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Career and Education Opportunities for Office Clerks in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for office clerks in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. There are currently 32,920 jobs for office clerks in Iowa and this is projected to grow 15% to about 37,720 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for office clerks are expected to grow by about 11.9%. In general, office clerks perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures.

The income of an office clerk is about $12 hourly or $25,230 annually on average in Iowa. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $12 per hour or $25,320 annually on average. Office clerks earn less than people working in the category of Clerical generally in Iowa and less than people in the Clerical category nationally.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree as an office clerk. The most common level of education for office clerks is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become an office clerk if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Office Clerk

Office Clerk video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, office clerks perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. They also clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, stenography, office machine operation, and filing.

Office clerks communicate with customers and other individuals to respond to questions, disseminate or explain data, take orders, and address complaints. They also answer telephones and take messages. Equally important, office clerks have to operate office machines, such as photocopiers and scanners, facsimile machines, voice mail systems, and personal computers. Finally, office clerks compile and file archives of office efforts and other efforts.

Every day, office clerks are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for office clerks to maintain and update filing, inventory and database systems, either manually or using a computer. They are often called upon to compute and proofread data and other data, such as archives or reports. They also open and route incoming mail and ready outgoing mail. They are sometimes expected to deliver messages and run errands. Somewhat less frequently, office clerks are also expected to process and ready documents.

Office clerks sometimes are asked to ready meeting agendas and record and transcribe minutes. They also have to be able to collect and disburse money, do basic bookkeeping, and complete banking transactions And finally, they sometimes have to communicate with customers and other individuals to respond to questions, disseminate or explain data, take orders, and address complaints.

Like many other jobs, office clerks must believe in cooperation and coordination and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Cedar Rapids include:

  • Correspondence Clerk. Compose letters in reply to requests for merchandise, damage claims, credit and other information, delinquent accounts, or unsatisfactory services. Duties may include gathering data to formulate reply and typing correspondence.
  • Courtroom Clerk. Perform clerical duties in court of law; prepare docket of cases to be called; secure information for judges; and contact witnesses, attorneys, and litigants to obtain information for court.
  • File Clerk. File correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. Locate and remove material from file when requested.
  • Insurance Claims Processor. Obtain information from insured or designated persons for purpose of settling claim with insurance carrier.
  • Insurance Processing Clerk. Process applications for, changes to, and cancellation of insurance policies. Duties include reviewing insurance applications to ensure that all questions have been answered, compiling data on insurance policy changes, changing policy records to conform to insured party's specifications, compiling data on lapsed insurance policies to determine automatic reinstatement according to company policies, canceling insurance policies as requested by agents, and verifying the accuracy of insurance company records.
  • License Clerk. Issue licenses or permits to qualified applicants. Obtain necessary information; record data; advise applicants on requirements; collect fees; and issue licenses. May conduct oral, written, or performance testing.
  • Municipal Clerk. Draft agendas and bylaws for town or city council; record minutes of council meetings; answer official correspondence; keep fiscal records and accounts; and prepare reports on civic needs.
  • Order Clerk. Receive and process incoming orders for materials, merchandise, or services such as repairs, installations, or rental of facilities. Duties include informing customers of receipt, prices, and delays; preparing contracts; and handling complaints.
  • Postal Clerk. Perform any combination of tasks in a post office, such as receive letters and parcels; sell postage and revenue stamps, postal cards, and stamped envelopes; fill out and sell money orders; place mail in pigeon holes of mail rack or in bags according to State, address, or other scheme; and examine mail for correct postage.
  • Procurement Clerk. Compile information and records to draw up purchase orders for procurement of materials and services.
  • Receptionist. Answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, and other interested parties. Provide information regarding activities conducted at establishment; location of departments, offices, and employees within organization.
  • Secretary. Perform routine clerical and administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
  • Typist. Type letters, reports, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording. May perform other clerical duties as assigned.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Office Clerk Training

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus, 3165 Edgewood Parkway SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus is a small university located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 594 students. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Associate in Project Management: As project management grows in scope, importance and recognition, so do the related career and credential options available to you.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.