Billing and Posting Clerks and Machine Operators

If you like numbers and know basic computer skills, you might want to check into becoming a billing and posting clerk or machine operator. Before you apply for a billing clerk job, here’s what you need to know:

  • What are the job tasks? If you have ever received a bill in your mail, then you already know what a billing clerk does. Billing clerks are responsible for creating and mailing bills to customers for a variety of services and products. This often means compiling information from multiple sources and calculating how much customers owe, what they have paid so far, and how much they owe on the current bill.
  • Many billing departments now use computer systems to generate bills, but all the numbers need to be double-checked by billing and posting clerks and machine operators. Sometimes computers make mistakes, as when we occasionally hear about someone being billed $200,000 for residential water services! Careful human eyes in the billing process keep these kinds of mistakes from happening.
  • What education do I need? Billing clerks usually need a high school diploma (or equivalent) and should be able to operate a computer and its basic software. You don’t need to be a computer whiz—as long as you know your way around the main functions, you will be fine. You should have a good background in mathematics and a good sense of business principles on a basic level. Again, you don’t need to be an expert, but if you struggled with math all through school, then working in a billing department may not be a good choice.
  • Most employers hire billing clerks at entry level and expect to provide a certain amount of on-the-job training. This training may take a couple of days or up to several weeks, and at the end of the training period you will be expected to competently handle the job.
  • What is the job outlook? It may seem like automated billing computers have replaced traditional billing clerks, but this isn’t the case. While it’s true that some industries have converted to mostly automated billing services, other industries like health care need billing clerks more than ever. For this reason, billing clerk jobs are expected to grow faster than average, with a growth rate of 15 percent over the next decade. This is a great time to be looking for billing clerk jobs.
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  • How much can I expect to earn? Billing clerks earn about $30,000 a year, depending on their employer and industry. A small family-owned business may not be able to pay as much as a large Fortune 500 company. If you have several years of experience, you may also be able to earn a higher yearly income than new billing clerks. Most full-time billing clerk positions also include benefits like paid holidays and vacations, medical and life insurance, and possibly a retirement plan.
  • How can I find a billing clerk job? Most companies post their billing clerk jobs in the classified ads of the newspaper and on the major electronic job-search engines. You should make a habit of checking online job-search engines regularly for new job postings. Signing up with an employment service would also be a good idea; these services have connections with companies so they can alert you as soon as a job becomes available.

You may also want to visit the websites of local companies that have billing departments, such as accounting firms, government agencies, and sales companies. The health-care industry is also a great place to look, because almost every facet of health care has a billing department. This includes hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, insurance companies, and so on. You may want to do a search in your area for health-care-related billing jobs.