How Do I Become a Document Control Specialist?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2019
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Document control specialists manage the collection, storage, and retrieval of an organization’s internal documents. A high school education is typically required for entry-level employment, but a certain amount of college training may be needed for a management position. To become a document control specialist, you must also possess good organizational, computer, and clerical skills. Employment for this profession can usually be found in the healthcare, legal, and manufacturing fields, as well as educational and governmental institutions. Typical duties for a document control specialist include filing, distributing, and recovering printed and electronic documents.

In order to be a document control specialist, you will need a high school diploma and extensive on-the-job training. Most specialists begin this career in an entry-level position and assume additional responsibilities as their knowledge and skills increase. Certain employers may require you to complete a two- or four-year degree to work in a management position. Others may be willing to accept professional certification in place of a college degree. Specialized training and certification is available from internationally-recognized organizations, such as the Knowledge Management Professional Society (KMPro) and Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).


In addition to your formal education, you must also have very good organizational and clerical skills to become a document control specialist. These professionals are required to organize and track the use of hundreds of documents on a daily basis. You must be capable of creating and managing both printed and electronic filing systems to succeed in this occupation. Excellent computer skills and familiarity with a variety of software applications will also be needed for this job. Management-level positions usually require good communication and leadership skills along with the ability to train other workers.

After you become a document control specialist, employment can be found with a number of different organizations. These professionals are frequently employed in the healthcare, technology, and manufacturing field, as well as the construction and technology industry. Governmental and educational institutions also utilize document control systems, along with banks and other financial service companies. You may be able to find work with an independent document control service if traditional employment is unavailable. Certain employers in the biomedical or legal field may require specialized training prior to employment.

These specialists typically engage in activities such as organizing and filing various printed and electronic documents. They make certain that the current version of a document is available and keep track of its location and use. These professionals also use scanners to make electronic copies of paper documents and create filing systems for storage and retrieval. Management-level specialists may be required to develop and implement procedures and policies for document sharing and conduct employee training classes.


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