If you need a flexible way to make some extra cash that’s as easy as getting paid to type, data entry may be a good option. Data entry is not difficult to start and doesn’t require a lot of background knowledge or experience. Often, it can be done from home on your own time.
Online data entry won’t pay tons of money, but it is a good job if you’re looking for a way to make a little extra money while you’re at home watching the kids.
I don’t do any data entry jobs now, but I did when I was first looking for a way to make money online. My kids were little and it was impossible for me to go back to work for a number of reasons (plus I didn’t want to!).
Despite these things, the reality was that we were living on one income in a high cost of living area. I needed to do something to make money.
Eventually, I started working fully as a freelance writer, but before that really picked up I did other odds and ends to help make ends meet. One of those things was data entry.
In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the most common questions that people have about data entry jobs, so you’ll be better equipped to decide if this is a work from home position you want to do.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
What is Data Entry?
Data entry is simply the act of compiling different information and putting it into a simple format based on your employer’s requirements. What this will look like differs from one company to the next.
Many companies have information coming in from all sorts of sources, and they need data entry clerks to put the data into a format that’s easy for them to analyze and use.
If you’re looking for a way to make money on the side, there are companies that will pay you for data entry jobs. Most of the time, these jobs will be considered entry-level.
If you have more experience or more time to dedicate to working from home, you might find data entry a little boring and low-paying. In that case, I suggest looking into transcription jobs. Many people consider data entry a segway into transcription, simply because they both involve a lot of careful typing.
How Can I Do Data Entry Jobs From Home?
If you’re just starting out working from home and want a data entry job for extra cash, you need to find a position with a company that’s hiring. While there are a number of companies that do have data entry jobs available, the competition to get one of these jobs is usually steep.
If you don’t see something right away, don’t give up your search. First look at the companies I’ve highlighted below, applying to any that you think you qualify for. Next, you’ll want to check job board websites, some of which I’ll also list in this article.
After you apply, you may be asked to take an aptitude test or conduct a video or phone interview. If you’re hired, you’ll then be able to start working as an independent contractor.
Some companies have regular, consistent work available for their work-from-home contractors, while others hire on a project-by-project basis.
How Much Do Online Data Entry Jobs Pay?
According to PayScale, the average data entry clerk makes around $13 per hour. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) puts this rate a little higher, pegging the median hourly wage for a data entry keyer at $15.47 as of May 2018. You can expect to make a little more if you are an experienced transcriber or an especially fast typer.
Note that many data entry jobs pay per word, which means that the faster you can type, the more money you’ll make. You may also occasionally find some companies that prefer to pay a flat hourly wage.
How Do I Know if a Data Entry Job is Legit?
While there are plenty of totally legit data entry jobs, there are also lots of scams out there, so approach any new position carefully. Keep in mind that if something is too good to be true, it probably is.
Steer clear of sites that offer to pay you lots of money for very little work. Remember that most data entry jobs, while easy, are low paying.
Also, watch out for anyone who asks you to pay for any software or information. You shouldn’t need to pay for any special training or materials to do this kind of work.
Before you start working for a company, do some research online to see if any red flags come up. You can also check the company on the Better Business Bureau’s website, just to make sure that it’s legitimate.
What Skills or Tools Do I Need for Online Data Entry Jobs?
If you want to do data entry work from home, your number one asset will be how fast you can type. If you’re a fast and accurate typist, you’ll stand the best chance for making decent money.
Many data entry companies pay you based on the number of words or keystrokes you complete. If you have a limited amount of time in which to work, you’d obviously want to make as much money as possible in that amount of time.
Other things you need to be successful at this job include:
- High-speed internet connection
- Laptop or desktop computer (most won’t allow you to work on a phone or tablet)
- Microsoft Word or Office
- A land-line or cell phone with reception
- PayPal account or another method of receiving payment, based on your employer’s requirements
Other than that, there isn’t much you’ll need for this job. That’s one of the reasons that data entry is one of the most sought-after ways to make extra money from home.
Data Entry Buzz Words
Data entry can entail several different job aspects, so each company may advertise a data entry job a little differently. If you’re browsing job boards for this type of work, you’ll want to keep in mind some of the various names that sometimes disguise themselves as data entry jobs:
- Data Entry Keyer
- Data Entry Clerk
If you aren’t having much luck typing in “data entry” in the search box, using one of these keyword terms may bring you different results.
Companies That Offer Data Entry Jobs From Home
Ready to find an online data entry job for yourself? Start your search at one of these companies:
Axion Data Services
Axion boasts a very stable workforce, so job openings are rare. This company only hires people with at least 2-3 years of prior data entry experience and a fast typing rate. In order to be considered for a job with this company, you must register in their database.
Lionbridge regularly hires independent contractors who work from home to fulfill a variety of tasks, including data entry. The perk is that you can pick up jobs whenever you’re able and work for extra cash whenever you have free time. To find out about open job opportunities, sign up to join the Smart Crowd.
If you want quick, easy tasks that you can pick up and complete on a whim, check out Microworkers. Employers head to this online platform when they need workers to complete micro-tasks, including things like data mining, data matching, surveys, and transcription.
Clickworker is similar to Microworkers. It’s another crowdsourcing site where you can go to fulfill quick, easy data entry tasks for companies who need them.
DionData Solutions offers data entry services of every kind, including medical and dental claims, catalogs, mailing lists, subscription fulfillments, enrollment forms, and more.
Birch Creek Communications
Birch Creek Communications has work-at-home research, data entry, and transcribing positions. At the time of this writing, it doesn’t look like there are any data entry positions open, but that could always change. Check their site regularly for any available work.
Working Solutions regularly hires work-at-home independent contractors to fulfill a variety of tasks, including data entry. In order to qualify, you must first take and pass an aptitude test. Once you’re approved in their system, you may be added to a project. The pay and the type of work varies depending on the project type.
SigTrack doesn’t provide too much information on their website, other than that they seem to be currently hiring for freelance data entry positions. You do need to have dual computer monitors (a tablet and desktop monitor would work), and be a legal U.S. resident.
Other Places to Look for Data Entry Jobs
Don’t limit your search to the companies listed above. LinkedIn is also an excellent place to find all kinds of jobs, including data entry positions. If you don’t already have a profile on there or the one you have is outdated, polish it up and make sure to indicate that you are available for work at home positions.
In addition, check out other job search sites like Indeed or Monster.com. Companies will regularly advertise for work from home positions for a variety of freelance needs, including independent data entry work.
Setting Yourself Up for Data Entry Success
As with any work from home position, you want to make it as easy as possible for you to be successful in this job. This means working in your own home office space (even if that’s a makeshift desk in the living room), and keeping regular hours if you can.
I know how difficult this advice can be. As a homeschooling mom of 4, it’s hard for me to find time to work! But I’ve managed to create a schedule that works for my family and I have regular dedicated periods of time throughout the day when I am able to get things done without interruption.
If I didn’t have this schedule for myself, it would be very easy for the whole day to fly by without me getting a chance to sit down and do anything at all. Remember that this is a job, and you have to treat it as such as best you can.
Moving On After Data Entry
If you’re at home and need a way to make extra money, data entry jobs are a good starting point, but they shouldn’t be a long-term strategy for you to make a sustainable income.
If you find that you’re good with data entry jobs but you don’t love the low pay, consider using the data entry as a starting point for another work from home position.
Two jobs that might be a good moving-on point for you are working as a virtual assistant or working as a transcriber. Both can be done from home on your own time, and both pay much better than data entry. You may even be able to use your data entry experience as a step to gain new clients as you grow your freelancing business.
Not sure if transcription is for you? Take this free course from Transcribe Anywhere to learn a little more about it. After completing the course, you’ll have a better idea if it’s a good fit.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about becoming a virtual assistant, read more here: