Data Entry Clerks


Employment Prospects


Approximately 187,300 data entry clerks are employed in the United States. Major employers of data entry clerks include insurance companies, utilities, banks, credit or check clearinghouses, insurance carriers, temporary employment agencies, manufacturing firms, and government agencies. 

Starting Out

Many people entering the field have already completed an educational program at a technical school or other institution that provides data processing training. Job placement counselors at these schools are often very helpful in locating employment opportunities for qualified applicants.

Local and state employment offices as well as online ads list job openings. You may also make direct contact with area employers who maintain large data processing departments, as there tends to be a rather high turnover in this field. Opportunities with the federal government can be viewed at

Advancement Prospects

Data entry positions are considered entry-level jobs, and as such, data entry itself does not offer tremendous potential for growth. Data entry clerks may be promoted to working on more complicated machines or systems, but the work is basically the same. Better opportunities arise when data entry clerks use their computer experience and training to springboard to higher-level positions. For example, skilled data entry clerks may be promoted to supervisory positions in which they oversee the data processing department or a team of clerks. Duties might include ensuring high accuracy and productivity rates.

With the completion of an associate's degree, data entry clerks can advance to become data processing technicians, who use computers to organize and analyze data, perform mathematical calculations, and provide data for some scientific or engineering design problems. 

Tips for Entry

Apply for an after-school job or summer employment working in an office where you can learn data entry skills.

Take courses in high school in basic computer operations, math, English, and typing.

Consider enrolling in a business program at a community college where you can learn about computer operating systems and data management.