View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

i! ? TT

G szr


for women



James P. Mitchell, Secretary

Bulletin 263

Mis. Alice K. Leopold, Director



T)\ r"
'&m AY

Grinnell College

James P. Mitchell, Secretary
Mrs. Alice K. Leopold, Director

Employment Opportunities for Women


and as
Office-Machine Operators and Cashiers

Women’s Bureau Bulletin No. 263



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. Price 20 cents

Employment opportunities for women in various occupations and
professions have long been a major subject of study by the Women’s
Bureau. Since the Department of Labor inaugurated the Women’s
Affairs Program in 1954, the Bureau has published reports on op­
portunities for women in beauty-service occupations, as professional
engineers, accountants, mathematicians and statisticians, and on
careers in the Federal Government. In addition, reports on a num­
ber of occupations of special interest to women have been pre­
pared by the Bureau for use in the Department’s 1957 Occupational
Outlook Handbook.
In the clerical occupations considered in this report, the over­
whelming majority of workers are women. Of every 20 secretaries,
stenographers, and typists, 19 are women; of every 20 office-machine
operators and cashiers, 16 are women. These are occupations in
which shortages of well-qualified workers—particularly secretaries
and stenographers have plagued the Nation’s business establish­
ments for more than a decade.
In times of labor shortage, hiring standards are of necessity lowered
with resultant waste and inefficiency. There is a pressing need in
these fields to improve standards of training in shorthand, typing,
and other clerical skills; to encourage more women with good educa­
tional backgrounds to obtain the necessary specialized training; and
to promote greater employment opportunities for mature women
and more adequate training programs, including those on the job.
This report, addressed primarily to women students and their coun­
selors, should prove of value also to employers, schools, placement
workers, and others interested in improving the skills of the Nation’s
work force.
The report was prepared in the Bureau’s Division of Program
Planning, Analysis, and Reports by Mildred S. Barber and Nora R.
Tucker under the general direction of Stella P. Manor,

Alice K. Leopold,

Director, Women's Bureau


Photographs used in this report were furnished through the courtesy
of the following:
Bank of America (fig. 3-B);
Burroughs Corporation (fig. 3-A);
Methodist Board of Education (fig. 2).

Introduction—The clerical field
Part 1. Secretaries, stenographers, and typists_________ _______________
In offices everywhere
The job outlook ___________
Some typical jobs______________________________________ __ _
The secretarial field__________
Stenographic wrork
Typing jobs------------------------------------------------------------------------Qualifications and training
Earnings and hours
Advantages of office work
Advancement_____ _
Part 2. Office-machine operators and cashiers
Some typical jobs_____
__ ___________________
Office-machine operators
Qualifications and training____ _________________________________
Where employed
Earnings and working conditions
The job outlook _
For further reading





the Clerica I Field
The typewriter and other machines for store and office use have
revolutionized office and recordkeeping work in business within a
single lifetime. They perform feats of recording, copying, calculating,
coding, and tabulating that could not possibly be done “by hand”
in the same period of time. It is evident that today’s high economic
and cultural levels could not have been reached—nor could they be
maintained—without them.
One result of the general use of typewriters, office machines, and
cash registers is that entirely new and expanded areas of employ­
ment have opened up. Increasing numbers of girls and women have
acquired the necessary skills and are working in offices, stores, and
service industries throughout the country.
Jobs in which shorthand and typing skills are basic requirements
are discussed in part 1 of this report. Secretarial work, stenography,
and typing, as well as various combination jobs and specializations,
are included in this group. Jobs involving the operation of certain
other types of office machines—such as bookkeeping, calculating, key­
punch, and tabulating machines—and the cashier’s job are covered in
part 2.
It is not within the scope of this report to cover all the occupations
in which typing is useful. Many clerical jobs, not covered here,
combine typing with other duties; for example, file clerks, general
clerks, receptionists, and telephone or “switchboard” operators.
In addition, typing skill is very useful, and to some degree necessary,
in certain jobs outside the clerical field. In newspaper work, for
example, reporters customarily type their own stories. College
graduates often seek entry jobs in professional and administrative
fields where, during their training for higher-level positions, they per­
form a variety of clerical duties which require the use of typewriters
and other office machines.
Secretarial work is often regarded by college women as a stepping
stone to professional or administrative work—in a publishing house,
advertising agency, or other business establishment. A survey of
women graduated from college in June 1955, made by the Women’s
Bureau in cooperation with the National Vocational Guidance As­
sociation, found that about 1 in 12 of the employed graduates held a
secretarial or stenographic job.


Figure 1.—Clerks in insurance companies use a variety of office machines.


and Typists

Secretarial, stenographic, and typing jobs all belong to a group of
occupations generally defined as office-work occupations. Office
workers record data, file records, and perform other clerical work
which facilitates business operations. They handle mail and cor­
respondence; they record sales, purchases, and inventories; they make
up payrolls and maintain employee records; they collect, pay out,
and keep account of money; and they may help in many other ac­
tivities relating to their employers’ business.
How many women More women are employed as secretaries,
stenographers, and typists than in any other
work at these
land of work—an estimated 2 million in 1957.
These jobs are by far the most numerous in
office work; they employ about one-third of all the women clerical
workers in the country. Despite the very large number of women
already working as secretaries, stenographers, and typists, the demand
for additional women for these positions continues strong.
Secretaries, stenographers, and typists are employed
Where do
wherever there are offices. Nearly nine-tenths of them
they work?
work in urban centers. Geographically, the Northeast
and North Central regions account for about three-fifths of the total.
The majority (almost 8 out of 10) work for private employers for a
specified wage or salary; nearly 2 out of 10 are employed by Federal,
State, and local governments; the remainder are either self-employed
persons or unpaid family workers.



Employment Opportunities for Women

For a number of years—certainly more than a decade—unfilled job
openings for secretaries and stenographers have been reported con­
sistently in most sections of the country. There have also been plenty
of jobs for skilled typists. Private business schools and junior col­
leges report that they have requests for more graduates than they can
supply. Private and public placement agencies also report large
numbers of openings and few qualified applicants to fill them. The
“help wanted” columns in newspapers throughout the country ad­
vertise many job offers for these workers; in some, the number of
offers is greater than for any other type of work.
Much concern has been expressed by both industry and Govern­
ment over the persistent shortage of stenographers and typists and
the decreasing number of young persons taking secretarial training.
In August 1955, the Women’s Bureau and the Bureau of Employment
Security of the U. S. Department of Labor jointly sponsored a survey
in 31 selected major metropolitan areas to determine the nature and
extent of the shortages. It was found that “substantial and continued
demand characterized the labor market for secretaries, stenographers,
and typists.” From all indications, this demand will not be satis­
fied within the near future.
For some time to come, employment will continue to rise because of
anticipated further expansion of private business and Government
activities at all levels—local, State, and National. Since turnover
rates will probably remain high among young women in the field,
there will be many job opportunities. Stenographers and secretaries
will probably continue to have a wider choice of jobs than persons
with only typing skills.
Stenographic and typing positions generally offer steady employ­
ment. Unless there is a major decline in economic activity, these
-workers are usually assured of jobs.
The causes of the shortage of stenographers and typists
Will the
are rooted deeply in the social and economic conditions
that prevail. For a number of years, high levels of
continue? economic activity and continued growth in the size and
complexity of business operations have increased the amount of
recordkeeping and correspondence. This has simultaneously created
additional jobs in the stenographic and typing fields. At the same
time, the number of persons available for these jobs has been reduced
by several factors. The low birthrate of the 1930’s has resulted in a
smaller labor supply for all occupations in the 1950’s. As a conse­
quence, fewer young women are available for stenographic and typing

Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


careers Also, the recent trend toward earlier marriages and larger
families has affected the supply situation. In 1940, for example,
about 22 percent of all women 18 and 19 years old were married,
whereas in 1956 some 29 percent were married. Similarly, in 1940
about 51 percent of the women 20 to 24 years of age were married,
and in 1956, the proportion was 63 percent. Live births have risen
from less than 20 per 1,000 population in the 1930’s and early 1940’s
to 25 per 1,000 population. The effect has been to reduce still further
the number of young women who enter the labor market and con­
tinue to work for an extended period of time.
Another limitation affecting the supply is the decreasing number of
students taking commercial courses in high school with the intention
of working as typists and stenographers. In Washington, D. C.,
high schools, for example, about 3,200 students studied shorthand in
1940; in 1954, only 1,000. This is a decline of almost 70 percent.
Total high-school enrollments during this period dropped only 31
percent. Typing enrollments presented a similar picture. In 1940,
there were 4,600 students enrolled in typing courses; in 1954, there
were only 3,300. This decrease becomes especially significant when
the continuing need of Federal Government agencies in Washington
for secretaries, stenographers, and typists is considered.
Clearly, the supply of young people trained in typing and stenog­
raphy is being affected not only by the relatively smaller numbers in
the population available for such training but also by the increasing
numbers of girls and boys who are preparing to go to college. College
enrollments of women have increased by more than 50 percent in the
last 10 years, despite a decrease of 10 percent in the number of collegeage (18 to 24) women in the population. In 1946, there were 661,000
women enrolled in college; in 1956, more than a million. Thus, secre­
tarial, stenographic, and typing jobs, as well as other clerical occupa­
tions, are receiving increasing competition from professional and
semiprofessional fields which offer greater prestige and, possibly,
higher income potential.
High-school students preparing for college must follow a curriculum
which qualifies them for college entrance. Customarily, this does not
include typing and shorthand though some may take these courses
in order to obtain short-term or part-time jobs or to use these skills in
connection with college studies.
There are shortages in professions in which women have tradi­
tionally found good employment opportunities, such as teaching,
library and social work, and nursing and other health specialties, as
well as in fields where men predominate. An increasing number of
girls are going to college to prepare for careers in these occupations.


Employment Opportunities for Women

In addition to competition from professional and semiprofessional
fields, there is competition from factory and service jobs. The num­
ber of women in these jobs has increased by some 80 percent since
1940; the number under 35 years of age increased more than 20 per­
cent. High levels of consumer demand for goods and services,
modernization of industrial plants and service facilities, and generally
higher wage levels, have undoubtedly attracted many women workers
who might otherwise have considered office work. Since office work
ordinarily demands relatively high expenditures for personal appear­
ance and dress, many women may prefer factory or service work in
which less emphasis is placed on personal appearance or where uni­
forms are substituted for the usual mode of dress. For women who
are homemakers as well as workers, this may constitute a substantial
cost differential in their clothing, personal care—and also in luncheon
A high-school education is sufficient for most factory jobs and,
for many, less may be acceptable. The initial wage may be higher than
that for a beginning typist or stenographer, and, as mentioned above,
work expenses may be lower and, therefore, white-collar work may not
offer enough compensating prestige.
Perhaps of greater significance than the diminishing
Are present number of students in training for stenographic and
typing jobs is the fact that many who acquire such
training do not meet employment standards. The
Civil Service Commission reports that in 1956 only
36 percent of those who took the qualifying typist’s examination for
work in Washington offices of the Federal Government passed the
test. Inaccuracy was a major disqualifying factor. Several local
public employment offices throughout the country also report that
many applicants for stenographic and typing jobs are low in speed and
accuracy, and that some employers who place job offers with the local
offices have had to relax their entrance standards. In 1953, a few
local offices testing shorthand applicants for jobs in private industry
began to test at the rate of 60 words per minute, which is a relatively
slow rate of speed. One area reports that 85 percent of applicants
tested could not take dictation at 60 words per minute and that only
5 percent could achieve 80 words—formerly the lowest acceptable
This suggests some action on the part of both the women who are
interested in securing these jobs and the employers who are badly in
need of help. The women themselves, through their schools, coun­
selors, and communities, can make a genuine effort to obtain the kind

Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


of training that meets higher-than-average standards and to take
advantage of any special training offered in their fields. Employers,
on the other hand, can meet the challenge by giving full support to
recognized training facilities in the community and by providing for
themselves a well-organized program of training on the job. There
are numerous examples of situations in which an employer (or group of
employers) has solved problems associated with a shortage of quali­
fied workers by introducing a well-planned training program. Some
have used “vestibule” training—that is, training on the actual job
but in a separate section away from the regular work areas; others
have instituted planned programs for training in the customary job
situation and surroundings; and others have paid for all or part of the
cost of specialized training off the job. In every case, positive re­
sults have been reported.
Can age ceilings !" spit° of tl,e increasing number of job openings
™r typists and stenographers and the reported
be raised?
shortage of qualified workers, hiring practices
and preferences of employers (as well as preferences of jobseekers)
continue to intensify the shortage.
Age ceilings have tended to limit the employment of many available
workers. Employer preferences for secretaries, stenographers, and
typists in the 18- to 35-year old range arc responsible in part for the
shortage, since women in these age groups available for careers are
few in number. Employment opportunities for the more mature
women workers have been, therefore, limited. Recently, however,
there have been indications that age restrictions are beginning to
lessen. To the extent that industry accepts older workers who are
available, shortages of stenographic and typing workers in some areas
may be partly alleviated. Together with training possibilities men­
tioned earlier, the elimination of artificial age barriers undoubtedly
offers the greatest challenge and opportunity to employers to solve
their problems in this skill area. Examples of successful programs of
this type are numerous. (See Women’s Bureau Bulletin No. 248,
“Older Women as Office Workers.”)
What other measures 0ther sources of potential stenographic and
would increase the
typmg service, afe
groups. In
several areas ol the country, local customs
and attitudes have prevented or limited
their employment in private industry.
Preferences of the job applicant regarding the location of the job,
duties, hours, and working conditions also tend to aggravate the


Employment Opportunities for Women

shortage for some employers. For example, even where job openings
are plentiful, the applicant may be reluctant to take a job because of
transportation problems. In the case of married women this is an
important consideration.
Where an individual applicant needs to take additional training in
order to qualify for a beginning job as typist or stenographer, the cost
may seem too high relative to the beginning salary and she may,
therefore, decide to take a job which requires no previous training.
Some firms have met this problem by offering to share the cost of
business-school training if the worker remains on the job for a stated
period of time.
The Secretarial Field
The key occupation in this group is that of secretary. The secretary
attends to such matters as correspondence and records of a private or
confidential character. Frequently, she has a minor executive status
and serves as the representative of her employer. She relieves him of
many detailed and routine duties. She may be called upon to super­
vise the work of other clerical employees. Every office has certain
methods and requirements of its own with which a competent secretary
must be completely familiar. She “learns the business,” so to speak,
fi'om the executives with whom she works.
The secretary must be skilled at typing and taking dictation and
must have a thorough knowledge of grammar, spelling, and punctua­
tion since much of her work consists of correspondence. Many
secretaries use shorthand or voice-recording machines instead of
taking dictation “by hand.” Some secretaries also compose replies
to letters for their employers.
The experienced secretary is expected to understand her employer’s
policies and procedures and to acquire a detailed knowledge of the
records maintained and used in her own office. In a large office, the
actual filing and maintenance of records is usually delegated to others,
often under the supervision of the secretary. It is frequently ad­
vantageous for a secretary to have some acquaintance with various
types of office machines, such as adding machines, calculators, and
duplicating machines, although she may seldom be expected to operate
The degree of skill, knowledge, and experience required and the
amount of responsibility involved in a specific job depends, to a large
extent, upon the relative rank of the executive for whom a secretary
works. For example, the secretary-stenographer usually performs

Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


secretarial duties for one or more junior executives. She may take
dictation, type, keep records, and perform other routine office work
that does not involve a great deal of responsibility. The junior secre­
tary usually performs the same kind of duties for executives at the
next higher level. She may also be responsible for the flow of clerical
work in the office, interviews, arranging appointments, and routine
correspondence. The private or senior secretary’s duties are usually
performed for a key executive. Consequently, she occupies a posi­
tion of greater responsibility and has more varied work assignments
than the secretary-stenographer or junior secretary. She customarily
performs a number of assignments on her own initiative.
Secretaries with a special interest in a particular profession or field
of activity such as medicine, law, education, or politics, can usually
find opportunities in these fields. Previous experience in the field or
certain specialized training may be required, however.
Stenographic Work
A stenographer must be skilled in shorthand, transcription of notes,
and typing. Stenographers who take and transcribe dictation of a
routine nature are sometimes called junior stenographers. They are
expected to have a general knowledge of the employer’s business
practices, and to be able to use general business terms and expressions
correctly. Usually they work under relatively close supervision.
A stenographer who knows her employer’s specific policies and
practices and who works under a minimum of supervision is usually
called a senior stenographer. Competent and experienced senior
stenographers are often chosen to fill secretarial jobs.
In addition to taking dictation and transcribing notes, many
stenographers compile and type reports, answer telephones, or operate
a telephone switchboard. Some operate office machines, such as
adding machines, calculators, and duplicators, or perform other clerical
duties. These workers are usually called clerk-stenographers, and
may be either junior or senior, depending on their experience and
the amount of responsibility assigned to them.
One of the lines of advancement for stenographers is through spe­
cialization in a field requiring a technical background and knowledge.
Those who develop such a specialty are frequently called technical
stenographers. Foreign language, legal, police, engineering, ad­
vertising, radio-script, public relations, and medical stenography
are some of the fields in which many acquire specialized backgrounds.
Public stenographers usually are self-employed; however, some work
for firms that provide public stenographic services. Since most public
stenographers serve a wide variety of business and professional


Employment Opportunities for Women

people, they must know the terminology and practices of many types
of businesses and professions. Those who specialize in a particular
field, such as patents or law, have usually had many years of previous
experience in the field.
The court reporter is also a special kind of stenographer. In this
work, great emphasis is placed upon speed and absolute accuracy.
These workers record testimony, judicial opinion, and other pro­
ceedings in a court of law. They may use either shorthand or a short­
hand machine.
Within the job field for stenographers, experienced shorthandmachine operators or stenotypists have a relatively high status in
terms of salary and developed skills. A stenographer, secretary, or
court reporter may use a shorthand machine in her work. Highly
skilled operators are able to take dictation much faster with a machine
than is usually possible by hand.
Typing Jobs
The typist makes copies of all kinds of written material and may cut
stencils for the reproduction of much of this material. She may
type material reproduced in sound on a recording machine. In
addition to typing, she often performs a variety of other clerical
duties, such as answering telephones, checking and proofreading copy,
and filing.
Each business has its own requirements and specialities, and the
duties of a typist, as well as her job title, vary accordingly. In many
cases she combines specified clerical duties with typing. Such workers
are generally classified as clerk-typists, but their job title in a par­
ticular firm frequently identifies the forms or documents on which
they work. Among some of the jobs of this type are address-change
clerks, policy writers, and cancellation clerks in insurance offices;
ticketing clerks and tabular typists in banks; record clerks in hotels
and restaurants; and lithography typists in printing and publishing
firms. A more complete list of these jobs and descriptions of the
duties is given in the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, published by
the U. S. Department of Labor and available in most libraries.
Junior, or class “B,” typists usually type fairly simple copy, such
as routine forms from hand written or typed drafts which are rela­
tively clear. Senior, or class “A,” typists copy material in final form
from “rough” or involved di'afts requiring ability to understand tech­
nical terms, abbreviations, and printer’s symbols and to rearrange or
combine materials from various sources. They may have to plan
how to type complicated statistical tables.

Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


There are several specialized machines equipped with a keyboard
similar to that of a typewriter. The typist who learns to operate
such a machine, either through a special training course or on the job,
can often increase her employment and advancement opportunities!
Varitypists type materials for reproduction by various offset proc­
esses, using a machine with removable type faces of several different
styles and sizes. A skilled varitypist designs layouts, plans compli­
cated forms and tables, and selects suitable type faces. Automatictypewriter operators use a machine that types copies of letters or other
materials from a specially prepared perforated roll similar to a playerpiano roll. One operator may attend several automatic typewriters
at the same time. Telegraph or teletype operators use a machine with
a typewriter keyboard to send and receive messages to and from vari­
ous destinations. The operator may be required to code messages,
names, addresses, or destinations, and count the number of words
in the message, as well as to perform other clerical duties. Embossingmachine operators run a machine which automatically embosses
names, addresses, code numbers, and similar information on metal
plates for use in duplicating and addressing machines.

Figure 2. Typing skills are basic to most clerical occupations. This picture shows a
beginner’s hands on the typewriter keys. How can you tell that she is not an ex­
perienced typist?
443163°—57-------- 3

Employment Opportunities for Women


Job requirements for secretaries, stenographers, and typists vary
with the size and function of the office in which the job is located,
the kind of industry, and the particular requirements of the individual
employer. Employers frequently demand combinations of skills and
backgrounds for specific jobs. For example, in hiring a typist, the
employer may specify that she know, or be willing to learn, how to
operate a switchboard, keep records of a certain kind, and operate a
particular office machine or cash register—in addition to typing.
Private secretaries are usually required to take care of certain personal
matters for their employers, for example, a personal checking account,
travel arrangements, and personal appointments of various kinds.
mucfl Although employer specifications differ widely, there
f n are some requirements which are almost universal.
‘ n eded? ^1C basic educational requirement is high-school graduis ne
• ation. The job applicant should possess a good knowl­
edge of spelling, punctuation and grammar, particularly for steno­
graphic and secretarial positions. She should be able to read rapidly
and to understand and remember what she reads. Additional training;
beyond high school is helpful and may be specified for certain types of
positions, such as legal or medical stenographer or secretary. College
training may be required where the job is clearly designated as a
“stepping stone” or trainee position for a higher-level professional or
administrative position. Business-administration and liberal-arts
graduates with typing and stenographic skills have a distinct ad­
vantage over most other applicants for positions as stenographers and
The great majority of women employed as secretaries, stenographers,
and typists in 1950 were high-school graduates. Sixty-three percent
had completed 4 years of high school; and another 24 percent had at
least 1 year of education beyond high school, as the following table

Educational level

All educational levels:
4 years or more
1 to 3 years
High school:
4 years or more
1 to 3 years------------------------------Eighth grade or less---------------------------------------------------------------------------




Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


Even for a beginning job as typist or clerk-typist, high-school
graduation is preferred, and increasingly it is becoming a requirement
of many firms. Because of the shortage, however, applicants 16 to
18 years of age who have completed 2 or more years of high school
and can type 40 to 50 words a minute are accepted for some typing
jobs. But their opportunities for advancement are very limited
unless they succeed in adding to their formal education after working
How many words
skill is required for all these positions.
per minute?
For secretaries and stenographers, speed and
accuracy in taking dictation and transcribing
notes are also expected. Most employers have their own speed
standards for dictation, transcription, and typing; some standards
are higher than average; others, lower. The following tables indicate
some average working speeds acceptable to many employers:
Acceptable working speeds for secretaries and stenographers
Words per minute


Beginning stenographer_________
Senior stenographer and secretary.
Court reporter_________________

150 or more





Typists are not required to know shorthand, but they must have the
ability to type rapidly and accurately. An indication of average
typing speeds generally acceptable for specific typing occupations is
as follows:
Minimum typing speeds generally acceptable for typists


Clerk typist---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 40-50
General typist-------------------------------------------------------------------------------49-55
Technical typist ________________________________ _______ _
Dictating machine typist. _
Teletypist-------------------------------------------------------------------------- ■40-60

Where can specialized ^ourses
typinS> shorthand, and office
training be obtained? P™ctlf and Procedure are now being
offered in most large high schools and a
considerable number of smaller ones, as well as in private business
schools and in some colleges. Such courses, together with English
and other required courses, provide the basic skills and knowledge
needed by the prospective workers in this field. Business arithmetic,
business law, bookkeeping, and training in the operation of various


Employment Opportunities for Women

business machines are also helpful and can be important “stepping
stones” to more responsible positions in firms where such skills are
widely used. Training above the high-school level is needed for many
stenographic positions and may be required as a substitute for ex­
perience in secretarial positions. Some secretaries find that special
courses in the principles of business administration, also home study
of books and publications about the industry in which they wish to
work, are very valuable in helping them to understand the employer’s
Many legal secretaries either have some legal training or have taken
special courses to acquaint themselves with legal practices and ter­
minology. The medical secretary must be thoroughly familiar with
medical terms. Junior colleges and some private schools offer spe­
cialized courses in medical secretaryship, including training in simple
laboratory techniques. Some offer elementary courses in anatomy
and physiology, first aid, and psychology.
Aptitude and interest tests can be very helpful in
a ° f1"
evaluating the skills, potential capacity, and posqua i ca *ons sjj^e interests of a person who is planning to pursue a
are needed.
particular career, such as that of secretary, stenog­
rapher, or typist. Available on request at many local public em­
ployment offices are aptitude tests for clerical occupations as well as
proficiency tests in typing, stenography, and spelling. The results
of these tests, as interpreted by the public employment service
counselor, may be used by both the applicant and her school ad­
visers. These tests are given without charge, as a public service.
For most types of office work, manual and finger dexterity and good
vision are essential. A number of business organizations and Gov­
ernment agencies require that applicants pass a proficiency test
before they can be hired. Many also require a routine physical ex­
amination, which is usually made by the company physician or through
arrangements with private or public health physicians. Stenographic
and typing workers must be able to maintain a sitting position for
long periods of time and to use eyes, hands, and fingers constantly.
A physical handicap need not be a barrier to employment, however,
so long as the handicap does not interfere with job performance. The
work is not strenuous.
Promptness, neatness, a pleasant and friendly manner, and an
attractive personal appearance, particularly where meeting the public
is involved, arc usually specified as desirable for all office workers.
For responsible secretarial positions, discretion, good judgment,
initiative, and ability to make decisions are important.

Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


“Want-ad” sections of newspapers repeatedly request secretaries,
stenographers, and typists who are “attractive,” “personable,”
“pleasant,” and “able to get along with others.” One of the specifica­
tions most frequently included in employer requirements is a limita­
tion on maximum age. A strong preference is expressed for younger
workers. Many employers specify an age range of 18 to 35 years;
others specify an upper age limit of 45 years. In 1950, the average
(median) age of women working in these occupations was 25.8 years.
This was 11 years below the average age reported for all women
How much do ^am‘n£s
secretaries, stenographers, and typists
vary according to location, size, and type of business
workers earn? in which the>T are employed, responsibility or skill
' level of the job, length of the workweek, and length
of service and experience.
Average salaries tend to conceal variations. For example, an ex­
perienced secretary in one organization may be receiving $65 per week
and one in another organization with similar responsibilities may he
getting $85.
A survey of wages and related benefits for office workers in 17
metropolitan areas in 1956-57 was made by the Department of Labor’s
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of all the occupations included, those of
secretary, general stenographer, and typist (class B) had the largest
numbers of women. Among women office workers, secretaries had
the highest average weekly salaries in most areas, ranging from
$65.50 in Memphis to $84 in Los Angeles. Weekly salaries of general
stenographers were roughly $12 below those of secretaries, and class B
typists earned on the average about $12 less than stenographers.
Slightly more than half of the women office workers (all occupations,
including office-machine operators) had a workweek of 40 hours.
Most of the others worked somewhat less than 40 hours a week,
typically about 87% hours. The wages reported here are the standard
rates paid for a standard workweek. They do not include overtime
pay; and they do not apply to part-time workers.
The accompanying table indicates the general salary level of secre­
taries, stenographers, and typists in the 17 cities surveyed.

Employment Opportunities for Women


Average weekly wage of secretaries, stenographers, and typists in 17 metropolitan areas
during 1956-57


Metropolitan area


$73. 00
72. 50
67. 50
76. 00
83. 00
83. 00
74. 00
74. 00
84. 00
65. 50
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn __ 72. 00
82. 50
New York, N. Y_____ — 74. 00
Philadelphia, Pa
79. 00
Pittsburgh, Pa
- ~
77. 00
San Francisco-Oakland, Calif— 82. 50
Seattle, Wash----------------- - 77. 00

Birmingham, Ala
-- Boston, Mass
. .
.. Buffalo, N. Y
- ----Chicago, 111 _____ _
Cleveland, Ohio........
Dallas, Tex _ _ . ..
Kansas City, Mo
-Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif__


$61. 00
62. 50
$62. 00
58. 50 ______
69. 50
64. 00
70. 00
78. 00
77. 50
68. 00
79. 00
64. 00
63. 00
72. 00 ______
82. 00
56. 50
60. 50
79. 00
66. 50
70. 00
60. 50
65. 50
71. 00
65. 00
71. 00
69. 00
66. 50
69. 50

Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Class A

$56. 00
63. 00
55. 50
61. 50
67. 50
68. 50
56. 50
66. 00
69. 00
55. 50
56. 00
64. 50
58. 00
61. 00
62. 50
66. 00
62. 00



$48. 50
51. 00
48. 50
52. 50
58. 50
57. 00
49. 00
51. 50
59. 00
45. 50
50. 50
56. 50
49. 50
52. 00
54. 50
57. 00
51. 50

Bull. 1202 Series—Individual areas.

Salaries for white-collar workers in the Federal Government are
established for specified grades, each higher grade denoting a more
advanced level of skill or responsibility. Each grade has a salary
range, and each employee is given periodic increases until the top
salary for the grade is reached.
Most clerical workers enter Government service through examina­
tion at the grade 2 or 3 level. There are, however, a few clerical
workers employed at grade 1. At the present time, beginning and top
salaries of the first 6 grades are as follows:




Annual salary

$2,690 to
$2,960 to
$3,176 to
$3,415 to
$3,670 to
$4,080 to


Most secretarial workers are working at grades higher than the
entrance grades. In August 1954, nine-tenths of the 22,783 women
employed as secretaries by Government agencies were in grades 4, 5,
and 6.

Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


The majority of women stenographers and clerk-stenographers in
the Government also are working in grades higher than the entrance
grades. In 1954, 9 out of every 10 of the 3,555 stenographers, and
nearly all of the 46,349 clerk-stenographers were in grades 3 and 4.
Of the 77,368 women employed as clerk-typists in 1954, about
two-thirds were in grade 3, and most of the others were in grade 2.
About 9 out of 10 typists (junior typists) were in grade 2 jobs, but the
majority of the specialty typists, such as varitypists and telegraphictypewriter operators, were employed in grade 3 positions.
Highly qualified secretaries who have many years of experience in
the work of a particular office or agency of the Government may be
able to advance to administrative assistant positions above the top
grade indicated on page 16.
The chances of steady jobs for stenographic and typing workers are
generally good. Unless some major business decline occurs and per­
sons of relatively high educational attainment combined with office
skills begin to compete for available office jobs, these workers are
usually assured of employment. This is particularly true when they
possess stenographic as well as typing skills and experience.
In addition to the regularity of employment, office work is rela­
tively free from hazards, and job surroundings are likely to be pleasant.
Some secretaries and stenographers have private offices or share an
office with one or two persons.
What about ^wo wee^s’ Paid vacation each year, regardless of
length of service, is the usual practice in private in­
dustry. A few firms specify 1 week’s vacation after
the first year of employment and 2 weeks after the second and suc­
cessive years; and a few grant 3 weeks. Vacations can usually be
taken whenever the employee desires, provided that the office can
spare her services at the time. Vacation leave for Federal office
workers is divided into three categories according to length of em­
ployment. For workers with less than 3 years of full-time employ­
ment, 13 days of annual leave is the general rule. Twenty days per
year is allowed with 3 years but less than 15 years of service and 26
days to those with 15 years or more of service. Annual leave in the
Federal Government is used to cover not only vacations but all
authorized absence from the job except for illness.


Employment Opportunities for Women

Sick-leave plans vary with the employer. Some employers in
private industry grant sick leave with pay, but each has his own regu­
lations as to the number of days allowed. A uniform sick-leave plan
is in effect in the Federal Government. Each employee is entitled to
13 days per year, with unused sick leave carried over from year to
Office workers generally receive several holidays with pay. The
actual number and specific type of holiday depend upon the location
and the employer. National holidays are almost always granted, and
some workers are given State and local holidays as well.
A substantial number of employers provide group
. a a °l* life insurance of some type for their office workers.
insurance/ TIn some instances,
. .
•, n ,,
by the em­
ployer; in others, it is shared by employee and employer; and in still
others, the entire premium is paid by the employee. Coverage may
be provided through life, sickness, accident, or hospitalization
Retirement or pension plans are also becoming customary in private
industry. In 1956-57, from 61 to 85 percent of all office workers in
17 major metropolitan areas were employed in businesses which pro­
vided a retirement or pension plan in addition to coverage under oldage and survivors insurance. In the Federal Government, all workers
appointed to a permanent job share in a retirement plan.
What other Stenographic and typing occupations offer many ad­
vantages. Several of these have been indicated in the
U ,,<fhcre’S Prcc(;ding sections. Clerical work is usually clean,
indoors, and relatively nonhazardous; it offers con­
tinuous employment, regular hours, paid vacations and holidays, and
opportunities for advancement to higher positions and higher salaries.
On the other hand, the work may be too confining to suit an athletic
or outdoor type person. Although some of the work may be diversi­
fied, there is a substantial amount of routine and repetitive work.
Except in the more responsible secretarial jobs, opportunities for using
one’s own initiative or doing creative work are likely to be very limited.
Office work has many attractions for the girl planning to work a few
years before marrying. First, the training period required for em­
ployment is not a lengthy one. Many persons with a comparatively
short training period have become skilled typists and stenographers.
This may be significant to young women who do not plan to attend
college directly after high school. Second, jobs are usually available
in all sections of the country, and qualified workers have excellent

Secretaries, Stenographers, Typists


chances of obtaining employment in practically any community or
industry. In addition, these occupations offer good avenues for
meeting people, both occupationally and socially.
Persons working in stenographic and secretarial occupations have
opportunities for advancement to responsible positions both within
and outside the clerical field. Many of today’s successful business­
women started their careers as secretaries, stenographers, or typists.
What are the
Wit^n the clerical field, the promotional path for
a general secretary can lead to a more responsible
for promotion? J°b as a Private or personal secretary. It may
also lead to such positions as office manager, ad­
ministrative assistant, or a highly specialized clerk. In many cases,
advancement comes in terms of more responsibilities and higher
salaries without any change in job title.
The positions outside the clerical field to which a woman, starting
as a secretary, may advance depend on the knowledge she acquires,
and her ability and efficiency, as well as on the policy of the firm. It
is interesting to note that a well-traveled road to many jobs in ad­
vertising, public relations, radio, television, and writing is the secre­
tarial route. In the field of industrial editing, for example, many
women who write and edit publications for industrial and business
organizations spend a large part of their working time performing
secretarial duties. Especially ambitious secretaries often continue
their education by taking evening courses in nearby colleges and
studying published materials in their special field of interest.
A general stenographer may advance to such positions as technical
stenographer, secretary, or administrative assistant. Many stenog­
raphers become office supervisors or operators of shorthand and other
special office machines.
There is generally a high degree of transferability in typing occupa­
tions since they all involve the use of standard, electric, or special
machines equipped with a keyboard. Junior typists can advance to
positions as technical typists or as operators of specialty typewriters.
When a typist has mastered shorthand, she can be promoted to the
position of a stenographer. Many typists have also become highly
skilled in the operation of various office machines, such as bookkeeping
and billing machines. The typist who takes advantage of oppor­
tunities to learn both on and off the job often finds the way to a better
job and a higher salary.


Employment Opportunities for Women

There are several professional associations in this field. The largest
is the National Secretaries Association, which has been organized for
about 15 years. A major purpose of this organization is to elevate
standards in the secretarial field. To this end, it has developed an
examination for certified professional secretaries sponsored by the
Institute for Certifying Secretaries. The association aims to define
more clearly the status of the secretary in the business structure, to
establish high educational standards and, thereby, to gain recogni­
tion for secretaries as professional workers. At present, the organiza­
tion has about 17,000 members.
The National Shorthand Reporters Association, with over 2,000
members, is another outstanding professional organization.
Many office workers, particularly among employees of large or­
ganizations but also in small firms, belong to one of the labor unions
affiliated with the AFL-CIO. In private industry, many are mem­
bers of the Office Employees’ International Union, which reports a
membership of more than 50,000. Clerical workers in the Federal
Government may join the American Federation of Government Em­
ployees or other unions; and in State, county, and local government,
the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.
Clerical workers in the post offices have access to several large unions
for postal workers. In addition, some office workers are members of
the union that bargains for production, sales, service, or other non­
office employees of their firm.
Still others belong to independent organizations which represent
only the workers in a single establishment and are not affiliated with
a national union.

and Cashiers

The specialized machines used in business today make possible
the smooth and efficient recording and processing of a tremendous
amount of information and data. These machines—calculators,
bookkeeping machines, tabulators, cash registers, key-punch machines,
duplicators, and others—save an incalculable amount of time in office
and trade activities.
The number of women office-machine operators and cashiers far
exceeds the number of men; more than 4 out of 5 are women. Women
doing this work in 1950 numbered close to one-third million.
Office-Machine Operators
One of the specialty machines used widely in offices is the billing
machine, on which statements, bills, and invoices are prepared.
Billing machines may bo of the computing or the noncomputing type.
The operator of a computer-type billing machine transcribes from
office records the customer’s name, address, and items purchased or
services rendered, using keys similar to those of a typewriter. She
calculates totals, net amounts, and discounts, and then enters the
results on a bill, using a set of numbered keys. The operator of a
noncomputing billing machine, sometimes called a fanfold operator,
may use an adding machine or a calculating machine for computations.
Calculating machines are used to perform automatically the basic
arithmetical computations of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and
dividing. They are also used for other mathematical computations
which involve several combinations of the basic computations. They



Employment Opportunities for Women

are especially useful in computing discounts, interest, percentages,
indexes, and calculations involved in taking inventories. The
calculating-machine operator must press numbered keys on a keyboard
in a particular order and manipulate various other keys or levers in
order to obtain the correct computations.
She must acquire considerable operating skill and experience, as
well as a high degree of accuracy, for her calculations cannot be veri­
fied except by repeating the entire operation or by special rechecking.
Verification of computations is done by highly skilled and experienced
operators. Calculating-machine operators have various job titles in
different kinds of businesses, including calculation checker, comp­
tometer operator, extension clerk, final-and-delayed bill analysis
clerk, balancing clerk, integrator operator, policy change calculator,
rate analysis clerk, and subtraction clerk.
The bookkeeping-machine operator calculates totals and net amounts
and records them on an account record. She also records such in­
formation as name, address, items purchased or sold, and services
rendered. The operator must adjust and set the machine carriage
and manipulate the keyboard in order to record the desired informa­
tion. Bookkeeping-machine operators may be designated as I, II,
III, or A, B, C—depending upon the complexity of the accounts and
items on which they work, the amount of skill required, and super­
visory duties required of them. In some offices, bookkeeping-machine
operators are required to know bookkeeping procedures. These
operators are known by a variety of job titles; among them are account
clerk, accounting-machine operator, bookkeeper, poster, postingmachine operator, and recording clerk.
The duplicating machine is a familiar piece of equipment in most
offices. These machines reproduce copies of material typed on
stencils or imprinted on a gelatin surface. The duplicating-machine
operator attaches the stencil to the cylinder, or rolling device, of the
machine and places on the “feed” table the paper on which the printed
matter is to be reproduced. She then makes adjustments for ink
flow, paper-feed counter, and cylinder speed; and presses the levers or
buttons that start and stop the machine. Duplicating-machine opera­
tors may be classified in several different categories, according to the
complexity of the machine. Many operators are given the job title of
the trade name of the machine.
Certain office machines are used primarily by large firms that find
it necessary to record and process a great deal of information. Such
firms frequently use a number of different types of coding, sorting,
and tabulating machines to record and compile information. The
following machine operations are among those most commonly used.

Office-Machine Operators and Cashiers


Key-punch machines are used to record information which has been
coded for special cards. The machines, similar in operation and action
to typewriters, punch a series of holes in the cards in a specified se­
quence. The operator places the card in the machine and sets the

A.—Here, a bookkeeping ma­
chine of a type found in many
industries is being used to
make entries in a ledger.

B.—This automatic bookkeep­
ing machine, which is suitable
for large banking systems, can
handle all bookkeeping de­
tails of 50,000 checking ac­
counts daily.

Figure 3.

These women operate bookkeeping machines.


Employment Opportunities for Women

carriage for the perforating operation. She then depresses the cor­
rect symbols on the keyboard, thereby transcribing the information
into perforations on the cards.
Frequently, these cards go to a verifier operator who operates a key­
board-type machine that checks and verifies the accuracy of the in­
formation punched on the cards to make sure that the correct entries
have been made. The verifier operator presses keys on a keyboard
corresponding to the keyboard used when the card was originally
punched. The verifying machine fails to operate when a key is
pressed on an incorrectly punched card, that is, when the hole punched
is not in the correct position. The operator, therefore, removes the
incorrect card and makes a new card on the key-punch machine.
Sorting machines are used to select automatically from a large
group of cards certain ones of a desired series and classification, T-he
sorting-machine operator places the cards in the feed box of the
machine and sets the controls of the selecting device. She starts the
machine, which feeds the cards past a selecting device, and then re­
moves the cards from the separate bins into which they fall.
After the cards have been sorted, they go to the tabulating-machine
operator, who places them in a machine that automatically translates
the information represented by the holes in the cards and prints it
on form sheets or other records. The operator sets or adjusts the
machine to make the desired calculations and “print-out.”
The cashier’s job is a very familiar one to most people, since cashiers
deal directly with the public in restaurants, hotels, theaters, grocery
stores, and many other retail and service establishments, as well as in
offices. The cashier uses a cash register to record by means of num­
bered and lettered keys and a recording tape, cash receipts and pay­
ments. She may record amounts due on accounts, balance the ac­
counts when payments arc made, make change, prepare bank deposits,
and perform a variety of related duties. In doing some of this work,
she may use an adding machine, calculator, or other office machine.
Some cashiers are responsible only for recording on the machine tape
the prices of items selected by a customer, totaling these prices by
machine, receiving payment, making change, and balancing out the
receipts and items listed at the end of the day. Others, however, may
be responsible for the receipts and payments of a number of other
cashiers, or for preparing payrolls, or keeping accounts.

Office-Machine Operators and Cashiers


Many cashiers who work in retail stores are members of the Retail
Clerks International Association or the Retail, Wholesale and De­
partment Store Union. These unions are affiliated with the AFL-CIO
and include some office workers, as well as salespersons and cashiers.
Office-machine operators and cashiers are required to be able to
operate their machines with a high degree of speed and accuracy.
Cashiers must also be able to make change rapidly and correctly, and
some may be required to have a knowledge of bookkeeping. Training
in the operation of various business machines, including cash registers,
is given in many high schools and private business schools and busi­
ness colleges. Some firms train their own workers on the job and pay
them a trainee’s rate until they reach a certain level of proficiency.
The training time required for these jobs varies from a short demon­
stration and practice period on the job to as much as one or two years
in school, depending upon whether the worker needs to know only
the routine operation of the machine or whether greater responsi­
bilities are involved. This is particularly true for bookkeepingmachine operator and cashier jobs which involve payroll or special
accounts work and require a good knowledge of bookkeeping pro­
cedures and practices.
Beginner jobs for operators of sorting machines, duplicating ma­
chines, bookkeeping machines, and for cashiers (for example, grocery
checkers) can be learned on the job through a short demonstration
and practice period up to about 30 days. Where the job involves more
than the routine operation of the machine, however, the training time
may run as long as 3 to 6 months.
Calculating-machine or comptometer operators average 30 days to
3 months of training time, while operators of billing machines, key­
punch machines, tabulating machines, and verifiers average 3 to 6
months of training.
Accuracy is extremely important in this work, particularly for
cashiers who frequently handle large amounts of cash. Hand and
finger dexterity is a requirement for all operators of business machines.
For most of these jobs persons with a high-school education are pre­
ferred. Cashiers, computing-machine, and key-punch operators
may be required to be high-school graduates. In addition, cashiers
and operators of bookkeeping machines and computing machines
must be good at numbers. Typing ability is helpful in operating
most of these machines. Good vision is needed for some types of
machines. A memory for details is another important asset and, es­


Employment Opportunities for Women

pecially in the case of cashiers who must be “bonded” (insured against
theft), honesty is a prime requirement.
In cooperation with business firms, some manufacturers of special­
ized business machines provide training courses in the operation of
their particular machines. After a specified training period, the
trainee usually receives a certificate which indicates that she has
satisfactorily completed the course.
Office-machine operators and cashiers are employed in almost every
industry. Some 30 percent of 117,000 office-machine operators in
1950 were employed by manufacturing industries, the largest numbers
being in firms manufacturing electrical machinery, equipment, and
supplies and motor vehicles and equipment. These two industries
together employed more than 5 percent of the group. Wholesale
and retail trade firms employed more than 20 percent of the total.
General merchandise and department stores alone employed about
5 percent of the total, and wholesale food firms were next in impor­
tance. Finance, insurance, and real estate employed almost 15 per­
cent of all office-machine operators, with some 5 percent in banking
and credit agencies and more than 5 percent in insurance companies.
Federal, State, and local governments employed just over 10 percent
of the total.
The majority of cashiers—more than 60 percent of the 184,000 re­
ported in 1950—were employed in retail trade. The largest numbers
were working in food stores (more than 20 percent of the total);
restaurants and other eating and drinking places (over 10 percent);
general merchandise and department stores (over 10 percent); and
clothing and drug stores. Additional large numbers were employed
by theaters and motion-picture houses (10 percent of the total), and
by hotels and lodging houses, insurance companies, and banking and
credit agencies.
Many of the working conditions described for secretaries, stenog­
raphers, and typists also apply to office-machine operators and
cashiers. However, some office-machine operators, and also some
typists, work in large rooms where many machines are in use. Unless
the ceilings and walls are soundproofed, the noise of the machines
may make it difficult to talk or to hear what others say. Cashiers

Office-Machine Operators and Cashiers


may work in the box-office of a theater, in a restaurant, or in a grocery
or other retail store where the surroundings are quite different from an
office. For some jobs, they may have to work at night or may have
to be on their feet most of the time. Since opportunities for employ­
ment exist in a wide variety of industries, a competent worker may be
able to choose the kind of job surroundings which best suit her.
Many aspects of office work are the same for all employees, and girls
interested in becoming office-machine operators or cashiers will want
to look through part 1, especially the section on “Advantages of
Office Work.” This section contains information they will want to
have about the usual office practices with regard to working hours,
holidays, vacations, sick leave, and health and insurance plans.
Average wages of office-machine operators are reported by the De­
partment of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in the same report
that covers secretaries, stenographers, and typists. In any city,
beginning pay rates would be lower, and top rates would be higher,
than the average. Moreover, the figures are for a standard work­
week (usually 37K to 40 hours) and do not include any overtime pay.
The average wages of women operators of eight different kinds of
office machines are provided in the following table.
Average weekly wage of women in selected office-machine occupations, in 1 7
metropolitan areas during 1956-57
Billers, machine

machine operators

Metropolitan area

Atlanta, Ga.............
Birmingham, Ala.-Boston, Mass.
Buffalo, N. Y____
Chicago, 111 _ ___
Cleveland, Ohio__
Dallas, Tex
Kansas City, Mo...
Los Angeles-Long
Beach, Calif
Memphis, Tenn___
Paul, Minn____
New York, N. Y
Philadelphia, Pa__
Pittsburgh, Pa____
Portland, Oreg____
San FranciscoOakland, Calif__
Seattle, Wash..........



56. 00
58. 50

48. 50


. or




56. 00

$59. 00
68. 50
62. 50

$51. 50
50. 50
49. 50


62. 00

60. 00
51. 50

72. 50
52. 50


55. 50

66. 50
64. 00
68. 50

55. 50
53. 50
53. 00
55. 50

59. 50

63. 50
65. 50

76. 00
68. 50

60. 00

Source: U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.




$56. 00
59. 00
54. 50
67. 00
60. 50

63. 50

63. 50


82. 00
67. 50

66. 00
58. 50
62. 00
63. 50

56. 50
52. 50
52. 50
55. 50

58. 50
64. 50

62. 50
76. 00

69. 00
64. 50

62. 50
53. 50

65. 50



Bull. 1202 Series—Individual areas.


Employment Opportunities for Women

Office-machine operators usually enter Government employment at
the grade 2 level, which has a starting rate of $2,960 a year. However,
a study recently published by the Women’s Bureau, entitled Govern­
ment Careers for Women, shows that in 1954 three out of five women
employed by the Federal Government as office-machine operators
had advanced to grade 3 or 4, or even higher. The salary range for
grade 2 is $2,960 to $3,470 per year, and that for grade 4 is $3,415 to
$3,925 per year. The woman supervisor of a large office-machine
section may advance to grade 7, which currently pays $4,525 to
$5,335 per year. Some supervisors of office-machine operators reach
even higher grades.
Employment opportunities for both office-machine operators and
cashiers are expected to continue good during the remainder of the
1950’s and perhaps longer. The tremendous growth in the size and
complexity of business firms, increased Government activity, and
anticipated continued expansion of trade and service industries, to­
gether with the exceptionally high employee turnover typical of this
field, will provide large numbers of job openings. In addition, a
number of new jobs for cashiers will be created by greater use of self­
service systems in retail trade.
In part because of the current shortage of available workers for these
jobs, a number of banks, insurance companies, and other firms have
hired part-time workers and people in the older-age groups. Barring
a significant change in the employment situation, additional firms can
be expected to follow these practices.
The introduction of new office equipment, especially electronic data
processing machines, will in time no doubt create a greater need for
persons capable of performing more skilled jobs and reduce the num­
ber of office-machine operators required to perform routine jobs.
However, the cost of installing such machines is a significant factor
in limiting their widespread use to very large organizations. Smaller
firms may be expected to continue and expand their use of less com­
plicated and expensive office machines, thereby increasing the need for
office-machine operators.

Office-Machine Operators and Cashiers


For Further Reading
Persons interested in the occupations covered in this report, or in
other kinds of clerical or office work, will want to consult a number of
additional reports in this field. Listed below are some publications
which provide a great deal of information about various kinds of
office work. Most of them are available in public libraries. Publi­
cations of U. S. Government agencies for which prices are shown can
he purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Govern­
ment Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C.
Secretarial Field

Calling Professional Secretaries. National Secretaries Association, 222 West
11th Street, Kansas City 5, Mo. [Undated.] 11 pp.
Careers for Specialized Secretaries, by Juvenal L. Angel. Latin American In­
stitute Press. 1950. 12 pp. 25(4.
The Legal Secretary. Fact Sheet from the Job Department. Glamour Magazine.

1954. 5 pp. 100.
The Medical Secretary. Fact Sheet from the Job Department. Glamour Maga­
zine, 1954. 4 pp. 100.
Secretarial Work. High School Career Series, No. 4. Ladies Home Journal.
1948. 5 pp.



Help Wanted—Stenographers, Secretaries, Typists. Reprint from Employment
Security Review, November 1955. Bureau of Employment Security, U. S.
Department of Labor. 11 pp. (Free copies available from the Women’s
Stenographic Occupations—Occupational Guide No. 27. Michigan Employ­
ment Security Commission, Employment Service Division, Detroit, Mich.
Revised 1955. 24 pp. 250.
Typing Occupations—Occupational Guide, Detroit area. Michigan Employ­
ment Security Commission, Unemployment Compensation Division, Detroit 2,
Mich. 1949. 23 pp. 250.
Office Occupations—General

Office Occupations. U. S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Office of Education, Guidance and Student Personnel Section. February 1956.
4 pp.
Clerical Salary Survey. National Industrial Conference Board (460 Park Avenue,
New York), Conference Board Reports. Studies in Labor Statistics, No. 18.
1957. 32 pp. $1.50. (Distribution of Conference Board Reports is generally
limited to members and associates, but exception is made in the ease of schools,
colleges, and government agencies.)
Occupational Outlook Handbook: Employment information on major occupations
for use in guidance. 1957 edition. U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of
Labor Statistics, Bulletin 1215. 697 pp. U. S. Government Printing Office,


Employment Opportunities for Women

Washington, D. C., $4. Includes reports on the outlook in all major fields
of work. Preprints of the report on “Secretaries, Stenographers, and Typists”
are available free from the Women’s Bureau. Reprints of reports in other
fields employing large numbers of clerical workers, such as “Department
Stores and Their Workers,” “Insurance Occupations,” and “Banking Oc­
cupations,” will be available later.
The Occupational Outlook. Published quarterly by the U. S. Department of
Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. U. S. Government Printing Office, Wash­
ington, D. C., $1 per year; $0.30 per copy. See particularly Vol. I, No. 1
(Feb. 1957), which contains an article, “Employment Outlook for Clerical
Employment Opportunities for Women in Professional Accounting. U. S. De­
partment of Labor, Women’s Bureau, Bulletin 258. 1955. 40 pp. U. S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C. 200.
“Older” Women as Office Workers. U. S. Department of Labor, Women’s
Bureau, Bulletin 248. 1953. 64 pp. U. S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D. C. 250.
1956 Handbook on Women Workers. U. S. Department of Labor, Women’s
Bureau, Bulletin 261. 96 pp. U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
D. C. 350.