Office Clerks, General
Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring knowledge of office systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, office machine operation, and filing.
Sample of reported job titles: Administrative Clerk (Admin Clerk), Clerical Aide, Clerical Assistant, Clerk, General Clerk, Office Assistant, Office Clerk, Office Services Specialist, Office Support Assistant
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Operate office machines, such as photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems, and personal computers.
- Answer telephones, direct calls, and take messages.
- Communicate with customers, employees, and other individuals to answer questions, disseminate or explain information, take orders, and address complaints.
- Maintain and update filing, inventory, mailing, and database systems, either manually or using a computer.
- Compile, copy, sort, and file records of office activities, business transactions, and other activities.
- Review files, records, and other documents to obtain information to respond to requests.
- Open, sort, and route incoming mail, answer correspondence, and prepare outgoing mail.
- Compute, record, and proofread data and other information, such as records or reports.
- Complete work schedules, manage calendars, and arrange appointments.
- Type, format, proofread, and edit correspondence and other documents, from notes or dictating machines, using computers or typewriters.
- Inventory and order materials, supplies, and services.
- Deliver messages and run errands.
- Collect, count, and disburse money, do basic bookkeeping, and complete banking transactions.
- Complete and mail bills, contracts, policies, invoices, or checks.
- Process and prepare documents, such as business or government forms and expense reports.
- Monitor and direct the work of lower-level clerks.
- Prepare meeting agendas, attend meetings, and record and transcribe minutes.
- Train other staff members to perform work activities, such as using computer applications.
- Count, weigh, measure, or organize materials.
- Make travel arrangements for office personnel.
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- Accounting software — Billing software; Bookkeeping software; Intuit QuickBooks ; Sage 50 Accounting
- Calendar and scheduling software — Appointment scheduling software
- Cloud-based data access and sharing software — Dropbox; Google Drive ; Microsoft SharePoint
- Customer relationship management CRM software — Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge; Microsoft Dynamics ; Salesforce.com Salesforce CRM
- Data base user interface and query software — Blackboard software; Data entry software; Microsoft Access ; Yardi software (see all 9 examples)
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Microsoft Publisher
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Filing system software; Records management software; Transcription system software
- Electronic mail software — IBM Notes ; Microsoft Exchange ; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise application integration software — Electronic Data Interchange EDI systems
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ; Oracle PeopleSoft ; Oracle PeopleSoft Financials; SAP
- Graphics or photo imaging software — SmugMug Flickr
- Human resources software — ADP Workforce Now
- Information retrieval or search software — LexisNexis
- Instant messaging software — GroupMe
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Medical software — Henry Schein Dentrix ; Medical condition coding software ; Medical procedure coding software; MEDITECH software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Operating system software — Microsoft Windows
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Mavenlink; Microsoft Project
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Web page creation and editing software — Facebook ; Google Sites; LinkedIn ; Social media sites
- Word processing software — 3M Post-it App; Evernote; Google Docs ; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Administrative — Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
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- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Operate office equipment.
- Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
- Confer with coworkers to coordinate work activities.
- Respond to customer problems or complaints.
- Collect deposits, payments or fees.
- Execute sales or other financial transactions.
- Prepare cash for deposit or disbursement.
- Send information, materials or documentation.
- Maintain inventory records.
- Compile data or documentation.
- File documents or records.
- Distribute incoming mail.
- Search files, databases or reference materials to obtain needed information.
- Sort mail.
- Prepare documentation for contracts, transactions, or regulatory compliance.
- Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
- Check data for recording errors.
- Prepare employee work schedules.
- Schedule appointments.
- Supervise clerical or administrative personnel.
- Record information from meetings or other formal proceedings.
- Transcribe spoken or written information.
- Monitor inventories of products or materials.
- Provide information to coworkers.
- Train personnel.
- Calculate weights, volumes or other characteristics of materials.
- Make travel, accommodations, or entertainment arrangements for others.
- Maintain office equipment in proper operating condition.
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- Telephone — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 82% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 77% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Deal With External Customers — 65% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Very important results.”
- Time Pressure — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 40% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Letters and Memos — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 33% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Physical Proximity — 45% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 34% responded “Important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 34% responded “Some freedom.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 44% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 39% responded “Never.”
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|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|41||High school diploma or equivalent
|15||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: CER Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
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- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$16.98 hourly, $35,330 annual|
|Employment (2020)||2,933,900 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||324,600|
|Top industries (2020)||
Health Care and Social Assistance
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- ARMA International
- National Notary Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: General office clerks
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