If you land a general clerk III job after working your way through general clerk I and II, you’ll be at the senior level of general clerk positions for many companies in the U.S. At level I, you spent your time filing pre-coded documents in chronological files and used typical office equipment. Level II found you performing the additional tasks of opening mail, calculating and posting data to specific departmental accounts and taking care of other repetitive clerical duties. As a general clerk III, your duties will be much more detailed, offering more of a challenge.
The duties associated with the general clerk III position may vary widely between different companies. They could include all the tasks requiring completion by clerks I and II, as well as typing detailed reports, answering phones and maintaining a working knowledge of all company policies and procedures. Your responsibilities could change or grow depending on the situation, and may offer you more flexibility and leeway in deciding the best methods for accomplishing a given task. You may be working in close contact with your supervisor to help her achieve departmental goals.
In your job as a general clerk III, you may be called upon to supervise or direct others. In addition to your regular duties, you might be responsible for maintaining the effective administration of another department, such as the shipping department or the mail room. Your duties might be such that you’re considered an office manager. You'll also be responsible for accomplishing more complex tasks, such as providing accounting reports or developing presentations for your boss.
As a general clerk III, you’ll find work in an administrative capacity in schools, healthcare facilities and at governmental agencies. Your immediate work environment will most likely be an office in one of any number of businesses, such as those in the fields of medicine, aerospace, manufacturing, insurance or advertising.
How to Get the Job
Before applying for a general clerk III position, you’ll need a high school diploma or the equivalent, plus at least five years of experience in a similar or related field. This job requires experience and judgment to achieve specific goals. Without prior experience, you may need to accept an entry-level position to prove yourself before you’re recognized as being able to do the job. Having a two- or four-year degree is beneficial, as is being able to prove your proficiency in standard office computer software. The clerk III position is often filled by promoting internal staff members, although many businesses search for qualified people outside the company as well.
Compensation and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, for 2010, the median average wage for general clerks was $12.79 per hour. However, your pay and benefits can vary widely depending on your employer and location. You can expect a growth in available general clerk positions by 17 percent through 2020, which the BLS considers to be average for all occupations. The increase in available jobs is attributed to a growing need to hire administrative support capable of doing a variety of office tasks.
2016 Salary Information for General Office Clerks
General office clerks earned a median annual salary of $30,580 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, general office clerks earned a 25th percentile salary of $23,300, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $39,530, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 3,117,700 people were employed in the U.S. as general office clerks.
- United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: General Office Clerks
- United States Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division: General Clerk I
- United States Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division: General Clerk II
- United States Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division: General Clerk III
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: General Office Clerks
- Career Trend: General Office Clerks
Michelle Reynolds has been writing about business, careers and art since 1993. She was the publisher of a newsletter, “Working Parents Monthly," as well as a graphic design guidebook. Reynolds also served as human-resources director at a resort/spa for eight years. She is an artist and promotes the arts and other artists through ElegantArtisan.com, a website she developed and maintains.