Typists and secretaries use word processing skills to create well-presented documents.
Training and qualifications required
There are no set entry requirements for a secretary/typist. However, employers expect excellent keyboard skills and they are likely to ask for qualifications in typing or word processing. Employers also expect a good standard of literacy, numeracy and IT skills. They may ask for GCSEs or equivalent qualifications. You may be able to enter an apprenticeship through an administrative role and through further training and qualifications, progress to more senior secretarial or typing role. You will get the training you need to do the job and may be offered the chance to take qualifications from organisations such as AMSPAR and BSMSA.
Expected working hours and salary range
Administrative staff in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As a secretary/typist you will typically start on band 2 and could progress, with further training and qualifications to posts at bands 3 or 4, for example as a medical secretary. Terms and conditions will be different for administrative staff working outside of the NHS. Secretaries/typists work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. In some jobs, this could involve early starts, evenings and weekends. Terms and conditions for staff working outside the NHS will vary
Desirable skills and values
As a secretary/typist, you'll need to work accurately and methodically, meet deadlines, use medical terminology, pay attention to detail, work in a team but use your own initiative, , work with all types of people, be helpful and reassuring if dealing with patients and their families. You'll also need excellent keyboard and IT skills, good spelling and grammar and organisational skills.
With experience, you could become a team leader, coordinating the work of a team of secretaries/typists. With further experience, you could become a manager, responsible for the staff in a department. Some secretaries/typists move into specialist roles such as medical secretary or PA. Others may move into areas such as finance, or health records.