Information Clerks


Information clerks do routine clerical tasks such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.

Duties

Information clerks typically do the following:

  • Prepare routine reports, claims, bills, or orders
  • Collect and record data from customers, staff, and the public
  • Answer questions from customers and the public about products or services
  • File and maintain paper or electronic records

Information clerks do routine clerical tasks in an organization, business, or government. They use telephones, computers, and other office equipment, such as scanners and shredders.

The following are examples of types of information clerks:

Correspondence clerks 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.

File clerks maintain electronic or paper records. They enter and retrieve data, organize records, and file documents. In organizations with electronic filing systems, file clerks scan and upload documents.

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.

Information clerks held about 1.5 million jobs in 2018. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up information clerks was distributed as follows:

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 265,400
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 204,600
Order clerks 166,800
Information and record clerks, all other 166,000
Court, municipal, and license clerks 150,500
Eligibility interviewers, government programs 145,200
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 133,700
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 129,300
File clerks 116,900
Correspondence clerks 5,900

The largest employers of information clerks were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals 13%
Healthcare and social assistance 12
Transportation and warehousing 7
Federal government 7
Administrative and support services 6

Information clerks work in nearly every industry. Although most clerks work in offices, interviewers may travel to applicants’ locations to meet with them.

The work of information clerks who provide customer service can be stressful, particularly when dealing with dissatisfied customers.

Reservation and transportation ticket agents at airports or shipping counters lift and maneuver heavy luggage or packages, which may weigh up to 100 pounds.

Injuries and Illnesses

Information clerks who work as reservation and transportation ticket agents are sometimes injured on the job. The most common injuries are muscle strains, such as those that may occur from lifting heavy suitcases.

Work Schedules

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks and file clerks.

Clerks in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job.

Education

Although candidates for most of these positions usually qualify with a high school diploma, human resources assistants generally need an associate’s degree. Regardless of whether they pursue a degree, courses in word processing and spreadsheet applications are particularly helpful.

Training

Most information clerks receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Training typically covers clerical procedures and the use of computer applications. Those employed in government receive training that may last several months and includes learning about government programs and regulations.

Advancement

Some information clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as secretaries and administrative assistants. With completion of a bachelor’s degree, some human resources assistants may become human resources specialists.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Information clerks must be able to explain policies and procedures clearly to customers and the public.

Integrity. Information clerks, particularly human resources assistants, have access to confidential information. They must be trusted to adhere to the applicable confidentiality and privacy rules governing the dissemination of this information.

Interpersonal skills. Information clerks who work with the public and customers must understand and communicate information effectively to establish positive relationships.

Organizational skills. Information clerks must be able to retrieve files and other important information quickly and efficiently.

The median annual wage for information clerks was $34,520 in May 2018.

The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,480, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $57,270.

Median annual wages for information clerks in May 2018 were as follows:

Eligibility interviewers, government programs $46,020
Information and record clerks, all other 40,950
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 40,390
Court, municipal, and license clerks 38,450
Correspondence clerks 37,290
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 37,220
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 34,060
Order clerks 33,460
File clerks 31,700
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 23,700

In May 2018, the median annual wages for information clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $46,160
Transportation and warehousing 39,480
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 39,400
Healthcare and social assistance 34,720
Administrative and support services 32,700

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks and file clerks.

Clerks who work in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Union Membership

Compared with workers in all occupations, some clerks have a higher percentage of workers who belong to a union. These include court, municipal, and license clerks; government program eligibility interviewers; and reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks.

Information Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2018

Total, all occupations

$38,640

Information clerks

$34,520

Information and record clerks

$33,090

 

Employment of information clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. Employment growth of information clerks will vary by occupation. (See table below.)

Growth in the overall employment of information clerks is expected to be limited as organizations and businesses combine their administrative functions. For example, businesses increasingly use online applications for benefits and employment, thereby streamlining the process and requiring fewer workers.

Furthermore, increased use of online ordering and reservations systems and self-service ticketing kiosks will result in the need for fewer clerks to process orders and maintain files. In some businesses, including medical offices, receptionists and other workers are increasingly performing tasks that used to be done by clerks.

Job Prospects

Overall job prospects should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. Workers with clerical or customer service experience and education beyond high school should have the best prospects.

Employment projections data for information clerks, 2018-28
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Information clerks

1,484,300 1,477,000 0 -7,300

Correspondence clerks

43-4021 5,900 5,800 -2 -100 Get data

Court, municipal, and license clerks

43-4031 150,500 157,200 4 6,700 Get data

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

43-4061 145,200 151,600 4 6,400 Get data

File clerks

43-4071 116,900 101,100 -13 -15,700 Get data

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

43-4081 265,400 248,700 -6 -16,700 Get data

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

43-4111 204,600 211,000 3 6,400 Get data

Order clerks

43-4151 166,800 165,700 -1 -1,100 Get data

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

43-4161 129,300 123,900 -4 -5,300 Get data

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

43-4181 133,700 137,800 3 4,100 Get data

Information and record clerks, all other

43-4199 166,000 174,100 5 8,100 Get data

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

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2018

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 $40,240

Customer Service Representatives

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

High school diploma or equivalent $33,750

Financial Clerks

Financial clerks do administrative work, keep records, help customers, and carry out financial transactions.

High school diploma or equivalent $39,570

General Office Clerks

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

High school diploma or equivalent $32,730

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They also handle employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Bachelor’s degree $60,880

Lodging Managers

Lodging managers ensure that traveling guests have a pleasant experience at their establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the business is run efficiently and profitably.

High school diploma or equivalent $53,390

Material Recording Clerks

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

High school diploma or equivalent $28,860

Receptionists

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

High school diploma or equivalent $29,140

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

Medical records and health information technicians organize and manage health information data.

Postsecondary nondegree award $40,350

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants

Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties.

High school diploma or equivalent $38,880

For more information about human resources assistants, visit

Society for Human Resource Management

CareerOneStop

For a career video on interviewers, except eligibility and loan, visit

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

O*NET

Correspondence Clerks

Court Clerks

Court, Municipal, and License Clerks

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs

File Clerks

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping

Information and Record Clerks, All Other

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

License Clerks

Municipal Clerks

Order Clerks

Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Information Clerks,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm (visited ).


 

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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