Summary

information clerks image
Information clerks maintain records and answer customers’ questions or concerns.
Quick Facts: Information Clerks
2012 Median Pay $30,650 per year
$14.74 per hour
Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2012 1,567,100
Job Outlook, 2012-22 2% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2012-22 32,800

What Information Clerks Do

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

Work Environment

Although information clerks are employed in nearly every industry, many work in government agencies, hotels, and healthcare facilities. Most work full time.

How to Become an Information Clerk

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

Pay

The median annual wage for information clerks was $30,650 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of information clerks is projected to show little or no change from 2012 to 2022. Nonetheless, overall job opportunities should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year. Candidates with some college education and good computer skills should have the best job prospects.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of information clerks with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about information clerks by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Information Clerks Do About this section

Information clerks
Hotel, motel and resort desk clerks provide customer service to hotel guests and other customers often at the hotel’s front desk.

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

Duties

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 About this section

Information clerks
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks take and confirm passengers’ and guests’ reservations for hotels and transportation.

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.

How to Become an Information Clerk About this section

Information clerks
Information clerks must be comfortable using and maintaining computer databases.

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.

Education

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.

Training

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.

Pay About this section

Information Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2012

Total, all occupations

$34,750

Office and administrative support occupations

$31,510

Information clerks

$30,650

 

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 About this section

Information Clerks

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Total, all occupations

11%

Office and administrative support occupations

7%

Information clerks

2%

 

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.

Employment projections data for information clerks, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Information clerks

1,567,100 1,599,900 2 32,800

Correspondence clerks

43-4021 11,100 11,500 4 500 [XLS]

Court, municipal, and license clerks

43-4031 130,000 143,800 11 13,800 [XLS]

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

43-4061 138,100 152,000 10 13,900 [XLS]

File clerks

43-4071 164,200 158,800 -3 -5,300 [XLS]

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

43-4081 231,600 263,400 14 31,800 [XLS]

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

43-4111 204,500 225,800 10 21,300 [XLS]

Order clerks

43-4151 212,700 207,400 -2 -5,300 [XLS]

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

43-4161 146,900 145,300 -1 -1,600 [XLS]

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

43-4181 139,100 119,600 -14 -19,500 [XLS]

Information and record clerks, all other

43-4199 188,900 172,200 -9 -16,700 [XLS]

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of information clerks.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2012 MEDIAN PAY Help
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.

High school diploma or equivalent $35,170
Compensation and benefits managers

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Compensation managers plan, direct, and coordinate how much an organization pays its employees and how employees are paid. Benefits managers plan, direct, and coordinate retirement plans, health insurance, and other benefits that an organization offers its employees.

Bachelor’s degree $95,250
Financial clerks

Financial Clerks

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

High school diploma or equivalent $34,960
General office clerks

General Office Clerks

General office clerks perform a variety of administrative tasks, including answering telephones, typing or word processing, making copies of documents, and maintaining records.

High school diploma or equivalent $27,470
Human resource specialists

Human Resources Specialists and Labor Relations Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, payroll and benefits, and training. Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts regarding issues such as wages and salaries, employee welfare, healthcare, pensions, and union and management practices.

Bachelor’s degree $55,640
Lodging managers

Lodging Managers

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.

High school diploma or equivalent $46,810
Material recording clerks

Material Recording Clerks

Material recording clerks keep track of information in order to keep businesses and supply chains on schedule. They ensure proper scheduling, recordkeeping, and inventory control.

See How to Become One $24,810
Receptionists

Receptionists

Receptionists perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, receiving visitors, and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers.

High school diploma or equivalent $25,990
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Information Clerks,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm (visited September 18, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014