Career Development

What Does a General Clerk Do?

Find out what a general clerk does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a general clerk.

General clerks are the go-to professionals in any organization. They handle a wide range of clerical duties, from filing paperwork to answering phones and providing customer service. Their duties may be specialized depending on the nature of their employer’s business—for example, they might work exclusively with medical records or shipping documents.

General clerks typically don’t have much control over what they do each day; they simply follow the instructions of their supervisors or managers. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t valued members of their organization. In fact, general clerks often play an important role in keeping their company running smoothly by handling administrative tasks that would otherwise take up valuable time from higher-level employees.

General Clerk Job Duties

A general clerk typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Scheduling meetings, appointments, and events for high profile clients using computer software applications
  • Performing clerical duties such as filing, typing, answering phones, and handling mail
  • Providing administrative support to executive staff by handling correspondence, scheduling meetings, and taking notes at meetings
  • Managing office supplies inventory and ordering supplies as needed
  • Recording details about incoming phone calls or messages for future reference
  • Maintaining databases of customer information for companies that sell goods or services over the phone or through the mail
  • Providing administrative support to managers by answering questions, typing memos, creating spreadsheets and charts, and processing paperwork
  • Assisting with human resources tasks such as processing employee benefits or maintaining employee records
  • Performing basic accounting functions such as maintaining general ledgers and preparing reports

General Clerk Salary & Outlook

General clerks’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $36,000 ($17.31/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $53,500 ($25.72/hour)

The employment of general clerks is expected to decline over the next decade.

Employment of general clerks is projected to decrease because of automation, which will allow fewer workers to do more work. As software and other types of automation become more sophisticated, they will be able to perform more tasks than before. This will allow employers to reduce their payrolls and increase productivity.

General Clerk Job Requirements

A general clerk may be required to have the following:

Education: General clerks typically need a high school diploma or General Education Diploma (GED). Some positions may require an associate’s degree or a related certificate.

Many employers prefer candidates who have completed a general office program or a program that provides specific skills for the position. Courses in word processing, spreadsheets, databases and computer software can help general clerks perform their duties more efficiently.

Training & Experience: General clerks typically receive on-the-job training to learn the specific processes and procedures of their role. Training may include shadowing another employee or performing duties under supervision until they are comfortable enough to complete tasks on their own.

Certifications & Licenses: Generally, employers do not require certifications for general clerks. However, some states do have specific clerk positions that require certifications. These certifications are usually available through professional organizations in each state.

General Clerk Skills

General clerks need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: General clerks often communicate with a variety of people, including customers, managers, coworkers and other general clerks. Effective communication skills can help you convey information clearly and answer questions. You can also use communication skills to resolve conflicts between coworkers or customers.

Organization: Organization is another skill that general clerks use on a daily basis. This is because the general clerical position requires you to keep track of multiple files and documents at the same time. You may be required to sort through large amounts of paperwork, so it’s important to have organizational skills to keep your work space tidy and your files in order.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes in information. General clerks may need to notice if a number is out of place or if a customer’s information is incorrect. This skill can help you provide the correct information to customers and ensure the company’s records are accurate.

Computer skills: General clerks may use computers to enter data, create spreadsheets, send emails and complete other tasks. Having strong computer skills can help you be more efficient in your job and advance in your career.

Teamwork: General clerks often work with other people, including supervisors, managers and other clerks. General clerks who are good team members can work with others to complete tasks, share information and help each other learn new skills. General clerks who are good team members can also be friendly and supportive to their coworkers.

General Clerk Work Environment

General clerks work in a variety of settings, including offices of businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. They typically work a regular 40-hour week, although they may have to work overtime during busy periods. Clerks who work in retail establishments may work evenings and weekends. Many general clerks work in air-conditioned and well-lit offices. Some may work in cubicles, while others have private offices. Some general clerks may be required to stand for long periods when they work in retail settings.

General Clerk Trends

Here are three trends influencing how general clerks work. General clerks will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Remote Work

The trend of remote work is growing rapidly, as more and more people are choosing to work from home. This is due to the many benefits that come with working remotely, such as increased productivity, reduced stress, and a better work-life balance.

General clerks can take advantage of this trend by becoming proficient in online tools and technologies that allow them to work remotely. This will allow them to find jobs that are located in areas where there is a shortage of talent, or where they can get a better work-life balance.

More Use of Technology

As technology continues to evolve, businesses are using it more and more to streamline their operations. This is leading to an increased demand for general clerks who have expertise in using technology to help manage data and automate tasks.

General clerks who are able to use technology effectively will be in high demand, as they will be able to help businesses save time and money by automating tasks and managing data. In order to stay ahead of the curve, general clerks should focus on developing skills in areas such as cloud computing, data analytics, and software development.

Greater Focus on Customer Service

As customer service becomes increasingly important, businesses are placing a greater emphasis on hiring general clerks who have experience providing excellent customer service.

General clerks can capitalize on this trend by developing strong customer service skills and by being able to communicate effectively with customers. They should also be prepared to handle difficult situations and to provide support after the sale has been made.

How to Become a General Clerk

General clerks are a vital part of any business. They perform a wide range of tasks, from answering phones to filing paperwork. As a general clerk, you’ll need to be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. You’ll also need to be able to handle a large volume of work.

To become a general clerk, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers also require certification in office skills, such as typing and shorthand.

Advancement Prospects

Many general clerks advance to positions with more responsibility, such as office manager or customer service representative. Some may also advance to become a legal secretary, medical secretary, or executive secretary. With experience, general clerks may also move into positions in human resources, accounting, or sales.

General Clerk Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for a highly motivated and organized individual to join our team as a General Clerk. The General Clerk will be responsible for a variety of administrative tasks including answering phones, filing, data entry, and assisting with special projects as needed. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and customer service skills, be detail oriented, and able to work independently with little supervision. If you are a self-starter with a positive attitude and are looking for an opportunity to grow with a company, we want to hear from you!

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Answer customer inquiries and direct them to the appropriate department or individual
  • Respond to customer requests for information and assistance in a professional and courteous manner
  • Process customer orders, payments, and returns in an accurate and efficient manner
  • Perform data entry and maintain accurate records
  • Prepare correspondence, reports, and other documents as needed
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail
  • Photocopy, scan, and fax documents as needed
  • Maintain office supplies and inventory
  • Assist with special projects as needed
  • Adhere to all company policies and procedures
  • Provide excellent customer service at all times
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, with aptitude to learn new software and systems
  • Solid interpersonal skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong time-management skills and multitasking ability
  • Accurate data entry skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or higher
  • Previous office experience
  • Experience working with databases and CRM systems
  • Familiarity with standard filing systems
  • Comfortable handling confidential information
  • Ability to adapt to changing situations in a calm and professional manner


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