Data Entry Operator/Transcriptionist
Kaiwhakauru Raraunga/Kaipatopato Kōrero
This job is sometimes referred to by alternative titles
Data entry operators/transcriptionists transcribe and copy information that is spoken or written.
Data entry operators/transcriptionists usually earn
$32K-$45K per year
Specialist medical typists usually earn
$37K-$44K per year
Source: Hays, 2016 and New Zealand Medical Association, 2014.
Current job prospects
How many people are doing this job?
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.
Pay for data entry operators/transcriptionists depends on their speed, accuracy and experience, as well as their employer.
- Most data entry operators/transcriptionists earn between $32,000 and $45,000 a year.
- Specialist medical typists usually earn between $37,000 and $44,000 a year.
Sources: Hays, '2016 Salary Guide', 2016; New Zealand Medical Association, 'Primary Health Care MECA 2014-2016', 2014.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the figures and diagrams in our job 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 and print documents
- proofread written work.
Skills and knowledge
Data entry operators/transcriptionists need:
- a typing speed of at least 60 words per minute
- excellent computer and word processing skills
- to be familiar with word processing and other computer packages
- good vocabulary and excellent spelling and grammar
- good communication skills.
Data entry operators/transcriptionists:
- usually work regular business hours, but sometimes do shift or casual work
- usually work in offices but may work from home.
What's the job really like?
Eric Faafiti says being a court reporter is not just about typing speed. "It's not just a typing role – it's different. You have to have a good command of the English language and a decent familiarisation with Microsoft Word, plus an interest in the law."
Staying focused and paying attention to detail key to the job
Eric transcribes court cases and types up judges' decisions, which requires a lot of attention to detail. He says you know when you've done a good job because your work doesn't come back from a judge with lots of amendments.
"You have to be quite a focused person because what you're doing is an official document. There's no time to be distracted."
Getting to see the workings of the courts
An interest in law is essential, and Eric says he enjoys the finer points of legal debates. "It gives you a bigger picture of what's actually happening – what were the causes? What was the story behind the story?"
"If you are someone who enjoys law and enjoys what happens in court – the theatrics of court – then you're the ideal person to be doing this role."
There are no specific entry requirements to become a data entry operator/transcriptionist. However, you will need good accuracy and speed when typing.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a data entry operator/transcriptionist. However, it is recommended that you have at least NCEA Level 2.
Additional requirements for specialist roles:
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 English language comprehension.
Medical typists need experience or interest in medical work, or a specific qualification in medical transcription.
Data entry operators/transcriptionists need to be:
- 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 working with information from trials which may be unpleasant to hear.
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 may also be useful.
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?
Declining number of data entry operators/transcriptionists
The number of data entry operators/transcriptionists is falling, because the increased use of automated data entry and voice recognition software has reduced the need for people in the role.
However, even though the number of workers has declined, positions still regularly become available as people often do not stay in the job for long.
Varied employers of data entry operators/transcriptionists
Data entry operators/transcriptionists may work for:
- government departments
- private businesses
- hospitals and private medical practices.
- Hays, '2015 Salary Guide', 2015, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Hays, 'Quarterly Report, April-June 2016 – Office Support', 2016, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Ministry of Justice Careers website, accessed June 2016, (careers.justice.govt.nz).
Progression and specialisations
Data entry operators/transcriptionists can progress to become personal or executive assistants.
Data entry operators/transcriptionists can 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 or after they have been held.
- Medical Typist
- Medical typists transcribe medical information, or type from dictations by health professionals, and edit and check the content to make sure it is accurate.
Last updated 10 February 2017