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Word Processor And Typist Careers

Career Description

Word Processors and Typists use word processor/computer or typewriter to type letters, reports, forms, or other material from rough draft, corrected copy, or voice recording.

Common Work Tasks

  • Set up and prepare reports, letters, mailing labels, and other text material
  • Key headings on form letters, address envelopes,  or prepare standard forms on computers
  • Work with highly technical material, plan and key complicated statistical tables, combine and rearrange materials from different sources, or prepare master copies
  • Use computer equipment to record, edit, store,  and revise letters, memos, reports, statistical tables, forms, and other printed materials
  • Answer telephones, perform filing duties, and operate copiers or other office machines
  • Transcribe stenotyped notes of court proceedings into standard formats
  • Ensure the smooth and efficient handling of information
  • Keying in text, enter data into a computer,  operate a variety of office machines, and perform other clerical duties

Other Job Titles

Word Processors and Typists are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Information Processing Workers
  • Transcribers
  • Electronic Data Processors
  • Data Entry Keyers

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
Employers generally hire high school graduates who meet their requirements for accuracy and keyboarding speed. Increasingly, employers also expect applicants to have training or experience in word processing or data entry tasks. Spelling,  punctuation, and grammar skills are important, as is familiarity with standard office equipment and procedures.

Students acquire skills in keyboarding and in the use of word processing, spreadsheet,  and database management computer software in high schools, community colleges,  business schools, temporary help agencies, or self-teaching aids such as books,  tapes, and Internet tutorials.


The median annual salary for Word Processors and Typists is $30,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $44,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $21,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of word processors and typists are:

  • Local Government- $32,790
  • Elementary and Secondary Schools- $31,430
  • Employment Services- $27,750
  • Legal Services- $39,350
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools- $30,470

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  -12%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: -21,000
  • Employment 2006 : 179,000
  • Employment 2016:  158,000
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