If you’re a job seeker looking for a part-time or full-time position and want the flexibility to work from home, you might have already considered looking into data entry jobs.
As our world becomes more and more digitized, the need for data entry is a steady and ever-growing need, allowing people to enter any number of fields, from finance to medical studies to academia to journalism.
In this article we’ll look at data entry jobs, the different types of jobs that fall in the field, skills that make someone attractive to firms hiring for data entry jobs, how to stand out while putting together an application, and reliable and trustworthy places to look for jobs.
Plus, we’ll show you how to avoid scams while applying to jobs.
Table Of Contents
What Are Data Entry Jobs?
Data entry jobs run the gamut but, for the most part, rely on taking real-world data points (which could be numbers, voice recordings, handwritten notes, etc.) and then putting that into a digital format.
These jobs could range from entry-level work earning minimum wage to senior-level management positions overseeing strategy and execution.
Salaries vary, but a study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that data entry specialists earn a mean wage of $15 an hour, though that can vary based on the field and can rise based on special skills.
Medical transcriptionists, for example, average $16 an hour, and those who specialize in word processing average over $19 an hour.
Data entry work is attractive for a lot of people who need flexibility with their job because it often can be done remotely.
Many data entry positions are designed to be done by independent contractors, and many employers simply rely on a set amount of work to be done each week, allowing workers to set their own schedules and work on their time.
For those looking for a second job or something that can be done during off hours, work-from-home data entry jobs can be a good way to bring in supplemental income or get a full-time gig.
Different Types of Data Entry Jobs
Data entry positions run the gamut, and are usually organized by skills needed and the fields they relate to.
All of these jobs listed have room for growth, and data entry can often lead into work in database management, project management, clerical work, and more.
Data Entry Clerks
Data entry clerks do standard data entry work, and can apply to a number of fields, from accounting to employment services to local government.
The data points are often numbers, compiled by hand or in different file formats, that need to be processed and organized into usable databases.
Jobs are often listed for a data entry clerk (sometimes called a data entry operator or data entry specialist) and can run from temp work – accountants often need additional help during tax time, for example – to a full-time data processing job.
The digitization of medical records is a massive undertaking that many doctor’s offices and hospitals are working constantly to keep up with.
Records must be properly filed and adhere to medical coding standards that could help save people’s lives.
Medical scribes, sometimes referred to as medical coding jobs, are positions that pay gig workers and employees to input this data into various types of systems that medical staff can then easily access and use.
Typist or Word Processing Specialist
Journalists, academics, entrepreneurs, lawyers, marketing executives…all people who need help taking audio files and transcribing them into clean copy.
Typists and word processing specialists can command higher salaries with the ability to quickly and cleanly transcribe large amounts of text.
This may take special training, but the skills can allow you to work in a variety of businesses, from large law firms to major universities to nationally syndicated newspapers.
Data entry can also be one of the responsibilities that is a part of a larger job, such as an office assistant, administrative assistant, court reporter, or a customer service representative.
The jobs listed above are more likely to be part time or contract work, but may give you much more flexibility to work at home.
Skills Needed to Thrive in Data Entry
Data entry workers can succeed with a wide variety of personality and work traits, but there are a few things that help to succeed in the field.
There are practical data entry skills, such as basic computer skills and typing skills.
You will often get bonus points for having a strong working knowledge of word processing software and spreadsheet software, especially Microsoft Excel.
People who thrive in data entry are usually task oriented, have a high amount of self-discipline, and enjoy focusing in on a task and find comfort in routine.
Being detail-oriented is vital, as data that is entered is only good if it’s accurately done.
Organization and time management skills are also majorly important.
For many data entry jobs, people don’t work set hours but are rather paid by their output.
If you can remain focused and on-task, you stand to earn much more than if you are someone who is easily distracted and struggles to remain committed to finishing the task at hand.
Where to Look for Data Entry Jobs
If you are on a job search, the first and best way to get started is to know exactly what job type and job title you are looking for.
Be realistic about your own experience and skills.
Be honest about what type of job you could thrive at, review the options above, and try to find something that fits in with your passions.
If you’re looking for home data entry jobs, make sure to check if the listing is for remote work or virtual work, and many postings will let you know if you can set your own schedule before you apply.
These all allow you to search for online data entry jobs, filter for remote work, set job alerts for positions that open up in your field, and more.
FlexJobs is a website that specializes in jobs made for people who telecommute or want to work from home, and by being committed to only listing jobs on that front, you know that you will find location-flexible gigs.
While they may not have the breadth of options that the other jobs sites have, if working from home is important to you, FlexJobs is a nice resource.
They ask people to provide online data entry services from filling out surveys, correcting online text, or organizing online data.
Scribie is another company that is always looking to hire for transcription work.
Their audio transcription rate is $5–$25 per hour, focusing on short files that are 10 minutes or less.
They also offer monthly bonuses of $5 for every three hours completed, and allow workers to set their own schedules and telecommute.
They pay direct by Paypal and you can withdraw whenever and as often as you’d like.
Other companies hiring for remote data entry jobs include:
- Upwork: a freelance platform that allows businesses to source services directly from gig workers
- Fiverr: Fiverr is also a freelance marketplace, with categories that include typing, transcription, and data entry
- Amazon Mechanical Turk: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform pays gig workers per task they complete, making data entry a great candidate
- Babbletype: this company hires gig workers to remotely transcribe things into clean, readable type
How to Avoid Scams
Make sure you double check with companies and find ones that don’t take advantage of data entry professionals.
If a company asks you for money up front to get set up with the job, that’s a major red flag.
If the amount of money in salary offered seems too good to be true, odds are that’s because it is.
Unfortunately, no company is going to offer you $50 to $100 an hour for entry level data processing work, and if a company says they do, that should be a warning that this is most likely a disreputable firm.
Be especially wary if they are asking for personal information or requesting banking information.
How to Stand Out While Applying for a Job in Data Entry
On your resume, list your education – many data entry jobs ask for a high school diploma, but it’s not necessary for all – as well as previous experience, especially data entry experience.
If you are applying for a job as a typist or transcriptionist, the job application may ask you for your WPM, or words-per-minute typing rate.
If you don’t know yours, there are free wpm calculators online that can tell you that quickly. (Plus they’re pretty fun!)
The team at Zety put together some recommendations for skills that you should highlight on a resume to land a job in data entry.
These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Proficient at typing and transcription
- Computer and technical skills (including software knowledge)
- Organizational and time management abilities
- Administrative skills
- Accuracy and attention to detail
Our team has also put together a few functional resume tips that show you how to put together a winning case to land a data entry job.
Find the Right Data Entry Job
If you’re looking for a way to bring in extra money, a work-at-home data entry position can give you the flexibility you need to bring in extra income while setting your own hours and avoiding a commute.
Most jobs require only a good internet connection, a working computer, and basic typing skills.
Find a job that interests you in a field you’re passionate about, and data entry can be a reliable source of income and allow you to enter a field you love.