What Are the Different Types of Typing Qualifications?

In addition to other job-related skills, many secretarial, clerical, and other office positions require candidates to have certain typing qualifications. The ability to type a certain number of words per minute while maintaining a low error rate is usually one of these requirements. Typists should also be familiar with common word-processing software. Typists working in specialized fields like medicine and law may also need to be familiar with the terminology used in these fields as well as the ability to transcribe audio recordings.

The ability to type a certain number of words per minute is one of the most basic typing qualifications listed on clerical job postings (WPM). Many professional typists must type at least 40 words per minute, and positions requiring stenography or dictation may require even faster speeds. Touch typists can typically type at a much faster rate than those who type with two fingers or hunt-and-peck. Typing classes and practice can help a typist learn proper techniques and significantly increase their speed.

As part of their typing qualifications, clerical staff must have a low error rate as part of their WPM rate. Spelling, grammar, and formatting errors are examples of typing errors that, if left uncorrected, can harm a company’s reputation. Typists who are constantly correcting spelling errors have a lower WPM and must spend more time proofreading documents to ensure that they are error-free. While word-processing programs have made catching certain types of spelling errors easier, many typists have become overly reliant on these programs to catch their mistakes, and as a result, they make a variety of mistakes.

Typists used to be required to use manual typewriters and often worked in large pools with other clerical workers. Modern typists are required to have experience with one or more word-processing software packages, as computers have largely replaced older typing systems. Because they may spend the majority of their working hours using office productivity software, this experience is now one of the most important typing qualifications for new hires. As part of an administrative assistant’s role, some typists may be required to have experience with spreadsheet or presentation software.

Certain professions may require their clerical staff to have additional typing skills. Specialized terminology is used in medical and legal offices, and a typist must be familiar with it in order to do his or her job. Because typos can have a significant impact on the interpretation of a document, the precise language required in legal and medical documents necessitates close attention to detail.