Getting Started as a Data Entry Clerk: Know the Basics Before You Apply

Getting Started as a Data Entry Clerk: Know the Basics Before You Apply

Are you interested in finding an entry level job as a data entry clerk? Often seen as an alternative to working in hospitality or retail, the job can be rewarding. In many cases it can help act as a stepping stone, opening up social networking opportunities in an office setting. Though there are also sometimes remote data entry jobs as well, it’s important to beware of scams. Here, we’re going to talk specifically about data entry in a physical workplace.

Required Skills

You typically don’t need an extensive work history to get a job as a data entry clerk. You will, however, likely need a high school diploma or GED and some basic office skills. While the position is typically thought of one that involves entering information into a computer, it can entail more.

You’ll certainly need good typing skills – the more proficient and the faster, the better. Additionally, you should try to familiarize yourself with both Mac and PC operating systems and basic peripherals (mice and keyboards). Familiarity with certain software programs like Word and Excel can also help you land the job. Good email writing skills are also a major plus.


As it’s usually an entry level position, you shouldn’t be expected to know everything. Nor should you be tasked with making major decisions. However, you do need to have good office etiquette and proper attire.

As for the job itself, it could entail answering phones, general office tasks, scanning documents, transcription, and/or filing documents. Often, it entails even more. Granted, you’ll likely get used to the swing of things pretty quickly. The job really should not be overwhelming, and the tasks should remain pretty consistent. You may, however, wear many hats and be expected to multitask from time to time.

Where You Fit In

Data entry clerks typically report to an office manager or administrator, though this varies from company to company. It can also vary greatly based on the size of the company.

Smaller companies may have less actual data entry work and may have other needs they want met as well. Medium sized and larger offices sometimes require more than one clerk and the job may be more specifically tailored.

Typically the job is well defined in terms of responsibilities and tasks, and positions may be full or part time.