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General clerk

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Summary of occupation

General clerks (administrative assistants) perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks, which help enable organisations function effectively. They can be found working in any industry, in offices all over the State, and their duties vary according to the size and requirements of their employer. They are often responsible for sorting incoming mail and sending outgoing mail, writing letters, reports or office memoranda, looking after visitors to the organisation and filing. They may also be responsible for banking and payroll functions.

ANZSCO description: Performs a range of clerical and administrative tasks.
Alternative names: Administration Assistant, Administration Manager, Administration Officer, Administrative Assistant
Job prospects: Good
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

General clerks need:

  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work both independently and as part of a team
  • good organisation skills, with the ability to multitask
  • to be able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • a high level of interpersonal skills.
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Working conditions

These assistants work in offices all over Western Australia. They may work for private companies, government departments or not-for-profit organisations. They usually work regular office office hours and there are good opportunities to work part-time. In some larger organisations, they may work in teams, with each team member responsible for one or two specific tasks, while in smaller offices a single person may be responsible for all administrative duties.

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Salary details

General clerks, including administration assistants, can expect to earn between $865 and $1 154 per week ($45 000 and $60 000 per year), depending on the type of organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As general clerks develop their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

These clerks use a variety of office equipment including fax machines, photocopiers, scanners and telephone systems. They also use computers, which may include using specialised accounting and/or design software, depending on their employer and their specific job requirements.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You do not need any qualifications to become a general clerk, however, employment prospects may be improved with formal qualifications.

The Certificate II, III and IV in Business, and Certificate III and IV in Business Administration are widely available from TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. 

​You can also become qualified to work as a general clerk by completing a traineeship in business or business administration. It usually takes 12 months to complete these traineeships.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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