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Document Controller

Education and Training: High school diploma. Bachelor’s degree preferred.
Average Salary: $30,000
Job Outlook: Good

A document controller can have a number of duties depending on the exact specifications of the job. In general, a document controller is in charge of the document control management system for a corporation or organization. This person is responsible for important documents of the company or for personnel, and must receive the papers, maintain the collection, approve certain documents, distribute them to proper employees, and store documents in a safe place so they can be retained later. There are a number of different documents a document controller may deal with, including standard operating procedure papers, forms, drawings, applications, etc.

The document controller could also be charged with scanning important documents into an electronic storage system, and maintaining electronic and paper documents. They may keep track off all communication between departments, clients and the public, maintain a paper binder and electronic database of the communication and possibly templates of important documents that are used routinely. Document controllers are highly organized.

Document controllers also may be in charge of day-to-day operations like copying and documenting imaging equipment like scanners. Some are responsible for light repair work.

Education and Training Requirements

In high school, students should work on organizational and people skills if they’d like to become a document controller. Classes in math, business, and any others that teach organizational skills will be relevant to the student. There are a number of college degrees applicable to the career, including office management, administration, etc. Computer courses are essential, and any work with databases and imaging equipment is useful.

On-the-job training is the norm because each business or organization will have a different system to organize its documents. Professional studies at a vocational or technical school, or through a certification program can also lead to a job as document controller.

Getting the Job

A person with a high-school diploma can usually apply for a document controller position, though usually people will start out as in an administrative or clerk position before moving up to a document controller position. Work in an office setting will help a person secure the job. Student internships are a valuable away to gain access to jobs that may open up in the future.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Document controllers are expected to grow about as fast as the national average. Factors influencing growth include the need for businesses and organizations to retain and organize important documents. However, new technology, outsourcing, corporate downsizing, and other factors could negatively influence growth.

Document controllers can move into senior administrative positions and other jobs that require high-level organizational skills.

Working Conditions and Environment

Document controllers typically work in an office setting. They work a traditional 40-hour work week. It is not necessarily a stressful position, but certain projects could induce stress.

Salary and Benefits

The median annual wage for a document controller is similar to that of a secretary, and was about $30,000 in 2008. However, with advanced responsibilities, a document controller can earn up to $45,000-$50,000 depending on length of service, location, size of firm, and industry.

Where to Go for More Information

Association for Information and Image Management
1100 Wayne Ave., Ste. 1100
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
(301) 587-8202

Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210

International Association of Administrative Professionals
P.O. Box 20404
Kansas City, MO 64195-0404
(816) 891-6600

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness