Job Analysis: Job Descriptions: Action Words

Well written duty statements contain action words which accurately describe what is being done. The following is a list of acceptable action words. It is not a complete list, and you may find other suitable words. Avoid using ambiguous action words.

AccountsTo furnish a justifying analysis or explanation.
AcquiresTo buy or take possession of.
AdaptsTo modify to suit or fit specific needs.
AdjustsTo bring the parts of something to a true, more desirable, or effective position.
AdministersTo carry out or regulate organizational or program operations, policies, and procedures; to apply a remedy.
Adopts To accept and use as one's own.
Advises To provide, based on specialized knowledge and usually only on request, information, ideas, suggestions, or informed opinions which aid/support others in deciding on a course of action or making a decision.
AdvocatesTo endorse in an assertive and deliberate manner.
AllocatesTo set aside money, property, power, or other resources for a particular individual/program, group of individuals/programs, or an organization.
AllotsTo distribute a share or portion for a specific purpose.
AltersTo make different without changing into something else.
Amuses To provide any form of distraction that contents the mind.
Analyzes To separate all or any part of something into its constituent parts for the purpose of identifying and examining relationships or the parts to one another and to other factors.
Answers To speak or write in reply to an inquiry.
Applies To put to use for a purpose.
Appoints To officially designate.
Appraises To give an expert judgment of worth or merit.
Approves To exercise final authority with regard to the acceptability of an action.
Arbitrates To act with defined authority to resolve a dispute.
Arranges To prepare for an event.
Assembles To convene individuals out of common interest or purpose; to fit together with component parts of a structure or machine.
Assesses To determine the exact value or extent prior to judging it or using it as the ground for a decision.
Assigns To specify or designate tasks or duties to be performed by others.
Audits To examine accounts in a final, official sense to verify their correctness.
Authorizes To give permission for or to empower through vested authority.
Awards To confer or bestow for performance or quality.
Balances To arrange or prove so that the sum of one group equals the sum of another.
Bargains To negotiate the terms of a sale, exchange, or other agreement.
Batches To group into a quantity for a future operation.
Budgets To plan a summary of probable expenditures and income for a given period.
Calculates To determine by mathematical or statistical processes.
Calibrates To check, adjust, or standardize the graduation of.
Carries To move something or someone from one place to another, using the hands.
Categorizes To group on the basis of a comparison of certain readily perceived characteristics and criteria.
Certifies To officially endorse that something is in conformance with set standards.
Checks To compare with a source and verify accuracy.
Circulates To move from person to person or place to place.
Classifies To arrange, distribute, or group facts/items according to common characteristics.
Cleans To remove dirt or impurities; to prepare for cooking.
Climbs To move progressively upward.
Coaches To befriend and encourage individuals on a personal, caring basis.
Codes To translate words or figures into symbols (letters or numbers).
Collaborates To work jointly with.
Collates To assemble in proper numerical or logical sequence.
Collects To bring data or material together in a group or mass.
Compares To examine for the purpose of discovering similarities or differences.
Compiles To place information or arrange material from other documents into a formalized order.
Composes To create by artistic labor.
Computes To determine by arithmetical processes.
Condenses To shorten material without altering its meaning.
Confers To seek and compare views, opinions, and judgments with others through discussions.
Confirms To assure the accuracy, consistency, or completeness of.
Consolidates To bring together; to combine several into one.
Constructs To make or form by combining parts; to draw with suitable instruments and under specified conditions.
Consults To give expert/definitive professional advice.
Controls To evaluate, verify, regulate, and/or be informed about actions to the point of influencing or directing activities/functions toward conformance with plans or desired results.
Converts To alter the physical or chemical nature of something.
Conveys To transfer by legal means ownership of property from one individual to another.
Coordinates To guide, regulate, or adjust the interrelated and interdependent activities of individuals or functions of a unit(s) to facilitate a common action and to attain a common purpose or goal.
Copies To reproduce an original.
Corrects To eliminate error or defect.
Correlates To establish a direct or inverse relationship.
Corresponds To communicate with others in writing.
Counsels To provide advice, usually on one's own initiative, in which a course of action is suggested or urged and some recourse of follow-up is implied.
Counts To list or name, one by one, to find the total number of units involved.
Creates To bring into existence; to produce through imaginative skill.
Debates To discuss and argue a question formally, and usually in public.
Decides To make up one's mind as to action, course, or judgment.
Defends To ward off something that actually threatens; to repel something that actually attacks.
Defines To determine and state the limits and nature of; to give the distinguishing characteristics of.
Delegates To designate with authority another to perform tasks or duties which in turn may carry specific degrees of accountability and authority.
