A career in data entry generally involves taking written information in various formats (forms, company files, or applications) and entering that information into a system database. There are some data entry jobs that require you to simply type information from mailing lists or letters into a word processor or files. However, this career can also be a bit more complex.
Some data entry professionals are engaged in numerical data entry, where you mostly enter information related to mortgages, loans, banking data, and accounting services. As a data entry operator, you can work in many different departments within a company, for example, accounting, marketing, or even human resource.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, data entry operators earn a median annual salary of $32,530. Though this may seem like an easy job to some, there are specific requirements that you need to meet before you can become a data entry professional.
Here are five steps you have to go through to become a data entry professional:
Enrol in a data entry course
The first step is to find a college or technical school that offers data entry courses and certifications. Though many employers and employment agencies offer courses and training for data entry operators, you must already be competent in typing and numeric key entry skills. You must also have good knowledge of database software, word processing, spreadsheets, and basic office equipment.
You can acquire a data entry certificate within one or two semesters at a community college. If you are a high school graduate, this certificate will improve your chances of getting a data entry job. Two key skills you need are speed and accuracy. Employers such as itech, who specialize in high-quality data entry services, are always seeking applicants who can type quickly with minimal errors.
Complete the required courses
After enrolling in a data entry certification program, complete all the necessary courses. The number of courses and credit hours vary, but generally, you can expect to go through five to seven courses and 30 to 45 credit hours.
Pass the test and receive your certificate
In some schools, you have to pass a certification test or a comprehensive data entry exam before you can apply for the certificate.
Gain entry-level experience
There are a number of entry-level positions that you can use as a stepping stone into a data entry career. These related jobs, such as working as a typist or word processor, will help you acquire the relevant experience that many employers want to see in employees. Such entry-level jobs can help you improve your spelling, punctuation, organizational skills, and data sorting.
Gain employment as data entry professional
Check local listings, whether on job boards or online. Read the job requirements carefully for every job listing because some positions require competency in specific software and typing speed. If you do receive an offer from an employer who handles sensitive data, be prepared to undergo a background investigation and a polygraph or drug test.
Getting your foot in the door isn’t that complicated. Just get the required certifications and skills and start practising at an entry-level position. As your competency improves, more job opportunities will open up for you.