|Quick Facts: Information Clerks|
|2017 Median Pay||$33,680 per year
$16.19 per hour
|Typical Entry-Level Education|
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation||None|
|Number of Jobs, 2016||1,516,800|
|Job Outlook, 2016-26||3% (Slower than average)|
|Employment Change, 2016-26||38,600|
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Information Clerks Career, Salary, and Education Information
What Information Clerks Do
Information clerks perform routine clerical duties such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.
Duties of information clerks
Information clerks typically do the following:
Prepare routine reports, claims, bills, or orders
Collect and record data from customers, staff, and the public
Answer questions from customers and the public about products or services
File and maintain paper or electronic records
Information clerks perform routine office support functions in an organization, business, or government. They use telephones, computers, and other office equipment such as scanners and fax machines.
The following are examples of types of information clerks:
Correspondence clerks respond to inquiries from the public or customers. They prepare standard responses to requests for merchandise, damage claims, delinquent accounts, incorrect billings, or complaints about unsatisfactory services. They may also review the organization’s records and type response letters for their supervisors to sign.
Court clerks organize and maintain court records. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about their upcoming court appearances. Court clerks also receive, file, and forward court documents.
Eligibility interviewers conduct interviews both in person and over the phone to determine if applicants qualify for government assistance and benefits. They answer applicants’ questions about programs and may refer them to other agencies for assistance.
File clerks maintain electronic or paper records. They enter and retrieve data, organize records, and file documents. In organizations with electronic filing systems, file clerks scan and upload documents.
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks, also called front desk clerks, provide customer service to guests at the establishment’s front desk. They check guests in and out, assign rooms, and process payments. They also keep occupancy records; take, confirm, or change room reservations; and provide information on the hotel’s policies and services. In addition, front desk clerks answer phone calls, take and deliver messages for guests, and handle guests’ requests and complaints. For example, when guests report problems in their rooms, clerks coordinate with maintenance staff to resolve the issue.
Human resources assistants provide administrative support to human resources managers. They maintain personnel records on employees, including their addresses, employment history, and performance evaluations. They may post information about job openings and compile candidates’ résumés for review.
Interviewers conduct interviews over the phone, in person, through mail, or online. They use the information to complete forms, applications, or questionnaires for market research surveys, census forms, and medical histories. Interviewers typically follow set procedures and questionnaires to obtain specific information.
License clerks process applications for licenses and permits, administer tests, and collect application fees. They determine if applicants are qualified to receive particular licenses or if additional documentation needs to be submitted. They also maintain records of applications received and licenses issued.
Municipal clerks provide administrative support for town or city governments by maintaining government records. They record, maintain, and distribute minutes of town or city council meetings to local officials and staff and help prepare for elections. They may also answer requests for information from local, state, and federal officials and the public.
Order clerks receive orders from customers and process payments. For example, they may enter customer information, such as addresses and payment methods, into the order entry system. They also answer questions about prices and shipping.
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks take and confirm passengers’ reservations for hotels and transportation. They also sell and issue tickets and answer questions about itineraries, rates, and package tours. Ticket agents who work at airports and railroads also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.
Work Environment for Information Clerks
Information clerks held about 1.5 million jobs in 2016. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up information clerks was distributed as follows:
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks: 252,600
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan: 194,700
Order clerks: 179,000
Information and record clerks, all other: 178,100
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks: 150,100
Eligibility interviewers, government programs: 143,100
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping: 141,500
Court, municipal, and license clerks: 135,500
File clerks: 135,000
Correspondence clerks: 7,200
The largest employers of information clerks were as follows:
Local government, excluding education and hospitals: 13%
Healthcare and social assistance: 12%
Transportation and warehousing: 8%
Federal government: 7%
Administrative and support services: 6%
Information clerks work in nearly every industry. Although most clerks work in an office setting, interviewers may travel to applicants’ locations to interview them.
The work of information clerks who provide customer service can be stressful, particularly when dealing with dissatisfied customers.
Reservation and transportation ticket agents at airports or shipping counters lift and maneuver heavy luggage or packages, sometimes weighing up to 100 pounds.
Injuries and Illnesses
Information clerks who work as reservation and transportation ticket agents have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. The most common injuries are muscle strains, such as from lifting heavy suitcases.
Most information clerks worked full time in 2016. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks and file clerks.
Clerks in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
How to Become an Information Clerk
Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job.
Although candidates for most positions usually qualify with a high school diploma, human resources assistants generally need an associate’s degree. Whether pursuing a degree or not, courses in word processing and spreadsheet applications are particularly helpful.
Most information clerks receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Training typically covers clerical procedures and the use of computer applications. Those employed in government receive training that may last several months and includes learning about various government programs and regulations.
Some information clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as secretaries and administrative assistants. With completion of a bachelor’s degree, some human resources assistants may become human resources specialists.
Communication skills. Information clerks must be able to explain policies and procedures clearly to customers and the public.
Integrity. Information clerks, particularly human resources assistants, have access to confidential information. They must be trusted to adhere to the applicable confidentiality and privacy rules governing the dissemination of this information.
Interpersonal skills. Information clerks who work with the public and customers must understand and communicate information effectively in order to establish positive relationships.
Organizational skills. Information clerks must be able to retrieve files and other important information quickly and efficiently.
salaries for Information Clerks
The median annual wage for information clerks was $33,680 in May 2017. 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 $20,720, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $55,480.
Median annual wages for information clerks in May 2017 were as follows:
Eligibility interviewers, government programs: $44,400
Information and record clerks, all other: $39,860
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping: $39,480
Court, municipal, and license clerks: $37,300
Correspondence clerks: $36,620
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks: $36,280
Order clerks: $33,510
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan: $33,110
File clerks: $30,120
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks: $22,850
In May 2017, the median annual wages for information clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:
Federal government: $45,160
Transportation and warehousing: $38,950
Local government, excluding education and hospitals: $38,300
Healthcare and social assistance: $33,460
Administrative and support services: $31,420
Most information clerks worked full time in 2016. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks and file clerks.
Clerks who work in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Compared with workers in all occupations, court, municipal, and license clerks, and government program eligibility interviewers, had a higher percentage of workers who belonged to a union in 2016.
Job Outlook for Information Clerks
Employment of information clerks is projected to grow 3 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth of information clerks will vary by occupation. (See table below.)
Growth in the overall employment of information clerks is expected to be limited as organizations and businesses consolidate their administrative functions. For example, businesses increasingly use online applications for benefits and employment, thereby streamlining the process and requiring fewer workers.
Furthermore, increased use of online ordering and reservations systems and self-service ticketing kiosks will result in the need for fewer clerks to process orders and maintain files. In some businesses, including medical offices, receptionists and other workers are increasingly performing tasks that used to be done by clerks.
Overall job prospects should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. Workers with previous clerical or customer service experience and education beyond high school should have the best prospects.
Employment projections data for Information Clerks, 2016-26
Employment, 2016: 1,516,800
Projected Employment, 2026: 1,555,400
Change, 2016-2026: +3%, +38,600
Careers Related to Information Clerks
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.
Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.
Financial clerks do administrative work for many types of organizations. They keep records, help customers, and carry out financial transactions.
General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.
Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.
Lodging managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other types of establishment with accommodations. They also ensure that the establishment is run efficiently and profitably.
Material recording clerks track product information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping, and inventory control.
Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.
Receptionists perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, receiving visitors, and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers.
Secretaries and administrative assistants perform routine clerical and administrative duties. They organize files, prepare documents, schedule appointments, and support other staff.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Information Clerks,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm