Information clerks perform routine clerical duties such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.


Information clerks typically do the following:

  • Prepare routine office correspondence, 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 and information

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 unsatisfactory services. They also may review the organization’s records and type response letters for their supervisor’s signature.

Court clerks organize and maintain court records. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as a docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about court appearances. Court clerks also put together materials for court and 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, 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 or complaints. For example, when guests report a problem in their rooms, clerks must 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 review candidates’ resumes for qualifications.

Interviewers conduct interviews over the phone, in person, through mail, or electronically. 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 the particular license 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 their records. They record, maintain, and distribute minutes of town and city council meetings to local officials and staff and help prepare for elections. They also may 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 information about customers, such as their address and method of payment, 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 also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.

Work Environment

Information clerks held about 1.6 million jobs in 2012 and were employed in nearly every industry. However, employment was mostly concentrated in government agencies, hotels, and healthcare facilities.

Although most clerks work in an office setting, interviewers may travel to applicants’ locations to conduct interviews.

The work of information clerks who provide customer service can be stressful, particularly when dealing with difficult or irate customers.

Reservation and transportation agents at airports or shipping counters may need to lift or maneuver heavy luggage or packages, sometimes weighing up to 100 pounds.

Work Schedules

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks, file clerks, and interviewers.

Clerks in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock or extended hours may work evenings, holidays, and weekends.

Injuries and Illnesses

Although the work of most clerks is not dangerous, reservation and transportation agents have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. The most common injury is muscle strains from lifting heavy suitcases.

Education and Training

Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job. Employers may prefer to hire candidates with some college education, depending on the specialty.


Candidates typically need a high school diploma for most positions. However, employers may prefer to hire candidates with some college education or an associate’s degree. This is particularly true for eligibility interviewer and municipal clerk positions. Courses in social and behavioral science and computer software are particularly helpful.


Most information clerks receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Training typically covers office procedures and computer use. Those employed in government receive training that may last several months and include instructions on government programs and regulations.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Information clerks must be able to clearly explain policies and procedures to customers and the public.

Integrity. Information clerks, particularly human resources assistants, have access to confidential information, and they must be trusted to keep this information private.

Interpersonal skills. Good people skills are important because information clerks deal with the public. They must understand and communicate information effectively to establish positive relationships.

Organizational skills. Being organized helps information clerks retrieve files and other important information quickly and efficiently.


The median annual wage for information clerks was $30,650 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 $18,600, and the top 10 percent earned more than $48,510.

In May 2012, the median annual wages for information clerks were as follows:

  • $40,530 for eligibility interviewers, government programs
  • $37,510 for human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping
  • $36,140 for correspondence clerks
  • $34,830 for court, municipal, and license clerks
  • $32,400 for reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks
  • $29,910 for interviewers, except eligibility and loan
  • $29,480 for order clerks
  • $26,190 for file clerks
  • $20,340 for hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks
  • $37,240 for information and record clerks, all other

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel, motel, and resort clerks, for file clerks, and for interviewers.

Clerks in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock or extended hours may work evenings, holidays, and weekends.

Job Outlook

Employment of information clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Although employment growth of information clerks will vary by specialty (see table below), a growing population’s need for travel-related services, government services, and healthcare will drive overall demand.

Increased travel is expected to result in the demand for new hotels and other lodging establishments. Because customer service and personal services are not easily automated, hotels will continue to use clerks to provide guests services.

Also, as more baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare, demand for clerical support to handle eligibility requests will increase. In addition, the number of individuals who have access to health insurance will increase due to federal health insurance reform legislation, resulting in a greater need for office staff in healthcare facilities.

However, overall employment growth of information clerks is expected to be limited as organizations and businesses automate and consolidate their administrative functions. For example, many businesses increasingly use online applications for benefits and employment, thereby streamlining the process.

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 the tasks that clerks used to do. 

Job Prospects

Despite little or no change in employment, overall job prospects should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. Job opportunities should be best in hotels and other lodging establishments.

Clerks with some college education and good computer software skills should have the best job prospects.

For More Information

For more information about hotel, motel and resort desk clerks, visit

American Hotel & Lodging Association

For more information about human resources assistants, visit

Society for Human Resource Management

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2014–2015 Occupational Outlook Handbook,

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