Clerical Worker: Job Duties, Salary and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a clerical worker. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties, and required skills to see if this is the right career for you.

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Clerical workers perform administrative and other basic tasks in an office, such as answering the phone and sending out memos. As a clerical worker you can expect to make around $30,000 a year and will need strong computer and office equipment skills in order to qualify for this position.

Essential Information

People interested in performing a variety of essential duties in an office environment might want to check out becoming a clerical worker. Clerical workers provide general office support that assists in the functioning of a company. They might work directly under an administrative assistant and be assigned basic tasks, such as filing or answering phones. Clerical workers should possess excellent communication skills, basic office competence, and a high school diploma.

Required Education High school diploma or GED
Required Skills Computer and general office equipment skills
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 3%*
Average Annual Salary (2015) $31,890*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information

Clerical workers are found working in numerous industries as office support for companies. A clerical worker is commonly an entry-level position, although senior-level clerical worker positions can exist and require more experience or advanced-level skills, such as computer software knowledge.

Obtaining a position as a general clerical worker commonly requires having a high school diploma, although holding an associate's degree might offer opportunities for advancement. Clerical workers should have basic typing and computer application skills and know how to operate common office equipment, such as fax machines.

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Job Duties

Clerical workers perform a variety of duties that can change throughout the day. Typical duties of a clerical worker can include entering data into a computer, filing records, sending and receiving faxes, answering telephone calls, and relaying messages.

Depending on the industry, clerical workers might perform tasks specific to that company. For example, clerks employed in a manufacturing company might assist in filling work orders or stamping envelopes for mass mailings.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

In May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported clerical workers made an average salary of $31,890 a year. Figures from the BLS also showed that top employers for clerical workers included local government, colleges, employment services, schools, and hospitals, with average salary ranges from $29,450 to $33,720 that year.

Postal service, natural gas distributors, motor vehicle manufacturing, satellite communications, and securities and commodity exchanges were the five highest paying industries for clerical workers. Average wages for these industries ranged from approximately $42,850 to $56,540 a year, based on 2015 BLS data.

The BLS states that employment opportunities in this field are projected to grow 3% for the 10-year period of 2014-2024. Although overall employment rates for clerical workers are expected to be slow, some industries, such as healthcare, are likely to add jobs. Those with experience in computers and other electronic and technical office equipment might fare better, as well as those with more years of experience.

Performing clerical work often involves basic office-related tasks, but it's one way to break into a company and get your foot in the door. If either of these things interest you be sure to carefully review job duties, work environment and salary statistics before deciding if this is the career for you.

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