How to become a Word Processing Operator

Word processing operators type, edit and print documents, using computers with word processing software programmes and printers.

Personal requirements of a Word Processing Operator

  • good command of the English language, particularly spelling
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • good concentration
  • good organisational skills
  • able to work independently
  • aptitude for working with computers.

Duties & Tasks of a Word Processing Operator

Word processing operators: • plan and set out the format required (such as page length and width, line spacing and style of typeface), for letters, business forms and other documents • type and re-arrange information (such as highlighting parts of the text, moving paragraphs from one page to another and putting information into columns) • transfer data from audio tapes into letters and reports • set up mail merge functions to enable multiple letters to be personalised or directed to individuals in a number of locations • make alterations to information already stored on a computer • manage electronic documents and records • print out letters, address labels and other documents • perform clerical duties, such as filing, answering the phone and dispatching mail • perform switchboard or reception duties.

Working conditions for a Word Processing Operator

In some offices, operators spend all or most of their time doing word processing work. They may work alone or in a group with other operators. It is standard practice for operators to take regular rest breaks in order to minimise the occurrence of repetitive strain injury (RSI) to their arms and hands.


Audio Transcript Typist

An audio transcript typist produces transcripts from digital audio recordings of court and parliamentary proceedings, tribunals, arbitrations, business conferences, lectures and medical reports.

Data Processing Operator

A data processing operator uses computer terminals to transfer information into a database for storage, processing and transmission. They may input information in prescribed formats such as payrolls, staff records or scientific software programmes, and retrieve, confirm and update data in storage. They work in almost all industry sectors including government, manufacturing, education, retailing, banking and finance.

Offline Captioner

An offline captioner generates captions (or subtitles) for pre-recorded television programmes. The captions are then embedded in the recording and automatically transmitted when the programme eventually goes to air.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 2.7%

NSW NSW 33.5%

NT NT 0.8%

QLD QLD 18.5%

SA SA 6.8%

TAS TAS 1.9%

VIC VIC 26.8%

WA WA 8.9%

Hours worked:



Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 14.9%

Female 85.1%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 19.9%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 28%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 20.8%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 12.6%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 14.2%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 4.5%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 2.9%

20-24 - 7.5%

25-34 - 21.1%

35-44 - 19.9%

45-54 - 22.9%

55-59 - 11.9%

60-64 - 10%

65 and Over - 3.7%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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