Financial clerks govern many different financial transactions in businesses by keeping track of a company’s money and interacting with customers. These individuals primarily perform administrative work for banking, insurance, and other companies. They keep records, help customers, and carry out financial transactions.
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A vast number of industries exist within the financial clerk field. Financial clerks at a bank might help a customer to deposit a large sum of money or to figure out which type of account would best suit a particular customer. At an insurance company, financial clerks could keep files of payments that have come in and of payments that are still due.
Billing and posting clerks figure out how much customers owe and send bills out to the customer, whereas procurement clerks keep track of the supplies and purchases while also dealing with questions about orders. Gaming cage clerks play a role in managing money at casinos, and new accounts clerks discuss and interview individuals who are interested in opening new accounts at a bank or other type of financial institution. Other roles in this field include payroll and timekeeping clerks, credit authorizers, checkers and clerks, loan interviewers and insurance claims, and policy processing clerks.
A person who wants to enter the industry must have basic math skills, as he or she will be dealing with numbers all throughout the day. A person in this field must have both communication and organization skills, as financial clerks generally have a lot of interaction with clients and are often responsible for maintaining files. Experience in a related field can help a person gain employment as a financial clerk.
Usually, people can enter into this field with a high school diploma. However, a degree in business or economics from either a two or four year college may be preferable for those interested in being brokerage clerks. The University of Missouri-St. Louis Occupational Outlook Handbook notes that individuals who have a bachelors degree generally start at a higher pay rate and are more easily able to advance than their counterparts without degrees. Being a financial clerk involves a lot of hands-on experience since the field is a very practical one; therefore, industries will require a training period for new hires. This training period can vary from industry to industry and company to company. According to Business Weeks article entitled Best Undergraduate Business Schools 2012" by Louis Lavelle, some of the top business programs are available at Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania and Emory, whereas the Education Portals article Best Undergraduate Economics Programs in the Nation" points to Harvard University, the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook goes on to note that game cage workers must be 21 years old, be in possession of license issued by the state gaming commission or other such body, provide proof of age/residence and a photograph and undergo a background check.
The work environment varies depending on the specific job. A busy bank is going to require a person who is ready to work at all times, while a small insurance company with a few clients might have some part-time openings. The handbook notes that many financial clerk jobs are standard office jobs; however, gaming clerks could have hours at any time since casinos are generally open 24 hours per day.
In 2010, most of the jobs in this field were full-time; however, 16 percent of jobs in the billing and posting clerk industry were part-time. In the same year, there were approximately 1.4 million employed financial clerks. Additionally, 18 percent worked in credit mediation services, 18 percent were insurance carriers or in similar occupations, 11 percent were ambulatory health care services, and 7 percent were in the professional, scientific, and technical services field. Together, these fields account for more than half of the entire industry.
As for the future of this industry, Student Scholarships reports that jobs will continue to grow at an average rate. Reasons cited for this level of growth include the fact that there will be an average amount of retirement providing jobs for new workers, and the number of people looking for jobs will probably match the number of open jobs. Furthermore, there is a high turnover rate in this field as noted by the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
The salaries in this field vary depending upon the specific industry. The median annual salary for a financial clerk was $33,710 in May of 2010. Broken down by field, these numbers come out to $40,160 in the brokerage clerk field, $36,790 in the procurement clerk field, $36,330 in the payroll and timekeeping field, $34,760 in the insurance claims and policy-processing clerks fields, $33,970 in the loan interviewers and clerks field, $32,490 in the credit authorizers, checkers and clerks field, $32,170 in the billing and posting clerks field, $30,440 in the new-accounts clerks field and $25,690 in the gaming cage workers field.