Clerical assistants' jobs almost always take place inside an office environment, and thus almost always during regular business hours (although this can vary depending on the company). Clerical assistants are the jacks-of-all trades in an office environment. Specifically, they are usually required to handle a lot of telephone duty: They answer and screen calls, and make phone calls on behalf of supervisors in the office.
Clerical assistants must also be comfortable with office computer technology and software, including word processing and spreadsheets. They are often required to draft or type up documents or correspondence for their supervisors or other employees. As such, a strong knowledge of proper grammar and spelling is always a big plus for clerical workers. Clerical assistants will also usually handle sorting and distributing mail in smaller business environments that lack a dedicated mail room. They are also usually expected to handle a great deal of filing and file sorting, as well as creating documents by entering data into templates as needed. Clerical assistants will also likely be tasked with maintaining and requisitioning office supplies to the necessary inventory levels so their businesses can function.
From all of this, it should be clear that one of the skills necessary to succeed as a clerical assistant is a good sense of organization. Normally the education requirement for this position is a high school diploma or GED, but any prior experience or secondary training in office administration is always a plus for companies hiring for this position.
Clerical Assistant Tasks
- Open, sort and route incoming mail, answer correspondence and prepare outgoing mail.
- Complete and mail bills, contracts, policies, invoices and checks.
- Compile, copy, sort, and file records of office activities.
- Answer phones, direct calls and take messages.
- Operate office machines; photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems and personal computers.