What is an Office Clerk?

An office clerk performs a variety of general office tasks, such as answering phones, bookkeeping, filing, mailing, message delivery, data processing, running errands, and sorting mail. They are an integral part of an office, as without them things would not run smoothly.

Specific skills are important in this capacity, such as communications skills, computer skills, customer service skills, and attention to detail.

What does an Office Clerk do?

An office clerk answering the phone.

Office clerks need a variety of general office skills - the ability to file, make photocopies, post outgoing mail, complete banking transactions, sort and distribute incoming mail, sign for deliveries and send faxes. They must also be able to keep accurate paper and electronic records, and take detailed phone messages. In some offices, office clerks take dictation at meetings and transcribe notes, as well as keep track of office supplies and replenish them when necessary.

In some office settings, office clerks may take on more advanced tasks, such as keeping records for payroll, making out paycheques, or taking inventory. If an office clerk is asked to supervise other employees, previous managerial experience is usually needed.

The specific duties assigned to office clerks can vary depending on the type of office in which they work. An office clerk at a university may process application materials or answer questions from prospective students, whereas an office clerk at a hospital may file and retrieve medical records.

The following is a list of the various duties an office clerk could encounter:

  • Receive and screen incoming calls or gather other information that needs to get to the right people (may be time-sensitive)
  • 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 cheques
  • Work closely with people in the office and also with supervisors/management
  • Prepare meeting agendas, attend meetings, and record and transcribe minutes
  • Work with computers to create documents, spreadsheets, input data, and communicate by email
  • Maintain and update filing, inventory, mailing, and database systems, either manually or using a computer
  • Speak with people outside the company, including potential clients, and greet incoming visitors
  • Confirm appointments and direct clients or vendors to the appropriate person or office
  • Make sure finished work is free of mistakes when performing data processing or writing letters or other documents
  • Inventory and order materials, supplies, and services
  • Open, sort and route incoming mail, answer correspondence, and prepare outgoing mail
  • Make travel arrangements for office personnel
  • Juggle several different things at once (organization and attention to detail skills are key)

Are you suited to be an office clerk?

Office clerks have distinct personalities. They tend to be conventional individuals, which means they’re conscientious and conservative. They are logical, efficient, orderly, and organized. Some of them are also enterprising, meaning they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if office clerk is one of your top career matches.

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What is the workplace of an Office Clerk like?

Office clerks typically work in comfortable office settings. They are found in nearly every industry; the most popular industries being educational services, health care and social assistance, waste management and remediation services, and government offices.

Office Clerks are also known as:
Office Coordinator Office Assistant