In Summary - Clerk (General)
Clerk (General)s typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Clerk (General)
Clerks work in offices, helping to ensure the smooth running of their organisation's administrative and information systems. They have a wide range of clerical and administrative duties, and usually work under supervision.
Clerks may be responsible for collecting and opening the post, and for delivering it to the appropriate department or member of staff. They may also collect outgoing mail and prepare it for sending.
They provide administrative support, carrying out duties such as photocopying, faxing, filing hard copy documents, answering the telephone, taking messages, ordering stationery and other resources, and perhaps providing cover on a reception desk or telephone.
Some clerks may specialise in accounts/finance work, with particular responsibility for the financial aspects of office administration, such as preparing invoices and working out the cost of customer orders. They calculate wages based on employees' time sheets, deducting tax, medical insurance, pensions contributions and National Insurance.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Operate office machines, such as photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems, and personal computers.
- Answer telephones, direct calls, and take messages.
- Maintain and update filing, inventory, mailing, and database systems, either manually or using a computer.
- Communicate with customers, employees, and other individuals to answer questions, disseminate or explain information, take orders, and address complaints.
- Open, sort, and route incoming mail, answer correspondence, and prepare outgoing mail.
- Compile, copy, sort, and file records of office activities, business transactions, and other activities.
- Compute, record, and proofread data and other information, such as records or reports.
- Type, format, proofread, and edit correspondence and other documents, from notes or dictating machines, using computers or typewriters.
- Complete work schedules, manage calendars, and arrange appointments.
- Review files, records, and other documents to obtain information to respond to requests.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Performing Administrative Activities Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Interests - Clerk (General)
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Employers look for employees that are well organised, methodical and careful in their work. Some clerical tasks can be repetitive, so you must be happy to work in this type of environment. An ability to keep your concentration and accuracy at all times is also required.
Good literacy and number skills will be important, for example, when completing forms or keeping records of sales figures.
Computer, word processing or keyboard skills are increasingly important. Word processor operators may be required to have typing speeds of between 40 and 50 words per minute. You must also be able to operate standard office equipment, such as fax machines and photocopiers.
Many employers prefer clerks to have a smart appearance, especially if they have reception duties. You are also likely to need a professional, polite, helpful telephone manner.
Clerks usually work under supervision, although you must be able to use your initiative to complete tasks.
Teamwork skills are also desirable in a clerk as you will be working as part of a larger team.
Entry Requirements - Clerk (General)
Pay & Salary - Clerk (General)
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 23k
Brightwater / Sigmar
Last Updated: July, 2015
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Labour Market Updates - Clerk (General)
Although large numbers are employed in this occupation, growth is on a par with the national average. There are over 7,000 job ready job seekers previously employed in this occupation and it also features strongly in the recent job hires analysis indicating issues with job churn.
National Skills Bulletin 2018