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One of the best things about working data entry jobs from home is the flexibility to work wherever you want.
You can work during the week or look for weekend work only, which makes them great home-based jobs for moms, students, or anyone looking to earn extra money.
There are plenty of online data input jobs that allow you to work remotely, earning a decent living regardless of your location. You just need to know where to find them.
What Is Data Entry?
Data entry typically refers to taking hard-copy information, like sales receipts, addresses, or survey responses, and inputting it into a computer program. It could also include scanning documents, transcribing audio files, or coding insurance forms.
You don’t need a specialized degree or training to work as a data entry clerk, but you typically need a high school diploma and to be a good typist. If you work in the U.S. or with U.S.-based clients, you’ll need to be able to read English.
Membership organizations, law firms, medical practices, or sales organizations are among the types of companies that hire data entry clerks.
Freelance Entry-Level Data Entry Jobs
When searching for remote data entry jobs, you’ll quickly find that many online jobs out there aren’t worth your time. You can avoid wasting your time by sticking with a reputable company. Below are some of the best platforms for finding entry-level data entry jobs.
FlexJobs is a well-established, reputable site for finding remote, flexible, and freelance jobs, including data entry positions.
Every job listed is vetted by a real person, so you don’t have to sort through scams or low-paying jobs to find a good opportunity. This makes FlexJobs well worth browsing, although you will have to pay to access its listings. You can choose from a $14.95 per month plan, or longer-term plans with lower monthly costs. To learn more, check out our review of the site.
As a bonus, DollarSprout readers can join for up to 20% off by using code FLEXDOLLAR when they register for FlexJobs’s three-month and one-year plans.
Microworkers lists short tasks that employers need completed. Many of these are basic data entry tasks that don’t require any special training or skills.
Most micro-task jobs pay less than a dollar, but they only take a few minutes to complete. If you have a little extra time on your hands and want to make a few bucks quickly, Microworkers is a good way to do it.
3. Amazon MTurk
Amazon MTurk, short for Mechanical Turk, is Amazon’s version of a micro-tasking site but with a focus on data-based tasks like fact-checking or transcribing audio files. Data entry tasks might include removing duplicate content from databases or verifying details in a listing.
Getting started with MTurk is as simple as creating an account and searching for jobs that fit your skills.
Related: How to Make Money on Amazon
Clickworker is another micro-task job site where freelancers, known as Clickworkers, work as independent contractors completing a variety of tasks including data entry side jobs. Once you register, you will need to take an assessment to see what kinds of jobs you qualify for; these are the ones that will appear in your search listings.
More advanced skills will lead to more job options. For instance, if you are bilingual, you will see jobs in both languages you speak.
Registering with Clickworker is a great way to make extra money, but it does note on its website that it’s not a substitute for a full-time job and that your income can fluctuate monthly.
Fiverr is a marketplace that allows freelancers to post services ranging from graphic design, to voiceovers, to proofreading and article writing. You can also offer data entry services to those who need them by bidding on jobs or creating a listing for your services.
You’ll typically earn $5 for your basic package, but you can offer upgrades to increase your earnings. This is a good place to practice your data entry skills and learn to negotiate with clients.
SigTrack hires remote freelance workers to check signatures on petitions against names on voter registration rolls. You get paid based on your productivity, which means there’s no guarantee you’ll get a certain rate.
SigTrack claims that most new users double or triple their speed within the first few days, so even if it feels like you’re not making money at first, it may be worthwhile to stick with it.
There are a few extra requirements for those looking to work through SigTrack. Because SigTrack requires workers to access voter registration data, you must be a U.S. resident. You’ll have to do a brief video interview to verify your identity before beginning work. You also need dual monitors so you can view signatures and voter registrations at the same time.
Companies That Hire Remote Data Entry Clerks
Maybe you’re interested in being a remote data entry clerk but prefer the idea of working for a major company instead of freelancing. You can search job boards and aggregator sites like ZipRecruiter, Upwork, and Indeed.com for other companies that might be hiring.
