Data Entry Clerk: Occupational Outlook and Career Profile

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a data entry clerk. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

If you are thinking about becoming a data entry clerk, you can work with a high school diploma and a familiarity with computers. High school computer courses cover basic operations, preparing you for a career in this field, and on-the-job training will help with learning specific software. Be aware, though, that data entry jobs are projected to decline over the next few years.

Essential Information

Data entry clerks, also known as data entry keyers, compile and transfer information for business, government agencies and other organizations. They may use keyboards, computers and other equipment in their daily duties. Getting into this field requires a high school diploma and an understanding of computers. Most are trained in specific software on-the-job.

Required Education High school diploma; computer operations courses
Projected Job Growth -4% for 2014-2024*
Median Annual Salary (2015) $29,460*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational Outlook for Data Entry Clerks

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that job opportunities for data entry keyers were projected to decline by 4 percent from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). As technologies grow and improve, managers and workers will perform much of their own data entry and word processing, requiring fewer data entry clerks.

Salary Information

The BLS notes that as of May 2015, data entry keyers, the group that includes data entry clerks, received an annual median wage of $29,460, or $14.16 per hour. Most of these employees earned between $20,030 and $44,140 per year, or $9.63 and $21.22 hourly. Those employed in transportation on the deep sea, coast and Great Lakes, and other transportation equipment manufacturing received the highest wages of all data entry keyers, earning mean wages of $55,000 and $43,460 per year, respectively.

Career Profile for a Data Entry Clerk

Data entry clerks compile orders, invoices and memos in an organized manner and then input the relevant information into computers using software and templates. They may also keep records of work activities and correct data entry errors. Other duties may include comparing and verifying information, as well as operating office equipment, such as printers, copiers, scanners, telephones and fax machines.

Educational Requirements for Data Entry Clerks

O*Net reports that 77% of all data entry keyers have a high-school diploma or its equivalent. High school students may consider taking courses in basic computer operations, mathematics and English. Once hired, data entry clerks may be trained on specific computer programs and software.

Candidates may also find technical or community colleges that offer training programs for aspiring data entry clerks. These programs typically offer courses in business math, microcomputers, office machines and word processing. Students may also receive instruction on spreadsheet programs and computer operating systems.

Data entry clerks compile, compare, verify and correct information and input it into computers, as well as keep records and operate office equipment. High school computer classes cover basic operations, and technical or community colleges offer further training. Demand for data entry keyers is predicted to decline 4% from 2014-2024, and the median salary for this position in 2015 was $29,460 per year.


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