What is Data Entry?

Data entry is actually a very broad term that encompasses a number of occupations. These include electronic data processors, typists, word processors, transcribers, coders, and clerks. And, yes, many of these jobs may be done from a remote location.

The way that online data entry jobs are performed may vary. Data entry operators working for ​​micro labor outfits that use crowdsourcing techniques may simply do small bits of work for small fees, or they may work for more traditional data entry companies, which are often ​​business process outsourcing firms and be paid an hourly or per-word rate.

Data Entry Definition

In essence, data entry means to operate equipment, often a keyboard, that is used to input data, which may be alphabetic, numeric, or symbolic, into a company’s system. The data entry operator may be required to verify or edit data as it is entered.

How Data Entry Jobs Work

And while many of the data entry positions listed above fall under the data entry umbrella, jobs that are advertised as “data entry jobs” usually require the least skills and in turn pay the least. In general, the way data entry jobs pay is an hourly wage (rare for online data work), per-piece, keystrokes per hour or keystrokes per minute or per-word. Read more about what and how data entry jobs pay.

Specialized data entry positions, like medical transcription or medical coding, require more training and/or certification. And even among general transcription jobs, there are many different types of transcription, which may take more experience and speed than the typical data entry job.

Though many companies only allow those who have been trained in-house to work offsite, data entry can often be done from home. However, many online ads for work-at-home data entry jobs are actually ​work-at-home scams. For more on scams, see How to Spot a Data Entry Scam.

Be sure to also check out 4 Ways to Make Money Typing from Home, and 5 Things You Should Know About Data Entry Work Before You Try It before getting started.