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Technical clerks can do slightly different things in different companies, but in most cases their jobs focus heavily on document filing, both in hardcopy files and digital databases; they may also be involved in actually designing computer-based archives and systems to promote efficiency for their specific environment. In many cases the job also involves a lot of clerical work and basic administrative duties, which has led some people to equate this position with that of a basic secretary. Though the job descriptions frequently overlap, most technical positions require deeper knowledge of information engineering rather than simple document management. These sorts of professionals are also frequently called on to proofread and sometimes also edit technical documents and manuals, which isn’t something most standard administrative assistants do, and they are often required to help make sure that all document filing systems comply with relevant rules and regulations.
Primary Job Setting
In most cases, technical clerks serve as support professionals who help process and file highly technical and specific information, and as such it’s most common to find this sort of job in industries that deal a lot with dense documentation and have a lot of filing requirements. Construction engineering firms are some of the most common employers, along with general contractors. Software companies and corporations that primarily sell digital databasing solutions may also need people with this sort of expertise. Some medical businesses like hospitals and insurance companies have jobs available, too. The job will necessarily look different in different places, but the core tasks and duties are usually about the same.
Document management is usually one of the most important things people in the technical clerking profession do. This can cover anything from receiving paperwork to processing it as “received” and storing it, to sending important files out of the company or office to others and tracing and ensuring receipt.
Some of the most important documents tend to concern personnel, including initial employee paperwork, training records, and any notes regarding employee disciplinary actions. In addition, most clerking jobs involve organizing the paperwork that lists the requirements for projects and any changes to operations, ensuring that the rules are followed and deadlines are met. These documents usually need to be constantly updated and easily accessible so those in charge can access them at any time.
Filing isn’t usually limited to paper documents. A person in this position also is usually expected to be adept at using technology to keep documents organized. This type of employee should typically be able to determine which software would be helpful, and should know how to use a variety of different programs. Related tasks often include installing and troubleshooting the software when necessary, as well as creating and updating databases. Employees with technical training may also be expected to help coworkers with other technical tasks that involve the computer, particularly related to online reporting or filing systems.
Designing Systems and Improving Efficiencies
Depending on the organization, a clerk in this capacity might also be asked to design filing and document management systems from scratch. This sort of assignment is often a lot about document engineering, and the clerk’s primary role is usually to find ways of making the systems more efficient and more user-friendly.
Depending on the context, he or she may also be helping the company comply with required document storage and filing laws. Businesses that deal with things like sensitive financial information or health data are often held to higher standards and must comply with certain regulations — regulations that are subject to change periodically. Clerks are often in charge of staying on top of the relevant rules and helping make sure that the systems in place are compliant.
Proofreading and Editing
In some cases, clerks with technical expertise even help create and edit technical manuals to ensure that the information is accurate. Proofreading and editing is a big part of the process, but in some cases theses sorts of professionals may actually be asked to create guides or manuals — often to things like document navigation systems — that can be widely distributed to employees and others using the program in question.
Basic Clerical Tasks
Similar to other types of clerks, a technical clerk usually has to complete some clerical tasks throughout the day. This means that professionals can expect to answer the phone and either answer the question being posed or forward the caller on to someone else. They also may greet people who visit the office, and sometimes serve as the first contact people have with the company. Additional clerical tasks may include faxing, emailing, and managing correspondence.