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General Office Clerk  What They Do

Just the Facts


Performs duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster Administrative Support pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Operates office machines, such as photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems, and personal computers.
  • Answers telephones, directs calls, and takes messages.
  • Maintains and updates filing, inventory, mailing, and database systems, either manually or using a computer.
  • Communicates with customers, employees, and other individuals to answer questions, disseminate or explain information, take orders, and address complaints.
  • Opens, sorts, and routes incoming mail, answers correspondence, and prepares outgoing mail.
  • Compiles, copies, sorts, and files records of office activities, business transactions, and other activities.
  • Computes, records, and proofreads data and other information, such as records or reports.
  • Types, formats, proofreads, and edits correspondence and other documents, from notes or dictating machines, using computers or typewriters.
  • Completes work schedules, manages calendars, and arranges appointments.
  • Reviews files, records, and other documents to obtain information to respond to requests.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Administration Assistant --
  • Administrative Assistant -- Aids executive in staff capacity by coordinating office services, such as personnel, budget preparation and control, housekeeping, records control, and special management studies.
  • Clerk --
  • Customer Service Representative -- Opens accounts, explains and processes services, and corrects records.
  • Office Assistant -- Performs a combination of clerical duties requiring limited knowledge of systems or procedures.
  • Office Clerk --
  • Office Coordinator --
  • Office Manager --
  • Receptionist -- Greets people arriving at offices and other establishments, direct visitors to appropriate person or service, answer and forward telephone calls, take messages, schedule appointments and perform other clerical duties.
  • Secretary -- Schedules appointments, gives information to callers, composes and types routine correspondences, reads and routes incoming mail, files records, and other various clerical duties.