What Is a Clerical Job? Plus Tips To Find the Right One

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 21 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Clerks play a crucial role in running an office smoothly by providing administrative support to various teams and departments. A clerical job is a good career choice if you have strong organisational skills and attention to detail. Understanding the typical duties and responsibilities of a clerk may help you decide if this career path is right for you. In this article, we answer "What is a clerical job?" and some other questions about this profession.

What is a clerical job?

A clerical job involves managing the administrative and front office duties of a business. A clerk is responsible for keeping the office organised and running it smoothly. Rather than managing a single task, clerks handle multiple responsibilities on a daily basis. For example, some clerical jobs involve answering phone calls, organising files, scheduling appointments and operating office equipment like printers, fax machines and photocopiers. Other jobs may also require handling data entry, bookkeeping and attendance tracking.

The actual duties of a clerk may vary depending on the scope of their role and the industry. For example, a clerk in a hospital maintains patient records, while a banking clerk handles bookkeeping and other financial tasks. A clerk in a school or college is in charge of receiving student applications, answering student queries, and managing student admission.

Related: What Does a Clerk Do and How To Become One in 4 Steps

Duties of a clerk

Clerical employees perform multiple responsibilities on a day-to-day basis. Here are some of the common duties of a clerk in an office setting:

  • Answering phone calls: The duty of a clerk includes attending calls, transferring calls to the correct department, taking messages and handling multiple calls at once. Some offices have a separate front-office receptionist to answer incoming calls, while others require the general office clerk to manage incoming calls.

  • Printing and faxing: Clerical employees are often responsible for printing and faxing and require a good understanding of how to operate a printer and fax machine. Some of them may have troubleshooting expertise but most clerks know how to handle basic tasks like replacing printer cartridges and unjamming a paper tray.

  • Filing: Clerical employees are often responsible for maintaining the office files in an organised manner. They are in charge of the filing cabinet and retrieve critical files for other employees as and when needed.

  • Data entry: A clerical employee handles basic data entry tasks of the office, like tracking employee attendance and managing leave applications. Depending on the industry, you may also perform advanced data entry tasks like basic accounting and bookkeeping.

  • Mailing and receiving packages: Clerks are also responsible for sorting and delivering mails and packages to various departments. They also send out emails on behalf of the company and forward incoming emails to the designated team member.

  • Scheduling: In most offices, clerical employees schedule meetings and appointments for managers and maintain the office calendar. They may also be responsible for booking work-related travel for senior employees.

  • Customer service: Clerical employees are the first point of contact in an office. They greet and welcome customers, clients and vendors and direct them to the concerned department or team members.

Types of clerical jobs

Here are some common types of clerical jobs:

  • General office clerks: handle the general administrative duties in an office like filing, photocopying, answering telephones, sorting mail and greeting customers.

  • Data entry clerks: enter information into a database and maintain the digital records of files and other official documents.

  • Filing clerks: organise and store the physical files and make them easily accessible to other employees.

  • Legal clerks: assist lawyers by preparing files, briefs, records and other exhibits for trials.

  • Postal clerks: sort mail into the right post office boxes and handle the general paperwork in a post office.

  • Bank clerks: assist the other bank employees in various tasks like finance, bookkeeping and customer service.

  • Hotel desk clerks: answer guest queries and provide them with information on room availability and rates.

  • Travel agency clerks: provide customers with information about tourism attractions, lodging and ticket reservations.

  • Information clerks: provide information about a business to clients in-person, over the phone or through email.

  • Retail clerks: help customers locate items in a store and ring their purchases in the cash register.

  • Clerical assistants: assist senior employees with their day-to-day tasks like screening calls, scheduling appointments and handling correspondence.

  • Office managers: are senior clerks who are responsible for the overall administration of the office. They usually manage a team of junior clerks.

Related: What Does a Bank Clerk Do? And How You Can Become One

Tips to secure a clerical job

If you are looking for a clerical job, follow these tips:

Research available jobs

Job search websites like Indeed make it easy to find clerical jobs in your preferred location. Enter the job type and place to get a list of the best clerical jobs near you. Once you shortlist the available positions, the next step is to research the company. Learning more about the company helps you determine if the job is the right fit for you. It also gives you the confidence to approach the interview with a positive mindset. You can impress the interviewer with your knowledge about the company, which increases your chances of securing the job.

Update your resume and write a cover letter

With a well-written and updated resume and cover letter, you can create a positive first impression on the recruiter. Make sure that your resume is easy to read and follows professional formats. Update it with your latest qualifications and work experience. Use your resume to highlight the skills relevant to the position for which you are applying. Proofread the resume to catch any typos and grammatical errors. The cover letter helps to express your genuine interest in the job and the company.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing

Show initiative

While clerical candidates receive on-the-job training, employees expect them to be self-motivated and take the initiative to complete their tasks without constant supervision. Hence, they require the skills to work independently and solve problems quickly. Staying organised and paying attention to details makes you a good fit for a clerical job. Make sure to showcase these skills while interviewing for the position.

Strengthen your verbal and technical skills

Having good communication skills is an essential requirement for a clerical job. A clerical job requires you to communicate with employees, clients, customers and vendors. Improving your communication abilities is a crucial advantage as it helps you carry out various tasks seamlessly and with clarity. Additionally, having good technical skills like data entry, typing and spreadsheet processing helps you remain efficient in your job.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Practise organisation

Strong organisational skills, along with attention to detail, are helpful in a clerical position. A clerical role requires you to file documents and make it easy for other employees to retrieve them. Staying organised helps you keep the workflow process moving smoothly without affecting other people's work. You can improve your organisational skills by using tools like task lists, schedule calendars and file managers.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition and Examples

Education required for a clerical job

Most recruiters look for candidates with a bachelor's degree in any stream from a recognised college or university. If you have the right skills and initiative, you can secure a clerical job without a college degree after completing your 10th or 10+2 exam from a recognised school board. Note that some specialised clerical positions like a bank clerk require candidates to have a bachelor's degree and pass the bank's clerical entrance examination. Certifications in basic computer skills and data entry can give you an advantage while applying for clerical jobs.

Clerical job salaries and job outlook

The average base salary of a clerk is ₹19,468 per month. Clerical positions are available in different organisations like banks, government offices, post offices, schools, colleges, hospitals and private offices. The salary varies based on several factors like the industry you are working in, your experience and your location.

If you are an organised person with expertise in handling office equipment, you can consider starting your career with a clerical job in a reputed company in your field of expertise. The salary increases as you gain more clerical work experience. Alternatively, you can also progress to other jobs like office administrator or administrative assistant as you gain experience in your entry-level clerical role.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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