OFO No: 413101





Other names for Typist:

  • Word Processing Operator
  • Verbatim Reporter
  • Computer Assisted Transcript Operator
  • Word Processing Clerk

What is a Typist?

A Typist’s (or word processor operator’s) responsibility is to type out and produce letters, reports and other important documents.

You should be computer literate and be well skilled in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. 

You need to be excellent at typing – fast and accurate.  

There are 3 main kinds of typists: (some typists need to be skilled in 1 or all 3 disciplines)

1. Copy typing

  • typing from hand-written or printed documents (eg annual reports, theses, etc)

2. Audio typing

  • typing while listening to a dictated tape (eg dictated notes by surgeons, researchers, crime scene investigators etc.  See ‘Medical Transcriptionist’ on our website for more details)

3. Shorthand typing:

  • taking ‘shorthand’ notes while in meetings at conversation pace then typing them out for record and used later.

What does a Typist do?

  • attends meetings and takes shorthand notes
  • types up reports, letters etc
  • collatespages of reports and other prepared documents
  • printis and makes copies of work
  • maintains spreadsheets and databases
  • answers the phone
  • photocopies, faxes and files
  • checks work for spelling, grammar, punctuation errors

Are you . . . ?

  • a quick and accurate typist?
  • efficient?
  • a good listener?
  • organised?
  • professional?
  • a person with a good command of languages, spelling, grammar and punctuation?
  • able to concentrate?
  • deadline orientated?
  • neat and well groomed?

How do I become a Typist?

Even if you cannot type, one can learn to type!  The more you practice, the quicker and more efficient you will become.

There are many different training approaches – Click on the following job descriptions for more details:


  • National Certificate: Vocational: Office Administration – NQF Level 2 
  • National Certificate: Vocational: Office Administration – NQF Level 3 
  • National Certificate: Vocational: Office Administration – NQF Level 4 


  • Learnership – Secretarial / Administration Services – Level 2 
  • Learnership – Secretarial / Administration Services – Level 3
  • Learnership – Secretarial Administration Level 4 


  • Certificate in Secretarial Studies (Level 4) 


  • Certificate in Secretarial Studies (Level 5) 


  • Diploma in Secretarial Studies 



  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  See above list of careers for more info and training advice.

Is becoming a Typist the right career choice for me?