clerical assistance.

Today, clerks may be more specialized in the kinds of tasks they perform, but they still process paperwork, enter data, perform filing, and similar duties.

In some departments they may also still answer the phone.

The working environment for most clerical workers is good. They may work in a large office, or in an individual cubicle. Clerks are provided with a desk and all the tools they need to perform their jobs, and most work regular office hours - a 40-hour work week. Occasionally they may need to work overtime, but this does not occur on a regular basis. Also, clerical workers usually do not travel, unless it is to go to a seminar or to receive training.

Clerical workers must be detail oriented and have the ability to multitask. They should also have good organizational and communication skills, and enjoy working as part of a team. If you are just entering the job market, or looking for a lower stress position, and you possess these qualities, you may want to obtain a clerical position. 

Here is a list of some of the most common clerical jobs available today:

  • Accounting clerk
  • Accounts payable clerk
  • Accounts receivable clerk
  • Adjustment clerk
  • Admitting clerk
  • Admitting/discharge clerk
  • Banking and commercial loan processing clerk
  • Claims clerk
  • Court clerk
  • Data entry clerk
  • File clerks
  • Licensing clerk
  • Medical billing clerk
  • Medical records clerk
  • Operations clerk
  • Paralegal
  • Payroll clerk
  • Personnel records clerk
  • Pharmacy service clerk
  • Receptionist
  • Shipping/Receiving clerk

Below we share more information about clerical careers including the future job market, the salary ranges in the field, and the education and training required to get a job as a clerk.

Employment Outlook

As you can see by looking over our list of clerical jobs, there are many different kinds of jobs in many fields, from banking and legal to retail and pharmacy jobs. The employment outlook for these positions depends somewhat on the job itself and which industry it is in. Generally speaking, file clerks and other paper-handling jobs will decrease in number dramatically in the coming years due to the impact of digital records.

However, other clerical jobs that aren’t paper-dependent will increase at an average rate, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau predicts a 16% increase in the number of clerical jobs by the year 2025.

Salary Outlook

Since most clerical jobs are considered entry level, the salaries associated with them are somewhat low. However, some highly specialized clerks, like accounting clerks or medical billing clerks, receive higher salaries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for clerks in most settings is about $25,000. But as mentioned, clerks in fields that require extra training and specialized knowledge can earn higher salaries. For example, loan processing clerks at banks can earn between $36,000 and $48,000 per year. Clerks also earn more the longer they stay in their positions, through pay raises.

Education and Training Requirements

Most employers do not expect their clerks to have more education than a high school diploma, however there are always exceptions. As mentioned, some clerks work in more specialized fields and in these positions, employers may require workers to have some prior basic knowledge and training. For example, medical billing clerks may need to receive training on how to code and bill insurance companies for payments. Accounting clerks may be required to have some basic knowledge of accounting.

Many employers may also prefer to hire employees who have earned a two-year technical or associate’s degree in business, accounting, or a related field. Since there will only be average growth in this job segment, competition for these jobs may increase. Having an associate’s degree may give job seekers a competitive edge over others who do not.

Once hired, clerical workers usually receive on the job training.

While the nature of some clerical work has changed over the course of the last several years, there will continue to be a demand for clerical workers, especially for those who have received some additional education and training. If you enjoy detail work and working as part of team, obtaining a clerical job may be a great way to start your career in a particular field.

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