What does an Operations Clerk do?
An operations clerk typically works in the operations department under direct supervision. The main role of this type of position is to provide administrative support for an entire operations team, an operations manager or an executive team member, depending on the company’s needs and setup. Operations clerks are found in a wide variety of industries and fields. Some people consider this position to be an executive secretary role.
Operations clerks have many roles and responsibilities in their daily duties. For example, some clerks focus primarily on administrative tasks such as answering phones, taking messages, typing reports and emails, greeting clients and scheduling appointments for the entire operations team or an operations executive. Others are responsible for organizing department meetings, events and outings, as well as some light accounting duties. The main goal for most operations clerks is ensuring that daily operations and procedures run smoothly in the company.
Most companies employ operations clerks. Industrial and manufacturing companies need them to support and assist top executives and management team members. They also are found in financial institutions, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions, government entities and marketing corporations. Some of them work behind the scenes, and others are the middlemen between the top executives and the rest of the company staff.
The operations clerk job typically requires being on call around the clock, which usually includes overtime. This person must be accessible to the operations executive at all times for last-minute emergencies or pressing issues. Some operations clerks even travel with their executives, and others stay behind in an authoritative role while the executive is away.
Many operations clerk jobs require only a high school diploma or equivalent and basic computer knowledge. Most of these professionals, however, have several years of experience in other administrative or support roles, such as receptionist or administrative assistant. Most companies require the operations clerk to have specific experience and a professional background in the actual industry. Along with the hard skill sets and experience, these types of clerks must have strong interpersonal, organizational and communication skills. They must have professional attitudes, strong work ethics and be responsible.
Operations clerks are found on many career levels. Some are just starting off in the workforce and take on more of an administrative assistant role. Others have decades of experience and are thought of as the executive’s confidante and personal assistant. The pay range for this position ranges from entry-level pay to six-figure annual salaries.
@miriam98 - You make a great point about the technical aspect of this kind of work. Nowadays more and more information is stored in electronic form, not in files and drawers like in the old days of clerical work (although you still see that in doctors’ offices).
Therefore part of your requirements may involve prior experience with a certain software application. They may want someone who is proficient with contact management software for example, or someone who has worked with a certain medical data entry program.
It’s actually becoming more difficult, in my opinion, to get a decent position as an operations clerk without some experience with specialized software of some kind, even if it’s only Excel.
@MrMoody - When I was temping I found that clerical opportunities were a great way to break into a company that I was interested in working for on a more permanent basis, for a more specialized position.
What I found is that as a clerk you learn a lot about the company’s daily schedule and its different departments. You file information (or enter it into a computer) and begin to learn some things about the working of the company from the inside out.
Then, you have a chance to show off some of your other skills. In my case, it was database development. Since so much information needs to be organized, I built Access databases, complete with forms and reports, to store and display the information.
This surprised my supervisors, since they didn’t expect this from a mere clerk. The long and short of it is that they kept me on staff, and moved me up into a more technical position.
The operations clerk job description sounds very generic – almost too generic in fact. I think these responsibilities would be subsumed under other job titles in a company, but that the titles would depend on the area of specialization.
What I gather from the article is that the operations clerk basically performs clerical functions; these would be tasks that don’t require much in the way of technical or specialized skills but are part of the day to day administration of the company.
In our company the administrative assistant performs these tasks. She does more than file paperwork however. She schedules meetings, receives purchase orders, books travel arrangements, answers the phone and does a host of other duties at the beck and call of the president of the company.
She also has some background in technical support (we are software company) so she is able to perform light technical duties as well.
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