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General Office Clerks

What General Office Clerks Do

General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=918owLdYnts

Work Environment

Although general office clerks are employed in nearly every industry, many work in schools, healthcare facilities, and government offices. 

How to Become a General Office Clerk

General office clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Most learn their skills on the job.

Pay

The median hourly wage for general office clerks was $16.37 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Employment of general office clerks is projected to decline 5 percent from 2019 to 2029. Nevertheless, overall job opportunities should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave this very large occupation.

General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.

Duties

General office clerks typically do the following:

  • Answer and transfer telephone calls or take messages
  • Sort and deliver incoming mail and send outgoing mail
  • Schedule appointments and receive customers or visitors
  • Provide general information to staff, clients, or the public
  • Type, format, or edit routine memos or other reports
  • Copy, file, and update paper and electronic documents
  • Prepare and process bills and other office documents
  • Collect information and perform data entry

Rather than performing a single specialized task, general office clerks have responsibilities that often change daily with the current needs of the employer.

Some clerks file documents or answer phones; others enter data into computers or perform other tasks using software applications. They also frequently use photocopiers, scanners, fax machines, and other office equipment.

The specific duties assigned to clerks will depend on the type of office in which they work. For example, a general office clerk at a college or university may process application materials and answer questions from prospective students, while a clerk at a hospital may file and retrieve medical records.

General office clerks held about 3.1 million jobs in 2019. The largest employers of general office clerks were as follows:

Educational services; state, local, and private 12%
Healthcare and social assistance 12
Government 9
Administrative and support services 8
Professional, scientific, and technical services 8

General office clerks usually work in office settings.

Work Schedules

Most general office clerks work full time.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of general office clerks.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations and check financial records for accuracy.

Some college, no degree $41,230

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and answer questions.

High school diploma or equivalent $34,710

Information Clerks

Information clerks perform routine clerical duties, maintain records, collect data, and provide information to customers.

See How to Become One $35,390

Material Recording Clerks

Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule.

High school diploma or equivalent $30,010

Receptionists

Receptionists do tasks such as answering phones, receiving visitors, and providing information about their organization to the public.

High school diploma or equivalent $30,050

Secretaries and administrative assistants

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties.

High school diploma or equivalent $39,850

The Handbook does not have contacts for more information for this occupation.

O*NET

Office Clerks, General


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, General Office Clerks,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/general-office-clerks.htm (visited ).


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Kate Williams

Kate Williams is a business communications expert and is the editor of Job Affirmations. She is a professional resume writer and has studied Myers-Briggs personality types and how they influence career choice. Job Affirmations has hundreds of job descriptions categorized by the 16 Myers-Briggs types, by career interests and work values. Kate also shares her best writing tips including the proper formatting of emails and cover letters You'll find positive affirmations for work, inspirational quotes, career vision boards for your best year ever.

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