An office automation clerk is an administrative professional who performs clerical duties primarily for government offices. Office automation clerks are responsible for the flow of communication, documentation and operations among different segments of his or her department. Their duties range from answering phone calls and drafting correspondence to research and reports protocols. Office automation clerks provide vital administrative support to field, internal office and supervisory personnel to ensure smooth operations throughout all levels of the employing department.
Office automation clerks must be organized, patient and attentive to detail to ensure that correspondence and interoffice communications run smoothly. They must have excellent interpersonal skills and be able to handle interactions with multiple people from both inside and outside the department. Office automation clerks must also have knowledge of and be able to operate various types of office equipment, including copiers, mail metering machines, fax machines and networked personal computers.
While on duty, office automation clerks primarily handle various administrative tasks on behalf of supervisory personnel, including phone communications, document preparation, correspondence drafts, database maintenance and in some cases, investigative research. Office automation clerks also respond to requests for immediate office support, such as a data searches, office memo drafts or reference retrievals. They also catalog and manage department records and files for prompt and efficient retrieval. Office automation clerks constantly interact and collaborate with varying levels of department personnel to ensure sound department communication overall.
Although office automation clerks are diverse in their primary duties, they also perform secondary functions like training newer clerks, attending staff meetings and participating in department-sponsored social functions like picnics and holiday parties to support office cohesion. Some office automation clerks perform tasks on their own initiative, such as creating illustrated charts, calendars or motivational posters to improve the office environment. Office automation clerks are sometimes counted upon to take over an absent supervisor's or fellow clerk's administrative responsibilities as well on certain occasions.
Office automation clerks employed by the government must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years of age or older. Most departments require a minimum of six months of relevant general office experience and the ability to lift at least 20 pounds. All office automation clerks are required to pass a background investigation for a confidential security clearance or higher to have access to personal data files. Male office automation clerks must be registered for the Selective Service.