5 Skills You’ll Need To Be a Data Entry Operator

data entry operator

5 Skills You’ll Need To Be a Data Entry Operator

Data entry operators play an important role in organisations. They are responsible for ensuring all data is correct, keeping records up to date and creating reports that provide insight on different activities within the company.

These lightning speed typists are often not the most social in the office. You’ll regularly find them zoned right into a spreadsheet with headphones on listening to their favourite music or catching up on a new true crime podcast.

But what exactly does a data entry operator do? Where do they work? And what kind of skills do you need to be a data entry operator? Let’s take a more detailed look at this role below.

What is a data entry operator?

A data entry operator works either for a company in-house or is contracted by a larger organisation to a company. They can work in offices or remotely. They are in charge of data entry, file management and often also have to complete reporting.

What do data entry operators do?

These administration specialists work inputting data into computer and software systems for a company’s file management. They sometimes also need to produce reports for different departments from this data.

The data can sometimes be sensitive in nature and mistakes can cause serious issues in the company, even resulting in financial losses. So, data entry operators need to be both fast and meticulous in their work.

Where do data entry operators work?

Data entry operators can work remotely or be office-based depending on the company they are working with. Sometimes they will work in-house and be employed directly by the company and sometimes they are contracted to different companies by another organisation.

There are data entry roles in almost every industry from healthcare to education, to business, to the public sector. There’s a lot of work out there for these talented individuals.

How much do date entry operators make?

According to SEEK, data entry operators can make anywhere from $55,000 to $70,000 per year depending on their experience and expertise. The salary can also change depending on the company they work for and the industry they are working in.

What skills do data entry operators need?

Data entry operators need a variety of skills to excel in this role. It’s not easy to maintain focus and keep a high accuracy rate. Let’s take a look at the skills you’ll need to excel as a data entry operator.

Attention to Detail

In data entry everything needs to be entered to the letter. A wrong number in one column can mess up the entire system. This is not a role you can go to and switch off. You need to maintain focus and be meticulous in your process to ensure no information is entered incorrectly.

You will need excellent attention to detail to excel as a data entry operator.


In data entry there are lots of deadlines and high expectations of your outputs. You’ll need to be able to manage your tasks by order of priority and keep abreast of all your time limits to ensure you are meeting the expectations of the role. The ability to multitask and use effective time management will come in very handy in this job.

Written and verbal communication skills

Data entry requires exceptional written and verbal communication skills. You could be on the phone for part of your day, inputting data directly from clients or stakeholders or you could be liaising with other departments or colleagues. There’ll be reporting to complete and a lot of written communication to track. This is a role where you’ll need those stellar communication skills to excel.

Technically savvy

Data entry operators often deal with several software systems and digital file management systems. So, a good understanding of Microsoft office suite, spreadsheets and the ability to pick up new systems quickly will help you succeed as a data entry operator.

Fast typing speed

This should come as no surprise, but you’ll need to have an excellent typing speed. This can also come with time. But if you’re not a touch typist you need to at least be accurate and fast to do this role effectively. Once you’ve been doing it for a while your typing speed will increase, and your accuracy will get better. Just make sure you’re not one of those people who is typing one word at a time.

How do you become a data entry operator?

Data entry operators often get their start in administration before moving into this specialist field. The best course to complete to get your foot in the door would be the Certificate III in Business with a specialisation in Administration.

This course is available entirely online through self-paced, trainer-supported study. It can take anywhere from six months to twelve months to complete depending on the delivery option you chose. In the course you’ll learn how to:

  • Apply critical thinking skills in a team environment
  • Support personal wellbeing in the workplace
  • Participate in sustainable work practices
  • Use inclusive work practices
  • Assist with maintaining workplace safety
  • Engage in workplace communication
  • Use digital technologies to communicate in a work environment
  • Write simple documents
  • Organise personal work priorities
  • Process financial transactions
  • Maintain business resources
  • Organise schedules
  • Handle receipt and dispatch of information

You can learn more about the course here.

Where to from there?

Once you’re working in data entry and you want to level up in your career there are few different paths you can explore.

You can look into moving into management. A course in leadership and management would help you make the leap to this role. Or you could consider going into quality auditing. The fastidious nature of data entry provides a wonderful background to move into this field.

Final thoughts

Data entry is wonderful career path for anyone with an eye for detail and a fastidious nature. This career can open up other opportunities in administration and management. If you’re thinking about getting into an exciting career in data entry, you can learn more about the course here or  get in touch with us. We’d love to help you find the right course for your career.

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