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Court Clerks

At a Glance

  • Prepare cases to be heard in court
  • Work with judges, attorneys, and witnesses
  • Have a high level of social contact
  • Keep detailed records using computers
  • Train on the job

Career summary

Court clerks process legal records and perform other duties for a court of law.

#no corresponding wois occ.

#check 3/19/19 lh


Clerks prepare a calendar of cases to be called in court. They schedule when each case will be heard. Clerks send the participants a letter that states when and where the trial will be held.

In addition, clerks prepare case folders and post, file, or route documents. When legal documents are submitted to the court, clerks look them over to make sure correct procedures were followed. If documents are incorrect, clerks explain the procedures or forms to the people who prepared them.

Before each case is heard, clerks check its case folder. They make sure that all related records and documents are in the file. If documents are missing, clerks request copies.

In addition, court clerks get information for judges. They contact witnesses, attorneys, and other people involved in the case for information. They keep the district attorney's office informed about cases prosecuted by that office.

On the day of the trial or hearing, clerks prepare any forms that might be used by the judge.

Related careers

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to court clerks.

Common work activities

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

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, court clerks:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Court clerks frequently:

It is important for court clerks to be able to:

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

Skills and abilities

Court clerks need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with people

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 to consider


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

Education after high school

You need a high school diploma or equivalent to work as a court clerk. No formal training is required for this occupation. However, college course work can be helpful. Legal terminology, court operations, word processing, and legal office practices courses all provide good preparation for this occupation. Community colleges and technical schools offer these courses.

Work experience

Experience working in an office or legal setting is good preparation for this work. Also, work as a receptionist or other work involving public contact is good background.

On-the-job training

Many court clerks learn their skills on the job. As a new clerk, you receive training from your supervisor or an experienced coworker. Beyond training in court procedures and employee policies, you may get classroom training in computer software. Training typically lasts more than one year.

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

Employers prefer to hire applicants who have strong computer skills. They also look for individuals with excellent verbal and written communications skills. Employers look for applicants who are familiar with legal forms, documents, and terminology. Experience working in an office, especially a law office, is desirable.

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).


Court, municipal, and license clerks (SOC 43-4031)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $16.08 $19.84 $24.31 $28.48 $31.90
Monthly $2,787 $3,438 $4,213 $4,936 $5,528
Yearly $33,440 $41,280 $50,560 $59,230 $66,350
    Bellingham Hourly $16.04 $18.23 $23.71 $27.90 $30.74
Monthly $2,780 $3,159 $4,109 $4,835 $5,327
Yearly $33,374 $37,917 $49,320 $58,038 $63,939
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $16.04 $20.28 $25.32 $28.68 $30.95
Monthly $2,780 $3,515 $4,388 $4,970 $5,364
Yearly $33,370 $42,193 $52,669 $59,659 $64,384
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $16.93 $18.94 $21.42 $23.88 $27.88
Monthly $2,934 $3,282 $3,712 $4,138 $4,832
Yearly $35,222 $39,384 $44,552 $49,655 $58,002
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $15.48 $18.40 $21.87 $24.85 $29.26
Monthly $2,683 $3,189 $3,790 $4,307 $5,071
Yearly $32,188 $38,256 $45,486 $51,688 $60,860
    Longview Hourly $17.29 $19.80 $22.00 $23.96 $25.93
Monthly $2,996 $3,431 $3,813 $4,152 $4,494
Yearly $35,957 $41,192 $45,770 $49,828 $53,951
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $19.99 $21.28 $23.50 $25.66 $29.24
Monthly $3,464 $3,688 $4,073 $4,447 $5,067
Yearly $41,579 $44,263 $48,872 $53,367 $60,830
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $18.87 $20.26 $24.08 $27.74 $32.39
Monthly $3,270 $3,511 $4,173 $4,807 $5,613
Yearly $39,253 $42,145 $50,098 $57,696 $67,366
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $19.40 $23.23 $27.42 $31.38 $36.70
Monthly $3,362 $4,026 $4,752 $5,438 $6,360
Yearly $40,348 $48,323 $57,032 $65,276 $76,325
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $15.47 $16.90 $21.27 $26.00 $30.07
Monthly $2,681 $2,929 $3,686 $4,506 $5,211
Yearly $32,167 $35,146 $44,251 $54,078 $62,555
    Vancouver Hourly $17.39 $19.79 $23.24 $26.00 $28.63
Monthly $3,014 $3,430 $4,027 $4,506 $4,962
Yearly $36,184 $41,161 $48,344 $54,074 $59,538
    Walla Walla Hourly $18.19 $21.14 $24.21 $28.23 $30.74
Monthly $3,152 $3,664 $4,196 $4,892 $5,327
Yearly $37,838 $43,976 $50,367 $58,724 $63,933
    Wenatchee Hourly $16.05 $18.69 $22.80 $27.46 $31.61
Monthly $2,781 $3,239 $3,951 $4,759 $5,478
Yearly $33,378 $38,889 $47,429 $57,129 $65,749
    Yakima Hourly $11.87 $11.98 $19.71 $25.12 $28.83
Monthly $2,057 $2,076 $3,416 $4,353 $4,996
Yearly $24,682 $24,922 $41,000 $52,232 $59,968
United States Hourly $12.09 $14.74 $18.48 $23.35 $29.01
Monthly $2,095 $2,554 $3,203 $4,047 $5,027
Yearly $25,150 $30,660 $38,450 $48,560 $60,330

Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The clerk's level of responsibility also affects wages.

Court clerks who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, health insurance, and a retirement plan.

National wage information is not available specifically for court clerks. However, they are part of the larger group of "court, municipal, and license clerks."

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.

Court, Municipal, and License Clerks (SOC 43-4031)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 3,376 8.6% 16.1% 354
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 171 9.4% 13.4% 18
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 142 9.9% 8.6% 15
    Benton and Franklin Counties 172 2.3% 15.0% 15
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 225 11.1% 11.9% 25
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 312 8.7% 15.2% 32
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 340 7.6% 14.1% 34
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 303 8.3% 14.6% 31
    King County 629 8.3% 19.6% 65
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 144 6.9% 13.8% 14
    Pierce County 296 7.8% 15.2% 30
    Snohomish County 383 8.4% 12.4% 40
    Spokane County 199 10.6% 13.9% 22
United States 150,500 4.5% 5.2% 14,900

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for court clerks is expected grow. Much of the demand for court clerks will result from an increase in the number of court cases. More court clerks will also be needed to handle requests for licenses and other municipal records.

Job openings arise as people leave the occupation to retire.

Employment and outlook information is not available specifically for court clerks. However, they are part of the larger group of "court, municipal, and license clerks."

Other resources

American Bar Association (external link)
321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60654


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupation

Holland occupational cluster