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Job Outlook for:
General Office Clerks

SOC: 43-9061        OOH: U364

General Office Clerks
Quick Stats
Total Jobs in 2016 3,117,700
Expected Growth -1%    (Little or no change)
New Jobs To Be Added
from 2016 to 2026
Median Pay $25,000 to $34,999



Employment Outlook for General Office Clerks

Employment of general office clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026. Employment growth will vary by industry.

An ageing population is expected to drive employment growth in healthcare, and more general office clerks will be needed to handle administrative tasks related to billing and insurance processing in this sector. On the other hand, employment in the manufacturing sector is projected to decline over the next decade, so manufacturing firms are expected to need fewer general office clerks.

Some tasks of office clerks have been affected by technology. For example, many organizations maintain electronic documents or use automated phone systems, reducing the need for some general office clerks.

Job Prospects

Job prospects are expected to be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation.




Typical Pay for General Office Clerks

The median hourly wage for general office clerks was $14.70 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.28, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $24.24.

In May 2016, the median hourly wages for general office clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Government $16.54
Professional, scientific, and technical services 15.44
Healthcare and social assistance 14.78
Educational services; state, local, and private 13.77
Administrative and support services 13.53

Most general office clerks work full time in 2016 but about 1 in 4 worked part time.


What General Office Clerks Do All Day

General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.


General office clerks typically do the following:

  • Answer and transfer telephone calls or take messages
  • Sort and deliver incoming mail and send outgoing mail
  • Schedule appointments and receive customers or visitors
  • Provide general information to staff, clients, or the public
  • Type, format, or edit routine memos or other reports
  • Copy, file, and update paper and electronic documents
  • Prepare and process bills and other office documents
  • Collect information and perform data entry

Rather than performing a single specialized task, general office clerks have responsibilities that often change daily with the current needs of the employer.

Some clerks file documents or answer phones; others enter data into computers or perform other tasks using software applications. They also frequently use photocopiers, scanners, fax machines, and other office equipment.

The specific duties assigned to clerks will depend on the type of office in which they work. For example, a general office clerk at a college or university may process application materials and answer questions from prospective students, while a clerk at a hospital may file and retrieve medical records.



Work Environment for General Office Clerks

General office clerks held about 3.1 million jobs in 2016. The largest employers of general office clerks were as follows:

Healthcare and social assistance 12%
Educational services; state, local, and private 12
Government 9
Administrative and support services 9
Professional, scientific, and technical services 9

General office clerks usually work in office settings.

Work Schedules

Most general office clerks worked full time in 2016, but about 1 in 4 worked part time.



How To Become a General Office Clerk

General office clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their skills on the job.


General office clerks usually need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Courses in using computer applications, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, may be helpful for those who aren’t already familiar with them.


General office clerks usually learn their skills while on the job. Their training typically lasts up to one month and may include instructions on office procedures, proper phone etiquette, and the use of office equipment.


General office clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibility, such as secretaries and administrative assistants.

Advancement opportunities often depend on work experience.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. General office clerks often provide general information to company staff, customers, or the public. They should be courteous and prompt with their responses.

Detail oriented. General office clerks perform many clerical tasks that require attention to detail, such as preparing bills.

Organizational skills. General office clerks file and retrieve records. They need to keep records organized to be able to access them quickly and efficiently.






"General Office Clerks"   SOC:  43-9061     OOH Code: U364

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