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What Is a Typist?

Believe it or not, typing as a career has been around since the late 1880s, shortly after the typewriter was invented in 1874. More recently, however, typing has become a more suitable occupation fit for many across the globe, as the digital age is now growing more exponentially than ever.

There are different fields in which you can expand and use your skill to their best benefit, and it’s important to know what those jobs entail before you begin your search. Here are a few options laid out and explained for you:

How Much Do Typists Earn?

First thing’s first, you should know the average income for any typist, regardless of job title. Typists’ income ranges anywhere from an hourly pay of $13.98 for the lowest percentiles to one of $28.48 per hour, which puts the annual income on a spectrum from $28,650 to $59,240, respectively, if it is your only source of income.

That puts the median earnings of any typist in the world at approximately $19.73 per hour, $41,050 per year. Not bad, right? But what can you do as a typist?

What Do Typists Do?

Well, most of your options lay within the ballpark of data entry, whether that be for financial companies and/or offices and customer service representation, typing out whatever metrics are needed on record, as well as dispatching for local law enforcement and other emergency first responding offices.

In most cases, dispatching positions will require you to type at least 80 to 95 words per minute, or “wpm,” as it would be referred to in any typist job description. Data entry jobs at business offices mainly only require a rate of 43 to 80 wpm, but either way, if you are looking for a professional, paying job as s typist, it would be a good idea to get some practice in.

How Do I Become a Typist?

So, we’ve covered payment and job opportunities, but now you may be wondering how you actually get to the point of being deemed a professional typist, right? Most qualifications for this type of job usually include the requirement of at least a high school diploma or GED, and extended training in the field could increase your chances of landing a job.

Typist employers will look at different certifications in Microsoft Office since the usage of the MO software is highly enforced in the world of typing. Microsoft Office certifications include Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint.

In order to be considered a Microsoft Office Specialist, or MOS, you have to pass the certification exams for at least three of the programs mentioned, which you can do by looking on the Microsoft Office website and scheduling your exams, but remember; practice makes perfect.

Typist Career Path

Being a typist may seem easy enough, but it is important to note the details behind it. Typists aren’t just people who can type over 3,000 words in less than an hour and get paid for it. Skills also include attention to detail, accuracy, and literacy.

You need to be able to fully understand and absorb the information you are typing, and you need to be sure that what you’re typing is accurate, as whatever you are typing will most likely eventually be transferred over to the public, where people take the information you write and deem it as fact. There is no room for fake news or false information when it comes to being a professional typist.

If you are just starting out exercising your typing skills, it is crucial to understand that you do not have to be able to type one hundred words in a minute as soon as you start your career. There are many entry-level opportunities to help you build that skill. As mentioned, the majority of typist jobs require a minimum typing speed of 43 wpm or words per minute. The best thing you can do to improve is to practice.

What Steps Can I Take?

How can you practice typing? Well, there are a few recommendations set in place for you to make note of when beginning to hone in on your professional typing:

  1. It is important to maintain the correct positioning when typing. Good posture is helpful in making typing on a computer more comfortable in order to not strain your back or neck. Hand placement is crucial to this recommendation, as there is a correct way to place your hands on a keyboard when typing.

This positioning consists of both hands, as both are needed to maintain control over both halves of a keyboard. Your right hand should rest upon the right side of the keyboard with the pointer finger placed on the J key, and the other fingers hovering over the K, L, and; keys. The right hand should rest upon the left side of the keyboard with the pointer finger placed on the F key, and the other fingers hovering over the D, S, and A keys. Both thumbs should be hovering over the space bar.

  1. Do not look at your hands. Professional typists mainly tend to remember the placement of all the keys on a keyboard and do not need their eyes to guide their hands or fingers.
  2. Practice, practice, practice. You can’t really get anywhere without first being somewhere, right? There are numerous typing practice tools on the internet. One of them is called Key Hero, and it allows you to take free typing tests as many times as you need, where they grade your speed and accuracy after having you copy down a paragraph.

Tests like these can help you immensely with your typing speed and accuracy, and they aid you in memorizing the placement of each key.


More often than not, applications will have you take a typing test in order to prove to the employers that you are well-suited for the position, so before you begin your job search journey, try to perfect your typing to the best of your ability so that you can give each employer your absolute best. Make note of the tips and knowledge provided to you here, and apply that knowledge when you’re ready to begin your typing career.

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HR Assistant Cassiday Schade LLP Illinois US 06/07/2024
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