Clerical staff serve as the support for departments within a company. They perform a wide variety of tasks and handle the bulk of the paperwork coming into a business. Clerical staff in the office answer the phones and greet visitors. They process paperwork and file necessary documents in the correct locations.
Front Desk And Receptionist Duties
Many offices are staffed with receptionists and assistants who answer phones and screen incoming calls. They must know information about the company in order to answer questions that come in. They route calls and take messages when staff are unavailable. Many companies receive large volumes of phone calls, and receptionists must be able to handle them properly and effectively. Staff at front desks greet all visitors, colleagues and clients visiting the company. They screen and must determine immediately what type of access the visitor will require. They are responsible for contacting security when a visitor must be escorted from the building. Some staff maintain appointment logs with information on who to expect at particular times and where to send them.
Tasks involving paperwork vary depending on the nature of the company. In medical settings, records must be created, updated and filed; billing information must be obtained; and insurance company paperwork filled out and filed. In a legal office, preparation of documentation for the lawyers may be necessary; some lawyers may direct office staff to conduct research utilizing legal journals. In an educational institution, office staff may have to update student records and track class schedules. Some staff may have to update payroll information and pay bills. Other clerks may have to enter invoices, purchase orders and other accounting documentation into computer systems. Filing and scanning paperwork are other common office functions. Clerical staff also process incoming and outgoing mail.
Coordinating And Scheduling
Some office staff serve as support for company leadership. Those staff members coordinate conference calls and may serve as supervisors for other office staff. They may review memos, letters, and other incoming correspondence for prioritization. They prepare agendas for upcoming meetings and transcribe any necessary information from meetings and conference calls. They take dictation on letters and memos and organize all necessary paperwork in files. They schedule and coordinate any travel arrangements for management and may book hotels, rental cars and restaurants.
Office staff typically manage office supplies in a company's stock room. They may have to order paper, printer ink cartridges, pens, pencils, memo pads, highlighters, envelopes, letterheads, and other supplies necessary to run a business. They call maintenance companies to check on fax machines and printers as necessary. The purchase of new office equipment and installation is typically the responsibility of someone in the office.
2016 Salary Information for Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
Secretaries and administrative assistants earned a median annual salary of $38,730 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, secretaries and administrative assistants earned a 25th percentile salary of $30,500, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $48,680, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 3,990,400 people were employed in the U.S. as secretaries and administrative assistants.