Municipal clerks are elected or appointed, so you must be prepared to campaign for the position or to make yourself attractive to the city council to get an appointment. To prepare, you might apply for an entry-level job in the municipal clerk's office to gain experience. The position requires strong organizational and interpersonal skills, though the educational requirements to become a municipal clerk vary depending on the size of the town the job is in and on the state in which you reside. You can get formal training by taking courses with the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).
If you want to become a municipal clerk you will need a high school diploma or GED at the very least. This is often enough to get you an entry level position in a small town, but in larger cities, you may need to have a bachelor's degree in public administration or political science. You also have the option to study for a master's degree in public policy or public administration.
You can complete IIMC courses if you want to become a municipal clerk. The length of training varies depending on the state, but usually 100 to 105 hours of study are required. Once you have completed the Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) program you will have the option to complete the Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) program.
Most applicants start with entry-level positions to familiarize themselves with the tasks and responsibilities of a municipal clerk. You should check for government job openings for deputy clerks, secretaries, or administrative assistants since these are the most popular entry-level positions. There should be opportunities for advancement once you have established yourself in a position.
The city council normally elects or appoints the municipal clerk every three years, so it is important to have a good reputation and to become involved in the local community. You may have to campaign for the position, and the council is likely to keep a close eye on your contributions to the community. The position has a political aspect and can be a good stepping stone if you wish to become an elected official.
If you want to become a municipal clerk you need strong organizational skills since the position usually includes various administrative duties. In larger cities, municipal clerks may work in just one area of administration, but in smaller towns, the municipal clerk is responsible for a number of tasks. These tasks include swearing in public officials, keeping citizen records, sending out public notices, incorporating new legislation into municipal laws, preparing public meeting agendas, and ensuring the accuracy of public meeting records.
Municipal clerks need strong interpersonal skills since they work with people on a daily basis. If you have a genuine interest in the community this is an advantage since working as a municipal clerk may include managing special grant programs or community projects. An interest in the community will also be helpful if you plan to become an elected official.