A file clerk is an integral part of any business, company, institution, or organization. It is his task to oversee all records for a company. He codes, files, and retrieves them as well as performing several clerical duties.
A file clerk generally manages all databases, records, and information from various departments and employees. He creates new entries and answers all inquiries regarding a company’s database, files, and records. He removes all outdated records and logs all files that are removed or checked out from the library or database.
Duties and Responsibilities
Basically, file clerks perform clerical duties such as maintaining letters, memoranda, invoices, and other indexed records organized in a file according to the institution’s established system. He classifies these files and materials according to guidelines such as content, purpose, user criteria, or chronological order. He retrieves data or correspondence from files as requested within an appropriate time frame.
Modifying and improving file systems is also a part of a file clerk’s responsibilities. He assigns identification numbers or codes in order to index materials for filing. He enters these codes into systems to make it easier to retrieve files.
He performs periodic inspections of materials to ensure correct placement, legibility, and proper conditions. File clerks work under the supervision of the manager or a supervisor. Other duties may include photocopying, faxing, and filing.
Education and Skills
To be employed in this position aspiring file clerks should possess at least a high school diploma or equivalent. This is considered as an entry-level position in any company so extensive educational credentials are not required. Most employers require 0-2 years of related work experience.
Candidates for this position must have in depth knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. He must have effective communication skills particularly in written form. Computer literacy and knowledge of various programs like Microsoft Office is also required.
Training is usually given on the job. In small companies, training may only consist of a quick explanation of the filing system. File clerks should have a keen eye for details since the position deals with information input and database management. He must be an excellent typist, intolerant of errors, and self-disciplined.
File clerks should be knowledgeable of the principles and procedures in providing customer and personal services, which includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Work Opportunities and Salary
File clerks work from 35 to 40 hours per week in an office. Both private and public employment agencies hire file clerks. Job opportunities are often published on internet job sites and newspaper classified ads. Those who are interested in applying to work for the government may need to take the necessary civil service test.
According to studies, a decline in employment is foreseen due to office automation. Salary depends on the size and location of the office. Full-time clerks earn an average annual salary of about $21,029. Those with experience may earn more. Also, they receive benefits such as paid holidays, vacations, and health insurance.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/