Data Entry and Information Processing Workers

The job of data entry and information processing workers is to ensure efficient and smooth handling of information. These workers have to deal with a variety of duties such as operating many office machines, entering data into a computer, and performing other clerical responsibilities.

Job Description
Information processing and data entry workers are called by many other names such as typists, word processors, transcribers, electronic data processors, data entry keyers, keypunch techniques, and electronic data processors.

Typists and word processors, generally, set up and prepare letters, mailing labels, reports, and other text materials. At entry level, a word processor has to start work by typing headings on letters and preparing regular forms using computer. After getting utmost experience in this field, word processors are given tasks requiring independent judgment and high level of accuracy. Senior word processors are assigned work with highly technical materials. This task may include plan and create complicated statistical tables, prepare master copies, rearrange and combine materials from various sources.

Word processors use computer to record, reports, edit, revise letters, store, create statistical tables, forms, memos, and other printed materials. Some of the word processing workers are hired to perform various tasks with centralized word-processing teams. This team deals with keying and transcription for several departments.

Additionally, in order to fulfill above-mentioned responsibilities, word processors often execute other office tasks such as filing, operating copiers, answering telephones, and operating other office machines. An administrative clerk may combine word processing with sorting mail, responding telephones, filing, and other general office work.

Data entry keyers, generally, input list of numbers, items, or other data into computers. These workers also control present data, read and correct entries into a database for correctness, and edit current information. Data sources may consist of membership lists, medical records, and personal information. Generally, this information is meant to use internally by the organization and be modified before moving it to other departments or customers.

Keyers use a variety of equipment to record data. Many workers use machines, which adapt the information to disks or tapes for entry into computer. Some keyers use data entry composing software to create materials for publication or printing. These workers also work with other forms of data entry such as electronically transmitted files and scanners. In some establishments, keyers operate computer peripheral equipment such as tape readers and printers. They also carry out other clerical tasks.

Work Environment
Generally, information processing and data entry workers work forty hours a week. They work in clean and spacious offices. They need to sit for long hours and have to work in environment where machines create high noise. These workers have to face repetitive strain injuries such as neck and back injuries, eyestrain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Many offices have accepted a new method to avoid these injuries. These workers take scheduled breaks, workstations that let workers sit or stand, and ergonomically designed keyboards to prevent these conditions.

Working from homes, some data entry and information processing workers telecommute by telephone lines to main office. This facility enables these workers to input materials at home and create printed copy in the office.

Educational Qualification
Most of the information processing and data entry workers have completed a high school graduation. Many employers seek for the candidates to hire who have good typing speed followed by accuracy. Some establishments offer on-the-job training under close supervision of expert workers. Employers expect candidates to have ample experience in data entry or word processing.

Candidates who wish to get into this field need to have punctuation, spelling, and grammar skills. They should be accustomed to standard office procedures and equipment. Students obtain skills such as spreadsheet, word-processing, computer software, and database management in community colleges, high schools, temporary help agencies, or self-teaching aids like tapes, internet tutorials, and books.

After completing high school diploma, many students get into this field and become data entry and information processing workers. Many large companies and government agencies offer training programs to facilitate employees, enhance their skills, and advance to upper level position. Information processing and data entry workers often transfer to other administrative jobs such as administrative assistant, secretary, statistical clerk, etc.

Information processing and data entry workers held approximately 4, 92,000 jobs in 2006. These workers were employed in almost every realm of the economy. Some of these workers held jobs in support and administrative services. These services may include word-processing agencies. Some of the data entry and information processing workers are working with local and state government.

Job Outlook
Even though employment of information processing and data entry workers is predicted to turn down, job prospect shall be favorable for candidates who are accustomed to office equipment, possess good technical skills, and keyboarding speed with accuracy. The emergence of new technology minimized the work load of these professionals.

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