File clerk

A file clerk


File clerks are in charge of maintaining records of a company and managing forms and information. They organise and retrieve documents when necessary and ensure an efficient working system.

The duties of a file clerk include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and maintaining databases
  • Labeling and updating paper files
  • Putting files, digital or paper, into their proper locations 
  • Gathering and organizing files and documents for coworkers’ use, such as for reports
  • Maintaining supply inventories
  • Troubleshooting computers, printers, fax machines, scanners, shredders and other office equipment
  • Calling for maintenance and repairs of various office equipment as needed
  • Answering phone calls and emails regarding documentation organization 
  • Photocopying and sending faxes
  • Sorting, delivering, picking up and sending mail

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to file clerk:

archive clerk
filing clerk
filing office helper
file and classification clerk
records clerk
record filing clerk
file keeper
copying clerk
documentation specialist
filing system clerk
technical records clerk

Working conditions

File clerks are employed in an office environment, where they spend much of their time retrieving and delivering files to other employees or sitting in front of a computer. File clerks who work in a larger office have the opportunity to meet and interact with company personnel at many levels.

File clerks work during normal office hours as a rule. When an office is open to clients and other employees are on the job, a file clerk is expected to be there as well. Because the volume of documents produced may be significant, depending on the size and nature of the organization, a file clerk might have to work full-time to keep up with the flow. But this doesn’t mean that job-share opportunities or part-time positions aren’t available. Overtime is not generally required.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically necessary, although some people working as file clerks have undergraduate and advanced degrees.

Some work experience in a similar field is helpful. On-the-job training often involves working under a more experienced clerk for a few weeks to a few months.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

File clerk is a Skill level 2 occupation.

File clerk career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to file clerk.

office clerk
foreign language correspondence clerk
billing clerk
investment clerk
mail clerk

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of file clerk. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of file clerk with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

administrative assistant
passport officer
waiting list coordinator
office manager
court reporter

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of file clerk.

  • Information confidentiality: The mechanisms and regulations which allow for selective access control and guarantee that only authorised parties (people, processes, systems and devices) have access to data, the way to comply with confidential information and the risks of non-compliance.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of file clerk.

  • Respect data protection principles: Ensure that access to personal or institutional data conforms to the legal and ethical framework governing such access.
  • Carry out records management: Manage the life-cycle of records of institutions, individuals, corporate bodies, collections, oral history.
  • Ensure information transparency: Ensure that required or requested information is provided clearly and completely, in a manner which does not explicitly withhold information, to the public or requesting parties.
  • File documents: Create a filing system. Write a document catalogue. Label documents etc.
  • Organise business documents: Put together documents coming from the photocopier, the mail, or the daily operations of businesses.
  • Keep task records: Organise and classify records of prepared reports and correspondence related to the performed work and progress records of tasks.
  • Use office systems: Make appropriate and timely use of office systems used in business facilities depending on the aim, whether for the collection of messages, client information storage, or agenda scheduling. It includes administration of systems such as customer relationship management, vendor management, storage, and voicemail systems.
  • Fill out forms: Fill out forms of a different nature with accurate information, legible calligraphy, and within a timely manner.
  • Perform clerical duties: Perform administrative tasks such as filing, typing up reports and maintaining mail correspondence.
  • Ensure proper document management: Guarantee that the tracking and recording standards and rules for document management are followed, such as ensuring that changes are identified, that documents remain readable and that obsoleted documents are not used.
  • Facilitate access to information: Prepare documents for archiving; ensure that the information can easily be accessed at all times.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of file clerk. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Health records management: The procedures and importance of record keeping in a healthcare system such as hospitals or clinics, the information systems used to keep and process records and how to achieve maximum accuracy of records.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of file clerk. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Maintain records of maintenance interventions: Keep written records of all repairs and maintenance interventions undertaken, including information on the parts and materials used, etc.
  • Digitise documents: Load analog documents by converting them into a digital format, using specialised hardware and software.
  • Use software for data preservation: Utilise specialised applications and software to collect and preserve digital information.
  • Maintain service record book: Maintain service record book, in which data related to the on-board time, activities, signatures of skippers, and other details are recorded.
  • Develop classification systems: Organise archive or business records; develop classification systems to facilitate access to all information.
  • Keep records of customer interaction: Recording details of inquiries, comments and complaints received from customers, as well as actions to be taken.
  • Keep promotions records: Keep records on sales information and distribution of materials. File reports on customer reactions to their employers’ products and promotions; present these reports to their managers.
  • Keep records on sales: Keep records of the activities of the sales of products and services, tracking which products and services were sold when and maintaining customer records, in order to facilitate improvements in the sales department.
  • Maintain museum records: Keep museum records current and in conformity with museum standards.
  • Keep stock records: Keep written records of the amount of stock in storage, incoming and outgoing products required for the proper operation of services, repairs and maintenance tasks.
  • Manage digital archives: Create and maintain computer archives and databases, incorporating latest developments in electronic information storage technology.

ISCO group and title

4415 – Filing and copying clerks

  1. File clerk – ESCO
  2. File Clerk Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More – Liveabout
  3. File Clerk Job Description – Indeed
  4. Featured image: Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels
Last updated on December 1, 2022

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