How to become a Data Entry Clerk. Read through our full job guide to learn more about Data Entry Clerk careers in the UK.
What does a Data Entry Clerk do?
As a data entry clerk you would update, maintain and retrieve information held on computer systems. You would also transfer information from paper-based records to computer files.
Examples of the work include:
- inputting personal details of customers opening new bank accounts
- entering classified adverts in a newspaper
- transferring paper-based market research results
- updating patients’ medical records
- processing sales invoices
- tracking students’ test results in a school or college.
In most jobs, you would input both text and figures into spreadsheets or databases. You may use ready-made software packages or tailor-made systems designed to meet your organisation’s particular needs.
Data entry work is often combined with customer service assistant and contact centre operator roles.
A full-time post would normally involve working 35 to 40 hours a week, although part-time work and temporary contracts are often available.
You would be based at a computer workstation, often in a busy, open-plan office or contact centre.
How much does a Data Entry Clerk earn?
Salary and pay information:
- Starting salaries can be between £16,000 and £19,000 a year.
- Experienced data entry clerks can earn up to £26,000.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
You do not always need qualifications to work as a data entry clerk, although employers may prefer you to have GCSEs (grades A-C) or equivalent in English and maths.
You will need a basic knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets and databases, and your skills and speed in inputting data will often be tested at interview. Employers normally provide training on their data entry systems when you start work.
You could develop your computer skills before looking for work by completing qualifications such as:
- OCR Certificate and Diploma for IT Users (New CLAiT)
- BCS European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).
Visit the OCR and British Computer Society (BCS) websites for more details about these qualifications, and check with local colleges and training providers to find out which courses are available in your area.
- British Computer Society
You may be able to get into this job through an Apprenticeship scheme. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers. For more information, visit the Apprenticeships website.
Training and Development
Once you start work, you would usually receive induction training, including your employer’s office procedures, data entry systems and confidentiality rules. It is common to spend the first few weeks working under the supervision of a staff mentor or training officer.
You could take a range of work-based qualifications including NVQ levels 1 and 2 in Contact Centre Operations.
Your employer would choose the qualification best suited to your particular job role.
Skills and Knowledge
- good computer skills
- the ability to work in a busy environment
- good maths and English skills
- excellent customer service skills
- an understanding of data confidentiality issues
- the ability to work quickly and accurately, and pay attention to detail
- an awareness of health and safety issues.
Many companies rely on computerised information storage and retrieval systems, so you could find work in a range of industries.
With experience, you may be able to progress to supervisor or team leader roles. There may also be opportunities to train and mentor new recruits.
Vacancies are advertised through Jobcentre Plus, recruitment agencies, the local press and on company websites.