Clerical Courses and Certificate Program Information

Essential Information

Courses that cover clerical skills are generally found in administrative assisting, office assisting and office technology programs. Coursework focuses on the daily activities required of clerical assistants or secretaries. An internship, office field study or co-op experience is often included to provide hands-on practice doing common tasks in an office. In some cases, clerical courses can prepare students for professional certification. Most of these courses are available through distance learning.

Here are some common concepts taught in clerical courses:

  • Accounting
  • Document formatting
  • Proofreading
  • Spreadsheets
  • Office machines and equipment
  • Human resources

List of Common Courses

Clerical Procedures

The clerical procedures course introduces various clerical and administrative duties. It may include instruction in ordering supplies, answering phones, filing, maintaining correspondence and time management skills. This clerical course may be part of the curriculum for a certificate, diploma or associate's degree. Clerical programs generally provide the training necessary for graduates to become entry-level clerical employees.


Keyboarding classes focus on building typing speeds while maintaining high accuracy rates. This course introduces students to basic keyboard functions and the proper techniques for typing. Ergonomic issues explored in many keyboarding courses include proper posture and hand placement while using a mouse and keyboard. Students often participate in speed-building drills and exercises and timed typing tests. Alphanumeric touch methods may also be discussed in a keyboarding course.

Word Processing

Computers are an integral part of most business and clerical positions. Learning basic computer functions and software programs is generally the focus of a word processing course. Students get hands-on instruction and experience while learning various business software programs, like the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

Customer Service

Basics in customer service issues are explored. Students learn to define and provide quality service to customers while also maintaining confidentiality and professionalism. Different types of customers are explored, such as external customers (clients using the company's services) and internal customers (coworkers or departments within a company that need each other's services). Phone and e-mail etiquette is addressed in a clerical customer service course.

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