People in clerical jobs can also be called secretaries or administrative assistants. This is one of the biggest job fields in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4.3 million people had this job in 2008. Even with increased automation in offices, there will continue to be a need for good clerical workers.
What is the job of a clerical worker?
A clerical job entails working in an office, with duties including word processing, filing, handling phone systems, and scheduling appointments for managers and supervisors. Some clerical employees work in specialized environments, such as medical, legal, or government offices.
What are the requirements for the job?
A clerical worker must have a high school diploma or a GED. Some have Associates degrees. Courses, such as business, typing, and office skills, should be taken at the high school or community college level to prepare for the clerical job. Some important characteristics are attention to detail, pleasant personality, the ability to work under pressure, the ability to multi-task, and excellent phone manners. The typical clerical worker will have good computer skills, including office programs and Internet research, and first-rate verbal and written communication abilities.
More specialized clerical positions may require advanced training, such as for legal secretaries or medical workers.
What is the work environment?
Clerical workers work in offices, whether it is with only one other person or with hundreds. The schedule is usually business hours during the week, but some jobs will have opportunities for overtime. The old plan of one secretary per executive is changing due to advances in technology, so many offices depend on a pool of clerical workers to handle the work.
These jobs will often be found in offices of businesses, but they can also be at schools, law firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
What are the job outlook and advancement possibilities?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job growth for clerical workers to match the growth of jobs in general, about an 11% increase. The large amount of jobs means that finding a job will be easier than in many professions.
Clerical workers can advance to managerial or secretarial positions. They learn a lot about their company and can often take more classes or receive certification in office skills from professional organizations.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013