Office automation clerks perform clerical and administrative duties using word processing programs and other computer software and office equipment. To become an office automation clerk, which usually is an entry-level position, a high school diploma or equivalent generally is required. Experience with computers and standard software is important if you want to become an office automation clerk. Having prior experience using basic office equipment such as fax machines, copy machines and other automated systems, or the ability to learn how to use such equipment proficiently, usually is necessary. An office automation clerk is sometimes called an office automation assistant.
An office automation clerk might prepare and print written documentation, enter data into spreadsheets or sort and print reports from database programs. Taking computer classes in high school, at a community college or at a specialized computer training school can help you become an office automation clerk. To work in this position, a specific minimum typing speed might be required, so practicing typing without errors can be important. Office automation clerks are sometimes expected to check documentation and material that they are working on for errors, so good proofreading skills might also be necessary if you want to become an office automation clerk. If you don't naturally have these skills, you might consider taking a class in proofreading and copy editing.
Copying documents using a photocopy machine is often another duty of an office automation clerk. Understanding how to print on a variety of paper sizes, print double-sided, adjust toner intensity, add toner and other details of using copy machines is important for an office automation clerk. Different copy machines work differently, so much of this you can learn on the job, but it is important to have a general understanding of how these machines operate.
Office automation clerks often perform other general office duties, such as answering telephones, sorting mail and filing. Having the technical proficiency to operate a switchboard or other phone system might be required. Being a good communicator and having a clear voice is helpful for answering telephones. Strong reading ability to identify where to deliver mail and how to file documents also is important. Some office automation clerks are tasked with ordering office supplies, so reading and comprehension skills will help you to identify and order products from catalogs.
To become an office automation clerk, contact job agencies in your area that place clerical and administrative workers. You also can look at online job boards and in newspaper help-wanted ads for work. If you are honing your skills to become an office automation clerk by taking classes at a community college or computer training school, ask about any career services that the school might provide.