How to Get a Job as a Data Entry Professional

Lauren Krause
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If you don't have a college degree, a data entry job is an excellent way to enter the administrative and clerical industry. Data entry positions usually don't require formal training, so they have few barriers to entry. They can also be difficult to find. By tailoring your job search and brushing up on your data entry skills, you can increase your chances of securing a position.

In general, data entry positions tend to be entry level, meaning that you don't need a four-year college degree to secure one. The absence of a degree requirement doesn't translate to a lack of skill, however. Before you can secure a data entry job, you will need to have a certain level of education. Most positions require that you have a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) certification. This ensures that you are competent in basic math and communication. According to Nexxt's salary center, the average salary in the US for a data entry clerk is $29,501.

Data entry professionals work almost exclusively with computers, often using a range of software packages. If you're not comfortable learning new programs or working with the latest industry software, consider taking a computer class before you apply for a data entry job. In many cases, basic knowledge of Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel won't be enough; even if a data entry job requires those programs, you will need to learn their advanced features to be successful. Efficiency and speed are crucial for data entry workers, so if you type slowly, look into programs that will help you increase your words per minute rate.

If you want to do data entry work in a field that requires specific knowledge, a certification course can help you get a job. Companies in some fields, including medical billing, medical coding, and legal transcription, may require that you be trained and certified before you apply for open positions. Schools such as DeVry University and Kaplan University offer courses online. If you prefer an in-person learning experience, check with your local community college or a university continuing education program. 

Once you're confident in your abilities, revamp your resume and cover letter. Highlight your certifications and any experience relevant to the open data entry job. Check each document carefully for misspellings, punctuation errors, and other mistakes; accuracy is crucial for data entry professionals, so even a single typo can work against you.

When it comes to the actual job search, data entry professionals have a range of options. If you want to work from home, check out websites such as FlexJobs and DionData Solutions. Many major companies also post telecommuting jobs on their career websites. According to Brazen Life, one example is the New York company Healthfirst, which hires workers to work on medical files. If you prefer to work at an office, look at local job postings in your newspaper, a local college career center website, or your local Craigslist page. Alternatively, you can inquire at law firms, courthouses, hospitals, health-care businesses, or 911 call centers about open positions. You can also check for data entry jobs at Nexxt, and input your city and state, or your zip code, to find data entry jobs near you.

The process of finding a data entry job can be time consuming, but the end result is worth the effort. By starting the search with updated data entry skills and professional self-marketing materials, you can increase your chance of finding a lucrative and worthwhile position.


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