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Data Entry Clerk Jobs: Qualifications, Salary Expectations, and Opportunities for Growth

Data entry clerks are an essential component of various industries, from healthcare to finance or education. They are responsible for entering, verifying and maintaining accurate data into computer systems, spreadsheets or databases for easy retrieval and analysis. The primary role of a data entry clerk is to ensure that the data they enter is correct and free of errors, making them an integral part of a company’s information management system. They play a vital role in risk management and vulnerability analysis, ensuring that there is no data mismatch, and accurate, up-to-date information is available. Equipped with superior computer skills, data entry clerks can markedly improve operational efficiency by performing tasks such as digitizing paper documents, transcribing recordings, or entering data to automate existing paper or manual systems. Successful data entry clerks can effectively work under tight deadlines, possess an eye for detail, and have a passion for maintaining and updating accurate records. With the rise of e-commerce and increased demand for online data management, the need for data entry clerks in various industries will continue to grow. In this article, we will explore the skills, education, salary expectations, job prospects and opportunities for growth in a data entry clerk career.

Skills Required for Data Entry Clerk Jobs

To excel in data entry clerk jobs, professionals must have strong typing skills, be highly attentive to detail, and possess excellent computer knowledge. Along with these core competencies, some of the key skills required for data entry clerk jobs include:

  • Proficiency in typing at least 50-60 WPM
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Skilled in the use of Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs or any other database tool

Education and Qualifications Required for Data Entry Clerk Jobs

The educational requirements for data entry clerk jobs largely depend on the organization, but a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, is generally sufficient. However, having a certificate, a diploma or degree in areas such as computer science, information technology, administration or other related fields could increase your chances of getting hired. Some employers also prefer applicants with proven experience working in a data entry, administrative or clerical role. In addition, data entry clerks must have a high level of accuracy and attention to detail from observation to great memory.

Salary Expectations for Data Entry Clerk Jobs

According to data from PayScale, the average hourly rate for data entry clerks in the United States is $14.34 per hour. However, the exact compensation will depend on the company, location, level of education and experience required. A few other factors that can impact salary expectations for data entry clerk jobs include the complexity of tasks, company size, and the incumbent’s level of expertise. Websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed and PayScale provide reliable salary ranges for data entry clerks at different levels of experience around the country.

What are data entry skills and duties?

Data entry skills refer to the ability to input and manage data using computer software or other electronic tools. As a data entry specialist, some of the key duties include:

  • Entering or updating data into electronic formats such as spreadsheets or databases
  • Verifying data accuracy and ensuring all errors are corrected
  • Applying proper data entry procedures and techniques to maintain efficiency and accuracy
  • Communicating with team members, clients or customers when necessary to clarify data or obtain additional information

If you’re interested in improving your data entry skills, there are numerous online courses and tutorials available. Additionally, there are software programs specifically designed for data entry tasks that can streamline the process and improve accuracy.

Qualifications and Education Requirements for Data Entry Clerk Jobs


In general, to become a data entry clerk, most counties require a high school diploma, equivalent or higher. However, there may be variations among different industries, such as:

  • Healthcare: Some hospitals may require data entry clerks to have prior experience working in administrative roles.
  • Finance: Candidates who opt for data entry clerk jobs in financial organizations usually require a degree in finance or accounting, or relevant work experience.
  • Legal: For data entry clerk jobs in the legal field some employers may require formal paralegal training or experience working in a law office.


There are several certifications that data entry clerks can earn to enhance their employment opportunities or establish their credibility in the industry. Some well-known certifications include:

Certification Provider
Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): Excel Microsoft
Certified Data Entry Specialist (CDES) The Typing Certification Institute

Online Training Programs

There are numerous online training programs available for individuals who wish to become data entry clerks or improve their skills. These programs offer flexibility, affordability and a pathway to new careers. Some highly rated online training platforms include Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning.

Interesting Fact

The Guinness world record for the fastest data entry was set by Barbara Blackburn from the United States in 2005, who maintained 150 words per minute with 99.7% accuracy.

What qualifications do I need to be a Data Entry Clerk?

To become a data entry clerk, typically, you will need the following qualifications:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent
  • Good typing speed and accuracy
  • Excellent attention to detail and organization skills
  • Proficient in basic computer software such as Microsoft Excel and Word
  • Ability to navigate and use data entry software

Most employers prefer candidates with previous experience in data entry, but it is not always a requirement. There are several online courses and certifications available that can help you improve your skills and increase your chances of getting hired. One such platform is Udemy, which offers courses on data entry and keyboarding skills.

Salary Expectations for Data Entry Clerk Jobs

Industry and Location

The average salary for data entry clerks varies across different industries and locations. Some factors that may influence salary variations may include:

  • Industry type
  • Location
  • Level of experience
  • Type of tasks and responsibilities
  • Company size

National Average Salary Data

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of a data entry clerk as of May 2020 was $34,520 or $16.61/hour. The salary may also vary based on the specific industry a person works in. Here are some of the average annual salaries of data entry clerks in various industries:

Industry Average Annual Salary
Healthcare and social assistance $35,020
Administrative and support services $33,890
Finance and insurance $36,210
Retail trade $29,850

Researching Salary

It is important to research the salary range of data entry clerk jobs in the local area for a better understanding of the salary expectations. Some websites to browse for salary information include Glassdoor,, and Indeed. However, it should be noted that salary expectations may vary depending on the factors mentioned above.

What is the highest salary for Data Entry Clerk?

The highest salary for Data Entry Clerk varies based on a number of factors that include the location, skill level, and experience. However, on average, a Data Entry Clerk in the United States can expect to earn approximately $30,335 per year according to Glassdoor. Some other salary information websites that offer salary information for Data Entry Clerks include Indeed,, and Payscale.

Job Outlook and Opportunities for Growth

Projected Job Growth

The job outlook for data entry clerks by 2029 is anticipated to decline by 6 percent, according to the BLS. With the advancements in technology, many of the data entry tasks have become automated or outsourced to other countries. However, the demand for data entry clerks may still exist depending on the industry and company size.

Opportunities for Career Advancement

To progress in the industry, data entry clerks can further their education, such as a certificate or degree in fields related to data management like computer science, information technology, and business administration. Some of the related fields that may provide opportunities for growth include data analysis, database management, and computer programming.


In today’s data-driven world, data entry clerks remain an essential part of running a business efficiently. There are opportunities in various industries, although the projected job outlook is a bit concerning. There are chances for growth within the industry by furthering education, staying current with automated data-entry tools, and continuing to master data management. With the right set of skills and dedication, data entry clerks can succeed in their careers and advance to other positions within their industry.