What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Create indexes for documents like books, or directories
- You'll need to be highly organised, have a logical, methodical approach, and good English skills
- Most indexers combine this work with other related work like copy editing and proofreading or administration
You'll put together indexes for all kinds of documents to help users find the information they need easily. You'll work on documents like books, periodicals, technical manuals, reports and websites.
- Studying documents to get an overall idea of what they cover
- Identifying important words and phrases in the text
- Recording where they occur and putting them in alphabetical order
- Identifying the main topics and breaking them down into sections
- Cross-referencing related topics
- Organising the index so that information is easy to find,
- Indexing photographs, diagrams and other illustrations
- Using specialist computer software for sorting, formatting and printing
You could work from home or in an office.
This role would suit someone with thoroughness and attention to detail, administration skills, and excellent communication skills.
Direct application is possible. Many indexers have a higher education qualification like a degree, though this is not essential. Often, indexers start this work as a second career, using experience and in-depth knowledge that they've built up from their main area of work.
If you want to work in a specialist area, such as science or law, you'll need in-depth subject knowledge, which you could get from doing a relevant degree.
You may be able to start by doing a library, information and archive services advanced apprenticeship.
You can do a training course with the Society of Indexers by distance learning. This is a combination of online tutorials, assignments and assessments. Once completed, you'll be awarded accredited indexer status, recognised by employers as a first stage towards becoming a professional indexer.
Short workshops are run by The Society of Indexers, which give an overview of indexing together with practical exercises.
You could combine indexing with related areas such as proofreading and copywriting.