What Does a Document Indexer Do?

Nick Mann

It's the job of a document indexer to sort through and classify documents so they can be easily retrieved for later viewing. These individuals can work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, hospitals and universities. Performing this job well usually requires a person who is extremely organized and able to work independently. Generally speaking, the job duties of a document indexer include sorting new documents, retrieving existing documents, removing unneeded documents, responding to inquiries and performing various clerical duties.

A document indexer sorts through new documents.
A document indexer sorts through new documents.

One of the most important duties of a document indexer is sorting through new documents and placing them in their proper places. For example, if he is working at a university, a document indexer might classify student records and sort them alphabetically. If he is working in a courthouse, he might sort out criminal records. This practice requires an individual to follow workplace guidelines and maintain accuracy. A document placed in an incorrect area could pose future problems.

Retrieving existing documents also plays a large role in this position. Whenever a person needs to view a document, it's the responsibility of a document indexer to quickly obtain it. In the case of a university, he might need to retrieve a student's files to determine which classes need to be taken the following semester. This is why it's so important for a document indexer to be organized and classify all documents correctly.

To prevent clutter and maintain order, removing unneeded documents is another job duty. This typically involves getting rid of expired documents that are no longer relevant. An example would be removing student records after the student has graduated. In some cases, these files will be transferred to a separate bin. In others, a document indexer will destroy them according to company protocol.

Along with this, he will often be required to respond to inquiries concerning certain documents. This can involve questions from the public, coworkers or supervisors. When this happens, a document indexer must locate the correct document and provide answers. This aspect of the job requires an individual to have some interpersonal skills.

In addition, a document indexer will also be responsible for performing various clerical duties. For example, he might have to answer phone calls, send out faxes or bring mail to the appropriate individuals. If the workplace is busier than usual, he may need to assist the secretary or other departments. Consequently, he must be versatile and able to improvise when necessary.

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