Typists and Word Processors


Employment Prospects


Typists and word processors are employed in almost every kind of workplace, including banks, law firms, factories, schools, hospitals, publishing firms, department stores, and government agencies. They may work with groups of employees in large offices or with only one or two other people in small offices.

There are approximately 52,700 word processors and typists working in the United States. Most of these workers are employed by firms that provide business services, including temporary help, word processing, and computer and data processing. Many also work for federal, state, and local government agencies. Some typists and word processors telecommute, working on client projects from their own home offices.

Starting Out

Business school and college students may learn of typing or word processing positions through their schools' career services offices. Some large businesses recruit employees directly from these schools. High school guidance counselors also may know of local job openings.

People interested in typing or word processor positions can find job listings through online employment agencies and business journals. They can apply directly to the personnel departments of large companies that hire many of these workers. They also can register with temporary agencies. To apply for positions with the federal government, job seekers should apply at the nearest regional Office of Personnel Management, or they can visit its Web site, https://www.usajobs.gov. State, county, and city governments may also have listings for such positions.

Advancement Prospects

Typists and word processors usually receive salary increases as they gain experience and are promoted from junior to senior positions. These are often given a classification or pay scale designation, such as typist or word processor I or II. They may also advance from clerk-typist to technical typist, or from a job in a typing pool to a typing position in a private office.

A degree in business management or executive secretarial skills increases a typist's chances for advancement. In addition, many large companies and government agencies provide training programs that allow workers to upgrade their skills and move into other jobs, such as secretary, statistical clerk, or stenographer. 

Once they have acquired enough experience, some typists and word processors go into business for themselves by working from home and providing typing services to business clients. They may find work typing reports, manuscripts, and papers for professors, authors, business people, and students.

The more word processing experience an employee has, the better the opportunities to move up. Some may be promoted to word processing supervisor or selected for in-house professional training programs in data processing. Word processors may also move into related fields and work as word-processing equipment salespeople or servicers or word-processing teachers or consultants.

Tips for Entry

Read OfficePro (https://www.iaap-hq.org/page/OfficeProMagazine) and The Executary (http://www.theaeap.com/newsletters) to learn more about careers in general secretarial work. 

Talk to typists and word processors about their jobs. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings: https://jobs.theaeap.com and https://careers.iaap-hq.org.