General Clerks

ANZSCO ID 5311

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
305,000
Future Growth
12.9%
Weekly Earnings
$1,223
Full-Time Share
57%
Female Share
85%
Average age
44

Summary

General Clerks perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks.

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

Characteristics

Job Type
Clerical And Administrative Workers
Skill Level
Lower skill
ANZSCO Occupation group
Unemployment Rate
Above average
Industries
Pathway(s)
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET)
  • Informal or on-the-job
Interests
  • Administrative
  • Enterprising
Physical Demand
  • Sedentary

Outlook

Employment Outlook

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.

Projected Change
12.9%
(or 35,700 jobs)
From
275,700
in 2021
To
311,400
in 2026

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.
Year Employment
2011 188,400
2012 209,500
2013 219,000
2014 251,000
2015 244,500
2016 257,000
2017 221,800
2018 289,500
2019 270,300
2020 308,800
2021 275,700
2026 311,400

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and National Skills Commission Employment Projections to 2026.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • 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)

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.
Earnings General Clerks All Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings 1,223 1,593
Total Earnings 0 0

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.


Industries

Main industries

1
Public Administration and Safety
23.2%
2
Health Care and Social Assistance
12.3%
3
Education and Training
11.9%
4
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
8.9%
5
Other industries
43.6%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

32.4% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

21.9% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

21.2% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

7.0% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

10.4% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

2.0% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

1.3% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

3.7% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State General Clerks All Jobs Average
NSW 32.4 31.6
VIC 21.9 25.6
QLD 21.2 20.0
SA 7.0 7.0
WA 10.4 10.8
TAS 2.0 2.0
NT 1.3 1.0
ACT 3.7 1.9



Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
44
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
85%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • 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)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket General Clerks All Jobs Average
15-19 2.5 5.0
20-24 7.8 9.3
25-34 19.0 22.9
35-44 21.6 22.0
45-54 25.7 21.6
55-59 11.1 9.0
60-64 7.4 6.0
65 and Over 4.8 4.2
Median Age 44 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

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.

Visit

  • 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)

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.
Type of Qualification General Clerks All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 5.4 10.1
Bachelor degree 15.3 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 14.5 11.6
Certificate III/IV 16.8 21.1
Year 12 25.5 18.1
Year 11 6.9 4.8
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

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 52%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 52%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 48%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 45%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 43%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 43%

    Serving others

    Looking for ways to help people.

  • 39%

    Social perceptiveness

    Understanding why people react the way they do.

  • 39%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 39%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 37%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 36%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 36%

    Active learning

    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.

  • 32%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 32%

    Negotiation

    Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.

  • 32%

    Persuasion

    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.

  • 30%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 27%

    Operation monitoring

    Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 86%

    Clerical

    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.

  • 52%

    English language

    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.

  • 40%

    Mathematics

    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.

  • 22%

    Psychology

    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.

  • 13%

    Foreign language

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

  • 12%

    Geography

    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.

  • 8%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 54%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 50%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 46%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 46%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 46%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 45%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 43%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 43%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 43%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 41%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 41%

    Inductive reasoning

    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.

  • 37%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 37%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 37%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 37%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.

  • 34%

    Finger dexterity

    Put together small parts with your fingers.

  • 34%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 34%

    Multitasking

    Do two or more things at the same time.


Activities

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

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 62%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 52%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.

  • 52%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 24%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 14%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 81%

    Relationships

    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.

  • 62%

    Support

    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.

  • 38%

    Independence

    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.

  • 36%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 33%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 33%

    Recognition

    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.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 96%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 96%

    Telephone

    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.

  • 90%

    Unstructured 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.

  • 89%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 89%

    Face-to-face discussions

    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.

  • 77%

    Time pressure

    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.

Occupational Information Network
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.


Links and downloads

Back to top