If you're interested in providing administrative and office support services for a living, you might consider a career as a general office clerk, in which you would provide administrative services for various types of businesses. Read on for more information on entering this field.
General office clerical services professionals perform many of the important tasks that help offices function. They may file paperwork, transcribe notes and dictations, order and stock office supplies, answer phone calls and perform data entry tasks.
While working in general clerical services, your duties and responsibilities might also include being in charge of distributing mail to staff members, sending out mail and packages, proofreading and editing, record keeping, scheduling and running multiple types of office equipment. Some of the different types of office equipment you might use are copy machines, phones, printers and scanning equipment. You might also work with various types of software and database systems.
For those interested in a career in business, an entry-level clerical position can provide you with the experience needed to advance to the next level. An associate's or bachelor's degree in business, marketing, accounting or finance is recommended for office clerks with aspirations of careers in management or other leadership positions.
As a clerical services profssional, you might choose a career as an administrative assistant, clerk, customer service representative or office assistant. You could also choose to become an office clerk, office coordinator, office manager or secretary. If you want to enter a career in general office clerical services, you'll need to possess effective listening skills, interpretation skills, verbal communication proficiencies, public interaction abilities and analytical reasoning skills.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of general office clerks was projected to increase 12% from 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov). In May 2010, general office clerks earned an average annual salary of $28,240, reported the BLS.
Employers generally prefer to hire general office clerks who possess a minimum of a high school education. If you're interested in a career in clerical services, you might consider enrolling in formal training courses as it may increase employment opportunities.
Clerical programs are offered mostly through community colleges. Programs start at the undergraduate certificate level. You could even pursue an associate degree in secretarial science or an associate degree in office administration. Some colleges might allow you to transfer your certificate credits to an associate degree program. Courses covered might include bookkeeping, computers, communications, data processing, math, record keeping, social interaction, typing and workplace systems. Online studies might also be available, such as online clerical courses or other online clerical programs.
As a graduate of a clerical program, you should be able to perform inquiries and studies, coordinate and classify data, operate workplace technology, perform minor accounting and network with others. Upon gaining substantial clerical experience you might choose to advance to management or leadership position.