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Order Clerks Job Description, Career as a Order Clerks, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: High School Diploma

Salary: Median— $12.66 per hour

Employment Outlook: Fair

The responsibilities of order clerks revolve around taking orders for or from an organization. They are a necessity in all organizations, and are involved in documenting the specifications of items to be purchased. Order clerks obtain customer details and ensure that the orders placed by them are delivered within the specified time limit. They can also attempt to sell additional merchandise to the customers through personal visits, telephone communication, or over electronic media.

Orders for materials, services, or merchandise may originate from within an organization or outside of it. Order clerks who deal with orders coming from inside an organization generally interact with workers or salespersons employed by the same company. Outside order clerks often receive orders directly from the customer or outside companies. For example, order clerks who are in the retail business, receive orders from retail outlets regarding merchandise. They are also required to take special orders, prepare contacts, handle complaints, and provide estimated arrival dates of the delivery.

Order clerks have to review orders for clarity and completeness; they then calculate the final costs involved and forward the information to the proper division for delivery of the order. They also have to check inventory and notify the related department about inventory status before filling an order. Some order clerks are required to establish priorities while filling orders. For example, if a blood bank’s order clerk receives an order for a certain blood group, it is imperative that he or she determines whether it is a routine or an emergency order, and proceed accordingly.

Education and Training Requirements

Order clerks generally get trained on the job by more experienced employees. Employers prefer applicants having a high school diploma or a combination of education and prior work experience in a related field. People who are computer literate and adept at handling word processing and spreadsheet software are highly valued by employers. Most companies are rapidly computerizing their inventory listing systems as well as doing their order filling and filing procedures electronically. Hence, it is of great importance for an order clerk to be efficient at working with computers. Order clerks should also be good at time management and coordination of group activities.

Getting the Job

Order clerks are employed in a range of organizations. Prospective candidates should be on the look out for job vacancies in employment journals and Internet portals. Job offers are also listed in the classified section of leading newspapers.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Order clerks can advance their career prospects by taking on more responsibility. With experience in the field, one can move up to positions in sales departments of the organization. Advancement will also lead to a subsequent increase in wages.

The employment rate for order clerks is expected to undergo a rapid decline due to increased automation in offices. Even though employment for order clerks is slated to be on the downturn, there will be significant openings in order to replace those who opt for transfers or leave the job. Order clerks will also find seasonal openings with catalog companies and online retailers.

Working Conditions

Order clerks generally work in clean, well lit, and relatively quiet areas. However, since they have to spend long hours in front of computer terminals, they may often suffer from eyestrain and headaches.

Order clerks generally work for the standard 40-hour week schedule. Clerks in retail outlets are liable to work overtime during the peak holiday season. Order clerks may also have to work in varying shifts around the clock in order to accommodate customers’ time zones.

Where to Go for More Information

O*NET OnLine, Occupational Information Network

Earnings and Benefits

According to research in May 2006, the median hourly salary of an order clerk was $12.66. Order clerks can expect to earn between $9.91 and $16.22 per hour. Depending on their work experience and knowledge, order clerks can expect their highest hourly wage to be around $20.69.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness