As a typist orÂ word processor operator, you wouldÂ use a computer toÂ produce letters, reports and other documents.
Depending on your job, you might work inÂ any or all of the following ways:
- copy typing â€“ working from hand-written notes
- audio typing â€“ typing whilst listening to spoken notes that have beenÂ dictated ontoÂ audio tape
- shorthand typing â€“ taking notes in shorthandÂ thenÂ typingÂ up the information laterÂ from their notes.
Some larger organisations may employ you only to type documents, but in most jobs you wouldÂ alsoÂ carry out other administrative duties such as:
- working withÂ computerÂ spreadsheets and databases
- answering the telephone
- handlingÂ enquiries
- using office equipment like photocopiers, faxes and franking machines
- dealing withÂ post and emails
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
You must have good keyboard skills, and previous experience of office work is useful, perhaps from temporary work (‘temping’).
You may not need academic qualifications to work as a typist, although employers may ask for a good standard of general education to GCSE level or equivalent.
Employers may prefer you to have a recognised qualification in administrative skills, so you may find it useful to take a college course before looking for office work. Most local colleges offer a wide range of full- and part-time courses, such as:
- OCR Award, Certificate and DiplomaÂ in Administration (Business Professional) or Text Processing (Business Professional)
- BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in Business (Administration)
- City & Guilds NVQ Award, Certificate or Diploma in Business and Administration (4418)
- Education Development InternationalÂ Award, Certificate and Diploma in Business Administration and Practice
- the 14-19 Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance.
You may be able to get into office work through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. To find out more, visit the Apprenticeships website.
What further training and development can I do?
When you start work as a typist, your employer will train you in company procedures and any in-house computer systems.
You may also get the chance to take qualifications in word processing and other office skills while you are working. Relevant qualifications include:
- Education Development International Award, Certificate and Diploma inÂ Business Administration and Practice at levels 1 to 3
- OCR Award,Â Certificate and Diploma inÂ Text Production (Business Professional) or Administration (Business Professional) at level 1 to 4
- City & Guilds NVQ Award, Certificate and Diploma in Business and Administration at levels 1 to 4.
Awards at levelsÂ 3 and 4Â would be suitable if you hadÂ supervisory or management duties.