What Are the Different Types of Clerks?

Government and health, banking, retail, information, legal, and office clerks are just a few examples of different types of clerks. Many different clerical jobs exist within these broad categories, each requiring different levels of experience and education. Most clerical jobs require at least a high school diploma, while jobs in legal or medical fields typically require a recognized post-secondary certificate in those fields.

Many positions for general office clerks do not require certification or prior experience. On-the-job training is common in positions such as filing or data entry clerk. A data entry clerk usually works with shipping or other documents to record totals in a computer program or enters information into a computer database. Filing clerks organize and store information so that it is readily available to company employees who require it. Legal clerks assist lawyers organizing exhibits, briefs, and records, as well as occasionally writing opinions for court cases. They typically have at least some post-secondary education.

Jobs as an information clerk can be found in a variety of industries, but they’re especially common in travel and tourism. Typically, hotel desk clerks not only answer guests’ questions about rooms and rates, but also about local attractions and restaurants. Customers are usually given information about transportation, lodging, and tickets, and reservations are taken travel agency clerks. In any industry, an information clerk frequently interacts with the public in person, over the phone, or via email.

Customers may ask retail or sales clerks to assist them in finding items in the store as well as run their purchases through the cash register. They may also help to start sales pointing out special offers or suggesting merchandise that would suit each customer’s needs or desires. Customers can use bank clerical workers, also known as bank tellers, to access their accounts, withdraw or deposit money, and schedule appointments to discuss mortgages or other services.

Jobs in post offices and hospitals are common in government and health clerical positions. A postal clerk collects and weighs packages for customers’ mailing or presents parcels for pickup to those who have the proper identification. In a hospital setting, a nursing unit clerk coordinates staff. He or she typically holds a post-secondary certificate and has a basic understanding of anatomy and medical terminology. Nursing unit clerks may also be in charge of official paperwork such as living wills, patient consent forms, and other privacy and ethics-related documents.