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What does an Administrative Clerk do?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated May 17, 2024
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An administrative clerk provides support to supervisors, managers and executives. He is usually required to be flexible and divide his time as the needs of these employees vary. Although he commonly works in an office environment, he may also carry out his administrative responsibilities in a production, industrial or manufacturing setting.

What typically distinguishes an administrative clerk from a secretary is that his job is normally more focused on keeping general operations running smoothly rather than managing daily events. He also typically works for more than one person. In most business atmospheres, he generally performs his job with little or no direct, daily supervision.

The duties of an administrative clerk are highly dependent upon the nature of the business at which he works. In general, he is normally expected to plan and implement meetings, schedule travel and transportation and ensure optimum communications among departments. If the people for whom he works are kept abreast of business activities and developments, he is normally considered successful.

Keeping things running smoothly typically requires good computer skills. An administrative clerk frequently uses various software programs to maintain executive calendars, create spreadsheets and compile reports. His online skills are generally required to conduct research on behalf of his superiors and maintain email communications with business associates. He may also be required to utilize word processing programs to write and edit correspondence and use graphics software to create visual presentations.

In some larger firms, an administrative clerk may often be required to monitor productivity levels in different departments and recommend changes to improve efficiency. These suggestions may include staffing changes or upgrading or replacing major office machines or equipment. A perso in this position is also frequently responsible for maintaining inventories of office supplies and negotiating deals with vendors.

To be successful in this position customarily requires great organizational and communication skills. Supporting multiple managers and supervisors requires excellent time management abilities. Keeping everyone satisfied generally requires diplomacy and tact on the part of an administrative clerk.

A high school diploma or equivalent is normally required for this position although an associate’s degree is normally preferred. Some companies require a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts or communications. It is sometimes believed that the more educated the hiring executive is, the more educated the administrative clerk must be. Experience as a secretary or office assistant is helpful to be considered for this position. Background in computer operations and office support is considered an asset.

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Discussion Comments
By popcorn — On Jun 04, 2011

If you want to secure a higher paying job in regards to being an administrative clerk or assistant, there are many community college programs that focus on these positions.

This kind of college program is not too expensive and focuses on just the skills you'll need in the office. You can also pick up some additional computer courses for things like desktop publishing, if you want to give your resume a bit of an edge. Having and administrative clerk who can multi-task is really what employers are striving for.

I feel that having even a certificate to your name will give you an edge in this competitive job market.

By wander — On Jun 02, 2011

The title of an administrative clerk is actually pretty interchangeable with that of an administrative assistant, especially when hired for a position at a smaller company.

I have found that a lot of companies don't really distinguish much between the duties of the two, nor do most job postings.

As far as work goes, they are both responsible for lots of scheduling and keeping the office running smoothly. Of course, they must help the person in charge with all of their arrangements.

The amount of salary you can bring in with this position really depends on which sector you work for. Government jobs generally pay much more.

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