There are also a few big companies like Amazon that offer remote data entry jobs from home. They’re not always hiring, but all are worth checking out.
7. Kendall Creek Communications
Kendall Creek Communications is a big employer of remote workers, including data entry clerks. This company hires workers as independent contractors to complete jobs in the fields of transcription, data processing, and market research.
It has an impressive list of clients that includes several big U.S. government agencies. Check its website for current employment opportunities.
8. Capital Typing
Capital Typing provides a variety of data and clerical services for businesses. It’s a reputable company and offers a wide range of services other than basic data entry.
Capital Typing offers online data entry jobs from home where clerks are hired as independent contractors. Check out its website for employment opportunities.
Most well-known for its photocopy machines and other print products, Xerox offers a number of work-from-home opportunities, including data entry. You might be able to find a full- or part-time position earning up to $30,000 per year.
It’s not always hiring, so it’s a good idea to upload your resume into its applicant database. When a position becomes available, you’ll be notified via email so you can apply.
What Skills Are Required for Data Entry Jobs?
Though every data entry job is different, there are some basic skills you should have if you want to succeed in this field.
Because you’ll be working from home, all your work will be done using a computer. You don’t have to have expert-level skills, but you do need some basic computer knowledge.
Helpful computer skills include:
- Typing. Since the majority of data entry involves typing, this is the most important skill you’ll need. The faster you can type, the faster you can get your work done and the more money you can make typing from home. The average typing speed is 40 words per minute, so anything above that is a good start for a data entry clerk. You can test your typing speed online to see where you fall.
- Spreadsheets. Many companies organize their data in spreadsheets, so knowing how to use a spreadsheet is key to succeeding in data entry. There are two programs you should be familiar with: Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. Both have a lot of features. However, they’re fairly similar. If you learn one, your skills should transfer to the other.
- Word documents. There’s a good chance you’ll be using Microsoft Word at some point. Knowing how to use the basic features of the program, such as formatting a document or inserting links, will give you an edge over other job-seekers.
- PowerPoint. Although you’re less likely to use PowerPoint compared to Word or Excel, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with it.
- All Google products. Due to their collaborative and cloud-based nature, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drive are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for people to work online. Be sure you have a professional Google account and a good working knowledge of basic Google applications.
If you find that you’re lacking in some of the skills, don’t worry. You can find online courses and tutorials to help, and many of the programs come with in-platform assistance and troubleshooting.
Staying organized is essential to your success as a data entry clerk. This is especially true when you’re working with a lot of data at once and need to keep things straight.
Some common organization skills you need might be:
- Keeping files and folders straight. As a remote data entry clerk, you’ll be downloading and uploading lots of files and folders. Create a system for naming and filing everything on your computer. This will keep you from misplacing a file or sending a client the wrong data.
- Attention to detail. If you’re not detail-oriented, data entry will be difficult. You might be dealing with long strings of data that can start to look alike. Data entry can also be extremely repetitive, and it can be easy to start overlooking small details. Paying attention to detail will keep you from making costly mistakes.
- Tracking deadlines. Many data entry projects are time-sensitive or need to be completed by a specific date. If you have multiple clients or projects, it’s important that you use a calendar or other system for managing deadlines. Google’s calendar feature is a free option you can use for tracking important dates, tasks, and assignments.
If you have trouble staying organized, you can use a task management system like Asana or an app like Evernote to track different clients, projects, and deadlines.
Since you won’t be working in a traditional office environment where it’s easy to chat with your coworkers whenever you need to, it’s important to stay on top of online communication.
Some of the ways you’ll communicate with your coworkers and supervisors include:
- Email. Most communication for online work happens over email. You’ll need a system to monitor your inbox and respond to emails in a timely manner. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you reply within 24 hours, but some emails may be more time-sensitive. Make it easy to keep up with your emails by installing a mail app on your smartphone and setting up new message alerts.
