what is a typist?

A typist is a professional who types text from an electronic, print or audio source into a document. Originally, typists worked with typewriters, but the job has evolved. Today's typists work with computers and other modern office equipment, including printers, scanners and digital audio recorders. Typists are employed in many industries and have various responsibilities. The best typists are skilled in touch-typing and complete work without looking at their hands.

what does a typist do?

As a typist, your job involves typing-related tasks like transferring handwritten documents for storage in digital databases and general document processing. You also transcribe audio recordings and may deliver your work in hard copy or electronic form. Your job is to ensure the information is keyed without errors and meets tight deadlines. Some executives may require you to take shorthand dictations before typing the final documents. A typist's work doesn't end with typing and data entry work. You also edit and proof company documents and emails before sending them. The role also involves editing the company's online content for grammar and spelling errors before posting it on social media pages or websites.

Would working in administration as a typist suit your keyboarding skills and attentiveness to details? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a typist role.

typist jobs

average typist salary

According to ONS, the median salary of a typist is £21,618 per year. Entry-level positions attract a compensation package of £20,475 annually. Improving your work experience and skills increases your salary prospects, and your earnings can scale to about £30,254 per year. Some companies pay hourly rates with higher pay for working overtime hours.

what factors affect the salary of a typist?

There are many different fields to work in as a typist. The type of field you work in influences the amount of compensation you receive. For example, typists working in the legal industry typically earn more than typists working in the hospitality industry. Employers consider your level of education when deciding your pay. Your earning potential will be higher if you have at least some GCSEs or their equivalent. Completing post-secondary qualifications also improves your salary prospects.

Your experience level influences your compensation package. You are likely to earn more if you have prior experience in the role. Sometimes, the location also affects the salary prospects of typists. Working in large cities usually increases your compensation due to the high demand for typists. The high cost of living also raises your salary prospects.

Two males talking. Both have beards. One wears glasses. One male in the background. Informal setting. Inside. Checkered shirt. Supporting color blue.
Two males talking. Both have beards. One wears glasses. One male in the background. Informal setting. Inside. Checkered shirt. Supporting color blue.

types of typists

Some of the types of typists include:

  • legal clerk typists: as a legal clerk typist, you type legal documents and transcribe audio files on behalf of lawyers or judges. Your job is to listen to the recorded audio files and type out the information into a document. Unlike other typing roles, you should be familiar with legal language. While you don't require qualifications as a paralegal, you should be familiar with the types of documents used in the legal field.
  • medical typists: as a medical typist, you perform data entry tasks related to medical information. Your job is to transcribe information, including patient records, treatment provided and medical reports. The aim is to store medical records in databases, so a typist converts them into digital form.
  • audio typists: as an audio typist, your primary role is transcribing audio files. You listen to audio files, type what you hear, and convert it into a well-presented document. An audio typist usually works for senior staff members who make audio recordings in place of reports and minutes of meetings.

working as a typist

Working as a typist involves preparing important company documents. If you are interested in the role, read on to explore typists' specific tasks and work schedules.


education and skills

If you have keyboarding skills, you may not need educational qualifications to become a typist. However, consider pursuing the following qualifications to join the profession:

  • college education: typists need computer skills to excel in the role. You learn computer skills through college courses like a Level 1 Certificate for IT users or a Level 2 Diploma in business administration. You don't require any GCSEs to join the courses.
  • apprenticeship: a typist can join the profession through apprenticeship programmes. Pursuing a business administrator advanced apprenticeship requires 5 GCSEs in grades 9 to 4 in English and maths.
  • work experience: office experience is helpful if you want to become a typist. Look for entry-level typing jobs or internship opportunities. Most employers also provide training before you start working.

typist skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a typist include:

  • keyboarding skills: you require keyboarding skills to complete your tasks. Apart from the ability to type faster and touch typing, it would help if you were an expert in keyboard shortcuts to speed up the typing process.
  • communication skills: you require communication skills to write documents effectively. Communication skills help you interpret audio recordings and messages. Verbal communication skills also help you pass accurate and precise information to managers in your company.
  • it skills: as a typist, you should use computers and online office applications proficiently. You should be good with word processors and IT software to transcribe documents efficiently.
  • listening skills: you require strong listening skills to transcribe audio recordings and files accurately.


FAQs about working as a typist

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