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Career profile Office Clerk

Also known as Administrative Clerk (Admin Clerk), Clerical Aide, Clerical Assistant, Clerk, General Clerk, Office Assistant, Office Clerk, Office Services Specialist, Office Support Assistant

Office Clerk

Also known as Administrative Clerk (Admin Clerk), Clerical Aide, Clerical Assistant

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$22,030 - $57,140 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Administrative
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Administration and Management
Core tasks
  • Operate office machines, such as photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems, and personal computers.
  • Answer telephones, direct calls, and take messages.
  • Communicate with customers, employees, and other individuals to answer questions, disseminate or explain information, take orders, and address complaints.
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What does an Office Clerk do?

Office Clerks perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring knowledge of office systems and procedures.

In addition, Office Clerks clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, office machine operation, and filing.

What kind of tasks does an Office Clerk perform regularly?

Office Clerks are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Operate office machines, such as photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems, and personal computers.
  • Answer telephones, direct calls, and take messages.
  • Communicate with customers, employees, and other individuals to answer questions, disseminate or explain information, take orders, and address complaints.
  • Maintain and update filing, inventory, mailing, and database systems, either manually or using a computer.
  • Compile, copy, sort, and file records of office activities, business transactions, and other activities.
  • Review files, records, and other documents to obtain information to respond to requests.
  • Open, sort, and route incoming mail, answer correspondence, and prepare outgoing mail.
  • Compute, record, and proofread data and other information, such as records or reports.
  • Complete work schedules, manage calendars, and arrange appointments.
  • Type, format, proofread, and edit correspondence and other documents, from notes or dictating machines, using computers or typewriters.
  • Inventory and order materials, supplies, and services.
  • Deliver messages and run errands.

The above responsibilities are specific to Office Clerks. More generally, Office Clerks are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing Administrative Activities
Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is an Office Clerk salary?

The median salary for an Office Clerk is $35,330, and the average salary is $37,770. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Office Clerk salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Office Clerks earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Office Clerks earn less than $22,030 per year, 25% earn less than $27,570, 75% earn less than $45,480, and 90% earn less than $57,140.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Office Clerks is expected to change by -2.1%, and there should be roughly 324,600 open positions for Office Clerks every year.

Median annual salary
$35,330
Typical salary range
$22,030 - $57,140
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-2.1%

What personality traits are common among Office Clerks?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Office Clerk are usually higher in their Conventional and Enterprising interests.

Office Clerks typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, Office Clerks typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Office Clerk tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Office Clerks strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Office Clerks moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Office Clerks somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Office Clerks must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, attention to detail, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Office Clerks, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Office Clerks need?

Working as an Office Clerk usually requires a high school diploma.

Office Clerks need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Office Clerks

  • 3.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 29.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 31.3% completed some college coursework
  • 13.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 18.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 3.9% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.8% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Office Clerks

Office Clerks may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administrative, customer and personal service, or administration and management knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Office Clerks might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Office Clerks

Office Clerks must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Office Clerks need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Office Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Office Clerks

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Office Clerks frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Office Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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