Data entry jobs are often appealing to job seekers because they do not require extensive training and may offer the opportunity to work from home. Jobs in this field can become tedious, however, because much of the work is repetitive. Data entry workers must also be aware of their speed and accuracy because these are two of the qualities that employers look for in candidates. When choosing which type of data entry job to pursue, job seekers should consider their skill level and whether they are willing to pursue formal training in the field.
Data Entry Keyer
Data entry keyers receive lists of numbers, items or other data and enter them into computer software programs. In many cases, they are responsible for entering data from licenses, checks or other hard copy documents. Most data entry keyers utilize a number or data keypad to enter information directly into a software program. Others may use scanners to scan information into a program that recognizes characters and transfers the data. The data entry keyer will then correct any errors or add missing data. Some data entry keyers work under close supervision, and key in standardized data so they do not have to make any judgment calls on their own. Experienced data entry keyers may be required to select data or data codes based on their best judgment, or they may need to search for data among several documents. These positions typically do not require formal training because employers provide instruction on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for data entry keyers as of May 2009 was $28,000.
Word processors or typists enter information that is used to create mailing labels, letters, reports and other text documents. They utilize a keyboard and word processing program to create text files, and must correct any spelling, punctuation or grammar errors as they work. Word processors also format the appearance of documents, such as making sure that pages are numbered properly, adjusting margins and line spacing to fit the pag; and utilizing proper fonts. Some word processors may work on technical documents, and use statistical information to create tables, charts or diagrams. Word processors must also proofread their work, and may be required to perform general office duties as well, such as making photocopies, filing and answering phones. Most word processor jobs do not require formal training, and workers learn the necessary skills while on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for word processors and typists was $33,720 as of May 2009.
Transcriptionists listen to dictated recordings and transcribe the information or data into correspondence, reports and other documents. They usually use a headset and stop the recording as they go to enter information into a word processing program. Transcriptionists proofread and edit the content to make sure that the text is readable and there are no grammar errors. Many transcriptionists work in the medical field and transcribe recordings made by doctors. Others work in the legal field and create legal documents or other records that may be used in court. Some transcriptionists may also work for general clients and transcribe information in recordings for letters, business reports or other text materials. Most transcriptionists complete formal training in transcription at a vocational school or community college. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical transcriptionists had median hourly wages of $15.41 as of May 2008.
2016 Salary Information for Medical Transcriptionists
Medical transcriptionists earned a median annual salary of $35,720 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, medical transcriptionists earned a 25th percentile salary of $28,660, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $43,700, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 57,400 people were employed in the U.S. as medical transcriptionists.