Although not required for most positions, many office clerks choose to complete an associate's degree in a related field. These programs offer students the chance to learn basic office skills and master advanced skills. The curricula emphasize word processing and software applications, and acquisition of strong computer skills. Some certificate programs may also be available. Additionally, classes can be taken online. It could take anywhere from less than a year to two years to complete a degree.
Many companies are willing to provide on-the-job training to candidates with a high school diploma or its equivalent. Office clerks should be detail-oriented and good communicators. They execute a wide range of administrative tasks, including entering data, answering phones, making photocopies and filing records.
Office Assistant Certificate
Students without time or resources for a full-time degree program may be interested in an office assistant certificate program. General education courses are not usually required. Course topics include:
- Introductory keyboarding
- Human relations and business communication
Associate of Applied Science in Office Management
The Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Office Management is a 2-year, undergraduate degree program designed to prepare students for immediate entry into an office-based, administrative position. Students gain practical office skills and study a variety of topics, including:
- College composition
- Information processing
- Office computations
- Records management
Popular Career Options
Much of an office clerks' experience is gained through on-the-job training. Clerks may work closely with more experienced office staff to learn practical day-to-day office skills specific to that organization. Office clerks new to the field may execute basic office tasks such as photocopying or mailing. More experienced clerks may be responsible for creating Excel spreadsheets or arranging travel for executives or clients with a travel agency.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), general office clerks are projected to have a slower-than-average job growth of 3%, between 2014-2024. As of May 2015, the BLS also reported that general office clerks earned a median annual salary of $29,580.
Office clerks may choose to enroll in classes that can advance their computer skills. Courses are often available online or at local colleges that teach programs such as Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft Word. With experience, office clerks may move into higher level positions, such as office manager or administrative supervisor.
Office clerk associate's degree and certificate program students will gain skills in word processing, data entry, communication, and records management, among many other relevant areas.