General Office Clerks

Career, Salary and Education Information

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 $15.74.

Job Outlook: Employment of general office clerks is projected to decline 4 percent over the next ten years. Nevertheless, overall job opportunities should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the labor force or this large occupation.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of general office clerks with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as an office clerk with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 General Office Clerk Jobs

  • General Office Clerk - Part Time - Cenergy International - Spring, TX

    4-6 month assignment Job consists of scanning inventory, updating barcodes, creating transmittals and packaging books for shipment. Must know how to use Outlook, Excel and Word Company Description ...

  • General Office Clerk - F.W. Webb - Canton, MA

    Webb, New England's largest wholesale distributor of plumbing, heating, HVAC and industrial supplies is seeking a full-time General Office Clerk for it's Canton, MA location. Responsibilities

  • Front Office Clerk - Donald J Scheffler Construction - Azusa, CA

    Performing general office clerk duties and errands: * Receiving: mail and/or fed ex, UPS deliveries * Handling incoming calls * Answering calls, and receiving messages. * Provide office support to ...

See all General Office Clerk jobs

What General Office Clerks Do[About this section] [To Top]

General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.

Duties of General Office Clerks

General office clerks typically do the following:

  • Answer and transfer telephone calls or take messages
  • Sort and deliver incoming mail and send outgoing mail
  • Schedule appointments and receive customers or visitors
  • Provide general information to staff, clients, or the public
  • Type, format, or edit routine memos or other reports
  • Copy, file, and update paper and electronic documents
  • Prepare and process bills and other office documents
  • Collect information and perform data entry

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.

Work Environment for General Office Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

General office clerks hold about 3.2 million jobs. The largest employers of general office clerks are as follows:

Educational services; state, local, and private 12%
Healthcare and social assistance 11%
Government 9%
Administrative and support services 9%
Professional, scientific, and technical services 8%

General office clerks usually work in office settings.

General Office Clerk Work Schedules

Most general office clerks work full time.

How to Become a General Office Clerk[About this section] [To Top]

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.

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Education for General Office Clerks

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 Clerk Training

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.

Advancement for General Office Clerks

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.

Important Qualities for General Office Clerks

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.

General Office Clerk Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median hourly wage for general office clerks is $15.74. 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 $9.84, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $25.73.

The median hourly wages for general office clerks in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Government $17.60
Professional, scientific, and technical services $16.22
Healthcare and social assistance $15.55
Educational services; state, local, and private $14.63
Administrative and support services $14.54

Most general office clerks work full time.

Job Outlook for General Office Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of general office clerks is projected to decline 4 percent over the next ten years. Employment growth will vary by industry.

Some office clerks will be needed to handle administrative duties related to complex billing and healthcare insurance processing, but the increasing use of technology that automates document preparation tasks will result in fewer general office clerks needed to perform the 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 of general office clerks, further decreasing employment of office clerks.

Job Prospects for General Office Clerks

Job prospects are expected to be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the labor force or this large occupation.

Employment projections data for General Office Clerks, 2018-28
Occupational Title Employment, 2018 Projected Employment, 2028 Change, 2018-28
Percent Numeric
Office clerks, general 3,158,500 3,047,800 -4 -110,600


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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