The term “traffic clerk” can be used in two different senses, referring to two very different occupations. Both occupations are generally entry level positions which generally do not provide very high rates of compensation. They also both involve clerical work including recordkeeping, processing of payments, and maintenance of schedules. People who are interested in these careers can often find work in urban areas.
In one sense, a traffic clerk is a clerk of the court who works for the traffic division. This tends to be a busy division in the court system because many people commit traffic infractions every year and they all interact with the traffic clerk at some point. The clerk accepts payments for traffic infractions, refers people for trial if they wish to contest violations, manages the court schedule, and keeps records on traffic violations and their resolution. Clerks of the court are generally hired by the local government, and traffic clerks are usually entitled to government benefits.
To become a court clerk working in the traffic division, people usually need administrative or secretarial skills. They may obtain these skills through experience or in a training program which gets people ready for court clerk careers. It is also usually necessary to have some understanding of legal terminology and court procedures, although these skills may be provided in on the job training at some court houses. Especially in a large court, there can be some room for professional advancement as people work their way up into positions as supervising clerks.
The other type of traffic clerk is someone who tracks freight for a shipping company or business with a large shipping and receiving department. Traffic clerks log the goods which pass through their workplace, track destinations for shipments, monitor incoming shipments, and keep track of rates charged for shipping. They also log damage, claims submitted as a result of damage, and related issues. A traffic clerk can also handle billing and payment tasks related to shipping activities.
Traffic clerks in the shipping industry often work in warehouses and similar facilities. The hours can vary, depending on the company, and in a small company, they may also act as shipping and receiving clerks, processing materials for shipment, handling incoming shipments, and so forth. The work usually requires computer skills along with the ability to remain standing for many hours a day, but beyond this, there are no special skills needed to become a traffic clerk.