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Data Entry and Information Processing Careers and Jobs

Data Entry Career Information and Job Description

The amount of info organizations must process is continually increasing. Data entry and information processing workers work to make sure that information is handled smoothly and efficiently. These workers allow organizations to keep pace with continuous and frequent changes representative of the “Information Age” by typing text, keying in data, operating a variety of office machines, and carrying out other clerical duties. Besides the aforementioned jobs held by word processors, typists, and data entry keyers, workers also carry the title of electronic data processors, keypunch technicians, and transcribers.

Word processors and typists normally prepare reports, letters, mailing labels, and other textual material. Typists make prepare neat, typed copies of materials authored by other clerical, professional, or managerial workers. Typists work as entry level employees, and perform routine tasks like typing headings on form letters, addressing envelopes, or preparing standard forms using typewriters or computers. As experience is gained, they take on more complicated assignments which involve more independent judgment and more accuracy. Senior typists might work with extremely technical material, plan and type complex statistical tables, join and rearrange materials from various sources, or prepare master copies.

The majority of keyboarding work is performed on word processing equipment—typically a personal computer or part of a larger computer system—which has a keyboard, video display monitor, and printer, which might have “add-on” abilities like optical character recognition readers. Such equipment is utilized by word processors in recording, editing, storing, and revising letters, reports, memos, statistical tables, forms and various other printed materials. Although this is not as common as it used to be, some employees work on word processing teams which carry out transcription and typing responsibilities for many different departments within the organization.

Word processors and typists might also take on other duties like taking phone calls, filing, or running copy machines. The job title of the employees will differ according to the responsibilities they take on. For instance, a clerk typist will type, file, sort mail, and answer the phones. Note readers are responsible for transcribing stenotyped notes of events into standard forms.

Data entry keyers normally key in lists of items, numbers, or other data into PC’s or they might finish forms found on the monitor. They might have to manipulate current data, edit existing information, or proofread new data entered into the database to ensure it is accurate. Some examples of data sources include customers’ personal information, medical records, and membership lists. Usually, this information is used internally by a company and may be reformatted before other departments or customers utilize it.

Keyers use various types of equipment to enter data. Many use a machine that converts the information they type to magnetic impulses on tapes or disks for entry into a computer system. They might work on the preparation of document that must be printed or published by utilizing data entry composing devices. A few keyers run online terminals or personal computers. Data entry keyers are beginning to work more and more with non keyboard forms of data entry, like scanners or electronically transmitted files and documents. When new character recognition systems are being utilized, data entry keyers frequently only input data that can’t be read by machines. In other firms, keyers might also run computer peripheral equipment like printers or tape readers, serve as tape librarians, or carry out additional clerical tasks.

Career Training and Job Qualifications

Typically high school graduates who have met certain keyboarding speed standards are hired by companies. More commonly companies are looking for potential employees that have been trained in work processing or data entry or have some experience in those areas. One should be skilled in spelling, punctuation, and grammar and be familiar with normal office equipment and procedures.

High schools, community colleges, business schools, temporary help agencies, or self-teaching aids such as books, tapes, and internet tutorials can aid in teaching applicants the skills needed for an occupation in keyboarding such as word processing, spreadsheet, and database management computer software packages.

For a lot of applicants, employment as data entry and information processor is their first job coming out high school. Work in this area can help launch a career into better paying occupations with added responsibilities. Big firms and government agencies normally have programs to train employees and empower them to enhance their skill set and achieve promotions. Data entry and information processors routinely move to better administrative positions like secretary, administrative assistant, or statistical clerk or might become a supervisor in the word processing or data entry center.

Data Entry and Information Processing Jobs and Employment Opportunities

Through 2012, total employment of data entry and information processing workers is expected to fall. However, many openings will be created each year as workers leave the work force or transfer to new occupations. Favorable opportunities will exist for those who have good technical capabilities, specifically experience with related software programs. To avoid becoming obsolete, data entry and information processing workers must constantly enhance their skills.
Although data entry and information processors employment growth rate is sensitive to improve productivity resulting form organizational restructuring and the use of new technologies, expected growth varies among these employees. Employment of word processors and typists is projected to fall as a result of the increase in PC’s which enable other employees to carry out work previously done by word processors and typists. For instance, the majority of professionals and managers utilize PC’s to perform their own word processing. However, since technologies relating to data entry keyers tend to be more expensive to implement, employment of such employees will decrease less than word processors and typists.

Employment growth rate seen by data entry keyers will still be tempered by improved productivity as a variety of new data-capturing innovations, like bar code scanners, voice recognition systems, and complicated character recognition readers become more popular. Such innovations can be utilized in an array of different business operations, including inventory tracking, invoicing, and order placement. Additionally, as telecommunications systems improve and advance, companies will be able benefit form networks which transmit data electronically. Using such networks will facilitate the automatic input of more data into the computers, meaning there will be less of a need for data entry keyers.

Beyond improvements in technology, employment of data entry and information processing employees will be harmed by the trend of businesses contracting out their work. In some cases, companies have completely eliminated in house positions and turned to temporary employment services to fulfill their needs. A few bigger data entry and information processing companies are employing more foreign workers outside the U.S. at cheaper rates. As international trade barriers are reduced and telecommunications technology continues to advance, this shift of work will result in limited demand for data entry keyers.

Historical Earnings Information

In 2002, the average annual wages of word processors and typists were $26,730. The middle 50 percent made anywhere from $21,540 to $32,950. The bottom 10 percent made less than $17,750, while the top 10 percent made upwards of $40,450 a year. As always, salaries of these workers differ according to the industry and geographic location.