Certified Typist Careers: Job Description & Salary Information

About this article
A certified typist's average salary is around $37,000. Is it worth the education requirements? See real job duties and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a certified typist is right for you.
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Certified Typist Career: Pros and Cons

Certified typists use computer word processing programs to type up important information. You can learn about other pros and cons to becoming a certified typist by reading below.

Pros of Becoming a Certified Typist
Limited postsecondary education required*
Work settings are generally comfortable indoor environments*
Employers are likely to assist with initial job training*
Schedule is generally conventional workday hours****

Cons of Becoming a Certified Typist
Employment for typists is on the decline (-25% from 2012 to 2022)**
Only certain, viable certifications accepted, may vary by employer***
Extended periods of time at work are spent sitting which can lead to back discomfort*
Work speed and accuracy are highly important to employers*

Sources: *O*Net, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ***SDCounty.ca.gov, ****Job postings May 2012.

Essential Career Info

Job Description

Certified typists normally work with computers to record important information. You'll be given documents or audio recordings that you have to translate into a text format. In some cases, you might even be called in to record a conversation to text. When you're done with your work, you'll look it over to make sure that the format, grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct. In some cases, you might be asked to handle other basic duties like respond to messages through e-mails, phone calls, faxes or regular mail. All your work is done in order to ensure that the information is recorded and documented along while being easily accessible by the appropriate people.

Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2014 reported that word processors and typists earned roughly $18 an hour on average (www.bls.gov). This results in annual average earnings around $37,000 for typists. During this time, the industries that paid typist the highest on average included natural gas distribution; advertising, public relations and related services; wired telecommunications carriers; rail transportation; and other information services. Delaware, Washington, the District of Columbia, New Jersey and Massachusetts were the five states that paid the highest on average for typists.

Occupational Requirements

Training and Education

To become a certified typist, you have to obtain a typing certificate. Most employers are unwilling to accept online typing certificate tests. This means that you have to find a typing certificate test through other means. Often, you can get in touch with local government agencies and schools to find locations in your area that offer these typing certificates. Your employer might also be able to make recommendations or offer reimbursement when it comes to obtaining your typing certificate.

There are specific rules that are enforced during these tests. These rules are in accordance with the International Typing Contest Rules. One example of these rules is that you are only allowed a maximum of five errors on the test. You can often take free practice tests beforehand in order to get an idea of what you'll have to do for the actual test. The test gives you a good indication of how many words per minute (WPM) you can type.

What Do Employers Want in Certified Typists?

Time management is an important skill most employers want to see in certified typists. Some of the information that you're being asked to type is time sensitive. Accuracy is also highly important to many employers, since they want their businesses to look professional. Any typos or mistakes can lead to confusion for people reading what you've typed. By reading the job postings below, you can learn what some real employers wanted in certified typists in May 2012.

  • Fast learners with open availability can find employment as a certified typist in California.
  • A certified typist job in Texas is available to someone who is results-driven, organized and detail-oriented.
  • A Pennsylvania business dealing in legal proceedings wants a certified typist with a typing speed in the 75 WPM range.
  • In New York, a certified typist opening requires a flexible and reliable person with job experience at a law firm.

Standing Out

Previous work experience is one way to stand apart from other certified typists. By possessing a broad skill set, you'll have more to offer your employers than your peers. As many certified typists work in offices, you can work on building your other administrative skills and talents like answering messages, running errands and filing documents. If you're going to work for a specialized employer, like a law firm or a hospital, then taking the time to learn and understand the jargon used in that industry is important. Working on your typing speed and accuracy is another way you can stand out as a certified typist. You'll be able to get more work done in comparison to your peers in the same amount of time if your typing speed is better.

Alternate Career Choices

You might consider employment as an office clerk if you want more job variety. Office clerks are in charge of tasks like operating photocopiers and fax machines, taking telephone calls, ordering supplies, handling mail and running errands. The basic tasks that keep an office operational are assigned to office clerks to perform. General office clerks had yearly salaries of about $29,000 on average according to the BLS in May 2011, which is less than the average for typists. On the plus side, there is 17% job growth expected in this field from 2010-20.

If you're looking for more career responsibility, look into becoming an executive secretary. As an executive secretary, you help with organizational and clerical tasks on a routine basis. You're generally assigned to provide support to important executives within your company. This might include doing research, setting up meetings or preparing reports for them. In May 2011, the BLS reported that executive secretaries earned $48,000 or so on average yearly.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

Ashford University

  • MBA - Media Management
  • B.A. - Business Admin
  • B.A. - Operations Management and Analysis

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • MBA
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
  • BS in Applied Management

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Bachelor of Business Admin
  • BSBA - Investment
  • AASBA in Information Processing
  • Associate: Business Admin.

Which subject are you interested in?

Herzing University

  • Associate of Science - Business Studies
  • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting

What is your highest level of education?

ECPI University

  • Business Administration - Bachelor's

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Master of Business Admin - Accelerated General MBA
  • Master of Business Administration - Strategic Management

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

  • Accelerated Master of Business Administration

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