A Complete Guide on Data Entry Jobs

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Data entry is a type of clerical work that involves using various processes like typing and voice recording for entering data into computers. Data entry operators work in a variety of industries including retail, healthcare, finance and transportation. In this article, we answer what data entry is, how to pursue employment in data entry and also look at what kind of skills are required to become successful in data entry industry.

What Is Data Entry?

Data entry is an industry in which data entry operators add, verify and edit electronic data in computers and databases. With increase in digitalisation, many companies require people to add raw data into databases, add sales figures into electronic formats and enter market research data into electronic system multiple times during the course of a business day.

Data entry is a broad term, and it includes a variety of occupations. Data entry operators include electronic data processors, typists, word processors, transcribers and clerks. A data operator works as a handler of different types of electronic data and operating devices that professionals use to enter and edit data, such as a keyboard. These jobs can be done from office or from remote location. With the emergence of gig economy, some companies hire short term contractors or freelancers to do this job.

There are a variety of payment methods in the data entry industry. If you start working in this industry, you could be paid by project, keystrokes per minute, keystrokes per word, keystrokes per hour, or you may receive an hourly wage or receive a fixed monthly wage. Typically, the payment rate in data entry is based on your typing speed. People with fast typing speed are likely to earn more money in this industry.

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How To Enter The Data Entry Industry

Barriers to entry in the data entry industry are not very high, and it does not require a stringent training process. When preparing for a career in data entry, it can be beneficial to gain practical experience to help you in the role. To gain experience in the data entry field, consider these steps:

  1. Pursue an education. Typically, data entry does not require higher education, but you can look for educational opportunities through high school and college classes or through technical training sessions and workshops to improve your prospects in this industry.

  2. Complete an internship to decide if the career path suits you. Volunteering or interning in a data entry role can help you to make professional contacts in the field. This will give you first-hand information of what exactly is a data entry job and will help you make an informed career choice.

  3. Obtain certifications. You can obtain certification to improve your job prospects in this industry. Certifications in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and other software which are typically used in data entry industry can accelerate your entry in data entry space.

Related: Microsoft Word Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Responsibilities Of A Data Entry Job Role

A typical data entry job will include the following responsibilities:

  • Prepare and sort data files for data entry

  • Compile, verify accuracy and sort information to prepare source data for computer entry

  • Review data for any potential errors or deficiencies, check any incompatibilities between various data sources and make sure the data being inputted is error free

  • Create data backups as part of contingency plan

  • Provide data to authorised members in a timely manner whenever a request is raised

Types Of Data Entry Jobs

Here are the two types data entry jobs and features of each:

Remote data entry

  • As a remote data entry operator, you will not be required to work from office premises, and you can actually deliver your assignments from any of your preferred locations.

  • You will have the liberty of choosing your own working hours.

  • Typically, a remote data entry operator is not paid on an hourly basis but on per project or per keystrokes during a specified period.

  • Employers prioritise reliability and ability to complete tasks in a timely fashion in remote workers. This is the reason that you will typically be evaluated on your performance and not on your work history.

  • You can earn some extra income by working as a part-time remote data entry operator along with your full time job in any other industry or while pursuing your academic degree.

In-House data entry

  • In an In-house data entry job, you will be required to carry out your responsibilities from office premises.

  • If you work in an In-house data entry job, you are likely to be paid on a monthly basis.

  • An In-house data entry job is more likely to be a full time job, and you will receive other benefits like health insurance, paid time-off and pension benefits.

  • You can also expect some employment benefits that will be linked to your performance based on speed, accuracy and reliability of your data entry.

How To Succeed in the Data entry field

You need a variety of skills to succeed as a data entry operator. As a data entry operator does almost all of his work on a computer, you will need to spend a lot of time on your computer to develop those abilities. Follow the below steps to excel in data entry job:

  1. Improve your language skills. English language skills are essential to work in data entry industry. Grammar skills, Punctuation skills and strong reading comprehension skills are also necessary to succeed in data entry industry. You can improve your language by practicing reading and writing in English and by taking any English language course.

  2. Become a better typist. Good typing speed is the most important skill that is required in data entry field. To increase your typing speed, you can simply practice typing in any kind of typing software like Microsoft Word while you time your typing speed. There are a lot of online resources like games to increase your typing speed which you can practice on. Practice till you reach a typing speed of at least 35 words per minute.

  3. Gain computer skills. You will need to know how to enter data, edit data and save your work in various computer programs to secure your employment in data entry industry. You can consider taking online tutorials on popular computer programs like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word which are readily available on internet. It could also be helpful to learn about various other office equipment that pair with computers like scanner and printer. There are many free online tutorials that can help you learn how to use office equipment effectively.

  4. Bolster your interpersonal skills. As a data entry operator, you will need to communicate with employers and colleagues during your data entry projects. You can use a variety of online resources like articles and tutorials to learn about interpersonal skills and then practice them by applying techniques like role-play.

Advantages Of Working In Data Entry

Some advantages of working in data entry are given below:

  1. Easy access to jobs. With rise in digitization, every company is looking for data entry operators to build their databases. This is leading to high demand for such jobs and workers can find employment readily.

  2. Opportunities for freelancers and independent contractors. It is cheaper for companies to outsource the data entry work and give it to independent contractors or freelancers rather than managing it own their own. This is leading to more opportunities for independent contractors who can also work on a part-time basis.

  3. Low entry barrier. Cost and efforts required to gain skills needed in a data entry role are far lesser when compared to other kind of jobs.

Warnings About Working In Data Entry

While an employment in data entry industry gives you a lot of advantages, there are a few risks and deterrents of working in this industry. It would be beneficial if you are warned beforehand of a few issues, such as:

Job Scams

Unfortunately, online job scams do happen in the data entry field. These scams involve fraudulent offers for a data entry job, high salary promises by means of which they try to steal your personal information and also demand money in lieu of job. Follow these steps to minimise your risk:

  • Research thoroughly about the company that offers you a data entry job. A legitimate company will have its location, contact details and other information present online.

  • Do not give your personal information like your Aadhar Card Number, especially your bank account details before verifying the authenticity of the company.

  • Avoid companies that ask you to pay for training program, certifications or administrative expenses. A genuine employer will not require any initial outlay from the jobseeker.

Low Wages

It can be difficult to earn a high income in data entry job. However, you can follow the below advice to address this issue:

  • Look for only those employers and geographies that offer you the best salaries in data entry.

  • Use your data entry job only as a part-time job to earn some extra income instead of relying completely on it.


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