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Data Entry Operator/​Transcriptionist

Kaiwhakauru Raraunga/​Kaipatopato Kōrero

Alternative titles for this job

Data entry operators/transcriptionists copy or transcribe information that is spoken or written.


Data entry operators/transcriptionists usually earn

$48K-$55K per year

Source: Hays and PERSOLKELLY, 2023

Job opportunities

Job opportunities for data entry operators/transcriptionists are average due to declining demand for their services but a high turnover of workers.


Pay for data entry operators/transcriptionists depends on speed, accuracy, experience and the type of work they do.

  • Data entry operators usually earn $48,000 to $55,000 a year.

Sources: Hayes Salary Guide 23/24', 2023; and PERSOLKELLY,  '2023 - 2024 Salary Guide', 2023.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)

What you will do

Data entry operators/transcriptionists may do some or all of the following:

  • copy information from one form to another – for example, from handwritten forms to computerised forms
  • type verbatim (word for word) from recorded conversations or dictation
  • check, edit, print and email documents
  • proofread written work.

Skills and knowledge

Data entry operators/transcriptionists need to have:

  • a typing speed of at least 60 words per minute
  • excellent computer and word processing skills
  • a good vocabulary and excellent spelling and grammar
  • good communication skills.

Working conditions

Data entry operators/transcriptionists:

  • usually work regular business hours, but sometimes do shift work
  • usually work in offices, but may work from home.

What's the job really like?

Fay Furner

Court Reporter

What’s the hardest thing about being a court reporter?

“Obviously listening to the victims can be very upsetting at times. It can be challenging turning off the images in your brain. I can just hear the words and not make the pictures, and that’s what I always say to the new people – 'Don’t make the pictures'.”

What’s an important skill you need?

“Court reporting takes attention to detail. The work we do here is very regimented and controlled. It needs to be provided to the court in a very rigid format. You can’t lose focus. Every minute that you’re in court, you’ve got to be thinking. A legal background is very helpful. My first job in Wellington back in the day was with Chapman Tripp, the lawyers. Just a little bit of legal knowledge is great."

What do you like about your job?

“Just being able to talk to people and meet like-minded people.”

Entry requirements

There are no specific requirements to become a data entry operator/transcriptionist. However, good accuracy and speed when typing is essential.

Secondary education

No specific secondary education is required for this job, but business studies, digital technologies, English and languages to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Court Reporter

To become a court reporter with the Ministry of Justice, you need to have an accurate typing speed of at least 70 words a minute and excellent understanding of English.

Medical transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists need experience or interest in medical work, or a specific qualification in medical transcription.

Personal requirements

Data entry operators/transcriptionists need to be:

  • accurate and good at listening
  • reliable, efficient and focused
  • able to keep information confidential
  • able to work well under pressure.

Court reporters also need to be able to cope with information from trials that may be unpleasant to hear.

Useful experience

Experience in computer work or word processing is useful for data entry operators/transcriptionists.

Court reporters need to know relevant technical and legal words and phrases. Previous work in a legal office is useful.

Physical requirements

Data entry operators/transcriptionists need to have excellent hearing if they are typing from sound recordings.

Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Falling demand for data entry operators/transcriptionists

Demand for data entry operators/transcriptionists is falling due to software developments reducing the need for manual data entry and transcription.

Tasks traditionally performed by data entry operators/transcriptionists are increasingly being done by people in other positions. For example, personal assistants or office administration staff often do this work themselves, meaning fewer data entry operators/transcriptionists are needed.

The number of data entry operators/transcriptionists is projected to drop to 3,000 by 2019, down from 3,450 in 2013.

Chances best for medical transcriptionists

Your chances of securing a job are best if you have specialist medical knowledge because there are still vacancies for medical transcriptionists.

The National Transcription Service employs about 130 court reporters for the Ministry of Justice. However, turnover among court reporters is low, so vacancies are rare.

Although the number of data entry operators/transcriptionists has declined, positions still regularly become available as people often don't stay in the job for long.

Jobs for data entry operators/transcriptionists are often part time or for temporary periods.

Types of employers varied

Data entry operators/transcriptionists may work for:

  • banks
  • government departments
  • private businesses
  • courts
  • hospitals and private medical practices.


  • Faafoi, E, senior business adviser, National Transcription Service, interview, May 2018.
  • Honeychurch, M, business director, Hays, interview, June 2018.
  • McKessar, A, president, AAPNZ, interview, June 2018.

(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)

Progression and specialisations

Data entry operators/transcriptionists may progress to become personal or executive assistants.

Data entry operators/transcriptionists may specialise as a:

Court Reporter
Court reporters take down verbatim (word for word) all the evidence, comments and decisions made in court hearings, during the court proceedings.
Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcriptionists transcribe medical information, or type from dictations by health professionals, and edit and check the content to make sure it is accurate.
A man in casual clothes and headphones uses a computer at a desk in a home office. He  sits in a wheelchair

Data entry operators may type from dictation or transcribe handwritten information onto a computer

Last updated 22 February 2024