Data entry clerks work in a wide range of industries for various employers.
They enter data that is used, for instance, by property searchers or parents who wish to track the academic performance of their children.
Data entry is also useful for business, research, or academic purposes.
Further, you will find details about the duties, skills, and qualifications of a data entry clerk along with other information.
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What Does a Data Entry Clerk Do
The job of a data entry clerk includes typing various forms of information into computer applications and databases.
This job required precision and attention to detail.
Data entry clerks have to be able to spot errors in the information before it becomes a part of the records of a company.
- Enter various data such as addresses, names, dates, figures, into spreadsheets, word processors, and databases.
- Produce graphics or text exhibits for agendas and presentations.
- Scan and review data for accuracy and lack of conflicts with other data or information.
- Create folders, directories, and sub-folders, and sub-directories to store files.
- Take customer calls as well as from other members of the public.
- Provide inputs for invoices or labels.
The type of data that the clerks work with depends on the industry and employer.
For example, in schools and colleges, they work with such data as students’ names, ages, classes, and grades.
Parents and potential employers may use these data.
In the government tax departments, data entry clerks handle such information as identification numbers, tax values, and payments, parcel addresses, etc.
Data clerks should be proficient with computer software such as spreadsheets, word processing, and databases.
Those who handle the creation of presentations also should be knowledgeable in PowerPoint.
The data that data clerks work with should be accurate.
They should pay attention to detail and double-check and proofread all the entries.
Some data can involve a long string of codes, numbers, or letters.
Data entry clerks have access to sensitive or confidential information, such as personal finances or educational records.
While controlling the data and computers, clerks should avoid the temptation to alter information or enter false data.
They should follow various privacy laws, so the job of data entry clerks includes various specifications for these issues.
Accurate data entry requires the ability to read, locate, and understand data from the source documents.
How to Become a Data Entry Clerk
Data entry clerks require minimal education, a high school diploma is quite enough.
Many of the required skills can be obtained in high school or at the community college.
With highly advanced technologies, data entry clerks may need some training and experience with specific computer applications.
Training and Qualifications
The minimal and often enough, education for a data entry clerk is a high school diploma or GED.
Some employers may require skills with specific applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, or databases.
One of the requirements can be the ability to type a specific number of characters per minute.
The programs that prepare data entry clerks can be found among high school classes, in community colleges, or vocational schools.
Employers provide some training as well with respect to the type of data the clerk will be working with as well as computer software used by the company.
The training time can vary based on the complexity of the system and data.
Some employers prefer candidates with experience in data entry or an office or business setting.
You can gain the data entry experience in such positions as a cashier, which does some data entry tasks using a keyboard.
Experience with computer software such as word processing, databases, and spreadsheets is also valuable.
Data entry clerks usually work full-time with 40 hours per week on regular business days.
Data entry clerks that are self-employed or freelancing can work beyond traditional hours, or set their schedule.
Data entry jobs can also be part-time and additional to another job, or to supplement expenses for college or others.
According to O*NET, the rate of employment for data entry clerks will drop by 2% by 2024.
With advanced technology and efforts to reduce expenses, organizations will task administrative assistants with data entry tasks, and maybe even upper-level employees.
Data entry is a part of many jobs, so the position of a separate data entry clerk may become unnecessary.
With the development of technology, the process of data collection and entry can be even automated.
According to the BLS, data entry clerks made $14.81 per hour, or $30,810 per year on average, as of May 2015.
Besides, data entry positions are typically entry-level.
These clerks can gain experience in the labor force by working in such positions.
According to PayScale, 47% of data entry clerks work in these positions for one to four years.
This job can be a stepping stone to higher-level positions, such as an office manager, administrative, or executive assistant, especially with a bachelor’s degree.
Assigning data entry tasks to other employees and the use of technology can reduce the expenses.
Because of these measures, the position of a data entry clerk can disappear.
The opportunities are good for data entry clerks working on a contract or self-employed basis and able to handle orders quickly.
Besides, data entry clerks can eventually move up to the administrative or managerial positions.
With the focus on accuracy and details, the job of a data entry clerk includes skills and tasks that can train new workers for general demands in the workforce.