Keyboard Operators input and process text and data, and prepare, edit and generate documents for storage, processing, publication and transmission.

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed. Around half of workers have finished no post school qualifications (that is, they have completed some level of high school) Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

Tasks

  • entering data and codes required to process information
  • retrieving, confirming and updating data in storage and keeping records of data input
  • taking verbatim records of proceedings in rapid shorthand using computerised equipment and shorthand-writing machines
  • transcribing information recorded in shorthand and on sound recording equipment, and proofreading and correcting copy
  • reading portions of transcripts during trials and other proceedings on request of Judges and other officials
  • reproducing the spoken word, environmental sounds and song lyrics as captions for television programming, and the deaf and hearing impaired
  • preparing reports, letters and similar material for publication and electronic transmission
  • sorting outgoing material and preparing documents for transmission

Job Titles

  • Data Entry Operator
  • Machine Shorthand Reporter
  • Word Processing Operator or Typist
  • Data Entry Operator (also called Data Processing Operator)

    Operates a keyboard to input and transfer data into a computer for storage, processing and transmission.

  • Machine Shorthand Reporter

    Records and reproduces the spoken word in court and parliamentary proceedings, television programming and for the deaf and hearing impaired using handwritten shorthand, stenotype shorthand machines, computer-assisted transcription software and sound recording equipment.

    Specialisations: Braille Transcriber, Court Reporter, Hansard Reporter, Realtime Reporter, Stenocaptioner

  • Word Processing Operator or Typist

    Operates a computer to type, edit and generate a variety of documents and reports.

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,000 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    decline
  • Skill Level

    Certificate II or III
  • Employment Size

    48,200
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    13.8%
  • Female Share

    86.2%
  • Full-Time Share

    54.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a very large occupation employing 48,200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has fallen.
A fall in the number of jobs is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Keyboard Operators work in most parts of Australia.
  • They work in many industries. Some of the main industries are: Public Administration and Safety; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Part-time work is fairly common, but more than half work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 35.4 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,000 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The average age is 43 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 4 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 9 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200589800
200694700
200799900
200897300
200970700
201073900
201173800
201256300
201367300
201449500
201548200
202040000

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsKeyboard OperatorsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10001230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryKeyboard OperatorsAll Jobs Average
Full-time54.368.4
Part-time45.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)35.440.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety19.4
Health Care and Social Assistance16.9
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services8.5
Administrative and Support Services7.5
Other Industries47.7

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateKeyboard OperatorsAll Jobs Average
NSW30.231.8
VIC27.525.5
QLD20.219.8
SA7.36.8
WA9.611.2
TAS2.42.0
NT0.81.1
ACT1.91.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketKeyboard OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-193.0-5.45.4
20-2410.4-9.99.9
25-3423.8-23.423.4
35-4418.3-21.721.7
45-5422.5-21.121.1
55-598.6-8.78.7
60-647.3-5.95.9
65 and Over6.2-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryKeyboard OperatorsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males13.8Males53.6
Females86.2Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationKeyboard OperatorsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate4.5-8.68.6
Bachelor degree14.2-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma12.6-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV20.8-18.918.9
Year 1228.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 1019.9-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Certificate II or III, or at least 1 year of relevant experience, is usually needed.
Around half of workers have finished no post school qualifications (that is, they have completed some level of high school) Even with a qualification, further experience or on-the-job training is sometimes required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Keyboard Operators who are accurate, pay attention to detail and have strong computer literacy.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Clerical

    87% Important

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  2. Customer and Personal Service

    86% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. English Language

    74% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  4. Computers and Electronics

    69% Important

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  5. Administration and Management

    68% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Interacting With Computers

    96% Important

    Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  2. Getting Information

    94% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  3. Documenting/Recording Information

    92% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  4. Processing Information

    90% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  5. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    85% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Occupational Information Network Data Entry Keyers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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