Data Entry Clerk: Duties, Responsibilities & Skills

Jan 28, 2019

Data entry clerks create and update digital records of important information using a company database. They are responsible for ensuring that the information is accurate and are expected to report any discrepancies. Keep reading to discover more about data entry clerk duties, skills, and salary.

What Is a Data Entry Clerk?

Data entry clerks, sometimes referred to as data entry keyers, are responsible for entering, modifying and ensuring the accuracy of data. Data types include billing and payment information, client or customer information, industry-specific information such as claims, etc. Data entry clerks may work from paper, phone calls or audio recordings, entering data into a digital database. Data entry clerks will also cross-check data for accuracy.

Data entry clerks are common in places that produce a high volume of important data. Top employers include employment services and data processing firms, but local governments, accounting firms and schools also employ many data entry clerks.

Educational Requirements High school diploma
Job Skills Highly proficient with data entry and organizational software, able to work efficiently, detail-oriented, interpersonal skills
Median Salary (2017)* $30,930
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* -21% (decline)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most data entry clerks are able to enter the field with a high school diploma. While a college degree is typically not a requirement for data entry clerks, some experience or a degree in a related area can be beneficial. Those areas include, but are not limited to, business, accounting, technology, and finance. Data entry clerk positions often require on-the-job training in order to establish familiarity with office procedures and software.

Required Skills

Data entry clerks rely on technology to do their jobs, which means that a successful data entry clerk must be highly proficient with the software used by the company for which they work. For example, if a data entry clerk works for a hospital, they would need to be an expert at navigating the medical record software of that hospital.

Data entry clerks also possess exceptional organizational skills, including the ability to manage time wisely. They must be able to pay a great deal of attention to minute details, as accuracy in recordkeeping is an important part of the job description. The level of personal interaction varies from job to job, but in general, communication skills are necessary to deal effectively with management, a work team or even the public.

Career Outlook & Salary

Job opportunities for data entry clerks are expected to steeply decline, -21%, from 2016-2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS reported the median wage in 2017 as $30,930. Meanwhile, PayScale reported that data entry clerks with accounts payable and receivable, billing and database management skills tended to earn more than their counterparts without those skills. Experienced clerks could also expect to earn more than entry-level ones.

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