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Typist: Educational Requirements for a Career in Typing

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a typist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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Aside from nimble fingers and a sharp eye, professional typists also need a high school diploma, on-the-job training. While not required, they're strongly urged to complete typing courses or brief certificate programs.

Essential Information

Typists are administrative workers who prepare documents, such as letters and reports, for other business professionals. They may also handle other administrative tasks in the workplace, such as distributing mail. A high school education with on-the-job training is the minimum needed for this career, although postsecondary courses and programs in clerical typing exist. Aspiring typists need to have strong writing skills and know how to use productivity applications to succeed in this career.

Required Education High school diploma with on-the-job training; optional completion of typing courses or a clerical certificate program
Required Skills Familiarity with productivity software and strong writing skills
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024) -16%*
Median Salary (2015) $37,610 annually*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Typist Educational Requirements

Since most high schools offer typing, keyboarding and word processing courses, students may have all the training they need to seek entry-level typist positions upon graduation. Many employers hire high school graduates and provide on-the-job training. Aspiring typists may also be required to be familiar with office equipment and possess strong grammar, spelling and punctuation skills. Typists should also be familiar with word processing, databases and spreadsheets.

Formal Training Options

Individuals that have not taken applicable courses in high school or those wishing to expand their training may enroll in vocational or community colleges for additional office training. Some schools offer certificate programs that provide graduates with the skills necessary for working in office settings. A clerk typist program may include courses such as keyboarding, technical writing, spreadsheets and word processing. These programs may also cover office procedures and professional development.

Typist Career Overview

Typists, also known as word processors, are clerical professionals who manage companies' business documents. Typists prepare letters, reports, business forms, corrected drafts and transcripts of audio recordings. They may also open and distribute mail. Often, typists work alongside other administrative professionals, such as secretaries, executive assistants and administrative assistants. With formal education and experience, some typists advance to higher-level office positions.

Career and Salary Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), word processors and typists were expected to see an employment decline of 16% between 2014 and 2024. Improved technology and workers' abilities to do their own word processing and data entry will contribute to the decline in employment for typists. The BLS also reports that the annual median wage for these workers was $37,610 in May 2015.

Typist must hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent to enter the field, and on-the-job training is typically provided. However, a sharp decline in employment for typists is expected between 2014 and 2024, so aspiring typists should consider formal training in order to boost their chances of landing a job.

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