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Career and Education Opportunities for Clerks in Columbia, Maryland

Clerks can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. The national trend for clerks sees this job pool growing by about 15.3% over the next eight years. Clerks generally compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes.

Income for clerks is about $16 hourly or $33,520 yearly on average in Maryland. Nationally, their income is about $14 hourly or $30,950 per year. Clerks earn more than people working in the category of Billing and Bookkeeping generally in Maryland and more than people in the Billing and Bookkeeping category nationally.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including seven within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a clerk. Clerks usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a clerk if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Clerk

In general, clerks compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. They also duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records.

Clerks verify precision of billing data and revise any errors. They also operate typing and billing machines. Equally important, clerks have to contact customers so as to obtain or relay account data. They are often called upon to perform bookkeeping work, including posting data and keeping other archives concerning costs of goods and services and the shipment of goods. Finally, clerks ready itemized statements or invoices; and record amounts due for items purchased or services rendered.

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

It is important for clerks to resolve discrepancies in accounting reports. They are often called upon to type billing documents and credit forms, using typewriters or computers. They also keep archives of invoices and support documents. They are sometimes expected to inspect documents such as purchase orders or hospital archives so as to compute fees and charges due. Somewhat less frequently, clerks are also expected to consult sources such as rate books and insurance company representatives in order to establish specific charges and data such as rules and government tax and tariff data.

Clerks sometimes are asked to compile reports of cost factors, such as labor and equipment. They also have to be able to inspect compiled data on operating costs and revenues so as to set rates And finally, they sometimes have to operate typing and billing machines.

Like many other jobs, clerks must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Accounts Receivable Specialist. Locate and notify customers of delinquent accounts by mail, telephone, or personal visit to solicit payment. Duties include receiving payment and posting amount to customer's account; preparing statements to credit department if customer fails to respond; initiating repossession proceedings or service disconnection; keeping records of collection and status of accounts.
  • Bank Teller. Receive and pay out money. Keep records of money and negotiable instruments involved in a financial institution's various transactions.
  • Bookkeeper. Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.
  • Broker Assistant. Perform clerical duties involving the purchase or sale of securities. Duties include writing orders for stock purchases and sales, computing transfer taxes, verifying stock transactions, accepting and delivering securities, tracking stock price fluctuations, computing equity, and keeping records of daily transactions and holdings.
  • Gaming Cashier. Conduct financial transactions for patrons in gaming establishments. May reconcile daily summaries of transactions to balance books. Accept patron's credit application and verify credit references to provide check-cashing authorization or to establish house credit accounts. May sell gambling chips, tokens, or tickets to patrons, or to other workers for resale to patrons. May convert gaming chips, tokens, or tickets to currency upon patron's request. May use a cash register or computer to record transaction.
  • Loan Inspector. Interview loan applicants to elicit information; investigate applicants' backgrounds and verify references; prepare loan request papers; and forward findings, reports, and documents to appraisal department. Review loan papers to ensure completeness, and complete transactions between loan establishment, borrowers, and sellers upon approval of loan.
  • Payroll Machine Operator. Operate machines that automatically perform mathematical processes, such as addition, subtraction, and division, to calculate and record billing, accounting, and other numerical data. Duties include operating special billing machines to prepare statements, bills, and invoices, and operating bookkeeping machines to copy and post data, make computations, and compile records of transactions.
  • 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.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Clerk Training

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated seventeen and twenty-five students respectively in 2008.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated twenty-nine and twenty students respectively in 2008.

Anne Arundel Community College - Arnold, MD

Anne Arundel Community College, 101 College Pky, Arnold, MD 21012-1895. Anne Arundel Community College is a large college located in Arnold, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,149 students. Anne Arundel Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated thirteen and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated twelve and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Prince George's Community College - Largo, MD

Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Rd, Largo, MD 20774-2199. Prince George's Community College is a large college located in Largo, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,005 students. Prince George's Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated six and eleven students respectively in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping.

Carroll Community College - Westminster, MD

Carroll Community College, 1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, MD 21157. Carroll Community College is a small college located in Westminster, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,453 students. Carroll Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping which graduated zero and seven students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Medical Coder: Experienced medical office professionals with exceptional coding skills are eligible to sit for the Certified Medical Coder (CMC) exam.

For more information, see the Practice Management Institute website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.