Deliberates To consider carefully and thoroughly a matter with abstract/complex variables to arrive at a conclusion.
Delivers To carry something to an intended destination.
Demonstrates To explain or make clear by using examples/experiments or showing the operations of.
Describes To give an account in words that create a visual image in the minds of others.
Designates To choose an incumbent or to detail a person to a certain post.
Designs To conceive, create, and execute the form or shape of a physical object or the method for doing something.
Destroys To completely tear down, do away with, or bring to an end.
Detects To take notice of something by physical means (e.g. visual, tactile).
Determines To fix conclusively or authoritatively the course, character, functions, or scope of something.
Develops To expand or realize the potentialities of; to bring gradually to a fuller, greater, or better state.
Devises To form in the mind by new combinations or applications of ideas or principles; to invent.
Diagnoses To identify a disease, malfunction, or cause of disorder by symptoms or distinguishing characteristics.
Digs To break and turn over or remove with a tool.
Directs To personally oversee, inspect, or guide the work of others, with responsibility for ensuring certain standards of performance are met.
Disburses To pay out or distribute with authority.
Disciplines To penalize individuals or groups, whose behavior is contrary to existing regulations; to establish habits of self-control.
Discovers To intentionally search for and acquire or find something that already exists but is new to the discoverer.
Discusses To exchange views to arrive at a better understanding.
Dismantles To take apart or raze; to remove furniture or equipment.
Dispatches To send off or out.
Dispenses To give a carefully weighed or measured portion to each of a group as a right or as to need.
Displays To show; to place before the views of others.
Disseminates To spread or disperse information or ideas.
Distributes To deal out portions or spread about units among a number of recipients.
Drafts To prepare papers or documents in preliminary form for clearance and approval by others.
Drives To start, stop, and control the movement or action of machines.
Dumps To empty out or unload in a heap or mass.
Duplicates To make a copy or reproduction through the use of machinery.
Edits To correct spelling, faulty phrasing, and imperfect punctuation, and mark a manuscript to ready it for publication.
Elaborates To work out in detail; to give details.
Elects To vote for.
Eliminates To get rid of; to set aside as unimportant.
Employs To use or engage the services of; to provide a job with consideration.
Encourages To inspire with spirit and hope.
Endorses To support or recommend actively.
Enlists To secure the support and aid of.
Enters To write down in a record, diary, log, or list; to make an entry of.
Entertains To provide some activity or attraction that will give pleasure or relieve monotony or boredom.
Escorts To accompany another or others to give protection or to watch over; to accompany as a courtesy or honor.
Estimates To make a rough approximation of the size, extent, or value of.
Evaluates To judge reports, data, plans, or performances in relation to established goals, policies, and standards; to compare critically to a standard for suitability.
Examines To look over closely to determine the condition, quality, validity, or nature of.
Exchanges To give or take one thing in return for another.
Exercises To train by drills and maneuvers in order to strengthen and develop.
Exhibits To put forward prominently or openly, either with the express intention or with the results of attracting other's attention or inspection.
Experiments To undertake an action to discover something not yet known or to demonstrate something known.
Explains To make clear or easier to understand that which appears vague, causeless, or inconsistent.
Extracts To pull out by effort; to make a selection or quotation of; to determine by calculation.
Fabricates To build by assembling; to manufacture.
Fastens To make secure by locking, shutting, buttoning; to fix firmly in place.
Feeds To move into a machine or opening in order to be used or processed; to furnish with something essential for growth and sustenance.
Files To arrange in a methodical manner; to rub smooth or cut away with a tool.
Forecasts To predict or indicate a condition or event beforehand as a result of rational study of available data.
Formulates To prepare mentally a rough plan, policy, or procedure.
Garners To gather and store in a granary.
Gathers To bring materials together or accumulate.
Gauges To assess a thing as authentic, good, or adequate or the degree it is so in relation to a standard measure or scale.
Generates To originate by a vital, chemical, or mechanical process.
Governs To exercise continuous sovereign authority over.
Grades To divide into groups based on ascending or descending order.
Guards To watch over to keep safe from any potential attack or harm.
Guides To show the way or approach by applying intimate knowledge or experience of the way or approach and of all its difficulties.
Hauls To move by pulling or drawing; to transport by vehicle.
Hires To engage the services of for a set sum.
Hypothesizes To form a tentative assumption to test its logical or empirical consequences.
Identifies To recognize, acknowledge, or establish based on the characteristics of.
Illustrates To make clear something which is difficult, abstract, or remote from experience especially to use pictures or sketches to make vivid or real what is being explained.
Implements To carry out or into effect a plan, program, or operation.
Imports To bring in from a foreign or external source.
Improves To correct or advance something by supplying what it lacks or wants.
