File Clerks Average Salary, What They Do and More

File Clerks organize information

File clerks file correspondence, cards, invoices, receipts, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used.

They also locate and remove material from file when requested.

In 2019, file clerks made an average salary of $34,610 a year.

As a file clerk, you’ll be doing clerical work, which can be repetitive and detail-oriented.

If you do not have a junk drawer at your house and you love noticing the small stuff, this could be a good job for you.

Here’s a video about what a file clerk does.

File clerks have to be highly organized and enjoy working in an established structure.

File Clerk Job Duties

  • Scanning or reading incoming materials to determine how and where they should be filed.
  • Inputing data into a computer.
  • Typing, answering telephones, operating office machines, processing mail, or securing confidential materials.
  • Sort or classify information according to guidelines, such as content, purpose, user criteria, or chronological, alphabetical, or numerical order.
  • Answering questions about records or files.
  • Keeping records of materials filed or removed, using logbooks or computers and generate computerized reports.
  • Adding new material to file records or create new records as necessary.
  • Gather materials to be filed from departments or employees.
  • Find, retrieve, and make copies of information from files in response to requests and deliver information to authorized users.
  • Track materials removed from files to ensure that borrowed files are returned.
  • Place materials into storage receptacles, such as file cabinets, boxes, bins, or drawers, according to classification and identification information.
  • Eliminate outdated or unnecessary materials, destroying them or transferring them to inactive storage, according to file maintenance guidelines or legal requirements.
  • Perform periodic inspections of materials or files to ensure correct placement, legibility, or proper condition.
  • Modify or improve filing systems or implement new filing systems.
  • Design forms related to filing systems.
  • Complete general financial activities, such as processing accounts payable, reviewing invoices, collecting cash payments, or issuing receipts.
  • Operate mechanized files that rotate to bring needed records to a particular location.
  • Assign and record or stamp identification numbers or codes to index materials for filing.
  • Retrieve documents stored in microfilm or microfiche and place them in viewers for reading.

Where Do File Clerks Work?

File clerks work in an office setting and have contact with people throughout the day. This can be through a phone call or in-person.

File Clerks held 102,300 jobs in 2019 according to

These industries were the top employers of file clerks as of May 2019.

Industry # Employed 2019
Legal Services 13,940
Local Government 11,860
Doctors’ Offices 7,360
Employment Services 5,260
Hospitals 5,220

They usually work in an office environment and sit for long periods of time. They use email and telephones and must be able to use database and spreadsheet software.

File clerks have near-constant interaction with other people and many times work as part of a team.

Work Schedules

Most file clerks work full time, although part-time work is common.

They usually work during normal business hours.

How to Be a File Clerk

To be a file clerk, you’ll need a high school diploma. You’ll also need knowledge of: administrative and clerical procedures

  • word processing
  • managing files and records
  • stenography and transcription
  • designing forms
  • customer service

Typing is also a fundamental skill you’ll need as a file clerk.

You can test your typing speed at for free.

You’ll catch the attention of hiring managers if you:

  • Have previous experience as a file clerk
  • Know how to use MS Office
  • Can use a copy machine and a document scanner
  • Know how to handle confidential information
  • Have customer service experience.

Types of Filing Systems You Should Know

Alphabetical Filing System

This is where you arrange records according to name – either the name of the person, company or subject according to the letters of the alphabet.

Numeric Filing System

This is when you assign numbers to each file and arrange the numbers in sequential order. This filing system eliminates confusion if you have several files with the same name.

Alphanumeric Filing System

Use both letters and numbers to organize files in the alphanumeric filing system. For example, use two letters to signify the state the client lives in, followed by a number to denote his account number. This allows for easier presorting when needing to pull out a large quantity of files from the same location.

Terminal Digit Filing System

If you have a large number of files, terminal digit filing assigns files numbers in sequential order, but you file them based on the last two digits. This video explains the system.

How Much a File Clerk Makes

In May 2019, the average salary for a file clerk was $34,610. Half of all file clerks made more than $32,710 a year, with the highest 10% percent of earners making $50,740.

The top-paying industries were:

Industry Median Salary 2019
Federal Executive Branch $61,980
Natural Gas Distribution $59,280
Telecommunications $52,220
Generation, Transmission & Distribution $48,130
Film and Video Industry $44,050

These are the median salaries for the industries that employ the most file clerks.

Industry Median Salary 2019
Local Government $39,310
Employment Services $35,170
Hospitals $34,130
Legal Services $33,740
Doctor’s Offices $28,870

These are the top-paying states for file clerk salaries.

Location Median Salary 2019
District of Columbia $46,340
Massachusetts $38,810
Washington $38,540
Illinois $37,400
Maryland $37,030

File Clerk Sample Resume

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Helpful Udemy Courses for Becoming a File Clerk

File Clerk Interview Questions

1. Do you consider yourself meticulous, and provide an example of this.

A file clerk has to pay attention to detail, this question gives the interview an idea of how important you pay attention to details.

2. Could you explain the importance of filing records accurately?

3. How do you manage to stay focused while performing repetitive tasks?

4. A file is missing, or misfiled. What is your process for locating the document? What would you do if you could not find the document?

5. Which aspects of your job do you enjoy most?

6. Share an effective way you work with a large amount of information/data. How has your approach affected your company?

File Clerk Personality Type

A file clerk is a good job fit if you are an ISFJ personality. ISFJs like to work with information. If they can organize it, that’s even better. Being a file clerk has a blend of organization and service that appeals to this personality type.

The letters in the ISFJ stand for introvert, sensing, feeling and judging. Being an introvert means they process information internally and tend to be shy or reserved. ISFJs are also sensing, as opposed to intuitive, like the INFJ personality type.

Sensors are more practical, working with the information that is right in front of them. This makes being a file clerk easier because they work with the established criteria at face-value.

An intuitive thinker might have the urge to tinker with the system to give it additional meaning. Like filing ice cream under d for dairy and dessert.

Is It the Right Career Fit?

Don’t know your personality type or O*NET Profile? Take a free personality or career test.

The O*NET Interest Profiler puts occupations into a combination of 6 interests based on the type of work you would be doing.

These interests are what you most want from your work. They are:

  • Artistic
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Social

File Clerk O*NET Career Test Results


These jobs involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually, there is a clear line of authority to follow.


This work is solving practical, hands-on problems. You could work outside, have little to no paperwork and few personal interactions.


These jobs involve starting up and carrying out projects. This can involve leading people and making decisions.

Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Values Fulfilled as a File Clerk


These jobs offer supportive management that stands behind employees.


As a file clerk, you provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.


Being a file clerk, you often get to work on your own and make decisions.

Salary and job information is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook.

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File Clerk Job Search Tools

If you are searching for a job as a file clerk, you may want to check out job titles such as:

  • Claims Clerk
  • Clerk
  • Documentation Specialist
  • Human Resources Assistant
  • Manufacturing Clerk
  • Medical Records Clerk
  • Office Assistant
  • Police Records Clerk
  • Records Clerk

Types of Information Clerk Jobs

File clerks are part of a profession known as information clerks. Other possible jobs you could apply for include:

Correspondence clerks who respond to inquiries from the public or customers.

They prepare standard responses to requests for merchandise, damage claims, delinquent accounts, incorrect billings, or complaints about unsatisfactory service.

They may also check the organization’s records and type response letters for their supervisors to sign.

Court clerks organize and maintain records for courts of law.

They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about upcoming court appearances. Court clerks also receive, file, and send court documents.

Eligibility interviewers ask questions both in person and over the phone to determine whether applicants qualify for government assistance and benefits.

They provide information about programs and may refer applicants to other agencies for assistance.

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks, also called front desk clerks, provide customer service to guests at the establishment’s front desk.

They check guests in and out, assign rooms, and process payments.

They also keep occupancy records; take, confirm, or change room reservations; and provide information about the hotel’s policies and services.

In addition, front desk clerks answer phone calls, take and deliver messages for guests, and handle guests’ requests and complaints.

Human resources assistants provide administrative support to human resources managers.

They maintain personnel records on employees, including their addresses, employment history, and performance evaluations.

They may post information about job openings and compile candidates’ résumé for review.

Interviewers ask questions over the phone, in person, through mail, or online. They use the information to complete forms, applications, or questionnaires for market research surveys, census forms, and medical histories. Interviewers typically follow set procedures and questionnaires to get specific information.

License clerks process applications for licenses and permits, including administering tests and collecting fees.

They determine whether applicants are qualified to receive a particular license or must submit additional documentation. They also maintain records of applications received and licenses issued.

Municipal clerks provide administrative support for town or city governments by maintaining government records.

They record, file, and distribute minutes of town or city council meetings to local officials and staff and help prepare for elections. They may also answer information requests from local, state, and federal officials and the public.

Order clerks receive requests from customers and process their payments, which may involve entering the customer address and payment method into the order-entry system.

They also answer questions about prices and shipping.

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks take and confirm passengers’ bookings for hotels and transportation.

They also sell and issue tickets and answer questions about itineraries, rates, and tours. Ticket agents who work at airports and railroads also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.

File Clerk Sample Resume

Tracey Lamphere

Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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