Definition of Data Entry


When scanning the classifieds, it appears that many jobs require data entry skills. The definition of data entry can vary from job to job. Sometimes, it's a small part of a position; other times, it's the primary job function.

Banking and Financial Industries

  • When you send in a bill, it's often to a lockbox. At the lockbox, customer payments are processed for many companies. Data entry is performed to capture customer information and to prepare the check for payment. The initial information is entered in by an encoder and is checked by a proof operator. Both of these positions require a high level of speed and accuracy.

Customer Service/Call Centers

  • Customer service and call center positions often involve entering in customer data such as name, address, and phone number and/or entering orders.

Administrative Support

  • Administrative positions often involve data entry in the form of word processing: writing letters and memos or preparing reports by entering data into a spreadsheet or database.


  • To perform a data entry job, you must be comfortable using a computer. For positions in which data entry is the primary function, a minimum of 10,000 keystrokes per hour or 45 to 50 words per minute is required.

Job Outlook

  • The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a "moderate decline" in data entry jobs due to new technologies. However, the BLS also suggests that those in the field keep up-to-date on the newest technology (e.g., new software) in order to stay marketable.

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