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Become A Desk Worker

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Working As A Desk Worker

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • $30,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Desk Worker Do

Information clerks perform routine clerical duties such as maintaining records, collecting data, and providing information to customers.

Duties

Information clerks typically do the following:

  • Prepare routine reports, claims, bills, or orders
  • Collect and record data from customers, staff, and the public
  • Answer questions from customers and the public about products or services
  • File and maintain paper or electronic records

Information clerks perform routine office support functions in an organization, business, or government. They use telephones, computers, and other office equipment such as scanners and fax machines.

Correspondence clerks respond to inquiries from the public or customers. They prepare standard responses to requests for merchandise, damage claims, delinquent accounts, incorrect billings, or complaints about unsatisfactory services. They also may review the organization’s records and type response letters for their supervisors to sign.

Court clerks organize and maintain court records. They prepare the calendar of cases, also known as the docket, and inform attorneys and witnesses about court appearances. Court clerks also receive, file, and forward court documents.

Eligibility interviewers conduct interviews both in person and over the phone to determine if applicants qualify for government assistance and benefits. They answer applicants’ questions about programs and may refer them to other agencies for assistance.

File clerks maintain electronic or paper records. They enter and retrieve data, organize records, and file documents. In organizations with electronic filing systems, file clerks scan and upload documents.

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks, also called front desk clerks, provide customer service to guests at the establishment’s front desk. They check guests in and out, assign rooms, and process payments. They also keep occupancy records; take, confirm, or change room reservations; and provide information on the hotel’s policies and services. In addition, front desk clerks answer phone calls, take and deliver messages for guests, and handle guests’ requests and complaints. For example, when guests report problems in their rooms, clerks coordinate with maintenance staff to resolve the issue.

Human resources assistants provide administrative support to human resources managers. They maintain personnel records on employees, including their addresses, employment history, and performance evaluations. They may post information about job openings and compile candidates’ résumés for review.

Interviewers conduct interviews over the phone, in person, through mail, or online. They use the information to complete forms, applications, or questionnaires for market research surveys, census forms, and medical histories. Interviewers typically follow set procedures and questionnaires to obtain specific information.

License clerks process applications for licenses and permits, administer tests, and collect application fees. They determine if applicants are qualified to receive particular licenses or if additional documentation needs to be submitted. They also maintain records of applications received and licenses issued.

Municipal clerks provide administrative support for town or city governments by maintaining government records. They record, maintain, and distribute minutes of town and city council meetings to local officials and staff and help prepare for elections. They also may answer requests for information from local, state, and federal officials and the public.

Order clerks receive orders from customers and process payments. For example, they may enter customer information, such as addresses and payment methods, into the order entry system. They also answer questions about prices and shipping.

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks take and confirm passengers’ reservations for hotels and transportation. They also sell and issue tickets and answer questions about itineraries, rates, and package tours. Ticket agents who work at airports and railroads also check bags and issue boarding passes to passengers.

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How To Become A Desk Worker

Information clerks typically need a high school diploma and learn their skills on the job. Employers may prefer to hire candidates with some college education or an associate’s degree, depending on the occupation.

Education

Candidates typically need a high school diploma for most positions. However, employers may prefer to hire candidates with some college education or an associate’s degree. This is particularly true for eligibility interviewers, human resources assistants, and municipal clerks. Courses in social sciences, as well as word processing and spreadsheet applications, are particularly helpful.

Training

Most information clerks receive short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting a few weeks. Training typically covers clerical procedures and the use of computer applications. Those employed in government receive training that may last several months and include learning about various government programs and regulations.

Advancement

Some information clerks may advance to other administrative positions with more responsibilities, such as office supervisor or office manager. With completion of a bachelor’s degree, some human resources assistants may become human resources specialists.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Information clerks must be able to explain policies and procedures clearly to customers and the public.

Integrity. Information clerks, particularly human resources assistants, have access to confidential information. They must be trusted to adhere to the applicable confidentiality and privacy rules governing the dissemination of this information.

Interpersonal skills. Information clerks who work with the public and customers must understand and communicate information effectively in order to establish positive relationships.

Organizational skills. Information clerks must be able to retrieve files and other important information quickly and efficiently.

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Desk Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

55.4%

Male

34.3%

Unknown

10.3%
Ethnicity

White

67.6%

Hispanic or Latino

11.1%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.8%

French

17.1%

German

5.5%

Chinese

4.8%

Japanese

4.1%

Vietnamese

3.4%

Mandarin

3.4%

Korean

3.4%

Italian

3.4%

Hindi

2.7%

Arabic

2.1%

Bengali

1.4%

Serbian

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Bosnian

0.7%

Yoruba

0.7%

Russian

0.7%

Thai

0.7%

Albanian

0.7%

Greek

0.7%
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Desk Worker Education

Schools

Eastern Kentucky University

13.9%

Saint Louis University-

11.9%

University of Illinois at Chicago

7.3%

Indiana Wesleyan University

7.2%

Murray State University

6.8%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

6.2%

Pensacola Christian College

4.0%

Missouri State University

3.8%

Saint Xavier University

3.8%

Western Connecticut State University

3.8%

Keuka College

3.7%

University of Toledo

3.5%

Ball State University

3.3%

Wayne State College

3.2%

North Carolina Wesleyan College

3.2%

University of Tennessee - Martin

3.0%

Texas State University

2.8%

Albany State University

2.8%

Oakland University

2.8%

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

2.8%
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Majors

Psychology

15.8%

Business

11.7%

Criminal Justice

9.6%

Biology

7.5%

Communication

7.5%

English

5.3%

Kinesiology

4.7%

Social Work

4.3%

Nursing

3.8%

Accounting

3.8%

Marketing

3.5%

Political Science

3.2%

History

3.1%

Sociology

2.6%

Elementary Education

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.4%

Music

2.4%

Management

2.1%

Chemistry

2.1%

Public Relations

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

66.7%

Other

18.2%

Masters

9.9%

Associate

2.7%

Certificate

1.3%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Desk Worker

  1. Customer Service
  2. Ensure Safety
  3. Front Desk
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist executive staff by delivering effective customer service.
  • Recorded tentative schedule of residence attendance to ensure safety of residence halls.
  • Managed the front desk of Palmer Hall and ensured that each student swiped their ID upon entering the building.
  • Maintained appropriate communication with the Resident Assistants.
  • Worked as a team with other circulation desk workers to maintain an orderly work environment for students and staff.

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Top Desk Worker Employers

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