General Clerks perform a range of clerical and administrative 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
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers:
- is expected to grow strongly
- is likely to reach 311,400 by 2026.
Source: National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 57% of people employed as General Clerks work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 9 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 40 hours per week in their main job. This is 4 hours less than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $1,223 per week, this is much lower than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $999
- 1 in 4 earn more than $1,460
Median hourly earnings are $32, this is lower than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||General Clerks||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||General Clerks||All Jobs Average|
Around 61% of General Clerks live in capital cities, similar to the all jobs average of 62%.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of General Clerks is 44 years. This is higher than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 85% of the workforce. This is 37 percentage points above the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||General Clerks||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.8||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a General Clerk. Although some workers have a certificate III or IV in business, administration or another related field.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Business Services VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||General Clerks||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||5.4||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||15.5||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for General Clerks who interact well with others, provide good customer service and have good computer skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Reading work related information.
Talking to others.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
39%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Teaching people how to do something.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
32%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Using maths to solve problems.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
30%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
30%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
62%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
47%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
31%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
31%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
30%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
30%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
29%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
25%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
17%Economics and accounting
Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.
17%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
16%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
14%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
12%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
41%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
37%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
37%Working with numbers
Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.
Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.
Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
68%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
62%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
56%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
54%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
49%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
48%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
45%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
45%Helping and caring for others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support.
44%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
44%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
43%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
42%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
42%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
41%Providing office support
Doing day-to-day office work such as filing and processing paperwork.
39%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
35%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
34%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
33%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
29%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
28%Managing payments and orders
Monitoring and controlling resources and the spending of money.
Interests and demands
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.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Use electronic mail.
Talk on the telephone.
94%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
90%Spend time sitting
Spend time sitting at work.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
89%Repeating same tasks
Repeat the same tasks or activities (e.g., key entry) over and over, without stopping.
Work with people in a group or team.
Talk with people face-to-face.
88%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
84%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
81%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
Work to strict deadlines.
77%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
76%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
70%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
69%Angry or unpleasant people
Deal with unpleasant, angry, or rude people.
67%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
67%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
66%Making repetitive motions
Spend time making repetitive motions.
63%Consequence of error
Work where mistakes have serious consequences.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 43-9061.00 - Office Clerks, General.