Data Entry Operator/Transcriptionist
Kaiwhakauru Raraunga/Kaipatopato Kōrero
Data entry operators/transcriptionists copy or transcribe information that is spoken or written.
Data entry operators/transcriptionists can earn
$47K-$50K per year
Source: Hays and Hudson, 2018.
Pay for data entry operators/transcriptionists depends on speed, accuracy, experience and the type of work they do.
- Data entry operators/transcriptionists usually earn minimum wage or above.
- Specialist medical typists may earn minimum wage or above.
- Senior data entry operators/transcriptionists can earn from $47,000 to $50,000.
- Court reporters usually earn between $47,000 and $59,000.
Data entry operators/transcriptionists who work part time can earn between minimum wage and $25 an hour.
Sources: Hays, '2018 Salary Guide', 2018; Hudson, 'Business and Support Salary Survey 2018', 2018; New Zealand Medical Association, 'Primary Health Care (MECA) 2016-2018', 2018; Ministry of Justice, 2018.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(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.
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?
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.”
There are no specific requirements to become a data entry operator/transcriptionist. However, good accuracy and speed when typing is essential.
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:
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 transcriptionists need experience or interest in medical work, or a specific qualification in medical transcription.
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.
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.
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:
- government departments
- private businesses
- hospitals and private medical practices.
- Faafoi, E, senior business adviser, National Transcription Service, careers.govt.nz interview, May 2018.
- Honeychurch, M, business director, Hays, careers.govt.nz interview, June 2018.
- McKessar, A, president, AAPNZ, careers.govt.nz 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.
Last updated 22 September 2023