Online Data Entry Jobs
For clerical professionals with great dexterity and the kind of laser focus that can get a job done in record time, data entry is an increasingly rewarding career choice. Careers in data entry are broadly available, and range from those in the medical industry to those in the insurance, legal, and business fields.
There’s a niche for every clerical professional in this growing field, as well as opportunities for increased training, dynamic advancement, and the opportunity for great earnings increases over the course of a data entry career. In today’s economy, those three pillars of employment shouldn’t be taken for granted. For those who are considering a career in this growing field, there are a few things to know and consider before taking the first steps as a data entry technician.
Training is Sometimes Required in Order to be Hired
Data entry is generally considered one of the least-skilled clerical positions currently required by most businesses. It requires very little technological skill or previous clerical experience, and most businesses will require just a high school diploma or GED to get started in an entry-level position. This is not universally true, however, as some data entry careers do require a bit more advanced knowledge.
The two main career paths in this field that will require some additional training are those that involve medical transcription and telecommuting. Medical transcriptionists are often required to have at least two years of training in their field, and this is often provided by a nearby community college. These programs are easy to find, affordable to pursue, and they’ll lead to a much better pay scale for those who pursue them.
Those professionals who wish to engage in a data entry career from home, typically via telecommuting, will often be required to undergo some form of training by the company doing the hiring. After they have completed this in-house training satisfactorily, they will be permitted to work from home. This helps the company ensure that their employees are performing their work according to company standards and best practices.
Skills Required of All Data Entry Professionals
Though advanced training or certification is not required in most cases when landing a data entry position, there are some basic skills that every applicant should have. Luckily, most of these skills can be learned and polished at home prior to beginning the application and interview process. In no particular order, there are five pillars of knowledge that should be held by every data entry aspirant:
- Strong Language Skills: Data entry typically involves taking printed or written content and turning into a database entry or electronic record. This requires a strong command of the office’s language — probably English or Spanish — and a good grasp of things like grammar, syntax, and semantics.
- Clerical Skills: Though most of the duties associated with data entry involve strictly entering information into a database or record-keeping system, those applying for a position in this field should have basic clerical skills. This means being able to operate productivity applications like the Microsoft Office suite, being able to print, copy, and fax, documents, answer phones, and engage in stenography or transcription.
- Administration Skills: For the best chance of advancement within a data entry position, candidates should have some measure or practical or theoretical experience with business management and administration. That means dealing with things like employee management, resource allocation, and human resource activities at some point in the past.
- Computer Skills: The very nature of a career within data entry is that it often involves the transformation of written content into something that is digital, easily searched, and inherently electronic. For this reason, a working knowledge of computers is absolutely a requirement for the position. Candidates pursuing this kind of career should be familiar with the basic functions and operations of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems, as well as the basic software tools that each operating system contains. Some potential employers may even test for this proficiency as part of the interview and selection process.
- Customer Service Skills: A friendly demeanor when interacting with customers and coworkers is a necessity in this field, especially because data entry professionals often act as a liaison between their electronic records and the person who created the existing version of them. Meeting quality standards set forth by these coworkers and customers is another essential part of the job.
A Hallmark of Data Entry Opportunities: The Online Scam
There is no shortage of data entry positions in the offline world, but a number of companies have started moving their operations online. This allows data entry professionals to enjoy the stability and compensation of a clerical position while also enjoying the comfort and self-management of a work-from-home opportunity. Unfortunately, however, this trend toward telecommuting in the data entry field has opened up consumers to a number of damaging employment scams.
These scams seek to monetarily gain from job seekers who commit to a home-based position that actually requires them to pay for training, materials, or even the ability to perform their job. These illegitimate jobs can be avoided by sticking only to known, proven data entry job resources when searching for a new position. That includes websites like Axion Data Services, Capital Typing, and DionData Solutions. Each company is entirely legitimate, and offers only positions that are considered free of scams. And each of these companies clearly lays out the required skills and experiences to land each home-based data entry position.
A Growing Field in Trying Times
Despite economic uncertainty worldwide, the data entry field is as strong as it has ever been. With both traditional and home-based positions, and those which require little or no prior experience, it’s a great way to start a rewarding clerical career with clear opportunities for advancement and enrichment over the long-term.