10 Types of Clerical Jobs (With Salaries and Soft Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2021

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.

Clerical jobs are administrative roles that require advanced organisation skills. Most companies have numerous employees doing different types of clerical work. The tasks that you would do in a clerical position depend on the type of clerical work that you specialise in. In this article, we discuss the different types of clerical work, what most clerical jobs include and the soft skills that you need to succeed in a clerical role.

10 types of clerical jobs

Clerical work is a broad term for jobs that entail general office duties. This means that there are many types of clerical work. Here are some examples of types of clerical work, their salaries and primary duties.

1. Data entry clerk

Average base salary: $174,975 per year

Primary duties: A data entry clerk is responsible for inputting information into databases. This includes creating and updating databases, spreadsheets and other computer files.

2. General office clerk

Average base salary: $187,671 per year

Primary duties: A general office clerk is responsible for record-keeping, organisation and filing for an office.

3. Office coordinator

Average base salary: $191,332 per year

Primary duties: An office coordinator organises the office agenda, including answering and transferring calls, providing administrative support to colleagues within the office and maintaining and ordering office supplies.

4. Receptionist

Average base salary: $202,127 per year

Primary duties: A receptionist greets visitors, answers and transfers phone calls and provides answers to visitors' questions.

Related: 10 Important Qualities of What Makes a Good Receptionist

5. Accounting clerk

Average base salary: $204,223 per year

Primary duties: An accounting clerk is responsible for ensuring that the financial records of an organisation are up-to-date and correct. This includes filling invoices.

6. Assistant

Average base salary: $220,387 per year

Primary duties: An assistant arranges meetings, organises correspondence and answers calls in an office.

Related: What Is An Administrative Assistant? (And How To Become One)

7. Secretary

Average base salary: $220,842 per year

Primary duties: A secretarial job typically involves organising diaries and meetings, answering the phone, preparing reports and taking messages.

Related: Administrative Work: Definition, Requirements and Skills

8. Medical clerk

Average base salary: $236,859 per year

Primary duties: A medical clerk is responsible for keeping records of medical reports, collecting and filing patient information and processing patient admissions and discharges.

9. Executive secretary

Average base salary: $287,272 per year

Primary duties: An executive secretary organises the activities of an executive within a company. This includes drafting letters, reports and other forms of correspondence, scheduling meetings and taking minutes during meetings.

Related: 4 Meeting Minutes Templates To Save Time

10. Office manager

Average base salary: $287,977 per year

Primary duties: An office manager is responsible for the smooth running of the office. They organise meetings, manage databases and have a thorough understanding of every colleague's schedule in the office.

Related: 20 Helpful Tips on How To Be a Good Office Manager

5 areas of clerical work

Despite the many different types of clerical jobs, the main work that clerical jobs typically entail is as follows:

1. Correspondence

A large proportion of clerical work is receiving and outputting correspondence both within a company and externally. This is typically through email but can also be through typed letters or fax. On most occasions, your supervisor tells you the nature and content of the correspondence and you compose it. It's possible that you might distribute correspondence that your boss has already written.

2. Organising meetings

Most types of clerical work require the organisation of meetings. This means understanding the topic of the meeting, sending out invitations to attendees and monitoring attendance. In some cases, you may also take the minutes for the meeting.

Related: Meeting Request Template: Create a Meeting Invitation Email

3. Data entry

As a clerical professional, your supervisor may ask you to do some data entry. This entails receiving data and inputting it into spreadsheets or specially designed software. You may be responsible for maintaining the database and ensuring that it's up-to-date and accurate.

4. Filing

Most clerical jobs require filing of some sort. This could be with paper files or computer files. Ensuring that your filing systems are organised and efficient could be a part of your clerical job.

5. Answering phones

As a clerical employee, you most likely have to answer phones. This may be on behalf of your supervisor or to transfer callers to other departments. Learning how to speak confidently and in a professional manner on the phone is important to being a successful clerk.

10 soft skills for clerical jobs

As a clerical professional, there are certain soft skills that can help you be successful and perform your job well. Here are 10 skills to gain for your clerical job:

1. IT Skills

Certain parts of clerical jobs like data entry and organising meetings tend to require a basic understanding of computers and IT. You may receive on-the-job training so you understand the specific systems that the company uses. Understanding the basics of word processing and email systems is important for presenting yourself as a competent clerical employee.

Having good typing skills is a benefit for clerical work. Being quick at touch typing reduces the amount of time you take on your daily typing based tasks. If you do not have good IT skills, taking the time to practise and become proficient could improve your working life.

Related: Excel Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Organisation

Being a clerical employee typically means being highly organised. Making sure that meetings line up with other activities in a diary, filing paperwork and overseeing your other responsibilities requires a high level of organisation. Your supervisor or other members of your office may rely on you to be organised and teach them the organisational system.

3. Detail-orientation

Attention to detail, like being able to notice mistakes in spelling and grammar before sending out reports, is a good skill in a clerical job. This could mean editing your own work or proofreading your manager's work. Detail orientation can assist you in this process.

4. Time management

A clerical job could include doing many tasks throughout the day and working on multiple projects. This means that managing your time is important to staying organised and completing all the work assigned to you.

Additionally, effectively prioritising your workload could improve your success in a clerical job. If you can recognise which pieces of work to complete first based on deadlines and how time-consuming it is, you're more likely to succeed as a clerical employee.

5. Communication

A large part of most clerical jobs is communicating with people internally and externally. You may be responsible for answering the phone and speaking to clients or other callers. Having good communication skills is important for having successful phone interactions, especially if you regularly talk to customers or the general public.

Good written communication is often also necessary for clerical work. Competently sending professional emails to colleagues and clients is a basic skill of most clerical jobs. This includes good formatting and presentation skills. As an assistant, you may answer specifically to one person. Having good communication skills to discuss their needs and your workload is important to successfully complete the job.

6. Teamwork

As a clerk, you may be responsible for organising meetings, your supervisor's diary or even organising an office of employees. Having good teamwork skills can position you to work well with others and be successful in your position as a clerical professional. This is especially relevant for office coordinators.

Related: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

7. Independence

Independence is another valuable skill for clerical roles. While your supervisor may assign tasks to you, they may also expect you to complete other tasks without assistance. Being able to complete tasks independently can make you a more reliable and valuable professional.

8. Self-motivation

Being a self-starter is a benefit to clerical work. This means noticing uncompleted but necessary work and doing it yourself or handing it over to the correct colleague. Creative thinking could be beneficial too, as you can provide a different perspective and complete work in imaginative ways.

9. Basic mathematical skills

Having a basic knowledge of maths could be beneficial in certain clerical jobs. If you're responsible for organising the payroll, having mathematical ability could help make sure there are no mistakes. Additionally, data management may require some mathematical knowledge.

10. Dependability

In most clerical jobs, there is a degree of interdependence within the office. Whilst you may rely on your supervisor for your workload, others may rely on you for your organising meetings, filing systems or payroll work. Being dependable and demonstrating that you consistently help colleagues within your office is an important part of clerical work.

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.

Explore more articles