Word Processing Technologies

Read about careers where knowledge of word processing technologies is essential. Find out how you can get training in using word processing software and equipment, such as keyboarding skills, through an undergraduate program, and how you can earn professional certifications.

Are Word Processing Technologies for Me?

Career Overview

People who work with word processing technologies are typically employed as data entry keyers, word processors and typists, secretaries, administrative assistants or transcriptionists. It may seem that you need only typing skills to work in this field; however, most word processing jobs require knowledge of software or equipment, such as optical character recognition software or stenotype machines.

Administrative assistants often perform research and maintain websites and electronic files. Court reporters provide accurate transcripts of court proceedings or other meetings. As a court reporter, you could create closed-captioning communications or provide translation services for hearing-impaired individuals.

Employment

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), employment of data entry keyers and word processors is expected to decline 25% from 2012-2022; meanwhile, jobs for administrative assistants are expected to remain roughly constant, and jobs for secretaries are expected to increase 13% during that same decade. Medical transcriptionists can expect 8% job growth. The BLS reports that employment opportunities for court reporters are anticipated to grow by 10% during the same decade.

In 2012, data entry keyers earned median pay of $28,010, per the BLS. Word processors and typists earned median pay of $35,270. The median pay for secretaries and administrative assistants was $35,330 that year, and medical transcriptionists earned median pay of $34,020. The median annual salary for court reporters was $48,160.

How Can I Work in Word Processing Technologies?

Education

You may be able to secure a job as an office or data entry clerk with a high school diploma if you have taken keyboarding and software application coursework. To work as a medical transcriptionist, you may benefit from additional training in a diploma or certificate program or an associate's degree program in medical transcription. Coursework in an associate's or certificate program may include medical transcription, anatomy and medical terminology. Court reporters also typically hold a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in the field.

Certification

Employers may prefer to hire people with additional certifications for some positions. The Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity offers the registered medical transcriptionist and certified medical transcriptionist credentials (www.ahdionline.org). Certifications for court reporters offered by the National Court Reporters Association include registered professional reporter, registered merit reporter, diplomate reporter and certified realtime reporter (www.ncra.org). Requirements for earning professional certifications vary, but they may include a combination of education, work experience, and testing.

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