If you are wondering how to become a typist, below are tips and advice on training for and beginning careers in this area of administration, and job prospects in the UK.

    The Job Description
    Typists write letters, reports or other documentation, usually on computers, and they are also called word processor operators.

    Typical responsibilities:

    * copy typing from handwriting or print
    * audio typing by listening to spoken dictated notes
    * shorthand typing – taking shorthand notes, then typing up later

    Person Specification
    The key personal attributes of a good typist include:

    * strong keyboard and IT skills
    * excellent English spelling and grammar
    * accuracy and attention to detail
    * good verbal communication skills
    * ability to work efficiently within deadlines
    * tact when dealing with sensitive or confidential information.

    How to become a secretary
    You dont need any formal qualifications as a typist, but an employer will often expect general education to a good standard, especially GCSEs or equivalent, including English.

    You will require excellent keyboard skills and experience of secretarial of office work may prove useful.

    Employers may want an administrative or secretarial qualification and sought after certification includes OCR (RSA), City and Guilds or Education Development International LCCI diploma or certificate. Local apprenticeships may also be available

    Training and Development
    An employer will usually train new staff in company systems and procedures. It may also offer support in training towards word processing or office qualifications.

    Relevant qualifications include:

    Education Development International LCCI certificates in Text Production and Audio Transcription.
    OCR certificates in Text Production, Audio Transcription, Word Processing and Speed Keying.
    City and Guilds training in Audio Transcription, Text Production Skills, Typewriting and Keyboarding.
    NVQs/SVQs in Business and Administration.

    The Pay
    Typists usually earn between £11k and £15k per annum.
    With audio typing skills, strong shorthand and experience, you can earn up to £20k+.

    Job Prospects
    A typist can work in any type of commercial business, publice sector body or not for profit organisation and typist jobs are advertised in newspapers, jobcentres, websites and recruitment agencies.

    With further training and experience, you could move to secretarial, PA or office management roles.

    Useful resources:
    Council for Administration – CfA
    6 Graphite Square
    Vauxhall Walk
    SE11 5EE
    Tel: 0207 091 9620

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