What Is a Data Entry Clerk?
Data entry clerks confirm the accuracy of data and transfer this information from paper records into digital databases. They use standard office software, though a knowledge of customer resource management, medical, or enterprise resource planning software may be necessary. These professionals also typically possess excellent keyboarding skills and attention to detail.
Depending on the size of the organization for which they work, data entry clerks may also be called on to perform other tasks, such as maintaining records of completed work and filing documents.
|Educational Requirements||High school diploma|
|Job Skills||Strong computer skills, attention to detail, communication and time-management skills|
|Average Salary (2017)*||$32,530|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||-21%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Being a data entry clerk does not require training in a specialized background, and much of the training is done on-the-job. For this reason, education requirements are not strict for data entry clerks. Most positions only require a high school diploma and do not ask for a bachelor's degree.
The majority of skills needed to be a data entry clerk are acquired on the job. Aspiring data entry clerks, however, do have a few skills they can try to build in order to improve their chances of finding employment.
Above all else, attention to detail is a crucial skill for data entry clerks. A small mistake or typo can have serious consequences, so professionals wishing to work in this field will need to be diligent.
Being a data entry clerk means juggling multiple tasks at once. The ability to learn quickly, multi-task, and manage time are all necessary. Clerks may also be required to interact with clients and customers, which makes interpersonal communication a vital asset as well.
Other necessary skills include a knowledge of basic computer functions, most commonly Microsoft Office, and above-average typing ability. Depending on the industry in which they work, an ability to use electronic medical record software, Microsoft Access, and Salesforce CRM software could also be required.
Career Outlook & Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 21% decline in job opportunities between 2016 and 2026 for professionals in this field.
The BLS also reports that the average salary for all data entry keyers was $32,530 as of May 2017. Interestingly, the range in salaries for different industries is fairly large. The industry and area in which a data entry clerk works can have a significant impact on how much one earns.
For example, data entry clerks working in the deep sea, coastal, and great lakes water transportation industry had an average annual salary of $65,340, more than double the national average for this occupation. Likewise, data entry clerks working in Washington, D.C. had an average salary of more than $42,000, while no other state had an average even above $40,000.
If being a data entry clerk seems like an interesting career, there are several other paths that you can consider. Other professions that feature similar duties and responsibilities include: