what is a data entry clerk?

As a data entry clerk, you ensure an organization's database remains accurate and current. The job also entails transcribing data from phone conversations or recordings. While you work electronically in most organizations, you may still encounter paper documents in small companies. Your employer expects you to keep all the relevant information in the right place for easier retrieval. This job also requires high accuracy since a single mistake impacts the company significantly.

working in multiple fields

Almost all industries employ data entry clerks. Financial institutions hire data entry clerks to manage payroll, auditing, tax preparations, account payable forms and corporate finance data. If you land a job in a retail company, your job revolves around collecting online sales data, inventories and logistics details. The government also needs professional clerks to input public records and election data.

The health sector also hires clerks to compile data from diagnostic labs, clinics and medical centres. Depending on the company, you may do additional tasks like general receptionist duties and answering phone calls in an office setting. Regardless of the industry, you require attentiveness to details to ensure accurate records.

Would working as a data entry clerk suit your clerical and administrative skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a data entry clerk role.

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average data entry clerk salary

According to Job Bank, data entry clerks in Canada take home an average salary of $35,963 per year or an hourly rate of $18.44. When you work in an entry-level position that requires minimal skills, your starting salary is $30,232 yearly. Experienced data entry clerks with years of experience take home over $48,675 per year. Your earnings usually depend on the complexity of your duties and if you have other responsibilities. If you perform other administrative tasks, you are likely to earn more.

what factors affect the salary of a data entry clerk?

As a data entry clerk, your earnings fluctuate based on various factors. Experienced data entry clerks have higher hourly earnings due to their expertise. Experienced workers are also familiar with the common software for recording data and require minimal supervision. Your location also determines your earnings. When you work in a region like Alberta or Manitoba, you earn an average salary of $45,000 per year. This is a higher wage than in New Brunswick, which offers data entry clerks an average salary of $33,150 annually.

The company you work for also influences your earnings. A small company has limited resources and may not pay higher salaries. Large companies have unlimited resources, and the complexity of the duties increases your earning expectations.

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types of data entry clerks

Some of the types of data entry clerks include:

  • data entry keyers: as a data entry keyer, you input data into computer systems from hard copies and paper documents. You scan figures and enter financial transactions to create backups in databases.
  • transcriptionists: as a transcriptionist, you listen to recordings and audio files and transcribe the information to Word documents. Your job is to create reports from meeting recordings or dictations from managers.
  • typists: as a typist, you are a data entry clerk who types text documents and creates reports and correspondence like emails and letters. You also type minutes and hard-copy documents to ensure they are stored in the company databases.
woman smiling looking to the side
woman smiling looking to the side

working as a data entry clerk

A data entry clerk is a great career if you want to pursue administrative roles. Here are the specific duties and work schedules for the role.


data entry clerk skills and education

Working as a data entry clerk in Canada doesn’t have educational requirements, but some employers require the following:

  • work experience: while you can get a job as a data entry clerk after completing secondary school, some employers require work experience. Any experience in data entry increases your chances of getting a job. Gain experience through volunteer work. On-the-job training also prepares you for the role since you learn to use the required software.

competencies and characteristics of data entry clerks

Data entry clerks need the following skills:

  • excellent interpersonal skills: as a data entry clerk, you work with a team to get all the data uploaded within the predetermined time frame. Sometimes, you respond to customers' calls to provide vital information. Such tasks require excellent interpersonal skills.
  • fast typing speed: companies prefer data entry clerks who combine speed with accuracy. You input a considerable amount of data in a short time. On average, companies hire people who type at least 48 words a minute. If you type 70 words or more a minute, you stand a better chance of employment. Many companies also look for competency in 10-key numerical data entry.
  • basic software knowledge: data entry clerks use various computer software daily. Therefore, you should know how to use word processors and spreadsheet applications, including Microsoft 365. The ability to use new applications quickly is an advantage.
  • ability to operate office equipment: you work with office equipment that increases productivity. As a result, it is important to have a basic understanding of how to use printers, copiers, scanners and dictation machines.
  • trustworthiness: data entry clerks handle confidential information from various sources. Organizations usually perform due diligence on their candidates to ensure they don't hire untrustworthy individuals who may compromise data security.

FAQs about data entry clerk jobs

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a data entry clerk.


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