How to Become Typist

Typing is an essential part to most companies and organizations and trained workers are necessary to perform a variety of typing tasks and other duties. This is the job of typists.

What does a typist do?

Typists complete a variety of typing tasks such as entering information into computer programs and composing and revising many different documents. They prepare and revise letters, reports, mailing labels, legal forms, statistical tables, and other text documents. They compile the necessary material to be typed and complete typing tasks per verbal or written instructions from their employer or client. They determine the desired format, priority, number of needed copies, and other necessary requirements. Typists also operate many different office machines and perform other administrative tasks such as processing documents and making phone calls. Many typists work with college students to assist with the composition of essays and other assignments. Some perform transcription tasks where they listen to live voices or recordings and type what is being said. Others attend legal proceedings, meetings, and other events and type what happens during the event. Typists typically use computers and word processing software, but some use typewriters to complete their tasks.

What kind of training does a typist need?

Typists need at least a high school diploma or GED. Most typists acquire their skills through on the job training. Some typists complete postsecondary typing and computer courses offered by community colleges and vocational and technical schools. Many also gain skills in word processing, keyboarding, database management, and spreadsheets. Some typists improve their skills using self-teaching aids such as books and videos or Internet resources. Typists must constantly practice to improve their speed and accuracy. Some complete additional training as needed throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a typist?

Employment of typists is expected to decline moderately, decreasing 6% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The increase in improved technologies will contribute to the employment decline.

Job prospects are expected to be fair because there will be a need to replace typists that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons. Typists with advanced technical skills will have the best job opportunities.

How much do typists make?

As of March 2010, the average annual salary for typists is $32,000; average annual typist salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as a typist is a great choice for people with a strong interest in performing a variety of typing tasks. Typists must have a solid understanding of the standard office procedures and equipment. Good spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills are essential. Typists must be able to type quickly and accurately and be able to compose a variety of documents with minimal errors. They must have good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of other professionals. They must also be able to work effectively under stress and pressure.

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