Should I Become a Billing Clerk?
Billing clerks determine charges, compile data, draft bills and prepare them for delivery to clients and customers. These clerks use bookkeeping tools, accounting skills, adding machines and billing software while carrying out their job duties. Customer service skills and attention to detail are also needed in this job. Billing clerks may spend many hours sitting at a desk and looking at a computer screen.
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|Education Required||High school diploma; experience and/or college degree required or preferred|
|Degree Fields||Accounting, business or a related field|
|Experience||At least 2 years of experience, could be more depending on the job|
|Training||On-the-job training commonly provided|
|Key Skills||Communication, organizational, customer service, data entry and administrative skills; ability to use electronic billing systems|
|Salary||$35,560 (2014 average salary for all billing and posting clerks)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine, Monster.com job postings (September 2012)
Step 1: Obtain a High School Diploma or GED
Billing clerk positions require at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers will train new hires on the job if they show an aptitude for numbers and good organizational skills. However, other employers require applicants to have some postsecondary training such as a certificate or associate's degree.
- Learn keyboarding and other office skills. While in high school, students can take office-related classes like typing to prepare themselves for entry-level work. A high-school diploma with a background in office skills provides a good start to a career as a billing clerk. Some high schools even offer programs that allow students to gain college credit while still in high school.
Step 2: Look for an Appropriate Educational Program
Vocational education programs in accounting or in computing and business services and technology both provide a background in bookkeeping that can apply to billing clerks. Students might have options like earning an accounting certificate, an accounts receivable/payable certificate or an accounting clerk certificate. These programs provide training in areas like calculating, recording and posting costs. Graduates of these programs qualify for entry-level work in the accounting field.
- Explore college certificate programs. College-level certificate programs are also available for those wishing to pursue entry-level positions in billing. Many colleges offer programs with courses that give college-credit for those who wish to continue in a degree program. Some programs are even offered entirely online.
Step 3: Gain Experience
Since many employers require their billing clerks to have some sort of experience prior to being hired, either through employment, apprenticeships or internships, students should consider exploring one of these options while completing their education. Additionally, getting a job while going to school lets students apply what they are learning. Websites, books and school career centers have resources to help aspiring billing clerks prepare their resumes.
Step 4: Consider Pursuing a Degree
Any associate's degree program with a concentration in accounting can fulfill the educational requirement of an employer looking for billing clerks with postsecondary training. Moreover, some employers prefer applicants who've earned one of these 2-year degrees. An Associate in Applied Science with an emphasis in accounting or an Associate of Applied Business in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting typically covers accounts receivable and payable, business and corporation tax, payroll tax, federal income tax and bookkeeping. Additionally, learning Excel, QuickBooks and other accounting software may increase marketability in the workplace.