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Data Entry Keyers

At a Glance

  • Must be detail-oriented
  • Use computer keyboards and scanners to enter information
  • Have a low level of social interaction
  • Need good spelling and grammar skills
  • Train on the job

Career summary

Data entry keyers use computers to enter numbers and information into a database.

Data entry keyers may also be called data entry clerks, data entry specialists, keypunch operators or data entry operators.

#from wois 1438

# 3/18/19 lh

Data entry keyers do most of their work on computers and use keyboards and scanners to enter information. For example, they may fill in forms that appear on a computer screen. These forms have spots for keyers to enter specific information, such as the customer number and the number of items ordered.

Keyers often enter data from canceled checks, sales reports, and bills. After the information is entered, operators edit and proofread the information. They put the information into a form that allows other workers in the company to use it.

In some offices, keyers also operate printers and tape readers. They may also perform some other office duties.

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to data entry keyers.

Common work activities

Data entry keyers perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, data entry keyers:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Data entry keyers frequently:

It is important for data entry keyers to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for data entry keyers to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Data entry keyers need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Perceive and visualize

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a data entry keyer, you typically need to:

Education after high school

While not required, training beyond high school can be useful. Technical schools, community colleges, and business schools offer courses related to data entry. These courses are up to one year in length.

On-the-job training

Most data entry keyers receive on-the-job training. A supervisor or an experienced staff member trains you and oversees your work. Training typically lasts up to one month.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers prefer high school graduates who meet their requirements for keyboarding speed. Some employers also expect applicants to have data entry training or experience. Spelling, punctuation, and grammar skills are important. Familiarity with office equipment and procedures is helpful.

Training is available at private vocational schools and community colleges. Some employers require workers to be able to type 10,000 or more keystrokes per hour accurately.

#Updated #of KPH from 8,000 as several job listings stated 10,000, 3/13/12 cj. Online ad for minimum of 10,000 ksph 3/7/18 cj.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


Data entry keyers (SOC 43-9021)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $13.19 $15.18 $17.73 $22.05 $26.26
Monthly $2,286 $2,631 $3,073 $3,821 $4,551
Yearly $27,430 $31,570 $36,880 $45,870 $54,610
    Bellingham Hourly $12.79 $13.47 $14.59 $16.53 $19.40
Monthly $2,217 $2,334 $2,528 $2,865 $3,362
Yearly $26,607 $28,008 $30,343 $34,381 $40,355
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $12.82 $13.97 $15.90 $18.73 $20.57
Monthly $2,222 $2,421 $2,755 $3,246 $3,565
Yearly $26,679 $29,070 $33,066 $38,958 $42,790
    Clarkston-Lewiston Hourly $13.45 $14.42 $16.20 $21.47 $27.50
Monthly $2,331 $2,499 $2,807 $3,721 $4,766
Yearly $27,963 $29,992 $33,695 $44,652 $57,204
    Kennewick-Richland Hourly $13.13 $15.36 $18.84 $24.03 $27.56
Monthly $2,275 $2,662 $3,265 $4,164 $4,776
Yearly $27,310 $31,965 $39,172 $49,983 $57,329
    Mount Vernon-Anacortes Hourly $12.47 $15.92 $18.43 $22.07 $24.95
Monthly $2,161 $2,759 $3,194 $3,825 $4,324
Yearly $25,922 $33,107 $38,321 $45,907 $51,907
    Olympia-Tumwater Hourly $15.35 $19.16 $23.99 $25.32 $26.89
Monthly $2,660 $3,320 $4,157 $4,388 $4,660
Yearly $31,942 $39,869 $49,889 $52,670 $55,933
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $14.05 $15.88 $18.24 $22.48 $27.24
Monthly $2,435 $2,752 $3,161 $3,896 $4,721
Yearly $29,233 $33,021 $37,933 $46,758 $56,644
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $12.14 $12.80 $15.29 $18.12 $22.61
Monthly $2,104 $2,218 $2,650 $3,140 $3,918
Yearly $25,244 $26,637 $31,801 $37,698 $47,026
    Vancouver Hourly $13.16 $14.63 $16.98 $19.34 $23.25
Monthly $2,281 $2,535 $2,943 $3,352 $4,029
Yearly $27,385 $30,413 $35,315 $40,232 $48,363
    Yakima Hourly $12.01 $12.78 $16.54 $20.14 $24.67
Monthly $2,081 $2,215 $2,866 $3,490 $4,275
Yearly $24,996 $26,581 $34,401 $41,881 $51,325
United States Hourly $10.80 $12.90 $15.47 $18.71 $23.08
Monthly $1,872 $2,236 $2,681 $3,242 $4,000
Yearly $22,460 $26,830 $32,170 $38,910 $48,010

Wages vary by employer, area of the country, and the complexity of the data being entered.

Full-time data entry keyers usually receive benefits. Common benefits include health insurance, sick leave, and paid vacation.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Data Entry Keyers (SOC 43-9021)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 2,207 -0.8% 16.1% 252
    Adams, Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties 24 -8.3% 13.4% 2
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 34 2.9% 8.6% 4
    Benton and Franklin Counties 82 -2.4% 15.0% 9
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 76 7.9% 11.9% 10
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 103 -1.9% 15.2% 12
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 142 4.2% 14.1% 18
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 69 -5.8% 14.6% 7
    King County 1,053 2.2% 19.6% 129
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 48 12.5% 13.8% 7
    Pierce County 371 -4.9% 15.2% 39
    Snohomish County 124 -6.5% 12.4% 12
    Spokane County 173 -3.5% 13.9% 18
United States 187,300 -23.2% 5.2% 14,800

National employment

Major employers:

National outlook

Demand for this occupation will decline rapidly. Technology such as bar scanners and voice recognition have reduced the demand for data entry keyers. Electronic data transmission resulted in few jobs in this occupation.

Outsourcing of jobs outside the US will continue to reduce job opportunities. However, this is a large occupation and a moderate amount of job openings will occur as people leave this occupation or retire.

Other resources

Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster