Ward clerks, also called unit clerks and unit coordinators, perform clerical duties to help keep a patient unit in a health care facility running smoothly. Ward clerks answer the phone, receive new patients, provide directions to visitors, assemble patient charts, transcribe and follow up on orders from doctors, and process requests for diagnostic imaging and laboratory tests. Most ward clerks earn at least $12 per hour, as of 2010.
The U.S. Department of Labor includes ward clerks with all types of medical secretaries for this occupational category. As of May 2010, the average salary as was $15.30 per hour, or $31,820 per year, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent earned $12.16 to $17.86 per hour, or $25,300 to $37,160 per year. The bottom 10 percent of the pay scale was at or below $10.20 per hour, and the top 10 percent was at $21.60 per hour and higher, or $44,920 per year and more.
The top-paying area for ward clerks by state or district in 2010 was the District of Columbia, where these workers had an average wage of $19.60 per hour, equaling $40,770 per year. Rounding out the top five were Massachusetts at $18.52 per hour on average, Alaska at $18.15, Washington at $18.04 and Nevada at $17.87.
High-Paying Metro Areas
Ward clerks in seven U.S. metropolitan areas earned more than $19 per hour on average in 2010. The greater Boston, Massachusetts, region was the top-paying metro area in the country for this occupation, with an average pay rate of $19.92 per hour. The Taunton-Norton-Raynham area of this state ranked second at $19.75. Salaries ranged from $19.01 to $19.56 per hour in the greater Portsmouth, New Hampshire, area, in the Atlantic City, New Jersey, area, in the greater Seattle and Mount Vernon-Anacortes regions of Washington, and in the greater San Francisco, California, metro area.
Employment Per Capita
Rochester, Minnesota, had the most ward clerks and other medical secretaries per capita in 2010. Their average pay rate in that city was $18.61 per hour. Rounding out the top five metro areas with the largest concentrations of these workers were the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, area, with an average salary of $13.12 per hour; Medford, Oregon, at $14.72; Bend, Oregon, at $15.31, and Columbia, Missouri, at $14.04.