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File Clerks

At a Glance

  • Store information using folders, microfiche, and computers
  • Have a high level of social interaction
  • Train on the job
  • Often perform other clerical duties
  • May work part time or full time

Career summary

File clerks classify, store, find, and update information.

#closest match is general office clerk 1418; no alt titles, checked 2/25/15 lh

File clerks examine incoming material and sort it according to an established order. They code the material and prepare it for filing. Some file clerks file information in paper files in filing cabinets. Many file clerks store information on computers. They may scan and make digital copies of paper files.

File clerks ensure that new information is added to files and that outdated materials are moved to storage files or discarded. They also check files to be sure they remain in proper sequence. When records are missing, file clerks trace them. When files are requested, clerks locate and retrieve them for the user.

Clerks also keep track of borrowed materials in a logbook or computer. They use computerized filing and retrieval systems. They may create identification codes that are used when calling up these files.

As offices change the way they store information, file clerks may initiate changes in filing systems. Clerks may also perform other clerical duties. For example, they may:

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to file clerks.

Common work activities

File clerks perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, file clerks:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

File clerks frequently:

It is important for file clerks to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for file clerks to be able to:

Skills and abilities

File clerks need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation


To work as a file clerk, you typically need to:

Education after high school

In general, file clerks do not need a degree other than a high school diploma. However, taking courses in computer skills and office practices after high school can be useful. Courses in word processing, business communications, and records management are also good preparation. Community colleges, professional-technical schools, and private business schools all offer related courses. Many of these courses can lead to an associate degree, which is becoming more desirable to employers.

On-the-job training

Most file clerks learn their skills on the job. The length of this training varies by employer. Most file clerks receive up to one month of training. Many employers offer classroom-based training. However, you need keyboarding skills and knowledge of office practices to get hired.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

File clerks should have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers prefer applicants who have some college training, although college is usually not required for entry-level jobs. This may change in the future, however, as some employers prefer applicants with an associate degree.

Knowledge of word processing and spreadsheet software is very helpful. Employers also prefer applicants who have experience working in an office and who get along well with others.

#Took over national content to remove comment about how most employers prefer applicants who have computer experience, 4/11/16 cj.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


The minimum wage for Washington State as of January 1, 2020 is $13.50 per hour. Some areas of the state may have a higher minimum wage.


File clerks (SOC 43-4071)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $13.10 $15.73 $18.54 $22.22 $24.59
Monthly $2,270 $2,726 $3,213 $3,851 $4,261
Yearly $27,250 $32,710 $38,560 $46,210 $51,140
    Bellingham Hourly $12.99 $15.62 $18.58 $21.73 $24.10
Monthly $2,251 $2,707 $3,220 $3,766 $4,177
Yearly $27,014 $32,492 $38,651 $45,187 $50,120
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $12.15 $12.69 $15.44 $18.15 $21.86
Monthly $2,106 $2,199 $2,676 $3,145 $3,788
Yearly $25,274 $26,390 $32,102 $37,745 $45,459
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $8.73 $11.02 $13.90 $16.14 $20.19
Monthly $1,513 $1,910 $2,409 $2,797 $3,499
Yearly $18,148 $22,917 $28,909 $33,582 $41,986
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $17.44 $21.06 $22.68 $24.30 $25.26
Monthly $3,022 $3,650 $3,930 $4,211 $4,378
Yearly $36,276 $43,808 $47,169 $50,532 $52,549
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $11.93 $12.28 $15.47 $23.82 $28.97
Monthly $2,067 $2,128 $2,681 $4,128 $5,021
Yearly $24,826 $25,546 $32,174 $49,552 $60,256
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $11.97 $12.24 $12.68 $17.27 $22.23
Monthly $2,074 $2,121 $2,197 $2,993 $3,852
Yearly $24,900 $25,468 $26,376 $35,913 $46,239
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $14.65 $16.76 $19.39 $23.07 $25.56
Monthly $2,539 $2,905 $3,360 $3,998 $4,430
Yearly $30,475 $34,848 $40,323 $47,972 $53,166
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $12.04 $14.75 $20.58 $23.55 $25.44
Monthly $2,087 $2,556 $3,567 $4,081 $4,409
Yearly $25,029 $30,686 $42,807 $48,976 $52,930
    Vancouver Hourly $13.54 $15.80 $18.26 $21.64 $25.06
Monthly $2,346 $2,738 $3,164 $3,750 $4,343
Yearly $28,164 $32,871 $37,976 $45,015 $52,141
    Wenatchee Hourly $12.23 $15.32 $18.75 $22.09 $24.02
Monthly $2,119 $2,655 $3,249 $3,828 $4,163
Yearly $25,445 $31,871 $39,013 $45,958 $49,951
    Yakima Hourly $12.12 $12.59 $15.63 $19.18 $22.22
Monthly $2,100 $2,182 $2,709 $3,324 $3,851
Yearly $25,196 $26,183 $32,514 $39,894 $46,214
United States Hourly $10.28 $12.22 $15.24 $19.07 $24.15
Monthly $1,782 $2,118 $2,641 $3,305 $4,185
Yearly $21,390 $25,420 $31,700 $39,670 $50,230

Wages among file clerks vary quite a bit. The area of the country, the size of the city, and the type and size of the organization all affect wages. In addition, wages vary with the clerk's level of responsibility and experience.

File clerks who work full time may receive benefits such as paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

File Clerks (SOC 43-4071)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 1,261 5.9% 16.1% 173
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 18 0.0% 13.4% 2
    Benton and Franklin Counties 46 4.3% 15.0% 6
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 24 8.3% 11.9% 3
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 67 0.0% 15.2% 8
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 55 -7.3% 14.1% 6
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 47 4.3% 14.6% 6
    King County 694 9.7% 19.6% 102
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 28 3.6% 13.8% 4
    Pierce County 171 -44.4% 15.2% 6
    Snohomish County 78 -5.1% 12.4% 9
    Spokane County 60 10.0% 13.9% 9
United States 116,900 -13.5% 5.2% 11,900

National employment

File clerks work in nearly every industry.

Major employers:

National outlook

Growth of this occupation will decline due to office automation, which allows fewer workers to perform the same quantity of work. In addition, duties that file clerks used to do will increasingly be done by other workers. Small growth will occur as more people get older and apply for programs such as Social Security. New health insurance laws may also bring more people into the health care system.

Despite employment declines, many jobs will be created by people leaving the occupation. This is common for occupations that require little formal training. File clerks with typing, clerical, and computer skills will have the best job opportunities.

Other resources

Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster