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Job Description for a Data Encoder

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A data encoder is another name for a data entry clerk. Typically, a data encoder is responsible for compiling, sorting and processing data. Encoders may also need to do filing and organizing as part of their job duties. This career is suitable for a highly organized individual with solid computer and typing skills and keen attention to detail.

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Job Description

A data encoder's responsibilities range from basic administrative tasks to potentially complex data entry. Typical data encoder duties include:

  • Preparing and sorting data for computer entry
  • Reviewing data to make sure it's accurate before entering it in the system
  • Entering data from paper to a computer data entry system 
  • Maintaining the data system and ensuring all information is correctly recorded
  • Completing data backups
  • Filing and making paper copies
  • Checking your work for errors or duplicate entries
  • Reporting errors to management
  • Keeping records of data entry and database information

To carry out these responsibilities, you should be highly organized and good at time management. You should also be attentive to detail and be able to self-audit your work. Data encoders tend to be relatively independent workers, so it’s best if you are a self-starter who can work with speed and accuracy.

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Education Requirements

To become a data encoder, you should have at least a high school diploma or some equivalent certificate such as a GED. An associate or bachelor’s degree is a plus, although a college education is usually not required. Other data encoder qualifications include computer skills, such as a familiarity with Microsoft Office programs, typing skills, an understanding of basic math, and the ability to work quickly and efficiently. You should also be comfortable with data entry and file management, as these skills are fundamental to the job.

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Typically, data encoders work either in an office setting or on a computer from home. Understand that as a data encoder, you spend hours at a time sitting at a computer. If you are the type of person who likes to move around a lot or work on your feet, this might not be the career for you. However, if you enjoy working for long blocks of time on focused, detail-oriented projects, becoming a data encoder could be right up your alley.

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Years of Experience and Salary

Data encoders salaries vary depending on location, company and the individual responsibilities of the job. Data encoders earn between $20,444 and $38,423 per year. On average, data entry clerks make around $13.13 per hour. At the entry level, expect to earn an average of $11.76 per hour.

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Job Growth Trend

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies data entry as one of the fastest declining occupations, with job opportunities expected to fall 21 percent by the year 2026. However, because this occupation has a large number of jobs now, data entry jobs will still be available for those with the right skills. To make it in this industry, you must be willing to grow and adapt to new technologies and the changing needs of employers.

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Chelsea Levinson earned her B.S. in Business from Fordham University and her J.D. from Cardozo. She specializes in labor and workplace issues, and has created content for Vox, Levo, AOL and more.

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