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Data Entry Clerk

Education and Training: High school diploma
Average Salary: $26,600
Job Outlook: Fair

A data entry clerk job is typically an hourly position in which the clerk is responsible for entering date into a certain computer program. Depending on the company, clerks may work with different types of technological machinery and may have other administrative type duties. Most of the time data entry clerks, also known as data entry keyers, use word processing programs to create text-like mailing labels, reports, and letters. Sometimes they’re responsible for entering technical data into a system so that it can be analyzed by a company.

Most of the time, data entry clerks must also make sure their sources are accurate, review and correct errors, and process certain types of forms, depending on the industry. For this job, one must be highly detail oriented and able to enter information into various computer programs quickly. Sometimes, the information a data entry clerk deals with is word-based, but they may also deal with numerical information or symbols of other sorts.

Education and Training Requirements

Most data entry clerk jobs only require a high school diploma and a familiarity with word processing and other basic computer programs. For most companies, training is done on the job, and clerks learn from a set training program that may take a few days or weeks. Clerks are required to have good communication skills and to work very quickly and efficiently, since they must often meet a work quota for each day of the week.

Getting the Job

Data entry clerk positions are often part-time, but full-time hourly positions may also be available. Many times, you must simply apply for this job, and a test for computer and typing skills may be required before one can get a data entry clerk position. Some companies do not officially hire clerks until they have completed a usually paid in-house training program and are able to meet certain standards of work and efficiency.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

New job prospects in the data entry field are expected to decline in the future, as more data entry is being handled by computerized systems or to be outsourced to other countries where lower pay rates are acceptable. However, data entry clerks are still needed in many fields as these positions tend to have a high rate of turnover. Data entry clerks may have good luck finding contract positions on which they can work from home, especially if they focus on a particular industry or field with which they have familiarity.

Data entry clerks most often take their technical skills and turn them into higher level administrative positions if they wish to advance in their careers. In order to do this, they must often seek some continuing education, including college coursework or degrees.

Working Conditions and Environment

Data entry clerks most often work from an office environment in a cubicle. In an effort to conserve costs, though, many of today’s companies are allowing their clerks to work remotely from home. Some data entry positions are available for contractors who may work from home for several client companies at once.

Salary and Benefits

Data entry clerks can make anywhere from less than $20,000 per year to about $33,000 per year, though the average pay is $26,600 per year. Most often, this is an hourly position that may not be full time.

In a full time position, data entry clerks are often entitled to health care and sick leave benefits, and vacation time may also be included in the benefits package. Part time employees may be eligible for discounted health care coverage but will not likely get employer-paid coverage or paid leave time.

Where to Go for More Information

American Society of Administrative Professionals
121 Free St.
Portland, ME 04101
(207) 842-5693

International Association of Administrative Professionals
PO Box 20404
Kansas City, MO 64195

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesBusiness