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

Duties

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 do routine clerical tasks in an organization, business, or government. They use telephones, computers, and other office equipment, such as scanners and shredders.

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 service. They may also check the organization’s records and type response letters for their supervisors to sign.

Court clerks organize and maintain records for courts of law. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about upcoming court appearances. Court clerks also receive, file, and send court documents.

Eligibility interviewers ask questions both in person and over the phone to determine whether applicants qualify for government assistance and benefits. They provide information about programs and may refer applicants 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 about 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.

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’ résumé for review.

Interviewers ask questions 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 get specific information.

License clerks process applications for licenses and permits, including administering tests and collecting fees. They determine whether applicants are qualified to receive a particular license or must submit additional documentation. 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, file, and distribute minutes of town or city council meetings to local officials and staff and help prepare for elections. They may also answer information requests from local, state, and federal officials and the public.

Order clerks receive requests from customers and process their payments, which may involve entering the customer address and payment method 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’ bookings for hotels and transportation. They also sell and issue tickets and answer questions about itineraries, rates, and tours. Ticket agents who work at airports and railroads also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.

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Work Environment

Information clerks held about 1.5 million jobs in 2018. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up information clerks was distributed as follows:

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 265,400
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 204,600
Order clerks 166,800
Information and record clerks, all other 166,000
Court, municipal, and license clerks 150,500
Eligibility interviewers, government programs 145,200
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks                             133,700
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 129,300
File clerks 116,900
Correspondence clerks 5,900

The largest employers of information clerks were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals                                         13%
Healthcare and social assistance 12
Transportation and warehousing 7
Federal government 7
Administrative and support services 6

Information clerks work in nearly every industry. Although most clerks work in offices, interviewers may travel to applicants’ locations to meet with 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, which may weigh up to 100 pounds.

Injuries and Illnesses

Information clerks who work as reservation and transportation ticket agents are sometimes injured on the job. The most common injuries are muscle strains, such as those that may occur from lifting heavy suitcases.

Work Schedules

Most information clerks work full time. 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.

Education and Training

Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job.

Education

Although candidates for most of these positions usually qualify with a high school diploma, human resources assistants generally need an associate’s degree. Regardless of whether they pursue a degree, courses in word processing and spreadsheet applications are particularly helpful.

Training

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 government programs and regulations.

Advancement

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.

Personality and Interests

Information clerks typically have an interest in the Helping, Persuading and Organizing interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people. The Organizing interest area indicates a focus on working with information and processes to keep things arranged in orderly systems.

If you are not sure whether you have a Helping or Persuading or Organizing interest which might fit with a career as an information clerk, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Information clerks should also possess the following specific 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.

Pay

The median annual wage for information clerks was $35,390 in May 2019. 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 $22,050, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $58,590.

Median annual wages for information clerks in May 2019 were as follows:

Eligibility interviewers, government programs $46,590
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 41,430
Information and record clerks, all other 41,360
Court, municipal, and license clerks 39,380
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks                     38,380
Correspondence clerks 38,140
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 34,970
Order clerks 34,240
File clerks 32,710
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 24,470

In May 2019, the median annual wages for information clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $45,980
Local government, excluding education and hospitals                                 40,000
Transportation and warehousing 39,720
Healthcare and social assistance 35,740
Administrative and support services 34,220

Most information clerks work full time. 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.

Job Outlook

Employment of information clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2018 to 2028. 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 combine 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.

Job Prospects

Overall job prospects should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. Workers with clerical or customer service experience and education beyond high school should have the best prospects.

For More Information

For more information about human resources assistants, visit

Society for Human Resource Management

CareerOneStop

For a career video on interviewers, except eligibility and loan, visit

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

 

FAQ

Where does this information come from?

The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.

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This information is taken directly from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Truity does not editorialize the information, including changing information that our readers believe is inaccurate, because we consider the BLS to be the authority on occupational information. However, if you would like to correct a typo or other technical error, you can reach us at help@truity.com.

I am not sure if this career is right for me. How can I decide?

There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. On this site, you can take the Career Personality Profiler assessment, the Holland Code assessment, or the Photo Career Quiz.