So you’re interested in being a county clerk? That’s great because this is a job that has serious staying power.
This is because every county needs one, and they need them to keep track of all the vital records for the population of the city or county.
People aren’t going to stop getting married, being born or dying. And you need a county clerk to register and sort through these records, as well as provide them when someone needs a copy.
You don’t need any special education to become a county clerk, just a high school diploma or GED.
If you’re interested in becoming a county clerk, let’s take an in-depth look at the job.
County Clerk Salary
Before you even consider a job, most people want to know how much it pays.
A county clerk has a very varied salary, depending on where they are and how in-depth their duties are.
A median county clerk salary is around $37,300 a year, with a median hourly wage of about $17 an hour. This statistic provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics represents the absolute middle of the road in terms of salaries.
This means that as many as half of the county clerks earn more. And as many as 50% earn less than that.
On the highest end, you might earn $58,000 a year, though this will likely be in a place with a higher cost of living. It might also be after you’ve served as the county clerk for a while.
On the lower end, you may make $24,000 a year.
How Do You Get a Job as a County Clerk?
How you get a job as a county clerk varies from county to county.
In some cities or counties, they will simply advertise that they need a new county clerk. Like any other role, you’ll apply, be interviewed, and then offered the position if they believe you’re suitable.
In some cities and towns, you will need to be appointed as the county clerk. While this sounds really formal, it mostly means you’ll go through the same hiring process, with an appointment from the town or city’s council.
Most often, they’ll approve you after you’ve been hired, unless there is a serious problem.
Each town or county’s charter will dictate if they need to appoint their county clerk or not.
Duties as a County Clerk
A county clerk is responsible for the vital records of a particular town, city or county. This means you’ll be responsible for helping people file, as well as receiving, death certificates, birth certificates, marriage licenses and certificates, and all other vital information.
Additionally, it will be your duty to retrieve these for individuals who may need a copy, or an original, of one of such licenses or certificates. This can be for a variety of reasons.
Typically, you will accept a payment from them to the county and then retrieve it for them. In some counties, cities or towns, you can get the certificate to them immediately. In others, this may require you to mail it to them.
You may need to mail it to a third party if they need someone else to look it over.
As records are a part of the role, you will also be required to take minutes for local board and city or county council meetings.
This is an important aspect of the county clerk’s job.
He or she will typically then deliver these to the appropriate parties after the meeting has occurred. This is to keep everyone up-to-date with what the council has decided and discussed during their meetings.
In addition to keeping vital records, a county clerk may have other duties in a given area. In some counties, a county clerk will also have to help individuals with IDs, process passports, issues marriage and gun permits, and issues notary bonds.
In some cases, he or she may also keep track of the business and doctors licenses in the area, ensuring that everything is up-to-date and flagging up any problems.
In some counties, a county clerk is also able to officiate weddings. This may be part of his or her duty.
Additionally, some counties may also have the county clerk take responsibility for the hearings for the local judge. They may be responsible for keeping track of the paperwork and filing the minutes and notes. They may also be responsible for taking minutes during the hearings.
Some county clerks will also be responsible for running local elections. He or she may also help with national or state-level elections.
In larger cities or counties, there may be more than one county clerk in order to help mitigate duties.
Counties that do not have a large budget may have only one county clerk and he or she may have many different responsibilities. This can lead to a fair amount of stress at work, but will always keep the county clerk very busy.
Is a County Clerk Job for Me?
A county clerk job can be very stressful, but many people find it very rewarding.
Each county’s clerk has a vastly different experience. Not only is each experience unique, but some may find that where they are not happy in one county clerk position, they are very happy in another. This can come down to issues of funding and expectations specific counties have that others do not.
If you’re interested in becoming a county clerk, or for more information on public service careers, visit our blog.