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How Can I Learn Data Entry?

You can gain the skills needed for a data entry career in a number of ways, from on-the-job training to a college education. Keep reading to learn about what your responsibilities would be in a data entry career and how to prepare for this profession.

Skill and Education Requirements

Data-entry workers must be able to quickly and accurately process data. You'll also need strong computer and typing skills, as well as the ability to analyze large amounts of information. Most data-entry workers are hired with only high school diplomas and learn through on-the-job-training, but there are several other avenues you can take to learn these skills.

You might prepare for a career in this field by taking computer and typing courses in high school. If college is a route you'd like to take to learn data entry, you might choose to take college computer courses or even earn a certificate or degree in an applicable major.

Important Facts About Data Entry Education

Online AvailabilityFull coursework online
Continuing EducationMay be required to maintain optional certification
Possible CareersData entry clerk, typist, receptionist, teller
PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or equivalent and SAT or ACT scores required for college programs; certificate programs may have no admission requirements
Median Salary (2019) $32,125 (for data entry clerks)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 1% decline (for all general office clerks)**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Courses

Community, technical and vocational colleges offer courses that introduce you to the world of data entry. You'll learn how to use a 10-key pad, as well as how to accurately enter alpha and numeric information. You can learn how to use data-entry applications and how to create documents and enter information into those documents. These courses also provide you with a general overview of computers and other office technology.

Certificates and Degrees

You might choose to advance your education by earning a certificate in data entry. These programs require anywhere from 6 to 30 credits and can include courses in keyboarding, information processing and data-entry software. You could also go on to earn an associate's degree in an applicable field, like office systems. Such 2-year programs focus on preparing students for administrative assisting or other upper-level clerical positions. Courses may include business communications, advanced word processing, transcription and database management.

Data Entry: Job Description

With data-entry skills, you may work in any environment that involves using computers to enter information into a database for business, corporate or consumer use. As a data-entry worker, you might create documents using computer applications, or you may pull information from documents and enter it into data processing applications. You might also proofread and correct data-entry errors and complete other clerical assignments as requested by your supervisor. You can typically expect to work 9-5 workdays in an office, though some in this profession are able to work from home.