If you have an aptitude for detail and enjoy working with computers, a career as a data entry and microcomputer specialist may be right for you. Continue reading to learn more about job duties and growth, educational options and salary potential for information processing professionals.
Businesses rely heavily on information to make critical decisions, monitor growth and manage finances. Data entry workers are responsible for entering business information into company computer systems. Information can range from employee timekeeping to sales data or complex statistical information.
As a data entry field professional, you may be qualified for a position as a data keyer or word processor. Day-to-day duties can include using microcomputer applications to enter and process information, such as customer financial or medical records. You may also review information for accuracy and provide clerical or administrative support. Microcomputer applications may be customized to meet specific business needs, but can also include basic applications like Microsoft Word or Excel.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that, as of May 2013, data entry keyers earned a mean annual salary of $29,670. As reported by the BLS, opportunities for employment are expected to decrease by 25% nationwide between 2012 and 2022 for data entry keyers (www.bls.gov).
A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for obtaining an entry-level position in data entry, and a lot of your training will take place on-the-job. Certificate programs can provide you with a competitive advantage in the job market, and may be available on campus or online. Programs are usually one year in length and include topics in keyboarding and the use of microcomputer applications. You'll also learn about electronic calculations, spreadsheets and data security.
Solid grammar and communication skills are essential for this position. You should also have an eye for detail, be customer-service oriented and have the ability to quickly categorize and order information.