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How to Become A Court Clerk

The changing dynamics of the legal industry has opened up many clerical and administrative employment options. With the growing complexity of legal practices, courts and lawyers require the services of clerical personnel who can manage and execute administrative tasks.

Court clerks are professionals who can be found working in all types of federal, state, and county courts. From recording information to ensuring the smooth flow of courtroom trials, court clerks are responsible for a wide range tasks. It is important to remember that the job duties of a court clerk will depend upon which court he or she serves.

How to become a Court Clerk

The steps to becoming a court clerk will depend upon which state you live in since the training and educational requirements may vary. In most states, court clerks are required to have at least a high school diploma and a certification in this field or a two year college degree. Your education will also determine the type of court you can work in. Listed below are the steps of becoming a court clerk:

Court clerks handle administrative and clerical duties for judges and lawyers.
How to Become a Court Clerk
  • Get a High School Diploma

The first step you need to take is complete your high school degree with a satisfactory CGPA. This is the minimum educational requirement for this field.

  • Get an Associate or Bachelor Degree

Most individuals interested in becoming a court clerk opt for a two-year associate degree or a bachelor degree. College education can help the career opportunities as many courts are now seeking undergraduates. The recommended areas for study include criminal justice and business administration. The field of criminal justice will help students develop a sound understanding of the legal system in America.

  • Build Skills

Writing skills and computer literacy skills are important for court clerk careers. Individuals can take short courses for computer training. Court clerks must have a sound understanding of the legal systems, legal vocabulary, and excellent writing skills.

  • Get Certified

Certification is not mandatory for court clerks, but is extremely important for those who plan to advance in this field. In most states, certification programs are offered by the relevant board or association. Each state has its own association of court clerks. This association oversees the field of court clerks and offers training as well as certification programs. The eligibility requirements for certification will vary with location.

Steps for Certification

  • To qualify for enrollment in a certification program, you must comply with the eligibility requirements. These may include minimum educational requirements. It is recommended that you check with your state’s association to find out what you need for enrollment in the program.
  • You must complete the entire program requirement that may include training hours as well as classroom learning.
  • Complete all necessary documentation and fill out the forms for certification.

Types of Court Clerks

Court clerks can be found working in local, federal, county, and state courts. Individuals usually start off as a court clerk at entry-level and gradually move their way up to more advanced job positions. Listed below are the main types of court clerks found working in the court system:

  • Deputy Clerk

These clerks work at entry-level and are also known as assistant court clerks. Most individuals start off working as deputy court clerks.

  • Court Clerk

Deputy clerks who have achieved further education and enough work experience can advance to court clerk positions. Court clerks have higher levels of responsibility as compared to deputy clerks.

  • Chief court clerk

This is the highest level one can attain as a court clerk. Chief court clerks are responsible for the management of the clerk’s office and hold an executive level position.

Court Clerk Careers

Court clerks are required in almost every state, local, and county court. This profession gained prominence in recent years and is a crucial part of the administration of court systems. There are a few leading associations that are dedicated to overseeing this occupation, conducting research, and devising strategies for the betterment of the profession.

  • National Association for Court Management
  • Federal Court Clerks Association

Job Duties

The job duties of court clerks may vary. For example, court clerks working at county courts may perform simpler administrative tasks whereas court clerks in the federal court will be responsible for undertaking more advanced duties. However, general job duties include:

  • Prepare orders of the court
  • Record court orders and case dispositions
  • Manage administrative tasks such as filing documents, answering phone calls, and managing office supplies
  • Inform parties about court appearances and timings
  • Examine legal documents
  • Answer inquiries general public inquiries
  • Conduct legal research when necessary

Advancement Opportunities

One of the major benefits of court clerk careers is that there are plenty of opportunities for advancement. Individuals can advance to state of federal court levels by acquiring the right work experience, training, and education.

States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 1660 0.11 1.26 18.13 37720
Florida 1130 0.14 1.68 17.97 37370
Illinois 960 0.16 1.92 17.9 37240
Texas 760 0.07 0.78 16.62 34570
New York 650 0.07 0.85 20.12 41840


How Much Can I Earn as a Court Clerk in the US?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Court, Municipal, and License Clerks earned a mean annual salary of $42,030 in the US in 2019. Their median annual salary for the year was $39,380. Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 And 5223 only) was the top paying industry for these professionals, paying $46,170 as annual mean income in the year 2019.

The state of New York paid Court, Municipal, and License Clerks a mean annual salary of $58,690, the highest wage among all the states in the US. Connecticut, Alaska, Washington, and California were the next four highest paying states for these professionals in the US in 2019.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:What is the average salary of a court clerk?

A:In 2016, court clerks earned $36,670 per annum. Court clerks may also be known as circuit court clerks, law clerks, deputy clerk of court, deputy clerk, courtroom clerk, etc.

Q:What education is needed to be a court clerk?

A:In order to become a court clerk, you must first acquire a high school diploma. It is preferred to complete some undergraduate coursework such as an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree program in a relevant subject such as criminal justice, business administration or paralegal studies. You may also choose to get certified from a body that certifies court clerks in your state.

Q:What are the court clerk requirements?

A:To be a court clerk you will need a minimum of a high school diploma or an equivalent GED. However, the higher your levels of education, the better your chances are of getting hired at higher level courtrooms. Court clerks must also have skills such as computer literacy and writing well as they can be essential to the job.

Q:I don't know how to be a court clerk, can you tell me?

A:If you want to be a court clerk, you will need to meet certain prerequisites. It is important for you to be at least 18 years old and a US citizen with a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need some experience related to customer service and office management. Some courts may require you to have a business management degree as well.

Q:What is the criteria of becoming a clerk?

A:If you wish to be a court clerk, you will need to be at least 18 years old and a US citizen. A high school diploma or equivalent education will also be required. Most courts prefer candidates who have relevant experience in office management and customer services. Some courts may also require you to have a business degree.

Q:How do you become a court clerk with a diploma or an associate degree in legal studies?

A:To become a court clerk, one must have at least a diploma or an associate degree. Earning a degree in legal studies can be very helpful as you will acquire in-depth information about the legal system, legal terminology, trial procedures, and more. However, it is important to remember that the educational and licensing requirements may vary a little from state to state.

Q:Can you tell me about the minimum court clerk education requirements?

A:Court clerks are required to have at least a high school diploma or an associate degree. Recommended areas of study include criminal justice and law. It is important to have strong communication skills, data entry, and finance. However, the requirements may vary a little from state to state. Search through our page for more detail.

Q:How to become a court Clerk?

A:To become a court clerk, you must undergo training and earn a certification in this field. There are many community colleges and vocational schools that offer court reporting programs. You will learn about various legal procedures and English phonetics in a court reporting program. With the education complete, you can then apply for a professional license in your state.

Q:Are court clerk careers limited to court/litigation work only?

A:Most court clerks will spend the majority of their time in Court. This is the 'front office' role in the job. The 'back office role' will be based at the Court's offices and will involve a whole range of tasks such as, dealing with post, drafting judgments for Judges and dealing with enquiries from the public.

Q:Are court clerk jobs hard to come by?

A:It is hard to speculate whether or not clerk jobs are always available. Demand would vary from county to county. The best way of finding out would be to contact the Court where you wish to work and make enquiries directly. It may help your chances for you to apply for some form of internship at your preferred location and this may help you stand out from your contemporaries.

Q:How do I become a court clerk?

A:At the lowest level, there is no specific academic requirement- a high school diploma would suffice. However, if you wish to progress and consider a long-term career in this field, it would assist you to have some form of specialist academic training. There are a number of courses available, see above.

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