What Is Clerical Work?

Clerical work typically refers to a variety of office and administrative support duties. If you're interested in a career in clerical work, read on to learn more about the nature of the profession and the variety of occupations available. Schools offering Office Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Clerical Work

Clerical work generally involves day-to-day office tasks, such as answering phones and entering data into spreadsheets. These tasks may be performed by secretaries, office clerks and administrative assistants. Other duties traditionally associated with clerical work include:

  • Word processing and typing
  • Sorting and filing
  • Photocopying and collating
  • Record keeping
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Minor bookkeeping

Important Facts About Clerical Work

Required Education High school diploma, or equivalent
On-the-Job Training Short-term; typically a few weeks
Key Skills Clear communication, reading comprehension, time management, critical thinking, problem solving, organization, deductive reasoning
Similar Occupations Receptionists, compensation and benefits managers, human resources specialists, labor relations specialists

Technology and Clerical Work

The above duties have changed with developments in technology, including the operation of sophisticated computer systems, printers, copiers and other technologies. As a clerk, you'll need to be familiar with the equipment and software used in offices.

Specializations

Clerks are employed in a wide range of industries, applying their organizational and office skills to meet the needs of their employers. While some are general office clerks, others specialize in one type of clerical work, such as business, finance and government. These professionals may fulfill more complex tasks.

Business

There are a variety of clerical roles available in a multitude of business settings, and specific duties vary by company and department. Payroll clerks, for example, verify and process employees' paychecks, while shipping and receiving clerks process paperwork for ingoing and outgoing orders. Other positions include mail, file, billing and stock clerks. The business sector also offers many opportunities for general office clerks and secretaries.

Finance

Banking and financial institutions employ a large number of clerks. Along with general office duties, these professionals may be responsible for money-related clerical tasks. For example, brokerage clerks tend to work with investments and securities, which can include writing and processing stock and bond orders and keeping records of financial transactions. Other clerks may focus on office duties related to loans, claims or adjustments.

Government

General clerks and administrative assistants may find employment in all sectors of government. You may serve as a court clerk, preparing dockets and performing tasks for judges, lawyers and witnesses. You might choose to work as a license clerk for your state's Department of Motor Vehicles or as a municipal clerk who attends and documents city council meetings.

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