How to Become a Data Entry Clerk

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How to Become a Data Entry Clerk: Career Path Guide

Are you interested in a career that allows you to primarily work with a computer, rather than having a lot of face time with the general public? Do you enjoy performing relatively repetitive tasks, and having clear and consistent methods for your work? If so, working as a data entry clerk may be a good option for you! Here are some quick highlights of working in this field:


• Very little formal education is needed to work in this field

• Opportunity to work in relative peace and quiet

• Plenty of room for advancement


If you want to know more about the ins and outs of this career, then read on; we’ll fill you in on the details, including an overview of what these office clerks do, how much they can earn, and what you’ll need to break into this field!



Education Needed to Enter This Field

To become a data entry clerk, you will likely just need to have, or be working towards, a high school diploma (or equivalent).


Even though they may not be required by your employer, taking courses in using computer applications, such as word processing and spreadsheet software, may be particularly helpful to get a job as a data entry clerk.


Please Note: If you are looking for a job in a specialized field, such as medical data entry, some employers may require that you have a diploma or certificate in that area.







Data Entry Clerk job Description

The main responsibility you would have as a data entry clerk is to input statistical, financial and other information into computerized databases, spreadsheets or other software applications. To do this, you would use a variety of methods such as typing, scanning, speech recognition software or other data entry tools.



Data Entry Clerk job Duties

Even though your specific duties could vary from job to job, you could expect to perform the duties listed below:


• Receive and register invoices, records, statements and other documents

• Input data into spreadsheets, databases or other computer software applications

• Maintain and update electronic storage files and libraries

• Verify data for completeness and accuracy

• Import and export data between different kinds of software



Skills Needed to Become a Data Entry Clerk

Employers will state in job postings that you require the following skills to be hired on with them as a data entry clerk:


• Proficient in the use of word processing and spreadsheet software

• Able to type at a quick rate, while making very few mistakes

• The ability to follow instructions

• The ability to pay close attention to details

• Able to work with numbers, and comfortable with basic arithmetic

• Able to multitask, while prioritizing work

• Excellent organizational skills



Experience Needed to Become a Data Entry Clerk

Working as a data entry clerk is generally considered an entry-level position. Employers generally don't require that you have any relevant experience in order to be hired, provided that you have the basic skills required to do the job (for example, you are proficient with spreadsheet and word processing software). 



Traits of Successful Data Entry Clerks

In order to enjoy your work as a data entry clerk, you need to have certain personal traits, as well as interests, including:


• An interest in performing work that involves little contact with others

• An interest in performing repetitive tasks

• Enjoy having clear rules and methods guiding your work

• Enjoy using computers and various office software and computer applications

• Willingness to accept responsibility for the accuracy of data entered





Who Employs Data Entry Clerks?

Data entry clerks can be employed on a part-time or full-time basis by organizations in almost any conceivable sector of industry. They may be hired either as in-house employees, or as contractors.


The following is an overview of the types of employers you could have as a data entry clerk.


• Temp agencies (as an employee of the temp agency, contracted to an organization)

• Self-employment (often as a ‘virtual’ employee)

• Business services contracting firms

• Small, medium or large organizations (as an in-house employee)


Success Tip: If you’re having trouble finding a data entry clerk job, sign up with a temp agency. They can get you in the door with an employer quickly (provided you meet their basic qualifications), and if the employer likes working with you, they may hire you on for a permanent role!




Data Entry Clerk Job Opportunities

Data Entry Clerk Jobs - Canada


Data Entry Clerk Jobs - United States




Data Entry Clerk Salary

The salary or wage you might earn as a data entry clerk can vary, due to the following factors:


• Your level of education

• Your level of experience

• Your specific level of responsibility

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work


Data Entry Clerk Salary Alberta: According to the 2013 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Data Entry Clerks occupational group earn an average salary of $28,141 per year.


Data Entry Clerk Salary Canada: According to Service Canada, the average salary level of Canadian workers in the Data Entry Clerks occupational group is $35,000 per year.


Data Entry Clerk Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of American workers in the General Office Clerks occupational group is $28,670 per year.



Working Conditions for Data Entry Clerks

Work Setting: Your work would take place in an office setting, or possibly from home. You would likely not be required to travel, for work aside from your daily commute.


Working Hours: You would most likely work normal, weekday business hours. Your schedule could vary to include evenings and weekends, depending on whether or not you need to complete time-sensitive tasks and projects. 


Working Conditions: As a data entry clerk, you'd spend a good part of your day working independently in front of a computer. You may spend some time during the day attending meetings with co-workers and management. Your work would involve sitting and looking at a computer screen for long periods of time.



Career Advancement for Data Entry Clerks

Data entry is a career field that offers a lot of room for advancement. If you display competence and motivation in your work, you could move into roles of greater responsibility, and subsequently, you could earn a higher salary of wage.


Displaying competence, skill and motivation in each role you advance to, could result in being promoted to supervisory or management positions.



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Careers Similar to Data Entry Clerk

Listed below are occupations in our database that are similar in nature to Data Entry Clerk:


• Accounting Clerk

Administrative Assistant

Bank Teller

• Bookkeeper

Customer Service Representative




Please consult the following resources to learn more about the various aspects of a career as a data entry clerk.


Alberta Learning and Information Service website:

Service Canada website:

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website:



Scholarships for Becoming a Data Entry Clerk

The Applicable Majors section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as a data entry clerk. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on our Accounting Scholarships and Business Administration Scholarships pages.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Becoming a Data Entry Clerk: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the college/university majors listed below can be helpful for becoming a data entry clerk. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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