What Does a Data Entry Clerk Do? A data entry clerk is an administrative professional who handles routine clerical tasks relating to entering or updating data in a computer system. A data entry clerk’s main responsibility is to ensure that the organization’s database is accurate and up-to-date.
Data entry clerks may also assist accounts receivable with duties like processing invoices for payout and reviewing and processing order returns.
What Do Data Entry Clerks Do | Data Entry Clerk Skills
Some further responsibilities may include:
Collecting data and inputting information into databases
Reviewing records for accuracy
Updating databases with new or revised information as necessary
Performing regular backups of information to ensure data preservation
Retrieving records and electronic files from the database
Sorting and organizing paper records or notes after data entry
Preparing digital materials or files for printing
Average Salary Data Entry Jobs
Salaries for data entry clerks are often determined by candidate level of education, experience, relevant certifications, and skill set, as well as the position-specific job responsibilities. Geographic location can also impact potential earnings.
Typical salary in the U.S.: $15 per hour
Salaries range from $7.50 to $30 per hour.
Data Entry Clerk Requirements
The required training and education to become a data entry clerk will depend on the industry and responsibilities of the position. The standard requirements include:
Education for Data Entry Clerks
The educational requirements for data entry clerks vary based on the position and its responsibilities. A high school diploma is typically sufficient for entry-level positions. If a professional wants to advance to an administrative position with more responsibility, they may want to pursue an associate or a related field.
Courses in computer applications like spreadsheet software and word processing can be helpful for those seeking to improve their skills.
Training Data Entry Work
Data entry clerks typically get their training while on the job. In most industries, the training covers office and clerical procedures, use of computer applications, use of office equipment, best processes for organization and database usage, and other technical requirements. This training may last up to one month.
Data Entry Clerk Certifications
Most data entry clerk positions do not require specific certification. Professionals seeking to gain skills before employment might enroll in a certificate program at a technical school or community college.
These certificate programs which can serve as educational training programs in replacement of full degree programs teach students how to use basic computer programs and how to efficiently enter different types of data into various types of databases.
Many data entry clerk certificate programs will also cover one or more of the following topics:
- Word processing
- Computer calculations
- Clerical organization
- Workplace communication
Skills for Data Entry
Data entry clerks need to have a mix of skills to be successful. The relevant and important skills they should develop include:
Attention to Detail
Entering large amounts of data into spreadsheets or online databases and reviewing data for accuracy requires precision. For this reason, successful data entry clerks will need to be detail-oriented to ensure accuracy and minimize time spent checking data against source documents.
Many data entry clerks work in fast-paced environments that require them to be flexible and efficient while maintaining accuracy. Duties may require the professional to pause work on data entry to retrieve a file or report.
Data entry is a core task for these clerks, so they must quickly and accurately type to maintain efficiency. Moreover, data entry clerks work with various computer systems and online databases, requiring a basic knowledge of computers and the ability to quickly learn new systems.
Data entry clerks must retrieve and update database files and other digital documents quickly and efficiently. Their duties may also require them to sort and organize physical documents they are digitizing or entering into the online system.
The ability to create and maintain easy-to-use filing and organization systems enable these professionals to succeed in the workplace.
These clerks often have to communicate with individuals within the organization, such as management or operations personnel. If the clerk is client-facing, they may have to communicate with customers to gather and update database information. These tasks may require the professional to adapt their communication style to obtain the information they need.
Data Entry Clerk Work Environment
Data entry clerks can work in many different industries, including but not limited to:
- Administrative and support services
- Local and federal government
- Transportation and warehousing
Most data entry clerks work full-time in an office environment and may have opportunities for overtime. Part-time work is available, particularly for clerks working in the hospitality industry. While standard shifts for data entry clerks take place during normal business hours, clerks that work for transportation or hospitality organizations that are open around the clock may have to work on evenings, weekends, and holidays.
In their office environment, these professionals typically spend the majority of their shift sitting at a desk, working on a computer, and using necessary office equipment, such as printers and fax machines to complete data collection and organization tasks.
How to Become a Data Entry Clerk
Many data clerks complete the following steps to pursue this career path:
Obtain a High School Diploma
Earn a high school diploma or the equivalent, focusing on elective courses in computers, business, finance, or accounting. While earning the diploma, work on improving relevant skills, like typing speed and accuracy, through practice or games that exercise the skill.
Data Entry Clerk Certificate Program
To learn the basics of data entry and improve your chances of getting a job, you may want to complete a data entry clerk certificate program at a technical school or community college. These programs can provide the knowledge needed to start working in the field and can also serve as an efficient alternative to completing a degree program.
Course offerings include word processing, business communication, clerical organization, and bookkeeping.
Further Computer Education
Computer courses can improve your chances of getting hired. Look for courses that focus on word processing and database management. If a potential employer requires knowledge of bookkeeping or accounting, enroll in courses in those areas as well.
Get On-The-Job Training
While taking courses to learn the skills necessary to become a data entry clerk, look for opportunities to get on-the-job training through an entry-level position or by job shadowing. On-the-job training typically lasts up to one month and will give you the basic understanding you need to get started in this career.
Structure Your Resume and Apply
Whether you have decided to pursue a career as a data entry clerk right after high school graduation or you have taken some courses to improve your skillset, you will need to develop a clear and comprehensive resume before applying for positions. Your resume should describe your education, training, experience, and skills in clear, concise language that aligns your qualifications with the job expectations.
Data Entry Clerk Job Description Example
Our wellness company is looking for a reliable data entry clerk to join our team to help with data entry and other administrative tasks. Responsibilities include transferring data from paper to our online database system by typing and scanning, recording data from customers directly into our online system, creating accurate spreadsheets, updating existing data, verifying data by comparing source documents, and retrieving data or electronic files as requested.
Candidates are required to have a high school diploma or GED. The ideal candidate will be detail-oriented, analytical, and efficient. We are seeking someone with excellent typing skills and familiarity with Microsoft Office products, especially Word and Excel.