Data entry clerks and keyers provide their services to a broad array of industries and employers. Those in these vocations enter data used, for example, by property searchers or parents wishing to track their children’s academic performance. Data entry also serves business, academic and research interests. Below you can read an in-depth view of the duties, skills and qualifications included in the data entry clerk job description.
Job Overview: What Does a Data Entry Clerk Do?
The data entry job description entails tasks of typing various forms of information into computer databases and other applications. However, this line of work requires considerable attention to detail and the ability to spot erroneous information before it becomes part of a company’s records.
Data Entry Clerk Job Duties
- Enter names, addresses, figures, dates and other data and information into word processors, spreadsheets and data bases.
- Produce exhibits with graphics and text for presentations or agendas.
- Scan or review incoming data to verify accuracy and lack of conflicts with other reported data or information.
- Create computer folders, sub-folders, directories and sub-directories to store files.
- Field calls from customers and other members of public.
- Provide inputs for creation of labels or invoices.
The type of data handled by these clerks varies by employer and industry. For example, schools and colleges rely on data clerks to enter data on students such as names, ages, classes and grades. Parents and potential employers may rely on accurate student records. In local government tax departments, the data entry clerk job description includes typing in parcel addresses, identification numbers, tax values and tax payments.
Job Essential Skills
Computer. Data clerks must be proficient with word processing, spreadsheet and database software. Those who assist in creating presentations should have knowledge of applications such as Power Point.
Detail-oriented. The data clerk job description involves ensuring the accuracy of data entered. Paying attention to details includes double-checking or proofreading entries. Certain data may involve a long string of numbers, letters or codes.
Ethical. The data clerk receives access to confidential or sensitive information, such as student education records or personal financial data. With control of computers and data, data entry clerks should avoid the temptation to enter false data or alter information. Data clerks employed by, for example, schools must follow privacy laws concerning student records. As a result, their data entry clerk job description will include additional specifications for these issues.
Reading. Entering data accurately requires the clerk to be able to read, locate and comprehend data from source documents.
Becoming a Data Entry Clerk Professional
The data entry job description generally requires little, if any, education beyond high school. Many of the skills to perform the job are cultivated through high school or community college or training. Given the prevalence of technology, data entry keyers and clerks likely need training or experience with various computer applications.
Qualifications & Training
As to minimum education, a high school diploma or GED typically will suffice. Depending on the employer, data entry clerks may need skills using computer applications such as spreadsheets, databases and word processors. The ability to type a specified number of words per minute may serve as part of the data entry clerk job description. Certain high school classes and community college or vocational programs can afford education and training in skills to become a data entry clerk.
Employers train data clerks often by orientation to the types of data received and also the computer system used by the respective company. The training period may depend on the complexity of the system or data being handled.
Some employers seek candidates with prior work history as data entry clerks or otherwise in an office or business setting. Experience for data entry positions can come from jobs as such as cashiers, which perform some type of data entry or using a keyboard. Prior work with computers, including databases, spreadsheets and also word processors can qualify applicants for data entry positions.
Data entry clerks typically work 40 hours per week and during normal business hours. Self-employed or freelance data entry keyers may work or be on call beyond traditional hours. Many data entry clerks work part-time, either to supplement income from another job or help defray college or other expenses.
Job Outlook & Advancement Opportunities
ONet projects a two-percent drop in growth of data clerk positions between 2014 and 2024. With the presence of technology and efforts to reduce overhead, organizations likely will assign data entry tasks to administrative assistants and perhaps even upper-level employees. Many vocations include data entry as part of the job description, so that separate data entry clerks may be deemed unnecessary. In fact, technological advancements may even allow automatic collection and entry of data.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, data entry keyers earned, as of May 2015, on average an hourly wage of $14.81, which translates to an annual figure of $30,810. Additionally, data entry positions may serve as entry-level jobs. Those who occupy them have a opportunity to gain initial experience in the labor force. PayScale reports that nearly 47 percent of data entry clerks fill these roles for one to four years. Working as a data entry clerk can lead to higher level jobs such as office manager, administrative assistants and executive assistants, especially for those with a bachelor’s degree.
To sum up, including data entry functions with other jobs and technology can reduce overhead. These cost-cutting measures may stunt the growth of data entry jobs. Opportunities may abound for self-employed or contract data entry clerks who can handle orders on short notice. Furthermore, the data entry clerk position can catapult these workers to administrative or management roles. With its emphasis on details and accuracy, the data entry clerk job description reveals skills and duties that can prepare new workers for general demands in the work force.