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Career profile City Clerk

Also known as City Clerk, Court Clerk, Deputy City Clerk, Law Clerk, License Clerk, Licensing Specialist, Motor Vehicle License Clerk, Municipal Clerk, Recorder, Town Clerk

City Clerk

Also known as City Clerk, Court Clerk, Deputy City Clerk

Interests Profile
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Social
Pay Range
$27,240 - $62,970 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Administrative
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Law and Government
Core tasks
  • Prepare dockets or calendars of cases to be called.
  • Plan or direct the maintenance, filing, safekeeping, or computerization of all municipal documents.
  • Issue various permits and licenses, such as marriage, fishing, hunting, and dog licenses, and collect appropriate fees.
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What does a City Clerk do?

City Clerks perform clerical duties for courts of law, municipalities, or governmental licensing agencies and bureaus.

In addition, City Clerks may prepare docket of cases to be called; secure information for judges and court; prepare draft agendas or bylaws for town or city council; answer official correspondence; keep fiscal records and accounts; issue licenses or permits; and record data, administer tests, or collect fees.

What kind of tasks does a City Clerk perform regularly?

City Clerks are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Evaluate information on applications to verify completeness and accuracy and to determine whether applicants are qualified to obtain desired licenses.
  • Verify the authenticity of documents, such as foreign identification or immigration documents.
  • Question applicants to obtain required information, such as name, address, or age, and record data on prescribed forms.
  • Issue public notification of all official activities or meetings.
  • Record and edit the minutes of meetings and distribute to appropriate officials or staff members.
  • Answer questions or provide advice to the public regarding licensing policies, procedures, or regulations.
  • Prepare meeting agendas or packets of related information.
  • Record and maintain all vital and fiscal records and accounts.
  • Prepare and issue orders of the court, such as probation orders, release documentation, sentencing information, or summonses.
  • Prepare ordinances, resolutions, or proclamations so that they can be executed, recorded, archived, or distributed.
  • Perform budgeting duties, such as assisting in budget preparation, expenditure review, or budget administration.
  • Record case dispositions, court orders, or arrangements made for payment of court fees.
  • Code information on license applications for entry into computers.
  • Perform record checks on past or current licensees, as required by investigations.
  • Prepare documents recording the outcomes of court proceedings.
  • Examine legal documents submitted to courts for adherence to laws or court procedures.
  • Perform general office duties, such as taking or transcribing dictation, typing or proofreading correspondence, distributing or filing official forms, or scheduling appointments.
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as answering telephone calls, filing court documents, or maintaining office supplies or equipment.
  • Respond to requests for information from the public, other municipalities, state officials, or state and federal legislative offices.
  • Coordinate or maintain office tracking systems for correspondence or follow-up actions.
  • Search files and contact witnesses, attorneys, or litigants to obtain information for the court.
  • Answer inquiries from the general public regarding judicial procedures, court appearances, trial dates, adjournments, outstanding warrants, summonses, subpoenas, witness fees, or payment of fines.
  • Train other workers or coordinate their work, as necessary.
  • Perform contract administration duties, assisting with bid openings or the awarding of contracts.
  • Research information in the municipal archives upon request of public officials or private citizens.
  • Instruct parties about timing of court appearances.

The above responsibilities are specific to City Clerks. More generally, City Clerks are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What is a City Clerk salary?

The median salary for a City Clerk is $40,930, and the average salary is $43,490. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the City Clerk salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many City Clerks earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of City Clerks earn less than $27,240 per year, 25% earn less than $33,420, 75% earn less than $50,750, and 90% earn less than $62,970.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of City Clerks is expected to change by 5.9%, and there should be roughly 17,500 open positions for City Clerks every year.

Median annual salary
$40,930
Typical salary range
$27,240 - $62,970
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.9%

What personality traits are common among City Clerks?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a City Clerk are usually higher in their Conventional and Enterprising interests.

City Clerks typically have very strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Also, City Clerks typically have moderate Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a City Clerk tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Support.

Most importantly, City Clerks moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, City Clerks moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, City Clerks moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as City Clerks must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, dependability, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of City Clerks, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do City Clerks need?

Working as a City Clerk usually requires a high school diploma.

City Clerks need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among City Clerks

  • 1.2% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 25.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 31.8% completed some college coursework
  • 13.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 22.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 4.4% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by City Clerks

City Clerks may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administrative, customer and personal service, or law and government knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most City Clerks might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by City Clerks

City Clerks must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, City Clerks need abilities such as oral expression, written comprehension, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for City Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by City Clerks

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

City Clerks frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for City Clerks, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.