Financial clerks do administrative work for many types of organizations. They keep records, help customers, and carry out financial transactions.

Duties

Financial clerks typically do the following:

  • Keep and update financial records
  • Compute bills and charges
  • Offer customer assistance
  • Carry out financial transactions

Financial clerks give administrative and clerical support in financial settings. Their specific job duties vary by specialty and by setting.

Billing and posting clerks calculate charges, develop bills, and prepare them to be mailed to customers. They review documents such as purchase orders, sales tickets, charge slips, and hospital records to compute fees or charges due. They also contact customers to get or give account information.

Gaming cage workers work in casinos and other gaming establishments. The “cage” in which they work is the central depository for money and gaming chips. Gaming cage workers sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons. They count funds and reconcile daily summaries of transactions to balance books.

Payroll and timekeeping clerks compile and post employee time and payroll data. They verify and record attendance, hours worked, and pay adjustments. They ensure that employees are paid on time and that their paychecks are accurate.

Procurement clerks compile requests for materials, prepare purchase orders, keep track of purchases and supplies, and handle questions about orders. They respond to questions from customers and suppliers about the status of orders. They handle requests to change or cancel orders. They make sure that purchases arrive on schedule and that the items meet the purchaser's specifications.

Brokerage clerks help with tasks about securities such as stocks, bonds, commodities, and other kinds of investments. Their duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, distributing dividends, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.

Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks review the credit history and get the information needed to determine the creditworthiness of individuals or businesses applying for credit. Credit authorizers evaluate customers' computerized credit records and payment histories to decide, based on predetermined standards, whether to approve new credit. Credit checkers call or write credit departments of business and service establishments to get information about applicants' credit standing.

Loan interviewers, also called loan processors or loan clerks, interview applicants and others to get and verify personal and financial information needed to complete loan applications. They also prepare the documents that go to the appraiser and are issued at the closing of a loan.

New accounts clerks interview people who want to open accounts in financial institutions. They explain the account services available to prospective customers and help them fill out applications. They also investigate and correct errors in accounts.

Insurance claims and policy processing clerks process applications for insurance policies. They also handle customers' requests to change or cancel their existing policies. Their duties include interviewing clients and reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered. They also notify insurance agents and accounting departments of policy cancellations or changes.

Work Environment: 

Financial clerks held about 1.4 million jobs in 2012.

Financial clerks work in a variety of office settings, including bank branches, medical offices, and government agencies. The industries that employed the most financial clerks in 2012 were as follows:

Credit intermediation and related activities 18%
Insurance carriers and related activities 18
Health care 17
Professional, scientific, and technical services 7

Work Schedules

Most financial clerks work full time. About 1 in 3 procurement clerks worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012, as did about 1 in 3 brokerage clerks.

Education and Training: 

A high school diploma or equivalent is enough for most jobs as a financial clerk. These workers usually learn their duties through on-the-job training.

Education

Financial clerks typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the occupation. Employers of brokerage clerks may prefer candidates who have taken some college courses in business or economics, and in some cases require a 2- or 4-year college degree.

Training

Most financial clerks learn how to do their job duties through on-the-job training. Some formal technical training also may be necessary; for example, gaming cage workers may need training in specific gaming regulations and procedures.

Advancement

Financial clerks can advance to related occupations in finance. For example, a loan interviewer or clerk can become a loan officer, while a brokerage clerk can become a securities, commodities, or financial services sales agent, after obtaining the required education and license.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Financial clerks should have good communication skills so that they can explain policies and procedures to colleagues and customers.

Math skills. The job duties of financial clerks, including calculating charges and checking credit scores, require basic math skills.

Organizational skills. Strong organizational skills are important for financial clerks because they must be able to find files quickly and efficiently.

Pay: 

The median annual wage for financial clerks was $34,960 in May 2012. 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 $23,840, and the top 10 percent earned more than $51,440.

The median annual wages for financial clerks in May 2012 were as follows:

  • $42,440 for brokerage clerks
  • $38,220 for procurement clerks
  • $37,690 for payroll and timekeeping clerks
  • $35,700 for insurance claims and policy processing clerks
  • $35,310 for loan interviewers and clerks
  • $33,600 for credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks
  • $33,450 for billing and posting clerks
  • $31,720 for new accounts clerks
  • $24,610 for gaming cage workers

Most financial clerks work full time. About 1 in 3 procurement clerks worked more than 40 hours per week in 2012, as did about 1 in 3 brokerage clerks.

Job Outlook: 

Employment of financial clerks is projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Projected employment change will vary by specialty as follows:

  • Employment of billing and posting clerks is projected to grow 18 percent. Job growth will be particularly strong for those in medical billing because increased demand for healthcare services will require more of these workers. 
  • Employment of payroll and timekeeping clerks is projected to grow 13 percent. Although payroll and timekeeping functions continue to be important for companies, the automation of this work and the use of computer software that allows employees to update and record their own payroll and timekeeping information will limit the growth of this occupation.
  • Employment of insurance claims and policy processing clerks is projected to grow 8 percent. These workers are heavily concentrated in the insurance industry; therefore, their job growth will be determined mainly by the performance of the insurance industry as a whole.
  • Employment of procurement clerks is projected to show little or no change. The need for procurement clerks will be limited because of the increasing use of the Internet to place orders, which means that fewer procurement clerks are required to handle the same amount of orders.
  • Employment of brokerage clerks is projected to grow 4 percent. The automation of securities transactions will lead to slower growth for these workers.
  • Employment of credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks is projected to decline 3 percent. The availability of online credit reports will reduce the need for these workers.
  • Employment of new accounts clerks is projected to decline 5 percent. There is less of a need for these workers since many customers can open accounts online.
  • Employment of loan interviewers and clerks is projected to grow 9 percent. Tighter lending standards and regulations will create demand for workers whose job is to verify the accuracy of loan applications. However, the use of online loan applications will somewhat reduce the need for these workers to conduct in-person interviews.
  • Employment of gaming cage workers is projected to grow 7 percent. Employment will grow as more state-owned casinos open and the private gaming industry expands.

Job Prospects

Job prospects for financial clerks are likely to be favorable, because many workers are expected to leave this occupation. Employers will need to hire new workers to replace those leaving the occupation.

For More Information: 

For more information about financial clerks, visit

American Bankers Association

Insurance Information Institute

Mortgage Bankers Association                              

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2014–2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh.

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