Human Resource Clerk: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Sep 09, 2019

Human resource clerks require skills in communication, conflict resolution, and common business software applications. The educational requirements for this position vary by employer and may include a college degree. The outlook is for the number of these positions to decline in the next decade.

Essential Information

Human resource clerks provide administrative support to a company's personnel department. A high school diploma or equivalent may be sufficient for gaining employment; although some employers require an associate or bachelor's degree. Experience in bookkeeping and computer applications are frequently needed, but some employers provide on-the-job training to inexperienced clerks. Clerks with two years of experience may obtain an optional professional certification.

Required Education High school diploma, associate's or bachelor's sometimes required
Certification Optional for those with two or more years of experience
Projected Job Outlook (2018-2028)* 5% growth for all human resources specialists
Median Salary (2018)* $40,390 for human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Human Resource Clerk Job Description

Human resource clerks, also called human resource assistants, help compile and maintain employee records for a company or organization. Assistants typically aid with the daily administrative operations of the human resource department and interact with employees, management and other business associates. Knowledge of company and legal employment policies, office procedures and customer service standards typically is essential for those working in a human resource department.

Job Duties of a Human Resource Clerk

The responsibilities of a human resource assistant can vary depending on the size of the organization. Large corporations may have tiered human resource positions, with entry-level assistants processing paperwork or updating employee information, while more advanced workers manage job descriptions, perform accounting tasks or review benefits. In contrast, small to mid-sized companies might demand more of human resource assistants and clerks. Responsibilities may include:

  • Maintaining employee records
  • Presenting benefits packages
  • Interviewing new employees, checking references and organizing background checks
  • Providing policy training

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that human resources assistants earned a median annual wage of $40,390 as of May 2018. The number of all human resource specialists was expected to increase by about 5% between 2018 and 2028.

Education and Skill Requirements for Human Resource Clerks

Many companies require that a human resource assistant have a high school diploma or equivalent, though some may seek college graduates with an associate or bachelor's degree in human resource management. Employers might offer job training to those who are new to the field, though many prefer those with previous experience in business and human resources.

Familiarity with computers and office procedures is typically necessary, including an understanding of word processing and spreadsheet software. Some organizations may request knowledge of bookkeeping, training or pre-employment screening. Written and verbal communication is an essential skill since clerks are often key points of contact for employees and other companies. Likewise, decision-making and conflict management abilities are often useful in a human resource position.

Formal Training and Certification

Adequate training and an understanding of employment laws and regulations are vital to a human resource assistant. Several community colleges, universities and organizations offer professional training in the field. Clerks and assistants with two or more years' experience qualify to earn optional certification through the HR Certification Institute, providing an opportunity to demonstrate sufficient knowledge and skills in employee policies and office management. Certification is valid for three years and can be maintained through continuing education classes, work experience and professional organization membership.

Human resource clerks may find positions with only a high school diploma, but many employers require an associate's or bachelor's degree. Certification is available for this position after gaining experience in the workforce. Those in this position can expect a median annual salary around $40,390.

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