How Do I Become a Document Controller?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 12 December 2019
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There are no specific requirements to become a document controller, but it can be helpful to have a college degree, experience in the industry, and skills with office equipment and systems. Document controllers are responsible for managing the documents at a company or organization, work that can require a number of different skills, depending on the industry. Different companies may specify particular qualifications they expect from applicants and it can be helpful to review job openings in a given industry to learn more about the general expectations.

A person planning to work as a document controller may want to consider a college degree in a topic like business, mathematics, or communications. Some organizations have training programs to prepare people specifically for document control careers, including certification programs that provide specific training in particular industries. This can be helpful for people who want to work on confidential or sensitive material like medical records, where a knowledge of relevant laws as well as the industry is critical.


College degrees are not usually required to become a document controller, but they can help. While in college, internships can help people acquire knowledge of an industry as well as experience in the area of document control. It is also possible to start working directly in an industry without a degree, under the supervision of a head document controller who can provide on the job training. People in this position may want to consider extra training courses to develop skills and qualifications that may lead to promotions.

In some cases, companies expect specific certifications from applicants for these positions. It may be necessary to receive certification in a specific system to become a document controller, or to take courses to get familiar with legislative issues. Some industries, like the financial industry, are subject to heavy regulation, much of which surrounds documentation practices. Firms want controllers with adequate training and experience to avoid running afoul of the law.

Experience in the industry should also be paired with attendance at conferences and other events to develop professional contacts and learn about new developments. Once someone has become a document controller, the preferred standards may change, and it is necessary to keep pace with them to offer the best services to an employer. Trade organizations and other groups provide opportunities such as workshops, magazines, and conferences to allow people to learn more about developments in document control and proposed regulations that might impact their industries.


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