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Career and Education Opportunities for Office Clerks in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for office clerks. Currently, 40,500 people work as office clerks in Oregon. This is expected to grow by 16% to about 46,810 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for office clerks, which sees this job pool growing by about 11.9% over the next eight years. Office clerks generally 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 $13 per hour or $27,610 per year on average in Oregon. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $12 per hour or $25,320 yearly on average. Office clerks earn less than people working in the category of Clerical generally in Oregon and less than people in the Clerical category nationally.

The Portland area is home to fifty-nine schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as an office clerk. Office clerks usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an office clerk if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Portland include:

  • 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.
  • Clerk. Compile data, compute fees and charges, and prepare invoices for billing purposes. Duties include computing costs and calculating rates for goods, services, and shipment of goods; posting data; and keeping other relevant records. May involve use of computer or typewriter, calculator, and adding and bookkeeping machines.
  • 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.
  • Front Desk Manager. Accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests' accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.
  • 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.
  • Legal Secretary. Perform secretarial duties utilizing legal terminology, procedures, and documents. Prepare legal papers and correspondence, such as summonses, complaints, and subpoenas. May also assist with legal research.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Statement Clerk. Prepare and distribute bank statements to customers, answer inquiries, and reconcile discrepancies in records and accounts.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Mt Hood Community College - Gresham, OR

Mt Hood Community College, 26000 SE Stark St, Gresham, OR 97030. Mt Hood Community College is a medium sized college located in Gresham, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,251 students. Mt Hood Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated eight and zero students respectively in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has a less than one year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated one student in 2008.

Chemeketa Community College - Salem, OR

Chemeketa Community College, 4000 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem, OR 97305. Chemeketa Community College is a large college located in Salem, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,000 students. Chemeketa Community College has a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a less than one year and a one to two year program in General Office Occupations and Clerical Services which graduated eight and three students respectively in 2008.


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.


Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.