Definition of Clerical Work


Although the pay is less than that of a secretary, a clerical worker is just as important in running an office or a business. As a clerical worker, you are charged with the responsibility of lightening the work load of the person above or over you. It takes all kinds of people to run an office efficiently, and a clerical worker assists with this daily mission.

From Domestic Work to Clerical Positions

  • When one thinks of the word "clerical," the first thing that comes to mind is a woman sitting behind a desk, her fingers clicking away at a typewriter. However, that was not always the case. Men held that position in the work force in the 1800s. Women stayed at home tending the house, taking care of the children or doing factory and domestic work. In the 20th century, women began taking on new roles in the work force as clerical workers, replacing domestic work with low-status secretarial positions.

Clerical Work Means Multitasking

  • When one is doing clerical work, the position simply means that the employee is hired to give administrative support in running a company or an organization. A clerical person will do a wide variety of jobs in this position, anything from typing, answering phones, filing and distributing mail. Though the clerk isn't quite a secretary, she may still assist in bookkeeping, scheduling and setting up appointments.

Required Skills

  • When considering a position as a clerical assistant, several skills are required. The person must be highly organized and have strong interpersonal skills as well as skills in written and oral communications. You must be able to type and have basic computer skills as well as knowing how to use office machinery such as fax machines and printers. You also should know how to file.

A Clerical Position as a Receptionist

  • A clerical person's only job may be to sit behind a desk as a receptionist, directing incoming people where to go as would a concierge working in a lobby of a large corporate office building. They may have to direct incoming phone calls, making sure that the call is forwarded to the right person. The position may require that you be able to multitask while staying in a professional frame of mind while dealing with people and a busy schedule.

Where to Find Clerical Positions

  • You can find a clerical position in the medical sector, such as doctor's offices or hospitals and clinics. You also can find this position in law firms, insurance agencies, schools and in government offices. You can even find this position in factories where office help is needed to run the business. Clerical positions help run hotels, resorts, travel agencies and airports too. Where there is a large business with offices, if there is a secretary, there will be a clerical assistant aiding other professionals in that office.


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