Computer technology has become prevalent in nearly all aspects of modern society. The majority of records are now kept electronically, replacing the burden of managing stacks upon stacks of paper documents and navigating cumbersome file cabinets. Skilled professionals in typist jobs ensure that electronic records, data, and other important information are stored and organized accurately. There are many different typist jobs available in several different industries and employment settings, including administrative office buildings, medical clinics and hospitals, legal courts, and call centers for deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens. Most typists work on site at their places of employment, though some are able to work from home, offering freelance data entry services.
A large number of typist jobs are found with administrative branches and offices of all different types of businesses. Typists may be required to transcribe conferences and meetings, take dictation, and create office memos. Many typists also enter data regarding customer accounts into spreadsheets and electronic forms. Skilled professionals often take on other common administrative duties, such as answering phones and gathering information for their superiors.
Many skilled typists work in hospitals and other medical offices, performing a variety of tasks related to word processing and data entry. Medical typists may code diagnoses and record vital patient information into specialized forms. They commonly organize patient files and payment histories, as well as prepare information for insurance companies.
Court systems employ specialized typists known as stenographers or court reporters to transcribe court hearings and other official legal proceedings. Many court reporters use stenotype machines, instruments similar to typewriters, to record information at a very fast pace. Stenotype machines allow court reporters to form syllables, words, and entire phrases with single keystrokes.
Other typist jobs can be found with telephone relay centers and television broadcasting stations. Typists in relay centers transcribe telephone conversations verbatim for deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Television stations hire typists to provide closed captioning for live and recorded programs.
To obtain most typist jobs, people must hold high school diplomas and demonstrate typing and computer proficiency. Many prospective typists take courses at community colleges or universities in computers and information processing to enhance their skills and improve their chances for employment. Some employers, especially hospitals and companies that handle sensitive information, prefer to hire people who have attended college and had several years of experience in other typist jobs. Court reporters are generally required to become licensed in their specific state or country, as well as obtain certification from a nationally recognized organization to prove their mastery of stenotype machines.