File Clerks

Are you considering a job as a file clerk? Are you currently employed as a file clerk but looking to boost your skills? If you know how to alphabetize and sort information, this may be a good entry-level career path for you. Here’s what you need to know about file clerk jobs:

File clerks manage records and other types of information. If you regularly use a computer, then you know that most operating systems have a method of storing files.

  • First, there’s a place to store files such as the desktop or a documents folder.
  • Then there’s a system of main folders and subfolders that sort files of every kind. This is effective for computers because it’s based on a system that filing clerks have been using for decades to organize and manage paper.
  • While computers now manage a large percentage of files, paperwork is still necessary and companies use file clerks to keep things in order.

You need a high school diploma. Most companies prefer to hire filing clerks who have a high school diploma or its equivalent. A high school education teaches skills such as typing, time management, paper management, and computer knowledge—all essential skills for the file clerk.

What about training? Most companies will train on the job because every employer has a different way of doing things. A filing system that works well for a medical clinic, for example, might not work for the insurance office across the street. As a file clerk, you need to become an expert in your employer’s specific filing system. Most employers require that you go through training once you have been hired. In most cases, the training will take several days to a week, but larger companies may require a series of training modules including information about human resource guidelines.

Who hires file clerks? All kinds of companies and organizations need file clerks, especially those that still use paper-filing systems. The health-care and insurance industries are examples of fields that use a lot of paper records and reporting systems, and therefore need file clerks to organize and manage these records. File clerks can expect to earn, on average, about $23,800 a year. File clerks with more experience will likely earn more per year than people who are completely new to the field with little work experience.

Don’t let technology leave you in the dust. Unfortunately, traditional file clerk jobs are a fading breed. Computers have dramatically decreased the need for paper filing, and technology has made office automation much more productive and efficient. For these reasons, employment of file clerks is expected to decline dramatically, at a rate of about 23 percent over the next decade. To stay relevant in the increasingly automated workplace, you will need to stay on top of new technology and commit to learning new skills.

Gain skills to expand your resume. While file-clerk employment is declining, there are still file-clerk jobs available because of turnover and people leaving current jobs for other industries. You will have a better chance of finding a stable job if you strive for a well-rounded resume. One way to do this is to strengthen your skills section of the resume by learning to operate a variety of office machines (such as fax machines, printers, copiers, computers, phone switchboards, and so on) and computer software (word processing, spreadsheet, etc.). You may also want to consider certification or training courses for clerical jobs.

What about career growth? As a file clerk, you will have the opportunity to network with other clerical and human resource employees in the office and across departments within the company. These connections may help you to advance your career through promotion or transfer. Try to do your best every day and work hard to build bridges