Job description

File clerks organise and maintain paper and electronic records. They collect and enter data, file documents, and retrieve records for staff or customers. File clerks responsible for digital records also scan and upload documents, while they may also be required to perform additional clerical tasks like answering phones and sorting the mail.


    • Evaluate incoming documents and other materials to determine how and where they should be filed
    • Classify materials according to company guidelines, typically including content, purpose and date
    • Enter data such as content headings and file numbers into computer databases
    • File paper copies according to guidelines, usually via an alphabetical or numerical system
    • Find, retrieve and make copies of materials requested by staff or other authorised users
    • Keep transaction records of materials requested, accessed, copied or borrowed
    • Collect and re-file materials that have been checked out by staff
    • Conduct periodic inventory checks and organisational checks
    • Devise and implement filing system improvements
    • Collect and add new data to paper or digital files as requested
    • Weed outdated or irrelevant documents according to guidelines
    • Scan and upload documents into digital storage
    • Answer questions about records and files, and assist patrons with accessing files on microfilm or microfiche
    • Perform clerical duties such as answering phones, sorting mail and typing correspondence
    • Act as cashier or conduct other general finance duties with accounts and invoices

Skills and qualities

Word processing
Database and spreadsheet software
Reading comprehension
Active listening
Time management
Attention to detail
Service orientation
Information ordering

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.


New jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.


Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.


Career progression

While several clerical tasks have been automated, many companies still require file clerks to maintain both digital and paper records. Experience as a file clerk can allow you to transition to higher-level positions such as administrative assistant. Additional education opens the door to more lucrative roles in related fields, such as bookkeeper, medical records technician and human resources specialist.

Working conditions

Average hours

40h/ week

Typical schedule

Full Time

Standard business hours

Most file clerks work full time in an office environment. Part-time work typically is offered during normal office hours, but some evening or weekend scheduling is possible.

Work may include long periods of sitting at a computer or standing at a copier or scanner. Tasks can be repetitive. File clerks with multiple duties in busy offices may experience stress.


Bottom 10%




Top 10%


Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

High school

On-the-job training

Study time

4 weeks

Most file clerk jobs require a high school diploma or equivalent. You will receive on-the-job training that typically lasts less than a month. Classes in word processing and spreadsheet software will help make your job easier. Additional coursework also makes you a more desirable candidate to prospective employers.

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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