Naturally you'll need to be good at typing - fast and accurate - but when applying for jobs you'll probably see three terms used: copy typing, audio typing and shorthand typing. These refer to the different ways of producing typed documents. Each needs different skills. Some jobs will require all three, others might need just one.
Copy typing involves working from hand written, printed or typed documents.
Audio typing requires speedy typing as you listen to a dictated tape.
Shorthand typing is the most specialised of the three. You will take notes at conversation pace which can then be typed up properly later.
The work load of a typist is not as heavy as it was twenty years ago before computers came along and provided nice simple templates for everyone to use. The role therefore includes more than just typing and you should expect to carry out other administrative duties too. These might include:
Maintaining spreadsheets and databases
Answering the phone
Photocopying, faxing and franking
Managing the post
Typists are also often the nominated first aider in the building.