- Online chat communications. Some companies have their own online chat system or use a system like Slack. If your employer uses this type of system, make sure you learn to use it properly and check your messages as needed. Get clear guidance from employers or clients on when they need you to be available online.
- Video conferencing. Your client or employer may hold team meetings or trainings via Zoom or another video conferencing platform. You’ll need to know how to navigate those platforms, as well as have reliable internet to access them.
Being able to communicate clearly and professionally, as well as understanding email etiquette, is also important in an online environment.
How to Avoid Scams
There are lots of people searching for good remote data entry jobs, and scammers know it. Unfortunately, that means there are lots of work-from-home scams posing as legitimate opportunities. Keep an eye out for scams by following these tips.
- Avoid anything that’s too good to be true. If you stumble across a data entry job that promises to pay thousands per month for minimal work, it’s likely a scam. You can make some money, especially if you have experience in a specialized field like medical coding, but keep your expectations reasonable. Be wary of anything that seems too good to be true.
- Don’t pay to get a job. Another scam involves asking you to pay money up front before you can start making money. If a potential employer asks for any kind of payment, walk away. No legitimate job will ever ask you to pay a fee or pay for training before you start.
- Be wary of training programs. Plenty of legitimate employers require you to undergo some training before beginning work as a data entry clerk. Be wary of employers that want you to work for free or extremely low wages as a training period. You may find that after your “training” period, you don’t get the high-paying work they promise. Get a contract or other guarantee before you begin any kind of work.
In addition to these tips, listen to your instincts. If something sounds off about a job or makes you uncomfortable, or if you’re asked for too much personal information before you’re hired, walk away. There are plenty of legitimate options available.
Alternatives to Data Input Jobs
Data entry is a great way to make extra cash from home in your spare time, but it’s not the only remote work available. There are other ways you can turn your free time into extra cash by working online.
Another great work-from-home job is to be a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is a bit like a secretary or personal assistant. The only difference is, you’ll work entirely online.
Virtual assistants perform a wide variety of tasks, such as making phone calls, sending emails, running social media accounts, and more. Many virtual assistants also do data entry work from home, but the possibilities are nearly limitless. Here’s a list of over 150 services you can offer as a virtual assistant.
As a virtual assistant, you have a little less freedom in choosing when and how you work. You’ll be working directly for an entrepreneur or company to complete whatever tasks they need completed.
Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to get started as a virtual assistant.
If you’re good at balancing your checkbook, managing your budget, or just enjoy working with finances, bookkeeping is a good alternative to data entry.
Whether you work remotely or in an office, you’ll perform tasks like invoicing clients, recording receipts, issuing payments, or processing payroll. You can do this job either manually or using bookkeeping software.
You might even use a Google or Excel spreadsheet, and with these, you can create an automatic formula that does the calculations for you, eliminating any possible errors you might make in your math. This helps make you more accurate and efficient and saves time, allowing you take on more clients.
Another way to make money with your typing skills is by working as a transcriptionist. In this position, you’ll listen to audio files and transcribe them to text. You might have to do some light editing, eliminating words like “um” and sighs or sniffles, but other than that, you just type what you hear.
Transcribers can choose jobs the jobs they complete, so you have the freedom to decide when and how much you want to work. Transcription jobs pay at least $5 per hour of audio, with some offering up to $25 per audio hour. To get started, you’ll need to apply and complete a transcription test. Otherwise, no special qualifications are needed.
If you’re new to transcribing, you can join Scribie as a freelancer. This will help you hone your skills and build a portfolio of clients in case you want to start your own data entry business.
Can You Really Make Money from Data Entry?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, data entry clerks make an average hourly wage just over $16 an hour—well above minimum wage. Not all entry-level data entry jobs pay this well, so you’ll want to make sure you choose the best-paying jobs for your schedule and skills.
The amount of money you make also depends on how quickly you work. Most remote data entry jobs are on a contractor or freelance basis, paying per job rather than by the hour.