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Data Entry Clerk Duties and Responsibilities

Based on job postings that we analyzed, most data entry clerks share several core duties:

Enter Data The primary duty of a data entry clerk is quickly and accurately entering data into their organization's database program. While the specific programs can vary between companies, most of the core principles of data entry remain the same. Data entry clerks may need to enter numeric data or type client information into these database systems, both of which require excellent typing skills and the ability to process large quantities of data while avoiding entry errors.

Validate Data Most data entry clerks validate data to ensure accuracy and correct entry. This process requires a high level of attention to detail in order to check data sets and spot errors. If the data entry clerk finds errors within their data, they take steps to correct these mistakes. As part of this role, the data entry clerk may need to coordinate with other departments and personnel to gather accurate data.

Update Databases Data entry clerks periodically update databases to reflect changes or add new information. These updates may be performed on a schedule, such as during monthly or quarterly database updates, or at the request of other departments or personnel. Data entry clerks may work with database administrators to determine how to best handle updates while balancing these tasks with regular data entry.

Maintain Files In some organizations, data entry clerks maintain office files, either in hard copy or digitally (and often both). This can also involve sorting incoming mail, maintaining client information files, and labeling and filing customer records for ease of access. Data entry clerks may also periodically review files to ensure that they are current and accurate, and remove and destroy files based on internal and external regulations.

Provide General Administrative Support In addition to data entry tasks, many data entry clerks provide general administrative support throughout the office. This can include making copies, scanning documents, and assisting with scheduling rooms for meetings with clients. Data entry clerks may also respond to company emails or provide word processing assistance as requested by their supervisors.

Interact with Customers and Clients As part of their administrative support role, data entry clerks may assist an office or organization's visitors, greeting guests and directing them to meeting rooms or offices. This aspect of the role requires strong customer service skills as well as thorough knowledge of the organization's office and personnel. Additionally, data entry clerks may answer customer or client questions directly or locate necessary client information.


Data Entry Clerk Skills and Qualifications

Data entry clerks work in a variety of industries, accurately entering and updating industry-specific data. Most workers in this role have at least a high school diploma or GED along with the following skills:
  • Computer skills - data entry clerks should possess excellent computer skills with particular focus on database programs and spreadsheets. They may also provide general administrative support, so familiarity with a range of programs is helpful
  • Communication skills - most data entry clerks work across departments to coordinate data management tasks, so they should have strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Attention to detail - this role requires a high level of attention to detail to ensure correct and timely data entry and avoid redundancy or errors while managing business-critical data
  • Organization skills - data entry clerks should also be highly organized and able to manage large data sets while maintaining accuracy and ensuring that departments have access to necessary information
  • Time management - data entry clerks frequently switch between tasks and balance competing requests, so they need effective time management and prioritization skills

Data Entry Clerk Education and Training

There are no formal educational requirements to become a data entry clerk, although most have at least a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, an associate's degree or successful completion of a training program can help expand career opportunities. Most data entry clerks have some experience in data entry or administrative support roles. There are many opportunities for on-the-job training in this role as data entry clerks familiarize themselves with best practices and increase their speed and accuracy.

Data Entry Clerk Salary and Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), data entry keyers earn a median annual salary of $30,930. The highest-paid 10 percent of workers in this role earn more than $46,260 per year, while the lowest paid earn less than $21,570. While the BLS does not provide employment outlook data specifically for this role, its data indicates that clerk employment will remain relatively steady through 2026, with no significant growth or decline in available positions.

Helpful Resources

We searched the web and found several resources if you'd like to learn more about working as a data entry clerk:

"Top 10 Best Practices of Data Entry" - this blog post reviews best practices in data entry, including advice on data standards, validation, and consistency for data entry clerks

Data Entry: Skillbuilding and Applications - this book contains guidance and exercises to help build speed and accuracy in data entry tasks

American Society of Administrative Professionals - ASAP provides career development resources and guidance for administrative professionals as well as opportunities to connect

Data Entry Clerk (Passbook for Career Opportunities) - read this book to prepare for a career as a data entry clerk by learning key skills and best practices

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