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Clerical jobs are a group of positions that focus on providing office support. Clerical personnel are found in several settings, including schools, government bodies, law offices and Fortune 500 companies. Office or clerical jobs represent a wide variety of skills and experiences which are important in all phases of a business environment, according to the Dallas County Community College District. Many office jobs require skills in the operation of a wide variety of office machines, including computers and software programs. In addition, knowledge of spelling and grammar and basic math skills are important for most types of clerical jobs.
General Office Clerks
General office clerks take on different jobs to fit the needs of the employer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). No two days are the same. No matter the role, general office clerks must have the ability to perform all tasks effectively. Some of their duties include filing, data entry, photocopying documents, preparing mailings and answering telephones. In addition, the BLS reports office clerks are assigned duties based on experience. Entry-level workers are relegated to areas such as stuffing envelopes, whereas workers with experience are given tasks that require more responsibility, such as payroll and calendaring.
Data entry, file and mail room clerks are contained to one area of the office environment. Data entry clerks enter information into a computer database. Their accuracy is measured in keystrokes per minute. File room clerks maintain all electronic and paper files in order. In some instances, file room clerks use a scanner to electronically file important company documents. Mail room clerks are responsible for sorting mail and packages and delivering them to the appropriate office personnel. In addition, they operate mail room equipment such as mail sorting and postage meters.
Receptionists greet and direct visitors and callers to their destination. Since they are the first point of contact for potential clients, receptionists are expected to be professional and cordial. Receptionists also sort and deliver mail within the office. Similarly, they prepare packages for shipping and prepare letters for outgoing mail. They monitor the fax machine and the main email account for the office. Receptionists monitor the greeting area of the office, so seeing to it that the proffered reading materials are straightened out and neat, and that the chairs are clean and presentable is a receptionist's job as well. He may also be responsible for monitoring the office coffee machine.
Promotion in the clerical support field is possible. Clerks with experience are able to step into positions such as secretary, executive assistant and administrative assistant. Most of these opportunities require a higher level of responsibility and knowledge. Executive assistants are responsible for screening calls, typing correspondence and planning travel arrangements for managers and company leaders. Individuals in these positions usually possess an associate degree or certificate from a technical or two-year college. In some instances, a bachelor’s degree is required.
The role of the office manager is multidimensional. This individual ensures the work environment flows smoothly. Some tasks include interviewing, hiring and firing of workers; ordering supplies; performing accounting duties; and handling payroll. The office manager establishes the work flow of the office. While the office manager is seen as a leader in the company, office managers still have clerical duties in their job description. Tasks such as answering phones, filing and typing up documents may be a daily occurrence that an office manager handles. In a physician’s office, for example, the office manager is responsible for ordering medical supplies and handling billing to vendors, patients and insurance companies.