Information Clerks

Career, Salary and Education Information

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What Information Clerks Do[About this section] [To Top]

Information clerks perform routine clerical duties such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.

Duties of Information Clerks

Information clerks typically do the following:

  • Prepare routine reports, claims, bills, or orders
  • Collect and record data from customers, staff, and the public
  • Answer questions from customers and the public about products or services
  • File and maintain paper or electronic records

Information clerks perform routine office support functions in an organization, business, or government. They use telephones, computers, and other office equipment such as scanners and fax machines.

Correspondence clerks respond to inquiries from the public or customers. They prepare standard responses to requests for merchandise, damage claims, delinquent accounts, incorrect billings, or complaints about unsatisfactory services. They also may review the organization’s records and type response letters for their supervisors to sign.

Court clerks organize and maintain court records. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about court appearances. Court clerks also receive, file, and forward court documents.

Eligibility interviewers conduct interviews both in person and over the phone to determine if applicants qualify for government assistance and benefits. They answer applicants’ questions about programs and may refer them to other agencies for assistance.

File clerks maintain electronic or paper records. They enter and retrieve data, organize records, and file documents. In organizations with electronic filing systems, file clerks scan and upload documents.

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks, also called front desk clerks, provide customer service to guests at the establishment’s front desk. They check guests in and out, assign rooms, and process payments. They also keep occupancy records; take, confirm, or change room reservations; and provide information on the hotel’s policies and services. In addition, front desk clerks answer phone calls, take and deliver messages for guests, and handle guests’ requests and complaints. For example, when guests report problems in their rooms, clerks coordinate with maintenance staff to resolve the issue.

Human resources assistants provide administrative support to human resources managers. They maintain personnel records on employees, including their addresses, employment history, and performance evaluations. They may post information about job openings and compile candidates’ résumés for review.

Interviewers conduct interviews over the phone, in person, through mail, or online. They use the information to complete forms, applications, or questionnaires for market research surveys, census forms, and medical histories. Interviewers typically follow set procedures and questionnaires to obtain specific information.

License clerks process applications for licenses and permits, administer tests, and collect application fees. They determine if applicants are qualified to receive particular licenses or if additional documentation needs to be submitted. They also maintain records of applications received and licenses issued.

Municipal clerks provide administrative support for town or city governments by maintaining government records. They record, maintain, and distribute minutes of town and city council meetings to local officials and staff and help prepare for elections. They also may answer requests for information from local, state, and federal officials and the public.

Order clerks receive orders from customers and process payments. For example, they may enter customer information, such as addresses and payment methods, into the order entry system. They also answer questions about prices and shipping.

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks take and confirm passengers’ reservations for hotels and transportation. They also sell and issue tickets and answer questions about itineraries, rates, and package tours. Ticket agents who work at airports and railroads also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.

Work Environment for Information Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

Information clerks held about 1.5 million jobs in 2014 and were employed in nearly every industry. However, employment was mostly concentrated in government agencies, hotels, and healthcare facilities.

Although most clerks work in an office setting, interviewers may travel to applicants’ locations to interview them.

The work of information clerks who provide customer service can be stressful, particularly when dealing with dissatisfied customers.

Reservation and transportation ticket agents at airports or shipping counters lift and maneuver heavy luggage or packages, sometimes weighing up to 100 pounds.

Information Clerk Work Schedules

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks, file clerks, and interviewers.

Clerks in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Injuries and Illnesses

Reservation and transportation ticket agents have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. The most common injuries are muscle strains from lifting heavy suitcases.

How to Become an Information Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Information Clerks near you!

Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job. Employers may prefer to hire candidates with some college education or an associate’s degree, depending on the occupation.

Information Clerk Education

Candidates typically need a high school diploma for most positions. However, employers may prefer to hire candidates with some college education or an associate’s degree. This is particularly true for eligibility interviewers, human resources assistants, and municipal clerks. Courses in social sciences, as well as word processing and spreadsheet applications, are particularly helpful.

Information Clerk Training

Most information clerks receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Training typically covers clerical procedures and the use of computer applications. Those employed in government receive training that may last several months and include learning about various government programs and regulations.

Advancement for Information Clerks

Some information clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor or office manager. With completion of a bachelor’s degree, some human resources assistants may become human resources specialists.

Important Qualities for Information Clerks

Communication skills. Information clerks must be able to explain policies and procedures clearly to customers and the public.

Integrity. Information clerks, particularly human resources assistants, have access to confidential information. They must be trusted to adhere to the applicable confidentiality and privacy rules governing the dissemination of this information.

Interpersonal skills. Information clerks who work with the public and customers must understand and communicate information effectively in order to establish positive relationships.

Organizational skills. Information clerks must be able to retrieve files and other important information quickly and efficiently.

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

The median annual wage for information clerks was $32,050 in May 2015. 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 $19,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $51,690.

Median annual wages for information clerks in May 2015 were as follows:

Eligibility interviewers, government programs $43,170
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 38,100
Information and record clerks, all other 37,990
Court, municipal, and license clerks 35,850
Correspondence clerks 35,320
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 35,170
Order clerks 32,330
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 31,410
File clerks 27,850
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 21,040

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel, motel, and resort clerks, for file clerks, and for interviewers.

Clerks in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Job Outlook for Information Clerks[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of information clerks is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth of information clerks will vary by occupation (see table below).

Increased travel is expected to result in the demand for new hotels and other lodging establishments. Because customer service and hospitality are not easily automated, clerks will continue to provide services to guests in hotels.

As more baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare, demand for clerical support to handle eligibility requests will also increase. In addition, the number of individuals who have access to health insurance is expected to continue to increase because of federal health insurance reform, resulting in a greater need for office staff in healthcare facilities.

Despite the continued demand for information clerks, however, overall employment growth is expected to be limited as organizations and businesses consolidate their administrative functions. For example, businesses increasingly use online applications for benefits and employment, thereby streamlining the process and requiring fewer workers.

Furthermore, increased use of online ordering and reservations systems and self-service ticketing kiosks will result in the need for fewer clerks to process orders and maintain files. In some businesses, including medical offices, receptionists and other workers are increasingly performing tasks that used to be done by clerks.

Information Clerks Job Prospects

Overall job prospects should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. Job opportunities are expected to be best in hotels and other lodging establishments.

Employment projections data for Information Clerks, 2014-24
Occupational Title Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Information clerks 1,545,000 1,570,800 2 25,800
  Correspondence clerks 8,400 7,200 -15 -1,200
  Court, municipal, and license clerks 140,800 147,100 4 6,300
  Eligibility interviewers, government programs 129,900 132,000 2 2,100
  File clerks 159,000 150,100 -6 -8,900
  Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 243,200 265,100 9 21,900
  Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 198,000 208,300 5 10,400
  Order clerks 195,900 194,300 -1 -1,500
  Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 140,600 134,800 -4 -5,800
  Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 140,800 138,800 -1 -2,000
  Information and record clerks, all other 188,500 193,000 2 4,600

*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Used by permission.

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