Data Processing

Data processors play an important role in office settings. Academic programs are available through community and vocational colleges. Continue reading to learn more about the field and what you'll need to do to enter it.

Is Data Processing for Me?

Career Overview

Data processors often have job titles like data entry keyer, typist and word processor, which require many of the same skills. These professionals are responsible for recording data into a computer and operating other office equipment. As a data processor, you might also be called upon to carry out other clerical duties.

Data entry clerks or data processors can often find work in hospitals, businesses, law firms, hotels, insurance companies and other organizations where detailed organization of information is necessary. You need computer skills and a basic understanding of business operations. You'll use word processing software, database systems and spreadsheet programs in your work in data processing. Similar jobs include claims support specialist and underwriting support specialist. Several other professions provide word processing services, such as administrative assistants, receptionists, secretaries and clerk typists. These professionals often perform more administrative and clerical duties than data processors.

Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that jobs for general office clerks, including data processors, would increase six percent between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). Employment opportunities were expected to increase for people who regularly improve their skills to compete with advancing technologies. As of May 2012, data entry keyers earned an average salary of $29,220, noted the BLS. It was also reported that word processors and typists made an average salary of $36,190 during the same period.

How Do I Work In Data Processing?

Training Programs and Necessary Skills

Data processing doesn't always require formal education. The field is open to high school graduates and often includes on-the-job training. To enter this field, you need good spelling skills and a solid understanding of grammar.

Some vocational, technical, community and state colleges offer data processing programs or information processing certificate programs that last about a year. You might also be able to find online courses in data entry or online courses in data processing.

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