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A clerical worker is responsible for keeping an office running smoothly. The typical clerical employee wears many hats and shares in a variety of responsibilities, ranging from general office duties to customer service. This versatile career requires strong organizational skills and attention to detail. If you love organizing everything and everyone around you, you will love clerical work. If that sounds like you, here’s everything you need to know about clerical duties and responsibilities.
Clerical Job Description
Clerical workers perform basic administrative and office duties for a company. Think of this role as the person who keeps the office organized and running smoothly. What does a clerical worker do on a day-to-day basis? The clerical staff is usually responsible for answering phones, maintaining filing systems, assisting with scheduling, handling deliveries, and doing data entry, among other tasks. Because of the variety of tasks involved in clerical work, you should be well-organized and detail-oriented if you choose this profession.
Another important aspect of clerical work is customer service. A clerical worker is usually the person answering phones and receiving people at the door of an office. You serve as the first point of contact for customers, clients and investors. Being in a customer-facing role, you must have strong customer service skills to thrive as a clerical worker.
Clerical Worker Duties
Required clerical duties vary depending on the day and the employer. However, there are a few mainstays to understand if you are looking for work in this field:
- Answering phones: Most clerical workers are expected to assist with the office phone system. This duty includes fielding questions, transferring calls, putting callers on hold, taking messages and orders, sending callers to voicemail, and handling multiple incoming calls at once. Ultimately, answering phones requires organization, patience and strong customer service skills.
- Printing and faxing: The clerical staff is usually in charge of printing and faxing forms. Ideally, you should be familiar with making copies, operating a fax machine and changing printer cartridges.
- Filing: Clerical workers are often responsible for maintaining and organizing the office filing system. Usually, files are placed in alphabetical order. Files could include intake forms, invoices, orders and complaints.
- Computers and data entry: A clerical worker must be able to operate a computer at a basic level. Being able to handle email, data entry, calendar and scheduling apps, printing, and word processing applications such as Microsoft Word is necessary. You will likely be in charge of at least some data entry. Each business has its own system for collecting and maintaining data and provides training on how to operate the system. For example, if you work at a recruiting agency, you could be responsible for entering the data of new talent into the office data management system.
- Mailing and receiving packages: Usually, clerical workers are the point of entry for the business. You receive and send packages and might deal with sorting and delivering mail to the desks of your coworkers.
- Calendar and scheduling: In some cases, a clerical worker is responsible for scheduling and maintaining the office calendar. Depending on the size of your office, you may even book travel for senior employees.
Work Salary and Education Requirements
Data from PayScale indicate a clerical worker earns an average salary of $33,000, with a median hourly pay of $13.33. You don’t need a college degree to become a clerical worker. While some clerical positions such as that of an executive assistant may require a college degree, many don’t. By demonstrating that you have the right skills, you can obtain a clerical job without any college education at all. However, in most cases, it is necessary to have a high school diploma.
Chelsea Levinson earned her B.S. in Business from Fordham University and her J.D. from Cardozo. She specializes in labor and workplace issues, and has created content for Vox, Levo, AOL and more.