Data Entry Skills: What You Need to Start a Data Entry Job


Data entry may seem like a simple job if you think of it as just putting data into a computer system and making sure it is all correct. But there are many data entry skills you need to learn to become an effective data entry professional. 

By learning skills for data entry, you will be qualified for many different types of data entry jobs, from freelancing to working as an administrative assistant. In this guide, we will go over the various data entry operator skills needed to succeed as a data entry professional, as well as the various soft skills required for these jobs.

What Is Data Entry?

Data entry is taking information and inputting or updating it correctly into a computer system. A data entry operator is the person who takes the information, which comes from a variety of formats and sources, including paper documents, audio, and video. 

Some data entry tasks include preparing documents and reports, accurately entering data into databases, creating data backups, generating reports, transcribing documents, and processing sales invoices.

Top 10 Data Entry Skills

An individual using data entry skills to type in a word processor on a laptop.
Data entry skills are an important foundational skill for any tech career.

If you want to be a data entry professional, you must learn data entry skills of both the technical and soft varieties. These data entry operator skills cover everything from typing speed to computer software programs to motivation. Continue reading for the top 10 skills for data entry.

Data Entry Technical Skills

There are many data entry technical skills that every professional needs to know to complete their projects successfully. These technical skills for data entry are proof that someone knows how to do the job effectively. The technical skills for data entry you should know include the following. 

Typing Skills

One of the most important data entry technical skills is typing. Because you may end up with a lot of information that needs to be processed quickly, data entry and keyboarding skills go hand in hand. Learning how to speed type is a concrete step you can take to help you meet your deadlines. 

Computer Literacy

No data entry skills list is complete without a mention of computer literacy. This is because the main role of data entry is to electronically process information into a computer. While you don’t need to go as far as learning how to code, you must have expertise and familiarity with computers.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used data entry software tools. Excel is part of the Microsoft Office package and is suitable for users of all levels. Excel is a great choice for beginners as it has a lot of automation to help you generate data. Excel can be used across all operating systems. 

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a full-featured finance and business suite, so is a vital data entry hard skill for professionals in this industry. It can be used for several aspects of data entry such as payroll, expense management, accounting, and inventory. This software is easy to learn if you have some tech knowledge and are familiar with basic accounting concepts.   

Data Structures

A data structure is a format used for organizing, storing, processing, and receiving data. These data structures range from basic formats to advanced ones, depending on a user’s purpose. Data structures make it easy for users to work with and access the data they need.

Data Entry Soft Skills

To be a data entry professional, you need more than just technical skills. Data entry soft skills such as motivation, time-keeping, and verbal communication skills are key for a data entry operator to complete their tasks on time and to the best of their ability. Soft skills for data entry can be learned at the top data bootcamps, on the job, or through personal experiences. 

Self-Motivation

Self-motivation is a very important skill to have while entering data. Data entry involves a lot of repetitive tasks and can get boring, so you must be able to stay motivated and consistent. One tip for successful motivation is to set yourself weekly goals and challenges.

Time Management

Time management is important because you must meet data entry deadlines and proofread your work before submitting it. Furthermore, if you have multiple projects on the go, you need time management to prioritize your workload.

Attention to Detail

One of the most important soft skills for data entry is attention to detail. You must pay attention to the details to make sure that data has been inputted accurately. Accurate data entry ensures there won’t be any issues down the line. Dealing with high levels of information can be overwhelming, but it is important for the information entered to be accurate. 

Communication 

Communication skills are important because after the information has been inputted, management and other departments must be notified so they can access the information. You should be able to detail the work that you did and identify any issues you came across.

Organization

Data entry must be quick and accurate. But it must also be organized according to the job description. A data entry operator may be working on a large number of projects at one time and inputting and updating information from various sources. It is important for your work to be easy to read and understand, and that it is organized logically.

Jobs in Data Entry

Many jobs are available to those interested in data entry. Data entry jobs can be done in an office or from home on a freelance basis. According to BLS, the average income for a data entry job in the US is $37,450 per year. The educational requirements for data entry jobs are typically just a high school diploma. 

Data Entry Clerk/Data Entry Operator

A data entry clerk inputs data into a computer. A data entry operator is the same thing as a data entry clerk. This is an ideal online data entry job for those looking for flexible, part-time work. This type of data entry is repetitive, so maintaining motivation is key to this role.

Administrative Assistant

An administrative assistant manages information in an office setting. Their duties usually include answering phones, greeting clients, data entry, and other administrative duties. Data entry job skills for this role are typically learned on the job. Strong soft skills are important in this role because you are responsible for meeting clients face-to-face.

Word Processor/Typist

A word processor/typist types up reports and letters and creates charts and tables. To be successful at this job, technical skills are a must. You will need plenty of experience with data entry software like Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks, as well as expert knowledge of data structures. 

Data Entry Freelancer

Some companies may hire a freelancer to take care of their data entry if it is not included in the duties of the administrative assistant. Data entry freelancers can work from home and can take on either a one-time project or a month-long project for a company. You can find freelance data jobs on websites like UpWork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, just to name a few. 

Data Entry Skills to Put on Your Resume

You must have a high school diploma to apply for a data entry job. There are plenty of entry-level and part-time data entry jobs for beginners, so previous experience isn’t often required. The data entry skills on your resume should include technical and soft skills. 

A technical resume may be required for some data entry jobs, but it is important that you add transferable skills to boost your resume. If you want to know how to write data entry skills in a resume, you can use general resume tips to help. Furthermore, you should include the following data entry skills:

  • Experience with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Excel
  • Experience with spreadsheets
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Fast typer (including estimated words per minute) 

Data Entry Courses

If you are hoping to start a career in data entry but don’t have much background knowledge, there are many resources available to you. There are numerous data entry courses available online and in-person. 

Online courses for data entry are ideal for professionals looking to switch careers or for full-time students. These programs typically offer a flexible schedule and self-paced learning. If you want to learn data entry, consider one of the following courses. 

Udemy

Most Udemy data entry courses are ideal for beginners. Udemy’s Data Entry Course for Beginners, for example, will teach you everything there is to know about the basics of data entry, such as how to use databases and Microsoft Excel, as well as how to get a freelance data entry job. 

Coursera

Learning data entry through Coursera is a great way for beginners to learn Microsoft Excel, basic formulas and calculations, spreadsheets, charts, and graphs. Excel is a big part of data entry and many Coursera data entry courses will cover everything you need to know to get started with this software.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is an excellent resource for online programs in data entry. They offer an excellent data analysis online class that provides learners with the skills needed to break into the field of data entry. Students will learn the fundamental skills required for entry-level jobs.

How to Get Into Data Entry

A woman sitting on her balcony working on a freelance data entry project.
Data entry clerks can work in offices or as freelancers.

If you’re interested in working in data entry, you should focus on honing the technical and soft skills covered in this article. Data entry clerks and operators use these skills every day. There are a variety of ways to learn these data entry skills, from online courses to data bootcamps to community colleges.

Data entry can be a tedious job, but it is important because information needs to be recorded so that a business has the information on hand and in one place for future reference. Different departments in a company will use this information to make better decisions. 

Working in data entry can be rewarding because you feel that you are a helpful part of the company. Furthermore, there are a variety of different roles and industries data professionals can work in. They also have the convenience of working in offices or as remote freelance workers.

Data Entry Skills FAQ

What is the average data entry salary?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average data entry salary is $37,450 per year. This figure depends on your role, location, and level of education. Upper-level jobs, such as a data entry specialist, can earn a salary of about $60,000 per year. 


Is data entry in demand?

Data entry career growth is expected to show little or no change in the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The largest projected data entry job growth is in reservations and transportation ticket agents and clerks.


Is data entry hard?

No, data entry is not hard. While there are a wide variety of skills required, they can be easy and quick to learn. For example, students can complete beginner-level courses in data entry in a few months and have a good understanding of technical skills like Excel and data structures. 


Is there a data entry skills test?

Yes, there are data entry skills tests. Some employers may require potential candidates to take a test such as a data entry typing test to ensure they have the required skills for the job. You can also find plenty of online data entry tests to test your skills before applying for jobs. 

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