What they do
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.
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.
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.
How do I become one?
Education and training
It is possible to work as a general clerk without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in business, business administration or a related area.
The Certificates II, III and IV in Business, and Certificates III and IV in Business Administration are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also undertake a traineeship in business (level 2, level 3 or level 4) or business administration (level 3 or level 4). The traineeships usually take 12 months to complete, and are available as school-based traineeships at level 2 and level 3.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.