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How to become a Clerk

clerk careers

What does a Clerk do?

General clerks, also known as clerical workers, clerical assistants or administration assistants, deal with the more routine administrative tasks in an organisation. Duties are likely to include:

  • filing, indexing, cross-referencing and retrieving information and documents
  • gathering information by telephone, letter or in person, or referring to other sources
  • recording or updating information using computerised or manual systems
  • photocopying, sorting and distributing incoming post and preparing outgoing for despatch.
Clerks may specialise in one or more of these areas or might be responsible for all the administrative duties of a specific department.

What's the working environment like working as a Clerk?

Clerks work between 35 and 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Depending on the employer, flexitime, part-time or job sharing may be available. Sometimes, overtime working may be necessary.

The work is office-based. General clerical assistants usually work seated at a desk, often with a computer terminal. They communicate with other staff, outside organisations or members of the public by post, telephone, fax or e-mail.

What does it take to become a Clerk?

To be a general clerk, you should:

  • be able to read and write clearly with good levels of spelling and grammar
  • be numerate
  • have computer and keyboard skills
  • be able to work quickly and accurately
  • have good spoken and written communication skills
  • be able to work without close supervision
  • be a good team member
  • be able to concentrate on routine and repetitive tasks
  • be well-organised and methodical and able to pay attention to detail
  • be able to handle problems using own initiative but know when to refer matters to a supervisor.

Clerk Career Opportunities

Information technology has reduced the number of purely clerical jobs, especially those in non-specialised areas. However, general administrative/clerical assistants are still employed by most organisations and companies throughout the country. Employers include industrial and commercial organisations, public utilities, local government, the civil service and the health service.

In those organisations employing large numbers of general clerical assistants, promotion may be possible to senior clerk, supervisor, section head or office manager. Some may offer transfers to other departments or the chance to specialise in a specific area of clerical work.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Clerk that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Council for Administration (CfA)
6 Graphite Square
Vauxhall Walk
SE11 5EE
Tel: 020 7091 9620