what is a data entry clerk?

A data entry clerk ensures that an organisation's database remains accurate and up to date. The job also entails transcribing data from phone conversations or recordings. While you work electronically in most organisations, you may still encounter paper documents in small companies. The company expects you to keep all the relevant information in the right place for easier retrieval. This job also requires a high level of accuracy since a single mistake impacts the company significantly.

working in multiple fields

Almost all industries employ data entry clerks. Financial institutions hire data entry clerks to manage payroll, auditing, tax preparations, account payable forms and corporate finance data. If you land a job in a retail company, your job revolves around collecting online sales data, inventories and logistics details. The government also needs professional clerks to input public records and election data.

The health sector also hires clerks to compile data from diagnostic labs, clinics and medical centres. Depending on the company, you may do additional tasks like general receptionist duties and answering phone calls in an office setting.

Would working as a data entry clerk suit your administrative skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a data entry clerk role.

data entry clerk jobs

average salary of a data entry clerk

Companies pay data entry clerks using various structures. While some organisations pay hourly, others prefer a monthly or volume-based rate. Sometimes, you even get paid per word or audio minute. According to National Careers, the average compensation package of a data entry clerk ranges from £15,000 to £25,000 per year. The salaries depend on your experience level and your employer.

factors that affect the salary of a data entry clerk

The compensation package for data entry clerks depends on their qualifications, skills, experience and company size. The most qualified data entry clerks receive better pay than their less qualified counterparts. You are likely to take home more pay if you have specialised skills. That's because you can perform additional duties compared with other entry-level clerks.

Your experience also influences your salary due to the expertise you bring to the company. More experienced data entry clerks receive higher earnings than their less experienced counterparts. Large organisations pay better salaries than smaller ones due to the resources at their disposal.

data entry clerk
data entry clerk

types of data entry clerks

Some of the types of data entry clerks include:

  • data entry keyers: as a data entry keyer, you input data into computer systems from hard copies and paper documents. You scan figures and enter financial transactions to create backups in databases.
  • transcriptionists: a transcriptionist listens to recordings and audio files and transcribes the information to word documents. Your job is to create reports from meeting recordings or dictations from managers.
  • typists: a typist is a data entry clerk who types text documents and creates reports and correspondence like emails and letters.

working as a data entry clerk

Working as a data entry clerk allows you to develop wide-ranging administrative skills. Here are a data entry clerk's specific duties, work schedule and job prospects:


education and skills

Some of the routes to joining the role include:

  • college courses: you can take courses that improve your computer skills to become a data entry clerk. Courses include a Level 2 international computer and driving licence (ICDL) certificate in IT skills or a Level 2 Diploma in business administration.
  • apprenticeship: become a data entry clerk through an advanced business administrator apprenticeship. The programme requirements include 5 GCSEs, including English and maths.

data entry clerk skills and competencies

Data entry clerks need the following skills:

  • excellent interpersonal skills: as a data entry clerk, you work with a team to get all the data uploaded within the predetermined time frame. Sometimes, you respond to customers' calls to provide vital information. Such tasks require excellent interpersonal skills.
  • fast typing speed: companies prefer data entry clerks who combine speed with accuracy. You input a considerable amount of data in a short time. On average, companies hire people who type at least 48 words a minute. If you type 70 words or more a minute, you stand a better chance of employment. Many companies also look for competency in 10-key numerical data entry.
  • basic software knowledge: data entry clerks use various computer software daily. Therefore, you should know how to use word processing and spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Word and Excel. The ability to learn how to use new applications quickly is an advantage. 
  • ability to operate office equipment: you work with office equipment that increases productivity, so you require basic knowledge of how to use printers, copiers, scanners and dictation machines.
  • trustworthiness: data entry clerks handle confidential information from various sources. Organisations usually perform due diligence on their candidates to ensure they don't hire untrustworthy individuals who will compromise data security.
female data entry clerk
female data entry clerk


FAQs about working as a data entry clerk

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