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What Information Clerks Do About this section

Information clerks
Reservation and transportation ticket agents issue boarding passes to passengers.

Information clerks do routine clerical tasks such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.

Duties

Information clerks typically do the following:

  • Prepare routine reports, claims, bills, or orders
  • Collect and record data from customers, staff, and the public
  • Answer questions from customers and the public about products or services
  • File and maintain paper or electronic records

Information clerks do routine clerical tasks in an organization, business, or government. They use telephones, computers, and other office equipment, such as scanners and shredders.

The following are examples of types of information clerks:

Correspondence clerks respond to inquiries from the public or customers. They prepare standard responses to requests for merchandise, damage claims, delinquent accounts, incorrect billings, or complaints about unsatisfactory service. They may also check the organization’s records and type response letters for their supervisors to sign.

Court clerks organize and maintain records for courts of law. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about upcoming court appearances. Court clerks also receive, file, and send court documents.

Eligibility interviewers ask questions both in person and over the phone to determine whether applicants qualify for government assistance and benefits. They provide information about programs and may refer applicants to other agencies for assistance.

File clerks maintain electronic or paper records. They enter and retrieve data, organize records, and file documents. In organizations with electronic filing systems, file clerks scan and upload documents.

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks, also called front desk clerks, provide customer service to guests at the establishment’s front desk. They check guests in and out, assign rooms, and process payments. They also keep occupancy records; take, confirm, or change room reservations; and provide information about the hotel’s policies and services. In addition, front desk clerks answer phone calls, take and deliver messages for guests, and handle guests’ requests and complaints.

Human resources assistants provide administrative support to human resources managers. They maintain personnel records on employees, including their addresses, employment history, and performance evaluations. They may post information about job openings and compile candidates’ résumé for review.

Interviewers ask questions over the phone, in person, through mail, or online. They use the information to complete forms, applications, or questionnaires for market research surveys, census forms, and medical histories. Interviewers typically follow set procedures and questionnaires to get specific information.

License clerks process applications for licenses and permits, including administering tests and collecting fees. They determine whether applicants are qualified to receive a particular license or must submit additional documentation. They also maintain records of applications received and licenses issued.

Municipal clerks provide administrative support for town or city governments by maintaining government records. They record, file, and distribute minutes of town or city council meetings to local officials and staff and help prepare for elections. They may also answer information requests from local, state, and federal officials and the public.

Order clerks receive requests from customers and process their payments, which may involve entering the customer address and payment method into the order-entry system. They also answer questions about prices and shipping.

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks take and confirm passengers’ bookings for hotels and transportation. They also sell and issue tickets and answer questions about itineraries, rates, and tours. Ticket agents who work at airports and railroads also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.

Work Environment About this section

Information clerks
Hotel desk clerks may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Information clerks held about 1.3 million jobs in 2020. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up information clerks was distributed as follows:

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 221,000
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 180,200
Court, municipal, and license clerks 162,100
Information and record clerks, all other 159,900
Eligibility interviewers, government programs 145,400
Order clerks 133,900
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 112,000
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 101,600
File clerks 99,700
Correspondence clerks 7,000

The largest employers of information clerks were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals 15%
Healthcare and social assistance 12
Federal government 8
Transportation and warehousing 7
Administrative and support services 5

Information clerks work in nearly every industry. Although most clerks work in offices, interviewers may travel to applicants’ locations to meet with them.

The work of information clerks who provide customer service can be stressful, particularly when dealing with dissatisfied customers.

Reservation and transportation ticket agents at airports or shipping counters lift and maneuver heavy luggage or packages, which may weigh up to 100 pounds.

Injuries and Illnesses

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Lifting and maneuvering heavy luggage or packages may lead to sprains, strains, or overexertion. To avoid injuries, these workers must follow procedures, such as protocols for safe lifting. 

Work Schedules

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks and file clerks.

Clerks in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

How to Become an Information Clerk About this section

Information clerks
Information clerks must be comfortable using computers.

Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job.

Education

Although candidates for most of these positions usually qualify with a high school diploma, human resources assistants generally need an associate’s degree. Regardless of whether they pursue a degree, courses in word processing and spreadsheet applications are particularly helpful.

Training

Most information clerks receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Training typically covers clerical procedures and the use of computer applications. Those employed in government receive training that may last several months and includes learning about government programs and regulations.

Advancement

Some information clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as secretaries and administrative assistants. With completion of a bachelor’s degree, some human resources assistants may become human resources specialists.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Information clerks must be able to explain policies and procedures clearly to customers and the public.

Integrity. Information clerks, particularly human resources assistants, have access to confidential information. They must be trusted to adhere to the applicable confidentiality and privacy rules governing the dissemination of this information.

Interpersonal skills. Information clerks who work with the public and customers must understand and communicate information effectively to establish positive relationships.

Organizational skills. Information clerks must be able to retrieve files and other important information quickly and efficiently.

Pay About this section

Information Clerks

Median annual wages, May 2021

Total, all occupations

$45,760

Information clerks

$37,450

Information and record clerks

$36,770

 

The median annual wage for information clerks was $37,450 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,010, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $60,230.

Median annual wages for information clerks in May 2021 were as follows:

Eligibility interviewers, government programs $47,420
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping 45,630
Court, municipal, and license clerks 44,610
Information and record clerks, all other 43,160
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks 39,900
Correspondence clerks 37,920
Order clerks 37,920
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan 37,220
File clerks 36,360
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks 28,080

In May 2021, the median annual wages for information clerks in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Federal government $48,050
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 46,590
Transportation and warehousing 39,170
Healthcare and social assistance 37,340
Administrative and support services 36,910

Most information clerks work full time. However, part-time work is common for hotel clerks and file clerks.

Clerks who work in lodging and transportation establishments that are open around the clock may work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Job Outlook About this section

Information Clerks

Percent change in employment, projected 2020-30

Total, all occupations

8%

Information clerks

2%

Information and record clerks

0%

 

Overall employment of information clerks is projected to grow 2 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.

Despite limited employment growth, about 156,800 openings for information clerks are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Much of the projected employment growth for hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks and for reservation and transportation ticket agents is due to recovery from the COVID-19 recession that began in 2020 and is likely to occur early in the decade. The increased use of online ordering and reservation systems and self-service ticketing kiosks will limit demand for these workers.

Local governments will continue to need court, municipal, and license clerks to do tasks such as prepare case dockets, draft agendas, and issue licenses and permits. Eligibility interviewers will continue to be needed to determine whether government assistance, such as unemployment or Social Security benefits, is appropriate for people applying for it.

As organizations combine their administrative functions, fewer correspondence clerks, file clerks, and order clerks will be needed. In addition, employment is projected to decline for interviewers, except eligibility and loan, as businesses and medical facilities increasingly use online applications or platforms to streamline information collection or other intake processes.

Employment projections data for information clerks, 2020-30
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Information clerks

1,322,900 1,343,300 2 20,400

Correspondence clerks

43-4021 7,000 6,800 -3 -200 Get data

Court, municipal, and license clerks

43-4031 162,100 171,600 6 9,500 Get data

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

43-4061 145,400 150,900 4 5,600 Get data

File clerks

43-4071 99,700 87,100 -13 -12,600 Get data

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

43-4081 221,000 257,300 16 36,300 Get data

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

43-4111 180,200 168,400 -7 -11,800 Get data

Order clerks

43-4151 133,900 109,500 -18 -24,400 Get data

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

43-4161 112,000 108,800 -3 -3,200 Get data

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

43-4181 101,600 114,700 13 13,100 Get data

Information and record clerks, all other

43-4199 159,900 168,100 5 8,200 Get data

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