What does an office clerk do? (With salary and related roles)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 April 2022

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.

Working as an office clerk can be an excellent opportunity to develop your administrative abilities and gain insight into working in a variety of industries. If you're an organised individual and take pride in your administrative abilities, a career as an office clerk may be a good option for you. Understanding what office clerks do and the skills necessary to become one can help you determine if it's a role that suits you. In this article, we explain what an office clerk does, discuss the qualifications necessary to become one and share similar job titles.

What does an office clerk do?

If you're considering a career in office administration, you may benefit from understanding the answer to 'What does an office clerk do?'. Office clerks are administrative professionals who perform clerical tasks to support the efficient operation of the workplace. Their specific duties vary depending on the type of office or industry. For example, if you were an office clerk in a university setting, you might process applications and answer prospective students' questions, whereas if you worked in a hospital, you might process payment or insurance information and maintain filing systems of patient records.

Read more: How to write an administrator CV (with tips and example)

Office clerk duties

As an office clerk, you would be responsible for a variety of general office tasks. While the specific functions vary between industries, duties typically include:

  • recording and transcribing minutes from meetings

  • booking meeting rooms and sending invitations for events or conferences

  • operating and maintaining office equipment, such as printers, scanners and coffee machines

  • directing phone calls to appropriate departments and passing on messages as necessary

  • keeping an inventory of office supplies and stationery and placing orders for additional stock when needed

  • sorting and distributing incoming mail

  • responding to client enquiries via telephone, email or letter

  • booking travel, accommodation and event spaces

Some industries may require office clerks to take on additional responsibilities. For example, if you work as an office clerk in a law firm, you may also research court files, take witness statements and prepare legal documents.

Related: Common interview questions for an administrator job (with example answers)

Office clerk work environment

If you work as an office clerk, you're typically based in an office environment. For most of your workday, you sit at a desk in front of a computer, although you may sometimes sit at a front desk to greet visitors to the office. Office clerks work in various industries, including law firms, education, healthcare, human resources, recruitment and consultancy companies. You may work in full or part-time positions, and some office clerks work on a contract or temporary basis, receiving work through an agency. Contract placements can be long term for a period of months or short-term to provide a single day's cover.

Related: What is a contract employee? (With benefits and disadvantages)

Qualifications necessary to become an office clerk

The qualification requirements for office clerk positions may vary depending on the industry. For example, employers in the legal industry may expect you to be interested in law or hold a relevant qualification, such as a level 3 diploma for legal secretaries. Typically, office clerk positions require candidates to have achieved a minimum grade of A–C at GCSE level in maths and English. Additional qualifications that can be beneficial for office clerks include:

  • GCSE information technology

  • NVQ business administration

  • A-level business studies

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration or business management

If you are pursuing office clerk or administrative positions within healthcare or legal fields, you may find it useful to have certificates or qualifications relevant to the specific industry. For example, diplomas in medical administration or legal administration provide you with the skills necessary to enter their respective fields.

Related: The complete guide to National Vocational Qualifications

Office clerk key skills

It's essential for office clerks to have both hard and soft skills as they work with members of the public, clients and colleagues while also performing administrative and technical support duties. Specific skills required may vary depending on the industry you choose to work in, but some of the key skills for this role include:

  • Time management: Office clerks have a variety of tasks to perform with several deadlines to meet, and these can change daily. Being able to manage your time effectively and prioritise important tasks is useful.

  • Written and verbal communication: Responding to client enquiries via telephone, email, letter or face to face is an integral part of an office clerk's role. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential for liaising with colleagues and relaying complex information to customers.

  • Flexibility and adaptability: Office staff in departments across the company often rely on office clerks for administrative support or assistance with office equipment. Flexibility and multitasking are important, as unexpected requests may arise throughout the day.

  • Computer literacy skills: Many of the tasks office clerks perform are computer-based. Being able to perform basic computer functions, including organising an email inbox, typing documents and scheduling meetings, is essential for the role.

  • Proficient using software for office tasks: Regardless of the industry office clerks work within, tasks such as typing up documents, managing spreadsheets and preparing presentations are likely to be completed on office software. Having experience using this software is often an asset when applying for office clerk positions.

  • Above-average typing skills: Office clerks perform various administrative duties, which typically include typing up documents or minutes from meetings. Being a fast and accurate typist is important to ensure a productive workflow.

Read more: How to develop your skill set for career success

Roles similar to office clerk

The national average salary for an office clerk is £19,294 per year. The salary for office clerk positions varies depending on location, company and experience. If an office clerk role isn't quite what you're looking for, consider the related positions below:

  1. Administrative assistant

National average salary: £19,492 per year

Primary duties: Administrative assistants provide administrative support to key members of an organisation. Sometimes, they work within a particular department providing support to team members as needed, or they may work directly with a manager to help with their administrative workload. Their responsibilities include scheduling meetings, answering phone calls, managing an email inbox, making travel arrangements and maintaining filing systems.

Related: What is the average UK salary by industry, age and education?

  1. Office administrator

National average salary: £20,117 per year

Primary duties: Office administrators perform administrative and housekeeping duties within their office environment to ensure the workplace runs smoothly. They may work independently or provide support to an office manager. Their duties include coordinating office activities, maintaining office supplies and stationery inventory, scheduling appointments, booking meeting rooms and providing administrative support to colleagues as necessary.

Read more: How to write an office administrator cover letter (with examples)

  1. Personal assistant

National average salary: £24,251 per year

Primary duties: Personal assistants perform many administrative tasks for managers, executives, celebrities or wealthy individuals and families. Their role is to free their manager's time from administrative and organisational tasks so that they can focus on strategic duties instead. Their responsibilities can be wide-ranging but may include acting as the first point of contact for their manager, managing diaries, organising events, booking travel, performing administrative tasks and reminding their manager of important deadlines.

Read more: How to become a personal assistant with duties and salary

  1. Office manager

National average salary: £27,084 per year

Primary duties: Office managers perform a range of administrative and managerial duties to ensure the efficient functioning of an office. In larger organisations, they often oversee a team of administrators, but in small businesses or startups, they may also be personal assistants for senior management. Their responsibilities include ordering stationery and office equipment, arranging maintenance of office facilities, organising meetings, managing office budgets, supporting administrative staff and onboarding new hires, including induction training and advising them on health and safety policies.

  1. Administration manager

National average salary: £28,121 per year

Primary duties: Administration managers typically oversee the support operations and administrative staff of an organisation. They develop efficient administrative procedures and implement them within a team of professionals who perform administrative tasks on behalf of different departments. Their duties include coordinating administrative processes, training new members of the administrative team, delegating tasks to ensure efficient completion of work, and managing their team's performance.

  1. Executive assistant

National average salary: £31,860 per year

Primary duties: Executive assistants work with high-level professionals to support them in their day-to-day tasks. Specific duties vary depending on the role of their manager and the industry they work in, but their overall responsibility is to reduce their manager's workload by performing administrative duties on their behalf. Duties typically include scheduling meetings, managing diaries, making travel arrangements, acting as their manager's first point of contact, managing email inboxes and preparing corporate documents.

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.‌


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