Many companies have large amounts of information that must be recorded for future use and analysis. In order to process and input this data into their systems, organizations will hire a data processor or data entry keyer.
This position requires someone who can understand company processes and databases. Information must be entered into the computer and stored in a consistent and professional manner. The information needing to be properly recorded may be in the form of a written document or an email.
If you are interested in this job, you may want to consider:
- Are you comfortable with repetition? Data entry can be monotonous and tedious. If you are concerned you will become bored with proofreading forms and entering information into a computer, then you may need to look for another career path.
- Can you follow a deadline? As a data entry keyer, you will be given abundant amounts of information that must be accurately and quickly entered into the system.
- Are you motivated? With repetition and quickly approaching deadlines, you will have to be motivated day after day to continue in this field. A business is paying you hourly and will not look favorably on slow or inaccurate work.
- Are you detail-oriented? A simple mistake could cost a business money, customers, or many other problems. Entering an accidental “0” means the difference of 1,000 and 10,000. If you are not careful in your work, then a job in data entry is most likely not for you.
Requirements and Education
To become a data processor, you need a high school education. You will need to be proficient in typing. You may expect a small level of on-the-job training for the specific needs and processes of the company.
You may look at this position as a foot in the door. If you are hoping to move up in the company, then further education will be needed. A degree in business or administration will enable you to move up when positions are open. Some employees get their degrees while they are working as a data processor, since the hours are predictable and classes may be scheduled around their work. Many employers encourage this kind of initiative.
Salary and Outlook
According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for the data entry keyer was $29,220 in 2012. This number comes from the 207,280 employees recorded in this field. The highest paying industry in 2012 for data entry keyers was Natural Gas Distribution with an annual salary of $42,220.
This job is seeing a rapid decrease of 6.8 percent in job growth from 2010 to 2020. The BLS considers data entry keyers to in the top 30 of projected employment declines. Current technology is becoming more proficient in collecting and storing data, so businesses are using less of their hired personnel to complete data entry tasks and relying on software instead. This decrease in available positions is another reason to continue education and look towards future promotions.
Tips for Becoming a Data Processor:
- Become a proficient typist. You will not be hired if you are not quick and typing and knowledgeable of a computer system and software.
- Practice proofreading. Consider becoming a student tutor or, at the very least, proofreading your own papers. You will need to pay careful attention to detail in this job and correct mistakes on forms.
- Learn data processing software. Microsoft Word, Excel and Access are all programs you should become familiar with. Most business will require a proficiency in these areas.
- Get a student job or internship. Finding an office job while in high school will help you become familiar with filing, copying and faxing. These basic tasksshould be understood when working in an office.