Data entry clerks update, maintain, and retrieve information held on computer systems.

What does a data entry clerk do?

Data entry work could be in all kinds of areas, including:

  • entering personal details of customers opening new bank accounts
  • entering information for classified advertisements 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 enter both text and figures into spreadsheets or databases. You may use ready-made software packages, or software systems that have been specially designed to meet your organisation's particular needs.

Data entry work is often combined with customer-service assistant and contact-centre operator roles.

What do I need to do to become a data entry clerk?

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. At interview, you would normally be tested for keyboard skills and accuracy in entering data. Employers will provide training on their data entry systems when you start work.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Customer service
  • IT
  • Numeracy

Academic route

  • GCSEs (grade A-C) or equivalent in maths and English

Related subjects

  • Maths

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

Many companies rely on computerised information, so you could find work in a wide range of industries.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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