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Career and Education Opportunities for File Clerks in Boston, Massachusetts

If you want to be a file clerk, the Boston, Massachusetts area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 5,280 people work as file clerks in Massachusetts. This is expected to shrink by 44% to about 2,940 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for file clerks are expected to shrink by about 23.4%. File clerks generally file correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used.

File clerks earn approximately $12 hourly or $25,360 yearly on average in Massachusetts. Nationally they average about $11 per hour or $23,800 yearly. Earnings for file clerks are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Clerical in Massachusetts and not quite as good as general Clerical category earnings nationally.

There are 151 schools of higher education in the Boston area, including four within twenty-five miles of Boston where you can get a degree to start your career as a file clerk. Given that the most common education level for file clerks is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a file clerk if you already have a high school diploma.


In general, file clerks file correspondence, cards, and other records in alphabetical or numerical order or according to the filing system used. They also locate and remove material from file when requested.

File clerks place materials into storage receptacles, such as file cabinets or drawers, in line with classification and identification data. They also answer questions about archives and files. Equally important, file clerks have to add new material to file archives, and develop new archives as needed. They are often called upon to perform general office duties such as typing, operating office machines, and sorting mail. They are expected to eliminate outdated or unnecessary materials, destroying them or transferring them to inactive storage in line with file maintenance guidelines and/or legal requirements. Finally, file clerks keep archives of materials filed or removed, using logbooks or computers.

Every day, file clerks are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to prioritize information for further consideration. It is also important that they organize information in a variety of ways.

It is important for file clerks to perform periodic inspections of materials or files in order to insure correct placement and proper condition. They are often called upon to assign and record or stamp identification numbers or codes so as to index materials for filing. They also gather materials to be filed from departments and employees. They are sometimes expected to track materials removed from files in order to insure that borrowed files are returned. Somewhat less frequently, file clerks are also expected to perform general office duties such as typing, operating office machines, and sorting mail.

File clerks sometimes are asked to layout forms pertaining to filing systems. They also have to be able to sort or classify data in line with guidelines such as content or chronological, alphabetical, or numerical order and operate mechanized files that rotate to bring needed archives to a particular location. And finally, they sometimes have to find and retrieve data from files in response to requests from authorized users.

Like many other jobs, file clerks must be thorough and dependable and be able to work independently and make decisions on their own.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Boston include:

  • 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.
  • Computer Clerk. Operate data entry device.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mail Clerk. Prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. Use hand or mail handling machines to time stamp, open, and route incoming mail; and address, seal, and affix postage to outgoing mail or packages. Duties may also include keeping necessary records and completed forms.
  • Medical Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing specific knowledge of medical terminology and hospital, clinic, or laboratory procedures. Duties include scheduling appointments, billing patients, and compiling and recording medical charts, reports, and correspondence.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Order Filler. Fill customers' mail and telephone orders from stored merchandise in accordance with specifications on sales slips or order forms. Duties include computing prices of items, completing order receipts, keeping records of out-going orders, and requisitioning additional materials, supplies, and equipment.
  • Payroll Bookkeeper. Compile and post employee time and payroll data. May compute employees' time worked, production, and commission. May compute and post wages and deductions. May prepare paychecks.
  • 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.
  • Statistical Clerk. Compile and compute data according to statistical formulas for use in statistical studies. May perform actuarial computations and compile charts and graphs for use by actuaries. Includes actuarial clerks.
  • Store Clerk. Receive, store, and issue sales floor merchandise. Stock shelves, racks, and tables with merchandise and arrange merchandise displays to attract customers. May periodically take physical count of stock or check and mark merchandise.
  • Weighter. Weigh, measure, and check materials, supplies, and equipment for the purpose of keeping relevant records. Duties are primarily clerical by nature.


Marian Court College - Swampscott, MA

Marian Court College, 35 Little's Point Rd, Swampscott, MA 01907. Marian Court College is a small college located in Swampscott, Massachusetts. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 203 students and an admission rate of 60%. Marian Court College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated zero and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Middlesex Community College - Bedford, MA

Middlesex Community College, Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730-9124. Middlesex Community College is a medium sized college located in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,511 students. Middlesex Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.

Roxbury Community College - Roxbury Crossing, MA

Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Ave, Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120-3400. Roxbury Community College is a small college located in Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,561 students. Roxbury Community College has an associate's degree program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts photo by Ahonc

Boston is situated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. It has a population of over 609,023, which has grown by 3.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Boston, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Boston are valued at $216,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were constructed in Boston, down from forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Boston are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 35.6% of Boston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Boston is 8.2%, which is less than Massachusetts's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Boston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Brighton Congregational Church, Leslie Lindsay Chapel and Universalist Meeting House are some of the churches located in Boston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Episcopal Church.

Boston is home to the Metropolitan Water Works Pumping Stations and the Mystic Pier 1 as well as Schoolboy Stadium and Liberty Square. Shopping centers in the area include Legion Shopping Center, Longwood Galleria Shopping Center and Neponset Circle Shopping Center. Visitors to Boston can choose from Federalist Restaurant, Eco-Logical Solutions and Omni Parker Hotel for temporary stays in the area.