What They Do: General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.
Work Environment: Although general office clerks are employed in nearly every industry, many work in schools, healthcare facilities, and government offices. Some work part time.
How to Become One: General office clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent. Most learn their skills on the job.
Salary: The median hourly wage for general office clerks is $17.81.
Job Outlook: Employment of general office clerks is projected to decline 2 percent over the next ten years.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of general office clerks with similar occupations.
General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.
General office clerks typically do the following:
Rather than performing a single specialized task, general office clerks have responsibilities that often change daily with the current needs of the employer.
Some clerks file documents or answer phones; others enter data into computers or perform other tasks using software applications. They also frequently use photocopiers, scanners, fax machines, and other office equipment.
The specific duties assigned to clerks will depend on the type of office in which they work. For example, a general office clerk at a college or university may process application materials and answer questions from prospective students, while a clerk at a hospital may file and retrieve medical records.
General office clerks hold about 2.9 million jobs. The largest employers of general office clerks are as follows:
|Healthcare and social assistance||12%|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||11%|
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||8%|
|Administrative and support services||8%|
General office clerks usually work in office settings.
Most general office clerks work full time.
Get the education you need: Find schools for General Office Clerks near you!
General office clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their skills on the job.
General office clerks usually need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Courses in using computer applications, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, may be helpful for those who aren't already familiar with them.
General office clerks usually learn their skills while on the job. Their training typically lasts up to one month and may include instructions on office procedures, proper phone etiquette, and the use of office equipment.
General office clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibility, such as secretaries and administrative assistants.
Advancement opportunities often depend on work experience.
Customer-service skills. General office clerks often provide general information to company staff, customers, or the public. They should be courteous and prompt with their responses.
Detail oriented. General office clerks perform many clerical tasks that require attention to detail, such as preparing bills.
Organizational skills. General office clerks file and retrieve records. They need to keep records organized to be able to access them quickly and efficiently.
The median hourly wage for general office clerks is $17.81. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.30, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $28.31.
The median hourly wages for general office clerks in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Professional, scientific, and technical services||$17.91|
|Healthcare and social assistance||$17.74|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||$17.44|
|Administrative and support services||$17.24|
Most general office clerks work full time.
Employment of general office clerks is projected to decline 2 percent over the next ten years.
Despite declining employment, about 324,600 openings for general office clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. All of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
The increasing use of technology that automates document preparation and other clerical tasks will result in fewer general office clerks needed to perform this work. For example, many organizations maintain electronic documents or use automated phone systems, reducing the need for some general office clerks. In addition, electronic filing systems and file sharing software allow other office workers to do the tasks previously done by general office clerks, further decreasing employment of office clerks. However, there will still be some sustained demand for these workers to handle administrative tasks, particularly in healthcare and social assistance industries.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2020||Projected Employment, 2030||Change, 2020-30|
|Office clerks, general||2,933,900||2,873,600||-2||-60,400|