Data Entry Clerks


Education and Training Requirements

High School

In high school, you should take English, typing, computer science, and other business courses that focus on the operation of office machinery. A high school diploma is usually required for data entry work. In a growing number of cases, some college training is desirable. Most data entry clerks receive on-the-job training pertaining specifically to the computer system and input procedures used by the employer. Before you begin your first job as a data entry clerk, you should be able to quickly scan documents and type the information you read.

Postsecondary Training

Many aspiring data entry clerks now complete data processing courses that instruct students on proper inputting methods and other skills needed for the job. Technical schools, community colleges, business schools, and some adult education programs offer courses related to data processing. These courses generally last between six months and two years. Secretarial or business schools may also offer data entry courses.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

No certification or licensing is available for data entry clerks.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

No experience is needed to work as a data entry clerk, but those with prior work experience will increase their chances of landing a job, getting promoted, and possibly earning higher pay.

Data entry clerks need excellent word processing skills, the ability to analyze data, and input it quickly into a computer. Experience in managing files and records, satisfying customer needs, and evaluating customer satisfaction are also important. Clerks spend the entire day sitting and interacting with computers so they must understand software, how to set up the computer systems, as well as how to enter and process information.

Clerks must be accurate and highly productive, capable of inputting several hundred pieces of information per hour, and they must be comfortable with the high degree of routine and repetition involved in their daily tasks. As computers continue to change, clerks must always be ready to learn new methods and techniques of input.