How to Learn Data Entry

Two Methods:Basic Data Entry QualificationsData Entry Classes

Data entry is the transcription of data from one form into another. Most modern businesses require some type of data entry, from financial figures to email addresses to article and speech transcription. Most types of data entry require the use of a computer and fairly simple software programs. Certification and other programs can provide you with the skills needed to start a career in data entry.However, patience, drive, and focus are personality qualities that will determine your success in the profession. You will find out how to learn data entry here.

Method 1
Basic Data Entry Qualifications

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    Receive your high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate. In order to be accepted into certificate programs or hired as a contract employee, many organizations require that you are at least 16 years of age and have completed this level of education.
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    Achieve proficiency in English and math. In order to be fully qualified you must have an understanding of English text and basic math problems, because many data entry jobs require people to create formulas in spreadsheet programs. Take ESL or basic math classes at a local community college to gain this qualification.
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    Achieve basic proficiency with a personal computer (PC). Attend courses at a community college, lifelong learning center or public library if you do not know how to use email, Microsoft Office and especially spreadsheet programs.
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    Take typing classes. Many data entry jobs pay by the hour or project, so the swiftness with which you type will determine how much money you can make. Take touch typing courses on the Internet or at a lifelong learning center to increase your words per minute (WPM).

Method 2
Data Entry Classes

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    Apply for a data entry contract that has on the job training. As a first job in the data entry profession, you may find an employer who is willing to train you over a period of months to use a specific type of software. These jobs are often low-paying, so you may want to supplement job training with other certificates.
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    Apply for a data entry certificate or diploma program. Research online programs that range from 1-subject certificates to 2-year associate's degrees. Look for the following courses to be included in your program.
    • A data processing course. In order to complete this course you will need to type at least 25 WPM. You will learn how to type and format for maximum organization and efficiency.
    • A Microsoft course. Students should learn how to work with all aspects of the basic window's system, including Word, Excel, Access and even PowerPoint.
    • A bookkeeping course. This course trains students in how to keep track of basic financial data and formulas on spreadsheets. It will teach computations and organized tracking.
    • A computer computation course. This similar course teaches more advanced computer and software calculations that could be used with many software programs. After basic math, this will give you enough math knowledge to work in data entry.
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    Apply for a specialized medical or legal data entry associate's degree. These 2 industries have specific language, terms and needs. Many law and medical data entry jobs will require a qualification or applicable experience.
    • Advanced medical data entry is called medical billing and medical coding. This usually requires an associate's degree and it can significantly increase your job prospects and pay. Medical coders and billers learn the information needed to submit medical procedures to insurance companies.
    • Legal data entry is valuable to the still growing legal profession. You may be called upon to transcribe complicated legal documents at an office or at home. Seek an associate's degree in order to be eligible for legal data entry.
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    Gain experience from taking a variety of different data entry jobs. In order to work from home or garner a higher salary, you must have a proven record of accurate, speedy work. If you have the basic qualifications to work in data entry, work experience may be enough to help you learn other necessary skills.
    • For example, audio transcription may not require extra training. However, by taking a few speech, focus group or dictation transcription jobs, you may be able to increase your WPM and make more money.


  • Some data entry professionals use their organization, accuracy and focus to gain the skills needed to become an executive assistant or office manager. Although data entry jobs are often contracted and provide few opportunities for advancement, you may be able to find a higher salary as an assistant.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer skills
  • Touch typing skills
  • Bookkeeping course
  • Data processing course
  • Medical billing or coding degree
  • Legal data entry degree
  • On the job training

Article Info

Categories: Databases