Job Profile: Data Entry Clerk
Most people are very familiar with the keyboards of computers and other electronic devices. They might be able to send a message to their friends or post a comment on social media sites within seconds. Are you like that? You might be able to send texts to your friends and family, but can you type information into a computer for hours at a time? If so, you might have a future in data entry.
Everyone who uses a computer is a data entry clerk in a sense. Whenever you send a message to your friends to arrange an activity, the information you send is a form of data. Most of the people who work in data entry, however, deal with a different type of material. They might type out tax information or send out requests for payment. They might work in a university, keeping track of the courses that people are taking and how many students are studying. Almost any kind of information can be part of a data entry clerk’s job.
Other types of work might also be part of careers in data entry. Besides entering information into the computer, data entry clerks might file papers or organize the offices where they work. They might answer telephones or deal with customers’ questions. They might need to write down what happens during meetings and send the notes to others in the office. Almost any office job can be part of a career in data entry.
Working in data entry varies from one place to another. Some data entry clerks have full-time jobs in offices, but others work in many different places on short-term projects. For data entry clerks with full-time jobs, salaries range from about $22,000 to $41,000. Experience is an important factor in moving up in salary.
Becoming a data entry clerk is also closely related to experience. Most data entry jobs require a high school diploma but no other formal education. However, knowledge of various computer programs, including word processing, is helpful. People with certificates in a variety of computer programs are more likely to find work than those who have completed only their high school studies.
The main skill that data entry clerks need is a rapid typing speed. Most jobs require a speed of at least forty words per minute or more, using both the main part of the keyboard and the numbers on the right side. Being able to type even faster than that will help data entry clerks do their work more quickly and efficiently. A typing speed of eighty words a minute or more is common among data entry clerks. Speed is not as important as accuracy, however. Everyone makes mistakes, but data entry clerks need to be as accurate as possible.
Practice can help data entry clerks become good at their jobs. If the job appeals to you, you should start practicing your typing and office skills whenever you have the chance.