The different types of clerks may be roughly divided into categories such as government and health, banking, retail, information, legal and office. Within these main categories are many different clerical jobs that require varying experience and education levels. Most clerical positions require at least a high school diploma while others such as legal or medical usually need the minimum of a recognized post-secondary certificate in those fields.
Many general office clerk positions don't require certification or previous experience. Positions such as for a filing or data entry clerk typically provide on-the-job training. A data entry clerk usually enters information into a computer database or works with shipping or other documents to record totals in a computer program. Filing clerks organize and store information so it's easily accessible by employees in the company who need it. Legal clerks, who typically have at least some post-secondary education, assist lawyers by organizing exhibits, briefs and records as well as by sometimes writing opinions for law cases.
Information clerk jobs may span many different industries, but are especially common in travel and tourism. Hotel desk clerks typically not only answer guests' inquiries about rooms and rates, but also about attractions and restaurants in the area. Travel agency clerk positions usually involve giving information to customers about transportation, lodging and tickets as well as taking reservations. An information clerk in any industry often deals with the public in-person, over the telephone or through email correspondence.
Retail or sales clerks may help customers find items in the store as well as run their purchases through the cash register. They may also initiate sales by pointing out special offers or suggesting possible merchandise that may suit each customer's particular needs or desires. Bank clerical workers, who are commonly called bank tellers, help customers access their accounts to withdraw or deposit money as well as to arrange appointments to discuss mortgages or other services.
Government and health clerical positions often include jobs in post offices and hospitals. A postal clerk takes and weighs packages for mailing for customers or presents parcels to those with the required identification for pickup. A nursing unit clerk coordinates staff in a hospital setting. He or she usually has post-secondary certification with a basic working knowledge of anatomy and medical terminology. Nursing unit clerks may also handle the official paperwork for living wills, patient consent forms and other documents that pertain to privacy and ethics issues.