Data Entry Courses, Classes and Certification Programs

Data entry courses and certificate programs are available to prepare students for careers that require the accurate entry of data, such as those in administrative assisting and word processing. Continue reading to learn more about data entry courses and certification programs, as well as get information about potential careers.

Education Options

Data entry courses are available as general courses in document processing and computer use, as well as career-specific courses for legal and medical office professionals. Those seeking a more comprehensive education can pursue a certificate geared toward data entry clerks and others seeking office careers. These courses and programs prepare students to accurately enter data, such as survey results or demographics, which can then be used to develop marketing, advertising and sales plans.

Document Processing Courses

Through data entry classes like this, students develop typing skills and learn how to type at least 25 words per minute. Command keys necessary for entering data, basic keyboarding skills, reading through documents for accuracy and managing one's work area is all covered. Students also practice formatting business documents and reproduce pre-made documents to check for accuracy, organization and speed.

Microcomputer Courses

This data entry course provides students with familiarity in using basic computer functions and practical application of those functions. Through the course, students practice using Windows programs, including Word and Excel, which are often used by most offices where people will be performing data entry procedures. These courses encourage individuals to start using proper computer technology and correct terms are presented and used regularly.

Legal and Medical Office Procedures Courses

This course covers basic principles of operating and managing a general office, although some programs focus on legal or medical offices, depending on the specific degree program. Through these courses, students learn specific terms and medical or legal terminology as it's necessary. Management skills necessary for running an office are included in the course, and students develop ways to demonstrate competencies.

Medical Billing and Coding Courses

The fundamental concept of medical data entry is that all treatments must be submitted to insurance companies, government agencies and other entities in a unified coding format. This type of code is incredibly complex, and many doctors and nurses lack the time to learn how to successfully convert their own reports; however, insurance payouts and federal money depend on this data being entered. Data entry courses in medical coding and billing provide information about these codes and teach students how to convert the medical staff's notes into this code.

Data Entry Certificate Programs

Data entry certificate programs take two or three semesters and are available at most community colleges. Students can use the skills learned in these programs to compile data, verify its accuracy and organize it. The first classes students take usually focus on keyboarding basics, computer use and document processing. Later courses may cover office applications, such as those used for databases, document creation, information processing and spreadsheets. Students might also learn about business mathematics and accounting.

Career Information

Those who complete courses or certificate programs in data entry may pursue careers as a file clerk, data entry keyer, typist or administrative assistant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), data entry keyers, word processors and typists will experience a 25% decline in employment between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). General office clerks are expected to experience a 6% increase in employment during that time frame, which is slower than average. Secretaries and administrative assistants who do not work in the legal, medical or executive fields will have an about average 13% job growth between 2012 and 2022. Legal secretaries are expected to experience a 3% decline, while medical secretaries will experience a very strong increase of 36%.

In May 2013, the BLS reported median annual salaries for these occupations. While data entry keyers were paid a median wage of $28,470, word processors and typists earned a median wage of $36,020. General office clerks were paid a median wage of $28,050 at that time. Secretaries and administrative assistants who were not working in the legal, medical or executive fields earned a median wage of $32,840. Median earnings were $42,390 for legal secretaries and $31,890 for medical secretaries.

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