What Is a Clerical Worker?

Clerical worker in the future – In the world of business there is a segment of workers whose job it is to keep operations moving by performing several office-based duties: communications, filing, recording information and scheduling meetings. As of April 2010 there are a reported roughly 7 million people performing administrative support work in the U.S.

General characteristics
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ list of duties for various types of clerical workers and administrative support personnel says clerical workers are those whose responsibility is to record, sort and pass on information relative to their industry and department. They typically report to a direct superior, such as a manager or supervisor or owner of the company or agency. Specific examples include file clerks, who classify and organize files or shipping and receiving clerks who document information on inventory.

Record keeping
Record keeping is a major component in a clerical worker’s job, whether it’s taking notes at a meeting for city hall clerks, or maintaining employee records for personnel clerks. Shipping and receiving clerks keep track of what comes in or goes out of their department, while medical clerks record up-to-date patient information, both for the medical staff and insurance companies.

Communication
Another aspect that defines a clerical worker includes duties that have to do with correspondence and general communication. Receptionists deal with the outside world, fielding calls and taking messages from callers. Bank clerks often provide information to potential clients, or interview them for eligibility to open an account. Dispatch workers relay information to public safety officers, like police, fire, paramedics and emergency services personnel.

Processing paperwork
Clerical workers may also have duties that require processing paperwork. This included filling out forms, sending out bills, statements and letters. Certain clerks fulfill work orders, record payments and product orders. A clerical worker may also obtain licenses and schedules for the business.

Other duties
Clerical workers often have to be somewhat versatile individuals. Sometimes these people are asked to perform functions that are different from their typical job, like sales or marketing. In allied health professions, receptionists can also be medical assistants. Veterinary receptionists may double as kennel workers, and front office workers may also do some accounting and auditing.

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