Office Support Workers

The office support workers category includes various occupations. Office support personnel work in practically all industries. The job responsibilities and training requirements vary greatly by the specialty.

Some of the occupations included in the office support workers category are:

Office clerks usually are given a variety of duties. They're responsibilities often include procedures such as data entry, filing, proofreading documents, operating various types of office equipment, reading and responding to e-mail, keeping payroll records and answering the telephone. The tasks given to an office clerk vary by the type of business or organization the clerk works in. Office clerks employed by large companies, typically have specialized positions that require unique skills.

Office worker supervisors coordinate and oversee office and administrative support staff to ensure they're able to work efficiently. To meet objectives, office and administrative support worker supervisors plan, organize and coordinate the activities of staff members. They also give staff members work assignments and deadlines.

Secretaries and administrative assistants often perform duties once performed by managers and professional staff members. This change in duties is primarily due to office automation and organizational restructuring. However, they still perform basic secretarial tasks. They perform and coordinate the administrative activities in an office. They store, retrieve and integrate information for dissemination to clients and staff members. Some secretaries and administrative assistants manage information and communications.

Receptionists and information clerks greet visitors, answer telephones, answer questions from the public and offer information about the company. Receptionists and information clerks perform general administrative duties. They also monitor the access of a company's building to visitors. They're responsibilities vary by the type of establishment they work in.

Computer operators oversee the operation of computer hardware systems and make sure the machines are used efficiently and securely. They set the controls of mainframe digital computers or a collection of minicomputers to run computer tasks.

Data entry and information processing workers enter data into computers and perform other clerical duties. They may take customer orders and enter them into a tracking system. They utilize a variety of office machines.

File clerks perform tasks including storing, tracking, retrieving and updating records and information. They work with memoranda, letters, invoices and other indexed documents. They operate office equipment and perform general office tasks.

Job Characteristics

Office support workers work in a variety of settings. Some office support workers sit for long periods of time. The majority of office support personnel work 40 hours a week.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has made the following employment growth forecasts:

  • Office clerks: 13 percent from 2006 to 2016
  • Secretaries and administrative assistants: 9 percent from 2006 to 2016
  • Receptionists and information clerks: 15 percent between 2008 and 2018
  • Computer operators: minus 19 percent from 2008 to 2018
  • Data entry and information processing workers: minus 6 percent between 2008 and 2018
  • File clerks: minus 23 percent between 2008 and 2018
  • Office worker supervisors: 11 percent from 2008 to 2018

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Some employers seek applicants for administrative support supervisor positions that have an associate degree or a bachelor's degree or some postsecondary training. Typically, office supervisor positions are filled by office workers employed by the company.

Office clerk positions are usually regarded as entry-level jobs. Typically employers require office clerks to have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent. They also usually require basic computer and general office skills.

Employers typically require only a high school diploma for computer operators. They receive on-the-job training.

Individuals with a high school diploma may qualify for many entry-level secretarial jobs. Vocational schools provide one and two year programs in office administration. Writing, communication and word processing skills are vital for most secretaries and administrative assistants.

Most employers only require a high school diploma for receptionist and information clerk jobs. Employers provide on-the-job-training.

Data entry and information processing workers often only need a high school diploma. On-the-job training is provided by employers. Some data entry and information processing workers take college courses at community colleges and business schools to acquire knowledge and skills with word processing, database management software and spreadsheets.

Most employers seek candidates for file clerk positions that have a high school diploma. Training occurs on the job.


Major Employers

The top employment sectors of office support workers are finance, insurance, manufacturers, healthcare, department stores, local governments, social assistance organizations, schools and colleges, and technical and scientific industries.

Schools for Office And Administrative Support Workers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Office and Administrative Support Workers

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Office and Administrative Support Workers jobs , as of 2017

Metro AreaTotal EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim15,700$34,540
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward7,020$38,750
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise6,520$28,020
San Diego-Carlsbad5,330$29,200
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario3,790$29,380
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington3,470$43,420
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell2,560$38,270
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach2,340$38,850

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Office Support Workers

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to office support workers

Source : 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Office and Administrative Support Workers

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

IndustryTotal EmploymentPercentAnnual Median Salary
Office Services And Staffing23,3608%$28,180
Professional And Technical Services13,1204%$31,680
Business Management10,8404%$31,650
Banking And Credit9,2203%$32,120
Medical Office5,5802%$29,880
Traditional Publishing4,8001%$27,430
Delivery Services4,6801%$36,440
Real Estate3,4701%$29,080
Social Service3,0701%$27,010
Air Travel2,7501%$26,920
Durable Goods Wholesale2,7101%$32,900
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Office and Administrative Support Workers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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