If you’ve ever filled out a customer comment card at a store or a restaurant, there’s a good chance that a data entry clerk somewhere in the world was paid to read your submission and enter your responses into a database or spreadsheet so it could be shared electronically. Think it’s something you could do? Keep reading, because it’s a job that many companies are hiring for right now and the best part: Most people who do data entry work from home.
What do data entry work-from-home jobs entail?
If you look at the job descriptions of data entry positions, such as data entry clerks, data entry specialists, data entry operators, data transcribers and data collections operators, they all seem very similar. All four require candidates to type information — like meeting notes, phone call transcriptions or survey responses — into various data repositories such as databases, spreadsheets and documents.
What skills do I need for work-from-home data entry jobs?
You need to be able to use a computer and have good typing skills. The faster you can type, the more data entry work you will get done — and the more money you’ll make. You’ll also need good multitasking skills since you may be working on a number of different projects at once.
Margaret Lilani, VP of talent solutions at freelance site Upwork, says there are a few other skills that can help you succeed, such as organizational skills, time management, problem solving and communication, and it’s a job that requires you to keep evolving and learning.
“As with most professional skills, practice is important. Data entry is reliant on speed and accuracy of typing. Professionals should look to familiarize themselves with software, whether it be Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or other database management systems. Upskilling [expanding your skill set, say, by taking classes or watching educational YouTube videos] is also important, especially as tech continues to change.
How do I find work-from-home data entry jobs?
You can give yourself a better chance of finding a legitimate job by sticking with reputable, established job posting and freelance sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, Monster, Fiverr and Upwork. Facebook postings and jobs you find on Nextdoor.com may not be the best job sources since there’s no barriers to entry or costs for posting on these sites.
How much money can I make doing data entry from home?
According to job site Indeed.com, the average pay for data entry work is $17.86 per hour (work 40 hours a week and that’s more than $37,000 a year). While the range for data entry work goes up to as high as $26.89 per hour (nearly $56,000 a year if you work 40 hours a week!), people who make big money doing data entry typically have experience and specialized skills under their belt, says Lilani.
“Data entry tasks can range from simple to complex and usually involve typing text, entering numerical data, coding information and categorizing data,” she says. “The amount of money a professional can make per job is dependent on what that particular task is. And often more experience, more time on the platform or higher qualifications allow a freelancer to set a higher rate for their work. You’ll see on our platform that data entry specialists on Upwork charge a wide range of rates, with some making more than $50 an hour.”
Red flags when searching for a work-from-home data entry job
Experts say there are some red flags that you should watch out for when looking for a remote data entry position. First, be very skeptical if the job post says you’re going to make “$100,000 a year right from the start.”
You’ll want to make sure that any employers are legitimate. Ads and emails that have misspellings or poor grammar, a lack of formality (you can’t just start working without going through an onboarding process) and any requests for money should set off warning bells, says Scott Blumsack, chief strategy officer at career site Monster.com.
“As with all job listings, candidates should do their due diligence in researching companies and job listings they are interested in to ensure the position they are pursuing is legitimate,” he says.
How to vet a work-from-home data entry job
Blumsack explains that some key question to ask, particularly with work-from-home listings, include:
- Does it really seem like the job can be done in a completely remote setting?
- Is there an office or contact you can reach easily if needed?
- How is training conducted, and what are the tools needed for the position?
- Are necessary tools, products or software provided by the company or are you expected to purchase them?
Amber Clayton, senior director of Knowledge Center Operations for the Society of Human Resources Management recommends doing some detective work and researching the job poster and the company they are hiring for as a precaution. “Do your homework. This would include making sure the website is legitimate — making sure the website in the job posting matches the company website and researching the organization with websites like Glassdoor or even the Federal Trade Commission,” she says. It’s also a good idea to check their rating on the Better Business Bureau.
Clayton also suggests using LinkedIn as a research tool, searching for the recruiter as well as current employees to ask about the company and what it’s like to work there. Never give personal information such as your Social Security Number to anyone who can’t verify their identity, she says, and be cautious of any company that asks you to purchase equipment. “Most work-from-home jobs will provide company-issued equipment or even provide a stipend for you to purchase those items. Also, ask to conduct interviews via video call. If an interview is taking place via text only, it’s likely a red flag.”
It worked for me! “I make a full-time salary doing data entry work from home”
Way back in 2007, when Kadie Nolan, 50, was working full-time as an office manager at a law firm, the economy was in decline, and she wanted to work from home to be with her baby. “Many business owners weren’t able to afford full-time administrative assistants, but they still needed the support,” she recalls. “This inspired me to start a freelance virtual assistant business, where clients can hire me for the amount of time they can afford, and I can have the flexibility to work from home!
“To boost my offerings, I took a short online course and completed an application to become a notary, then I began networking. It was challenging to convince business owners that they didn’t need someone on-site for administrative tasks, but since the pandemic, the remote aspect has been a big benefit.
“Currently, I work with eight clients (including realtors, business coaches, florists, hairdressers and other small business owners). Clients find me through word of mouth, as well as local networking groups.
This side gig adds up to about 5 to 10 hours a week, which entails project management, data entry, real estate transactions, calendar management and travel coordination. Most of the documents I notarize are wills, trust documents and real estate documents. I also offer traveling notary services for real estate closings.
“I get paid as a 1099 contractor and bring in up to $40,000 per year, which helps pay for things like vacations and my kids’ activities. I love the freedom of being my own boss and being able to be home with my family while making money. It’s also exciting to get to know new clients and learn new things about a variety of fields!”
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.