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Typing Jobs: Required Speeds

As technology becomes more commonplace in the workforce, more people need to know how to type. Some professions require faster typing speeds than others do. If your typing speed is lower than you want it to be, you can use typing software to increase it. We ve looked at current job descriptions to find out, on average, how fast you need to type for specific typing jobs. Even though these are average speeds, we suggest that you find out the specific requirements for the company at which you re interested in working.

Secretary and Receptionist
If you re interested in being a secretary or receptionist, you ll probably find that you need a typing speed between 55 and 80 words per minute (wpm). On average, you ll need to type about 65wpm. Employers are looking for people who can type quickly so they can take dictation and quickly input information into the computer.

Legal and Administrative Assistant
Administrative and legal assistants also need to be able to type quickly. Employers often look for applicants who can type around 70 words per minute. Some positions might be available only to applicants who type upward of 100wpm. Don t sweat it if you don t type that fast, though. Many employers are not as concerned with your typing speed as they are about you knowing how to do your job. If your typing speed isn t as high as you d like it to be but you have strengths in other areas, show the employer how your other skills still make you a great candidate for the job.

Medical Transcriptionists
While it s important for medical transcriptionists to type quickly   typically around 70wpm   it s equally important for them to type accurately. The medical transcripts you ll be typing need to be flawless. Errors on patients  medical records could cause serious problems for patients.

Data Entry
Employers that hire people for data-entry positions usually look for applicants who can type between 60 and 80wpm. They want people who can enter data quickly so that they can input more information in a shorter amount of time. Along with speed, you ll need to be accurate as you enter information into the computer system.

Court Reporter
A court reporter needs to catch every word that is said during a court proceeding. This means that he or she needs to be able to type incredibly fast, around 225wpm. To achieve this, court reporters use special typing machines called stenotype machines. The keys on these machines are laid out differently than they are on a QWERTY keyboard, which is the standard computer keyboard layout. Court reporters go through special training to learn how to achieve such fast typing speeds.

Non-Typing Professions
Not all positions require you to type at lightning-fast speeds. Registrars need only type around 40wpm, and CNAs and phlebotomists need only be able to type around 25wpm. Sales people may only spend a small portion of their day using a computer, and they may not need to type at a specific speed to perform their job well. Other professions don t require typing skills at all. Some of these include chefs, cosmetologists, welders and security officers.

Even if you work in a profession that doesn t require you to have a minimum typing speed, it can be to your advantage to be able to type quickly. Having typing skills can help you accomplish your work more effectively when you do need to type. Having a fast typing speed can also make you more marketable in the job field.