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

Cedar Rapids, Iowa provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for order clerks. There are currently 2,710 working order clerks in Iowa; this should shrink 29% to about 1,930 working order clerks in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for order clerks, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 26.1% over the next eight years. Order clerks generally receive and process incoming orders for materials, merchandise, or services such as repairs, installations, or rental of facilities.

Order clerks earn about $14 per hour or $29,280 annually on average in Iowa and about $13 hourly or $27,990 per year on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Clerical, people working as order clerks in Iowa earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Clerical nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be an order clerk, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. Order clerks usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be an order clerk if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Order Clerk

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

In general, order clerks receive and process incoming orders for materials, merchandise, or services such as repairs, installations, or rental of facilities. They also duties include informing customers of receipt, prices, and delays; preparing contracts; and handling complaints.

Order clerks verify customer and order data for correctness, checking it against previously obtained data as needed. They also obtain customers' names and billing data, product numbers, and specifications of items to be purchased, and enter this data on order forms. Equally important, order clerks have to inform customers by mail or telephone of order data, such as unit prices and any anticipated delays. They are often called upon to receive and respond to customer complaints. They are expected to file copies of orders received, or post orders on archives. Finally, order clerks ready invoices and contracts.

Every day, order clerks are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for order clerks to inspect orders for completeness in line with reporting procedures and forward incomplete orders for further processing. They are often called upon to direct specified departments or units to ready and ship orders to designated locations. They also compute total charges for products or services and shipping charges. They are sometimes expected to talk with production or common carrier personnel so as to expedite or trace shipments. Somewhat less frequently, order clerks are also expected to notify departments when supplies of specific items are low, or when orders would deplete available supplies.

Order clerks sometimes are asked to recommend type of packing or labeling needed on order. They also have to be able to inspect outgoing work for adherence to customers' specifications and ready invoices and contracts. And finally, they sometimes have to calculate and compile order-related statistics, and ready summaries for management.

Like many other jobs, order clerks must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

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.
  • Office Clerk. Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring limited knowledge of office management systems and procedures. 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.
  • 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.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Order 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

National Professional Certification in Sales: The Certification was designed to capture the core Sales duties for a broad range of entry-level through first-line supervisory positions across the sales and service industries.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation 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.