Information Clerks

Summary

information clerks image
Information clerks maintain records.
Quick Facts: Information Clerks
2015 Median Pay $32,050 per year
$15.41 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education See How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training See How to Become One
Number of Jobs, 2014 1,545,000
Job Outlook, 2014-24 2% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2014-24 25,800

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 information clerks 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 or an associate’s degree, depending on the occupation.

Pay

The median annual wage for information clerks was $32,050 in May 2015.

Job Outlook

Employment of information clerks is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Overall job opportunities should be good because of the need to replace workers who leave the occupation each year.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for information clerks.

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

Information clerks
Reservation and transportation ticket agents issue boarding passes to passengers.

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 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 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.

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

Court clerks organize and maintain court records. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about court appearances. Court clerks also 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. 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 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 and complaints. For example, when guests report problems in their rooms, clerks 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 compile candidates’ résumés for review.

Interviewers conduct interviews 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 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 particular licenses 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 government 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 customer information, such as addresses and payment methods, 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 and railroads also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.

Work Environment

Information clerks
Hotel desk clerks may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Information clerks held about 1.5 million jobs in 2014 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 interview 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, 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 may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Injuries and Illnesses

Reservation and transportation ticket agents have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. The most common injuries are muscle strains from lifting heavy suitcases.

How to Become an Information Clerk

Information clerks
Information clerks must be comfortable using 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 or an associate’s degree, depending on the occupation.

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 interviewers, human resources assistants, and municipal clerks. Courses in social sciences, as well as 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 include learning about various government programs and regulations.

Advancement

Some information clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor or office manager. With completion of a bachelor’s degree, some human resources assistants may become human resources specialists.

Important Qualities

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

Integrity. Information clerks, particularly human resources assistants, have access to confidential information. They must be trusted to adhere to the applicable confidentiality and privacy rules governing the dissemination of this information.

Interpersonal skills. Information clerks who work with the public and customers must understand and communicate information effectively in order to establish positive relationships.

Organizational skills. Information clerks must be able to retrieve files and other important information quickly and efficiently.

Pay

Information Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2015

Total, all occupations

$36,200

Information clerks

$32,050

Information and record clerks

$31,010

 

The median annual wage for information clerks was $32,050 in May 2015. 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 $19,320, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $51,690.

Median annual wages for information clerks in May 2015 were as follows:

Eligibility interviewers, government programs $43,170
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 38,100
Information and record clerks, all other 37,990
Court, municipal, and license clerks 35,850
Correspondence clerks 35,320
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 35,170
Order clerks 32,330
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 31,410
File clerks 27,850
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 21,040

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 may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Job Outlook

Information Clerks

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Information and record clerks

7%

Total, all occupations

7%

Information clerks

2%

 

Employment of information clerks is projected to grow 2 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Employment growth of information clerks will vary by occupation (see table below).

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

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

Despite the continued demand for information clerks, however, overall employment growth is expected to be limited as organizations and businesses consolidate 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. Job opportunities are expected to be best in hotels and other lodging establishments.

Employment projections data for information clerks, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Information clerks

1,545,000 1,570,800 2 25,800

Correspondence clerks

43-4021 8,400 7,200 -15 -1,200 [XLSX]

Court, municipal, and license clerks

43-4031 140,800 147,100 4 6,300 [XLSX]

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

43-4061 129,900 132,000 2 2,100 [XLSX]

File clerks

43-4071 159,000 150,100 -6 -8,900 [XLSX]

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

43-4081 243,200 265,100 9 21,900 [XLSX]

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

43-4111 198,000 208,300 5 10,400 [XLSX]

Order clerks

43-4151 195,900 194,300 -1 -1,500 [XLSX]

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

43-4161 140,600 134,800 -4 -5,800 [XLSX]

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

43-4181 140,800 138,800 -1 -2,000 [XLSX]

Information and record clerks, all other

43-4199 188,500 193,000 2 4,600 [XLSX]

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

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

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION 2015 MEDIAN PAY
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.

Some college, no degree $37,250
Customer service representatives

Customer Service Representatives

Customer service representatives interact with customers to handle complaints, process orders, and provide information about an organization’s products and services.

High school diploma or equivalent $31,720
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 $37,040
General office clerks

General Office Clerks

General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.

High school diploma or equivalent $29,580
Human resource specialists

Human Resources Specialists

Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.

Bachelor's degree $58,350

Labor Relations Specialists

Labor relations specialists interpret and administer labor contracts regarding issues such as wages and salaries, healthcare, pensions, and union and management practices.

Bachelor's degree $58,820
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 $49,720
Material recording clerks

Material Recording Clerks

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

See How to Become One $26,240
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 $27,300

Contacts 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

O*NET

Correspondence Clerks

Court Clerks

Court, Municipal, and License Clerks

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs

File Clerks

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping

Information and Record Clerks, All Other

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

License Clerks

Municipal Clerks

Order Clerks

Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Information Clerks,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/information-clerks.htm (visited April 29, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015