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Data Entry Work


Data entry workers do what their job title suggests: they enter data into a computer system. In some regards these positions are similar to the clerical jobs covered on another page of JobSites411. Many departments need data entry workers, from accounting and finance departments, to large retail stores, banks, hospitals, and many government agencies.

Data entry workers must be able to type and enter data at a fast rate, and have excellent keyboarding skills. They must be comfortable sitting at a desk for most of the day, and be able to enter data with few to no mistakes.

The working environment for most data entry workers is good. They may work in a large office, or in an individual cubicle. Data entry workers are provided with a desk, computer, and all the other tools they need to perform their jobs, and most work regular office hours - a 40-hour work week.

Occasionally they may need to work overtime, but this does not occur on a regular basis. Also, data entry workers usually do not travel, unless it is to go to a seminar or to receive training.

There are several skills that the data entry clerk must possess to be successful on the job. First and foremost, the data entry clerk must be very familiar with a standard keyboard and be able to enter data into a computer at a fast pace. Next, the data entry clerk must be detail oriented and have the ability to multitask.

They should also have good organizational and communication skills, and enjoy working as part of a team. If you are just entering the job market and possess these abilities, you may want to obtain a data entry position. 

Here is a list of some of the most common data entry job titles you’ll see listed today:

  • Accounting data entry clerk
  • Data entry clerk I
  • Data entry clerk II
  • Data entry clerk III
  • Data entry supervisor
  • General ledger data entry clerk
  • Human resources data entry clerk
  • Insurance data entry
  • Medical records data entry clerk
  • Order data entry clerk
  • Payroll data entry clerk
  • Personnel records data entry clerk
  • Purchasing data entry clerk
  • Reporting data entry clerk
  • Shipping/Receiving data entry clerk

Here we tell you a little bit about working in data entry. We’ll take a look at the future job market, the salary ranges in the field, and the education and training you’ll need to get a job in data entry.

Employment Outlook

As you can see by looking over our list of data entry jobs, there are many different kinds of jobs in many fields, from the insurance industry to accounting and retail. Unfortunately, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of data entry jobs is expected to decrease by 6% in the coming years (by 2018).

The bureau attributes this decrease to the overall improvements in office efficiencies and the automation of data entry by computer programs and scripts. Those jobs that do become available may be highly specialized, or will be due to retirements or promotions. To compete for one of these jobs, prospective employees may need to increase their technical skills and abilities, according to the Bureau.

Salary Outlook

Despite the fact that data entry positions are often considered entry level, because they require specialized and somewhat technical skills, they do offer higher average salaries than other entry level jobs, such as general clerical workers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of data entry workers is approximately $31,000. However, there is a wide range in salaries, depending on the job, the company, and the location of the company. For example, data entry clerks in New York City earn around $32,000 per year, while those in the Midwest may earn closer to $27,000 per year.

Education and Training Requirements

Most employers do not expect their data entry clerks to have more education than a high school diploma; however there are always exceptions. Some data entry clerks work in more specialized fields and in these positions employers may require workers to have some prior basic knowledge and training. For the most part, though, employers basically look for workers who have a high school diploma and perhaps a few years of previous data entry experience. Often employers conduct keyboarding tests to test an applicant’s ability to enter data on a timely basis with few to no mistakes.

Once hired, data entry workers usually receive on the job training.

While the demand for data entry workers will decline, there will be jobs available through retirements, promotions, and similar reasons. If you enjoy detail work, working with a computer, and an office environment, obtaining a data entry job may be a great way to start your career in a particular field.

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