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How to Become a Data Entry Clerk

If you love working with data on computers, then a job as a data entry clerk would be the perfect opportunity for you to enter the information technology field. Data entry clerks support the daily operations of a company by organizing and filing information in their databases. To be an ideal candidate, you will need to be computer savvy and have an eye for detail.

Data entry clerks are primarily responsible for reviewing paperwork and transferring essential information into computer files or a database system. Some companies will require you to create spreadsheets to organize specific data for employees to supplement their work, so it is important for data entry clerks to be comfortable using digital applications, such as excel. Upon completion, data entry clerks will need to review their work for accuracy. 

This job opportunity comes with great responsibility since the company is relying on you to properly upload and update company and customer information. If you perform your duties well, you could be promoted to higher positions such as data manager or senior data team member.

Sample job description

We are hiring a data entry clerk who will be responsible for accurately entering information into the computer system. This position is critical to ensuring that all data is correctly processed and organized. You will also need to copy information from print media into the computer system, proofread data entry for accuracy and timeliness, and match existing file names with their corresponding directories to ensure that all information is accurately organized. The data entry clerk must be able to work quickly and efficiently while maintaining a high level of accuracy.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Transfer data from paper formats to computer files or database systems using keyboards, data recorders, or optical scanners
  • Type in data provided directly from customers
  • Create spreadsheets with large numbers of figures without mistakes
  • Verify data by comparing it to source documents
  • Index invoices and file them in the appropriate places
  • Maintain accurate and thorough vendor records
  • Assist accounts receivable and accounts payable as needed

Education and experience

This position requires a high school diploma or equivalent (a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is preferred).

Required skills and qualifications

  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality regarding financial matters
  • Excellent knowledge of word processing tools and spreadsheets
  • Great attention to detail
  • Excellent mathematical skills

Preferred qualifications

  • Familiarity with all operating systems and software
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently

Typical work environment

The data entry clerk typically works in an office setting, although there may be occasions where he or she is required to work remotely. This position typically requires a standard 40-hour workweek, although overtime may be necessary from time to time.

Typical hours

The typical work hours for a data entry clerk can be from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours can be required.

Available certifications

There are no specific certifications required for this position, but some employers may prefer to hire candidates with certification in Microsoft Office or other relevant software.

Career path

The first step in becoming a data entry clerk is to earn, at minimum, a high school diploma or GED. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is preferred. Familiarity with computers, motivation, and an ability to focus can be all you need to start in the field. Also, on-the-job training is at times available to assist in learning specific software. This path can often begin as an entry-level position but can have opportunities for advancement, based on experience and performance.

Also, data entry clerks can seek to further their career through completing courses that can bolster their skills in typing, computer knowledge, legal and medical office procedures, and more, as well as data entry certificate programs.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 43-4199

2020 Employment159,900
Projected Employment in 2030168,100
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 5% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift8,200 increase

With digital information being the lifeblood of virtually every industry, data entry jobs can be found at most companies. Data entry may not be the flashiest role or a fast-growing one, but it can be a steady one for someone with the skills and drive to excel at it.