Officer clerks help take care of office communication, including distributing mail, answering phones, delivering messages, filing records, and making copies.
They may also do things like edit correspondence, proofread reports, enter data, take inventory, manage payroll records, and even set up appointments for their boss.
Is this job right for you? It might be if you think that it satisfies your potential career demands.
Before making the plunge, read through the pros and cons to make a smart decision.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being an Office Clerk
- Cons of Being an Office Clerk
- 14 Pros and Cons of Being an Office Clerk – Summary Table
- Should You Become an Office Clerk?
Pros of Being an Office Clerk
If you’re interested in a career as an office clerk, there are many advantages that may make this career a smart option for you.
By reading through these benefits carefully, you can gauge whether this job is suitable for your skill set and can apply for a position that feels comfortable for you.
Please note that all positions are slightly different and that the pros listed here might not be common in every job.
Instead, use them more as a general guideline for this career path.
1. Minimal Educational Demands
An office clerk position is typically considered an “entry-level” job or one that requires minimal to no education.
You’ll need a high school degree – few jobs these days hire people without one – at a minimum.
Some employers may prefer a clerk with some experience or even with a little office-based training or an associate’s degree.
That said, some will hire people right out of high school as long as they have the skills necessary to meet the demands of this position.
2. Unique Work Settings
Office clerks often have the opportunity to work in a broad array of different work settings.
For example, you may work in the front of an office and meet new people every day, helping them process important paperwork and much more.
However, there’s also a chance that you might work in the back office, where you will work behind the scenes to keep an office operational.
Even better, you might move between different settings, multiple times throughout your career.
3. Adaptable Schedule
What kind of schedule do you want for your new position?
Are you looking for a full-time job?
Office clerks often work 40 hours or more every week, improving their earning potential.
Do you prefer a part-time job to work around your full-time job or your kids’ schedule?
Other positions have less demanding work schedules that may only include 20-30 hours per week.
This adaptability makes office work an excellent option for many people, though clerks work a typical day shift (9-5).
4. Many Work Duties
If you’re someone who likes to stay busy at a job, you’ll love an office clerk position!
You’ll have many unique duties that will keep you working!
You’ll handle all the tasks needed to keep an office working efficiently, which will give you a chance to stay on your feet, work with other people in the facility, and much more.
Even if you’re not necessarily on your feet the whole time, you’ll have more than enough to do to keep you working for the whole day.
5. Chance to Learn Better Organization
Are you someone who struggles to organize things in your life?
While an office clerk job might be tough for you at first, it will naturally teach you better organization skills.
For example, you’ll have to take care of your employer’s paperwork, handle their appointments, learn how to use in-depth office software programs, and much more.
By the time you’ve worked this job for a few months, you’ll better understand general organization and may transition better into other career paths.
6. Build Personal Skills
Do you have a hard time interacting with other people or feel excessively shy at your job?
Becoming an office clerk may help you by forcing you to spend time around people every day.
You won’t be able to hide from human interaction, but it will gradually build your personal skills and become a happier and more successful person with others.
In this way, you can improve your career, break through the shyness barrier, and even enhance your confidence.
Don’t forget that many cases of shyness are caused more by a lack of confidence than anything else.
7. Not Physically Demanding
Are you tired of jobs that put a heavy strain on your body, or are you unable to do jobs like this and need a more laid-back position?
Office clerks don’t have a physically demanding job: most will sit for long periods at a desk with minimal heavy lifting or difficult labor.
While you might need to move stacks of paper or even office equipment, you can also get someone in the office to help you, which can streamline this process and minimize any potential physical strain.
Cons of Being an Office Clerk
While working as an office clerk can be a rewarding option for many people, it’s not right for everyone.
That’s because there are some disadvantages to this position that can make it a questionable job opportunity for some.
Make sure you read through these different negative issues to ensure that you feel comfortable choosing this job for a long-term career.
1. Middling Pay
Now, an office clerk doesn’t necessarily make poor money, as some make an estimated average salary of $41,322 in the United States.
That said, that’s still well below the national average of $55,640, which makes this a less financially rewarding job than others.
While it’s true that you’ll need minimal training to start this career and make this salary, its relatively low pay is something to consider if you’re interested in transitioning into this career path with specialized training.
2. Overtime Is Common
While you might have set hours for your office clerk job, expect overtime periodically throughout your career.
While you might not work overtime every day or anything like that, there might be times when you have to work 10-12 hours to catch up with paperwork.
Yes, you’ll earn overtime pay, which is a major bonus for some people.
That said, if you’re put on salary (which is common in this job), you could end up working long hours without compensation.
3. Job Opportunities May Decrease
The concept of AI has adversely affected many markets in recent years, including office clerks.
Many of their job duties could be handled by AI sources, particularly data entry and even answering basic phone calls.
As a result, the demand for this position could decrease, as could the pay level.
It’s not likely that the office clerk position is going to disappear overnight or anything like that, but the risk is there for any market affected by AI products.
4. It May Be Demanding
Remember when we said that you’d be busy with this job in the previous section?
We weren’t kidding.
There’s a good chance that you’ll have one of the largest workloads in your office, meaning you’ll probably be working nearly constantly.
Yes, your day will go by fast.
But some people may get worn out by this much work and need a less-demanding job.
Make sure that you’re ready for this job’s unique tasks before trying it out for yourself.
5. Could Task Your Patience
Do you have a hard time dealing with incompetence?
You might struggle in an office clerk job because there’s a good chance you’ll have to take care of everyone’s mistakes for them.
Often, clerks innately know how an office runs better than anyone else, which means people may come to rely on you to do things that they should do themselves.
If you have little patience for people taking advantage of you or showing blatant disregard for your time load, this might not be a great job for you.
6. Potential Health Issues
While it might sound unlikely, there’s a real chance that you might experience health problems working as an office clerk.
For example, you might sit for hours at a time, which can cause weight gain and affect your energy levels in various ways.
Furthermore, you might experience some vision issues caused by staring at computer screens.
This concern is something to take seriously and must be combated with physical activity and exercise outside of work.
7. Requires In-Depth Rules
If you’re someone who likes a lot of rules that dictate your job duties, you may enjoy this position.
However, if you’re someone who doesn’t like or who can’t remember various rules and regulations, this job might not be for you.
There are a lot of strict procedures you’ll have to follow to save paperwork, set up appointments, and much more.
If you can’t keep them straight in your head as you work, you could cause problems with your office or even your career.
14 Pros and Cons of Being an Office Clerk – Summary Table
|Pros of Being an Office Clerk||Cons of Being an Office Clerk|
|1. Minimal Educational Demands||1. Middling Pay|
|2. Unique Work Settings||2. Overtime Is Common|
|3. Adaptable Schedule||3. Job Opportunities May Decrease|
|4. Many Work Duties||4. It May Be Demanding|
|5. Chance to Learn Better Organization||5. Could Task Your Patience|
|6. Build Personal Skills||6. Potential Health Issues|
|7. Not Physically Demanding||7. Requires In-Depth Rules|
Should You Become an Office Clerk?
An office clerk job is a better-than-average entry-level career move that may work well for people with strong organizational skills and a passion for helping others.
It’s not a great option if you want an easy career with six figures, but it can be rewarding for those who prefer a busy but stationary lifestyle.