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What does a Traffic Clerk do?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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The term “traffic clerk” can be used in two different senses, referring to two very different occupations. Both occupations are generally entry level positions which generally do not provide very high rates of compensation. They also both involve clerical work including recordkeeping, processing of payments, and maintenance of schedules. People who are interested in these careers can often find work in urban areas.

In one sense, a traffic clerk is a clerk of the court who works for the traffic division. This tends to be a busy division in the court system because many people commit traffic infractions every year and they all interact with the traffic clerk at some point. The clerk accepts payments for traffic infractions, refers people for trial if they wish to contest violations, manages the court schedule, and keeps records on traffic violations and their resolution. Clerks of the court are generally hired by the local government, and traffic clerks are usually entitled to government benefits.

To become a court clerk working in the traffic division, people usually need administrative or secretarial skills. They may obtain these skills through experience or in a training program which gets people ready for court clerk careers. It is also usually necessary to have some understanding of legal terminology and court procedures, although these skills may be provided in on the job training at some court houses. Especially in a large court, there can be some room for professional advancement as people work their way up into positions as supervising clerks.

The other type of traffic clerk is someone who tracks freight for a shipping company or business with a large shipping and receiving department. Traffic clerks log the goods which pass through their workplace, track destinations for shipments, monitor incoming shipments, and keep track of rates charged for shipping. They also log damage, claims submitted as a result of damage, and related issues. A traffic clerk can also handle billing and payment tasks related to shipping activities.

Traffic clerks in the shipping industry often work in warehouses and similar facilities. The hours can vary, depending on the company, and in a small company, they may also act as shipping and receiving clerks, processing materials for shipment, handling incoming shipments, and so forth. The work usually requires computer skills along with the ability to remain standing for many hours a day, but beyond this, there are no special skills needed to become a traffic clerk.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By wander — On Jun 04, 2011

The position of a traffic clerk, when it comes to working for the government is actually a bit higher paying than that of a traffic clerk working in shipping and receiving. While they are both technically entry-level positions, there is a fairly good salary gap.

Most clerks working in a court will start at the highest salary currently available to a shipping and receiving clerk, at around $18-$19 an hour and go up from there.

A lot of clerking positions in the government call for degrees and the benefits really are excellent.

Overall, from job postings I've seen, this job when your starting out, pays closer to $20-$30 an hour. Though I am sure this depends on your state and exact duties.

By letshearit — On Jun 02, 2011

The most common use of a traffic clerk I have seen, seems to refer to the duties related to shipping and receiving at a company or store. There are heavily advertised on job sites and often fall into the minimum wage earning category.

Though, interestingly, some home improvement stores offer higher wages for their traffic clerks. I wonder if this has anything to do with the bulk of what they are shipping and receiving?

The job seems to cap out at about $18 an hour. For the jobs posted online, most of them only call for a high school diploma and no specialized training.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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