Data entry positions primarily consist of transcribing information into a computer. Data entry clerks may be asked to transcribe anything from a written document to a recorded conversation. Most employers seek clerks who can type quickly and accurately, with 45 to 75 words per minute (WPM) being the average across most industries. New audio-recognition technologies have made manual data entry obsolete in some fields.
Determining an individual's WPM is a relatively straightforward process. Criteria Corp offers two employment tests for hiring managers looking for data entry clerks, the Typing Test and the Ten-Key Test (TKT). In the Typing Test, the applicant is given a passage and one minute to type as much of that passage as possible. Three numerical scores are given at the end of the test: Words per Minute, Errors per Minute, and Adjusted Words per Minute (WPM minus errors). The Ten Key Test is specifically designed for numerical data entry positions. Candidates are given twenty entries to transcribe. The score report provides a speed score, measuring keystrokes per minute, and an accuracy score, which measures the number of correct transcriptions.
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Rank in HireSelect:
31 out of 1,100
Median wage in U.S.:
$32,200/year or $15.48/hr
Expected growth rate 2012-2022:
Number employed (2014): 287,240
Education level of Data Entry Positions: