A data technician is an entry-level job that pays well and can be learned easily. According to Education-Portal.com, people who like working with computers and can type quickly may find work as a data technician rewarding. People who excel as data technicians think quickly, can handle multiple tasks at once and are very detail-oriented.
Data technicians, also known as coders or data-entry keyers, collect, record and retrieve data. They are often employed by organizations like universities, hospitals and other businesses that keep large amounts of data. They are responsible for reading documents, verifying data and then entering it into records and databases. Data technicians are also responsible for retrieving data if someone requests it.
Data technicians spend most of their day in front of a computer, so being able to sit for long hours is requisite for the job. In some instances, data technicians deal with materials that are tested in laboratories, but most of the time they spend entering data into a computer or reading forms.
According to Education-Portal.com, a college degree is not needed to become a data technician. Most people are hired with a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. However, there are some skills required to be a data technician. Most people have experience with computers, specifically word processing and the Internet. According to Education-Portal.com, some employers require employees to get an associate degree before agreeing to hire them.
According to PayScale.com, skilled data technicians can make between $14 and $27 per hour as of June 2010. However, the number of jobs for data technicians are expected to decline moderately and the median pay of a data technician was $26,120 per year in 2008, according to Education-Portal.com.
People who are data technicians must be good at managing their own time, as much of their work is done alone. One risk of working in front of a computer for many years is carpal tunnel syndrome, a painful disorder where repeated motions trap the nerves in the arm. While some people are cut out to work as data technicians, not everyone has the patience or concentration level required to do the job successfully.