If you can type huge amounts of data with accuracy, you can find a ton of work as a data entry specialist, and can even build a career from a junior data entry specialist to a senior role. But when it comes to responsibilities, what are the differences between a junior vs senior data entry specialist?
This article is designed to help you get a more comprehensive view of this profession and its opportunities for career growth. Below, you’ll learn about junior vs. senior data entry specialist salaries, responsibilities, career paths, and how long it takes to become a senior data entry specialist.
What Is a Data Entry Specialist?
A data entry specialist, also known as a data entry operator or clerk, transfers information from physical documents to digital forms on a computer for long-term storage. Data entry clerks usually work in the administration department to feed and update information in the organization’s data management system.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates growth of 156,800 data entry positions every year until 2030. However, its two percent job growth rate is lower than that of other occupations.
Junior vs. Senior Data Entry Specialists: Areas of Responsibility
The responsibilities that data entry specialists handle are routine but require attention to detail and base-level analytical skills. Below is an overview of what junior vs senior data entry specialists do in their respective job roles.
Junior Data Entry Specialists Job Description
- Collect data. This function involves collecting data, such as names, contact information, or financial details of clients or staff that are necessary for the company to have. Junior data entry specialists usually get this information from calls, online, or in-person. They enter this information into a database for easy retrieval.
- Organize and maintain records. Data maintenance is also among the administrative tasks of junior data entry specialists. Companies, organizations, and businesses collect a lot of data over time which requires a proper arrangement of the records. Without a logical way to organize information, it’ll be challenging to maintain data accuracy and management when it’s time to source documents.
- Respond to inquiries. Data entry clerks who sit at the front desk office or handle customer service lines also respond to queries about the organization. This entry-level responsibility involves pulling up the right data and information to answer purchase requests, billing complaints, and damage claims properly.
- Prepare bills, orders, and reports. Data entry specialists take orders and payments from customers and prepare items for shipping. They may also be required to prepare regular reports based on the data they collect, using data entry skills and tools like spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel.
- Input information for applicants. Junior data entry professionals may work with the human resources (HR) department to ensure all the required new applicant information is provided and updated in the HR tracking system.
Senior Data Entry Specialists Job Description
- Entry of sensitive data. When there is sensitive information that needs to be in your computer database, a senior data entry specialist is typically the one to handle these tasks. Their experience and expertise allow them to fulfill the required protocols for handling such information.
- Ensuring data safety. Maintaining accurate records involves ensuring the data is safe from alteration by unauthorized personnel. Since the company databases could contain sensitive data like personal and financial information, it’s the work of senior data entry specialists to ensure this data is safely stored.
- Backing up and restoring data. Sometimes, it’s necessary to back up the existing data to ensure it won’t be lost during maintenance or system reboots. Those who have experience with databases in the data entry field can ensure information is regularly backed up so that retrieval is easy in case data is lost.
- Handling complex data projects. Some data entry responsibilities could be challenging for junior data entry specialists to handle. This is normally the case when it’s necessary to enter large amounts of data within a short time. Thanks to their advanced typing skills and attention to detail, senior data entry specialists can deal with huge chunks of information in a timely fashion.
- Modifying the data. The last responsibility of a senior data entry specialist role is being entrusted to accurately modify data when there are changes to be made in the existing files.
Junior vs. Senior Data Entry Specialists Salaries
There are some major differences between the roles of junior and senior data entry specialists, one of which is the earning potential. Below is a comparison of the salaries of a junior vs senior data entry specialist.
Junior Data Entry Specialists Salary
According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly salary for junior data entry specialists is $40,160. This entry-level role involves routine tasks that require accurate typing skills, organizational skills, and time-management skills. The salary you receive will depend on the specific nature of the work you do. This amount could also vary if the contract is freelance.
Senior Data Entry Specialists Salary
If we think of a database administrator as a senior data entry specialist, then the average pay of a senior data entry specialist in a year is $74,000, according to PayScale. The roles of senior data entry specialist positions are more technical than those of a junior specialist. Pay depends on the skills, years of experience, and the exact role the data professional performs.
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How Long Does It Take to Become a Junior Data Entry Specialist?
You don’t need years of experience to work a junior data entry specialist job. You start in an entry-level role, and then you can begin to familiarize yourself with the duties. To advance to a senior position, you’ll have to spend a minimum of six years working as a junior.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Senior Data Entry Specialist?
It takes about six to nine years to become a senior data entry specialist or a database administrator. Becoming a database administrator requires lots of practice and numerous skills, including technical ones, which will take time to acquire and may necessitate studying at a coding bootcamp or other educational pathways.
Career Path and Progression from Junior to Senior Data Entry Specialists
1. Advance Your Typing Skills
You’ll need excellent typing skills to advance in data entry as you’ll be dealing with large amounts of information at a time. Senior data entry specialists need to maintain a high typing speed and accuracy to ensure the information they feed won’t require correction in the future. Work on speeding up your data entry assignments while maintaining strong attention to detail.
2. Learn More About Databases
Learning more about databases will help you understand more fully what happens to the data you enter during your tasks. You can study database courses through bootcamps, massive open online courses (MOOCs), and even through YouTube. Having this in-depth knowledge shows that you are interested in advancing your career and looks great on a resume.
3. Earn a Certification
The next thing is to get a commercial database certification for one or more systems. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with how different database software systems work before you apply for a senior role. This will help you stand out from junior data entry clerks looking for the same spot. Most organizations prioritize the applicants with database certification over college graduates.
4. Acquire Years of Experience for Proficiency
The transition from collecting and organizing data to managing sensitive information and databases. So, you’ll need to ensure you become thoroughly familiar with how data is managed and database system complexities. Before you apply for a senior position, make sure you have extensive experience and enough proficiency in the field.
Should You Become a Data Entry Specialist?
Yes, you should! While the opportunities for junior data entry specialist jobs might not seem as great as other entry-level jobs, senior career paths for this profession, including overlapping careers such as database administrator have high salaries. If you attend a database administrator bootcamp, you’ll be a step closer to meeting the requirements for this senior position.
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Junior vs. Senior Data Entry Specialist Salaries FAQ
A senior data entry specialist gathers, organizes, and handles data used within a company. They are a more experienced data entry specialist than a junior because they typically have improved data entry accuracy, additional computer training, and will complete more job duties that may be considered too complex for a junior role.
Yes, it’s a good career choice, especially if you have great typing skills and can work with strict deadlines. Tasks also tend to be routine which some people prefer. This role can be done as a freelancer, which means flexibility to work from home or during times outside of other personal responsibilities and commitments.
Data entry specialists collect and digitize data for long-term storage on computers or database management systems.
A junior data entry specialist is responsible for collecting information quickly and accurately into a computer database.
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