Indexes To classify information, usually by subject matter or name to facilitate reference.
Indicts To bring charges against an individual or organizations.
Informs To make known; to call attention to.
Innovates To exercise creativity in introducing something new or in making changes.
Inspects To search, through direct observations, for conditions such as errors, defects, flaws, or shortcomings.
Installs To establish in an indicated place, condition, or status; to set up for use in service.
Instructs To impart knowledge systematically.
Interprets To explain meanings or intentions, not immediately apparent to others, in light of individual judgment; to translate.
Interviews To obtain facts or opinions through oral inquiry or examination.
Inventories To catalog; to count and list; to make an itemized record of.
Invents To create; to think up or imagine.
Investigates To make a methodical, searching inquiry into a situation.
Issues To put forth or to distribute officially.
Itemizes To enumerate one after another; to set or note down in detail.
Joins To bring or put together.
Judges To investigate and compare the evidence and merits of all issues in a case and decide where the truth lies.
Justifies To prove or show to be right or reasonable in light of individual belief or facts.
Leads To guide or direct others on a course or in the direction of, without final responsibility for results achieved.
Lifts To use effort to overcome the force of gravity.
Loads To place in or on a means of conveyance.
Locates To search for and find.
Lubricates To apply a substance to machinery to reduce friction in operation.
Manages To guide and coordinate worker activities and organizational or program policies, rules, practices, methods, and standards.
Manipulates To move, guide, or place objects or materials with skill and dexterity.
Manufactures To make or process raw material into a finished product.
Maps To make a survey of for the purpose of representation.
Matches To pair up or put into a set those items possessing equal or harmonizing attributes.
Measures To determine the quantity, mass, extent, or degree of in terms of a standard unit or fixed amount.
Mediates To interpose with parties to reconcile them; to reconcile differences.
Mends To repair; to restore to soundness that which is broken or torn.
Mixes To combine or blend particles, parts, or elements into one.
Modifies To limit or restrict the meaning of; to make minor changes in.
Monitors To watch, observe, or check for a specific purpose.
Motivates To stimulate the active interest or desire within someone for something.
Moves To go or transport from one point to another.
Negotiates To confer with others for the purpose of reaching agreement.
Notifies To send a formal notice giving required or pertinent information.
Nullifies To make of no value or consequence; to cancel out.
Observes To obtain data visually.
Obtains To acquire or gain possession of.
Opens To make available for entry or passage.
Operates To start, stop, control, and adjust machinery or equipment.
Organizes To take steps to set up the administrative structure or functions of an office or process.
Originates To bring into being; to initiate.
Outlines To make a summary of the significant features of a subject.
Overhauls To make repairs, adjustments needed to restore to good working order.
Oversees To watch; to monitor.
Packages To wrap or box an item or group of items.
Permits To consent to; to authorize.
Persuades To induce others by argument or entreaty to accept a belief or position; to prevail upon others to take a course of action.
Picks up To collect or lift an object or material.
Plans To devise a detailed means of course of action for attaining an objective/goal.
Posts To transfer or carry information from one record to another; to display prominently.
Predicts To foretell on the basis of observation, experience; or scientific reason.
Prescribes To recommend medical treatment with authority.
Presents To lay as a charge before the court; to offer for view.
Preserves To keep safe; to protect; to keep free from decay.
Prevents To stop something from occurring; to take advance measures against.
Procures To obtain possession of.
Produces To grow; to make, bear, or yield something.
Programs To arrange or work out a sequence of operations to be performed by equipment or machinery.
Promotes To advance to a higher level or position; to foster the growth or development of.
Proofreads To read copy of a printer's proof against the original manuscript.
Proposes To formulate and suggest for adoption.
Pulls To cause to move in the direction toward the source of the force.
Purchases To buy or procure by committing funds.
Pushes To use force upon an object to move it away from the source of the force.
Quantifies To determine or express the amount of.
Questions To interrogate; to inquire.
Ranks To determine or assign the relative importance of data, people, or things.
Rates To determine the rank of in relation to others of the same kind.
Reaps To cut grain and pulse for harvest.
Rebuilds To make extensive structural repairs.
Recommends To suggest and support for adoption a course of action.
Reconciles To adjust; to make congruous; to seek agreement.
Records To set down in writing; to preserve in some permanent form.
Reduces To narrow down; to diminish in size or amount.
Refers To send or direct for aid, treatment, information, or decision.
Refines To free from impurities, imperfections, or vulgarities; to make more polished.
Registers To enter in a record or list officially.
Regulates To order or restrain by rule, method, or established mode.
Reinforces To strengthen with additional forces.
Rejects To refuse to hear, receive, or admit.
Releases To permit the publication or dissemination of.
Remits To send money in payment of.
Repairs To put into good or fitting order something that is injured.
Replaces To provide a substitute for something now lost, gone, or worn out.
Reports To give an account, in detail, of facts and figures.
Represents To foster general interest in, through speeches, and consultation and contacts with individuals, groups, and constituencies.
Rescinds To make void; to repeal; to abrogate a contract by restoring preexisting conditions.
Rescues To free a person or animal from imminent danger by prompt or vigorous action.
Researches To perform a systematic, critical, intensive investigation directed toward development of new or fuller knowledge of the topic or issue studied.
Resolves To decide to do or refrain from doing something; to take remedial action.
Retrieves To recover from a location where previously placed, set, or thrown.
Reviews To consider or to reexamine results for the purpose of giving an opinion or approval.
Revises To rework in order to correct or improve; to make a new, improved, or up-to-date version.
Rewards To give something in recompense for worthy behavior.
Salvages To rescue or save (as from wreckage or ruin).
Scans To survey from point to point in a cursory manner.
Schedules To plan a timetable; to set specific time for.
Scores To assign a numerical evaluation.
Screens To examine for the purpose of separating one group.
Seals To secure the contents of by closing with adhesive.
Searches To systematically look over and through for the purpose of finding an item.
Selects To decide on one, or a few from several possibilities.
Sells To give up property to another for money or other valuable consideration.
Sends To dispatch by a means of communication; to convey.
Serves To attend to the personal needs or requests of people.
Services To make fit for use by providing maintenance, supplies, repairs, or installations.
Smells To acquire and examine the odor or scent with the nose.
Solicits To approach with a request or plea; to strongly urge.
Solves To answer a question or work out a problem.
Sorts To group or categorize according to systematic relations or common characteristics; to put in a definite place or rank according to kind, class, or other category.
Stacks To load or arrange in a somewhat orderly heap or pile.
Stores To put away for future use; to deposit or receive for safe keeping.
Studies To contemplate; to learn all the possibilities, applications, variations, or relations of a subject before making plans and/or taking action.
Submits To direct attention to something for consideration.
Summarizes To present in a concise and compact manner.
Supplies To provide space, equipment, material, and other non-financial resources.
Surveys To look at or consider in a general or comprehensive way; to determine the location, form, or boundaries of by measuring the lines and angles.
Synthesizes To compose or combine parts or elements in order to form a whole.
Systematizes To arrange or make by the use of a method or orderly planning.
Tabulates To put in table form; to set up in columns, rows.
Teaches To apply a guided process of assigned work, discipline, direct study, and the presentation of examples to increase the general knowledge of another person.
Tends To start, stop, and monitor the functioning of machinery and equipment.
Testifies To provide oral or written testimony on facts known.
Tests To put a thing to decisive proof by thorough examination under controlled conditions.
Totals To add up; to compute.
Traces To copy as a drawing; to search for a lost item.
Trades To give in exchange for another commodity; to make a purchase.
Trains To develop a particular faculty or skill in others to bring them up to a predetermined standard of work performance.
Transacts To carry on or handle business in accordance with a prescribed procedure.
Transcribes To transfer data from one form of record to another or from one method of preparation to another, without changing the nature of data.
Transfers To change from one mode of conveyance to another, or from one depository to another.
Translates To turn into one's own or another language.
Transmits To transfer or send from one person or place to another; to send out a signal either by radio waves or over a wire.
Treats To give medical or surgical care; to subject to chemical action.
Turns To make to rotate or revolve; to cause to move around so as to effect a desired end (as locking, opening, shutting).
Tutors To instruct on an individual basis and in a special subject or for particular occasion or purpose.
Types To write with a typewriter.
Updates To make current with the most recent facts, methods, or ideas.
Ushers To guide to a particular place.
Washes To clean by means of water and/or other substances by dipping, tumbling, or scrubbing.
Waxes To rub, polish, cover, smear, or treat with a sealing substance.
Weighs To determine the heaviness of an object.
Writes To set down letters, words, sentences, or figures on paper or other suitable material.

Ambiguous Action Words

The following is short list of ambiguous, or imprecise, action words. While these words, if used in an appropriate context, may be used (such as "Endorses a check"), their use in duty statements should be avoided.

Acts For/As
Appears (before a group)
Assumes Responsibility For
Carries Out (instructions)
Endorses (an idea)
Engages In
Executes (an action)
Follows (instructions)
Functions As
In Cooperation With
Is In Charge Of
Is Available
Is Responsible For
Keeps Records
May (perform, serve, etc.)
Replies To
Responds To
See That
Serves As (in a functional role)
Takes Necessary Action