How to be a data entry clerk!
For a successful career in data entry you will need:
- Ideally, good typing skills. Although you will doubtlessly improve as you go, if you can already type quickly and accurately you’ve definitely got a head start.
- Great attention to detail. If you make mistakes and enter information inaccurately, your reputation will suffer and you’ll struggle to get work.
Not really necessary for data entry work, although obviously a good understanding or Microsoft word, excel, and other data entry software is a bonus – but you can generally pick things up as you go along. Any qualifications in administration, customer service, or basic maths and english would be a plus too. You could also consider doing some kind of formal typing course online, which would help you to improve your accuracy and typing speed – there are many free and paid resources available.
A laptop (it doesn’t have to be particularly high spec for data entry, but you’ll probably want one with a decent screen and a full size keyboard to make long periods of typing more comfortable. As a digital nomad, you’ll want to strike a balance between portability and ease of use. That’s pretty much it!
Most of the big freelancing websites will have a range of freelance data entry job listings suitable for digital nomads – although they may not be particularly well paid. Check out elance, guru, and my personal favourite oDesk. (Click here for some tips on finding work online)
There are also office services agencies who will funnel work your way – although often they will require proof of your typing speed or a formal application before referring clients to you.
How much can I earn?
How much you can make working as a data entry clerk really depends on your experience and reputation. Data entry jobs don’t tend to pay all that much since they are relatively unskilled and it’s a very competitive field – but if you type like the wind, never make mistakes and meet every deadline, you should be ok. You’ll probably be paid per piece or per word, for transcription services – and there is always the option of working remotely for one company rather than freelancing.
How well does it suit the digital nomad lifestyle?
Fairly well – you don’t need much equipment and there is a lot of work available online. (Although you may find endless data entry a bit…tedious.) Plus, as data entry jobs tend to be low paid you may find yourself working more hours than you’d like – and no-one becomes a digital nomad just to stare at a screen all day! That said, if you focus on low cost destinations it’s certainly a viable option.