General Clerks perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around half of workers have finished no post school qualifications (that is, they have completed some level of high school). Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

Tasks

  • recording, preparing, sorting, classifying and filing information
  • sorting, opening and sending mail
  • photocopying and faxing documents
  • preparing reports of a routine nature
  • recording issue of equipment to staff
  • receiving letters and telephone messages
  • transcribing information onto computers, and proofreading and correcting copy
  • may provide customers with information about services
  • may perform receptionist duties

Job Titles

  • General Clerk

    Fast Facts

    • Avg. Weekly Pay

      $1,000 Before Tax
    • Future Growth

      strong
    • Skill Level

      Certificate II or III
    • Employment Size

      239900
    • Unemployment

      average
    • Male Share

      16.3%
    • Female Share

      83.7%
    • Full-Time Share

      58.1%

    Find Vacancies

    This is a very large occupation employing 239,900 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
    Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create more than 50,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

    • General Clerks work in most parts of Australia.
    • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Public Administration and Safety; Education and Training; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
    • Part-time work is fairly common, but more than half work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
    • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,000 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • The average age is 43 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 5 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
    • Around 8 in 10 workers are female.
    • In 2016, the unemployment rate was similar to the average.

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
    YearNumber of Workers
    2005113900
    2006121700
    2007138300
    2008141800
    2009160700
    2010183900
    2011192900
    2012209000
    2013223700
    2014249500
    2015239900
    2020262400

    Weekly Earnings

    Full-time Earnings

    All Jobs Average

    Weekly Earnings (before tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsGeneral ClerksAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings10001230

    Hours

    Weekly Hours Worked

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryGeneral ClerksAll Jobs Average
    Full-time58.168.4
    Part-time41.931.6
    Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.640

    Main Industries

    Top Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Public Administration and Safety20.5
    Education and Training12.5
    Health Care and Social Assistance12.3
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services8
    Other Industries46.7

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateGeneral ClerksAll Jobs Average
    NSW3431.8
    VIC21.825.5
    QLD21.119.8
    SA6.76.8
    WA9.511.2
    TAS1.92
    NT1.61.1
    ACT3.51.8

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketGeneral ClerksAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-193.1-5.45.4
    20-249.9-9.99.9
    25-3420.1-23.423.4
    35-4421.4-21.721.7
    45-5425.5-21.121.1
    55-5910.3-8.78.7
    60-646-5.95.9
    65 and Over3.7-3.83.8

    Gender

    Male Share

    Female Share

    Gender (% share)

    Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    CategoryGeneral ClerksCategoryAll Jobs Average
    Males16.3Males53.6
    Females83.7Females46.4

    Education Level

    Top Education Levels

    Highest Level of Education (% share)

    Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationGeneral ClerksAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate5.8-8.68.6
    Bachelor degree14.3-17.917.9
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma11.7-10.110.1
    Certificate III/IV19.5-18.918.9
    Year 1229-18.718.7
    Years 11 & 1018.5-17.717.7
    Below Year 101.3-8.18.1

    A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed.
    Around half of workers have finished no post school qualifications (that is, they have completed some level of high school). Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

    If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
    The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

    It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

    Employers look for General Clerks who interact well with others, provide good customer service and have good computer skills.

    Knowledge

    The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Clerical

      90% Important

      Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

    2. Customer and Personal Service

      81% Important

      Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    3. English Language

      75% Important

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    4. Computers and Electronics

      59% Important

      Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

    5. Mathematics

      58% Important

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    Occupational Information Network Correspondence Clerks Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Activities

    The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

    1. Interacting With Computers

      89% Important

      Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

    2. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

      88% Important

      Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

    3. Documenting/Recording Information

      83% Important

      Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

    4. Performing Administrative Activities

      78% Important

      Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.

    5. Getting Information

      76% Important

      Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

    Occupational Information Network Correspondence Clerks Opens in a new window
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

    go to top