Data Annotator: Job Description & Salary

The skills data annotators employ can be used in machine learning, law enforcement and many other types of industries. This article explores their typical duties, as well as the skills and training needed to succeed in this career.

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Career Definition of a Data Annotator

Data annotators help categorize content. They can work with things like videos, advertisements, photographs and other types of material. They assess the content and then attach tags to the content. This helps group information or materials together by relevance.

Data annotation can be used by companies to help identify patterns and improve accessibility to content by topic. Annotation is also something added to computer code that can help explain the reasoning behind the processes programmers chose to use for that software. Data annotators spend their time reviewing the material they work with. They may have to scrutinize this material closely to ensure that it is accurately and thoroughly tagged.

Educational Requirements High school diploma or GED
Job Skills Computer skills, organizational skills, attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, communication skills, self-motivated
Median Salary (2016)* $30,100 (all data entry keyers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* -21% (all data entry keyers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

There are no firm academic requirements for data annotators. Employers may prefer applicants who have a bachelor's degree but postsecondary studies are not typically required. One way to prepare for this career is to expand computer skills through high school and college courses. Completing studies in data science, data entry and data analysis may all benefit those seeking work in this field.

Required Skills

Data annotators need to have strong computer skills because their work involves reviewing material on computers and using computers to categorize content. Data annotators also need good organizational skills because it is important that they establish proper classifications and apply them appropriately. Attention to detail is important because they may work with similar images or material and need to take note of any distinctions between the content.

Career Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides information for people who work as data entry keyers. This career is comparable to the role of data annotators because it involves entering data and storing it. The BLS forecasts a 21% decline in jobs for data entry keyers from 2016 to 2026. The BLS reported that in 2016 data entry keyers earned annual median incomes of $30,100.

Related Careers

Those considering a career as a data annotator may be interested in other occupations that involve producing or working with data files in an office. Use the links here to explore some career options that have similar training requirements and involve comparable duties.

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