How to Become a Data Entry Clerk

typing keyboard

A data entry clerk, also known as a typist, has been a staple of the office culture for several decades. From typewriters to keyboards, data entry clerks provide a pivotal role in the office when it relates to administration, documents and other typical office duties. Essentially, data entry clerks offer vital support to the staff.

The Work

Most offices require the services of data entry clerks, whether they’re paper-based or an electronic-centric business. Data entry clerks perform a variety of job duties that are integral to enhance productivity and improve a company’s bottom line by making it far more efficient.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to:

-          Entering account/client data alphabetically and numerically on keyboard or scanner

-          Compiling and sorting vital information to process on the computer for online records

-          Transferring paper documents to computer database for source and ease of access

-          Maintaining and securing online information by updating and backing up databases

-          Reviewing, editing, correcting and updating entered data and information

-          Distributing important account data points to fellow team members for reference

-          Keeping office organized by following company policies and procedures

-          Importing and exporting data from various software and media platforms

-          Managing the workflow by coordinating with office managers

-          Being meticulous in protecting extensive account, client and office confidentiality

Salary & Hours

20 percent discount
20 percent discount

The average data entry clerk can expect to work an average eight-hour day. There are occasions where a data entry clerk will be required to work some evenings, weekends and holidays and take some of the workload home to complete.


Hourly Median

Salary Median

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The position of data entry clerk will require these professionals to have the following skills:

-          High typing speed of between 50 and 100 words per minute

-          Strong ability to pay attention to various details

-          Astuteness when it comes to common office software, predominantly Microsoft Office

-          Proficiency in English (or the official language of your country)

-          Organized, confident, decisive, energetic and thorough are some of the attributes


Most companies require their entry level data entry clerks to have at least a high school diploma. In today’s economy and labour market, however, a growing number of companies need their data entry clerks to have an education far beyond high school (or GED) but also a Bachelor’s degree or certification in various fields:

-          Analytics

-          Accounting

-          Business Administration

-          Computer Science

-          English

With these types of qualifications, you can be ahead of the competition in the immense field of data entry. Although a lot of data entry employment positions are being outsourced to countries with minimal labour costs, some of these workers may not have the aptitude that Westerners may have the pleasure of maintaining.

If you have these qualifications then it’s quite possible that you can advance quickly in becoming an office clerk, project manager or supervisor of the entire data entry element of your company.

Career Prospects

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment outlook for general office clerks is expected to be six percent from the years 2012 to 2022, which is a slower average than the overall job market. With that being said, there are employment growth levels higher in some industries compared to others.

For instance, in the United States healthcare industry, there will be a heightened need for data entry clerks in order to handle an enormous volume of administration and billing tasks because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise colloquially known as Obamacare.

The data entry industry has greatly changed since the advent of computers. Although skilled clerks were rather competitive in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain in the 1990s and early 2000s, the competition from developing nations, such as India and Bangladesh, has revamped the marketplace. Western data entry professionals need to persevere by upgrading their education, skills and marketing abilities.