Data entry is one of the easiest ways to start working at home and making money online.
Since it doesn’t require any specific experience or education type, data entry is an easily accessible job opportunity for anybody interested in earning money while working from home.
The actual data entry job is pretty simple, too, so just about anybody can try it out.
Most companies prefer to assign data entry jobs to remote contractors, and some of them may be able to offer you additional jobs like entry-level transcription or call center assistance.
In any case, data entry is an excellent stepping stone into the world of freelancing.
Once you gain enough experience from working remotely, you may find that you are ready to take on some more complex and higher paid online jobs too.
Beware, that unfortunately, there will be people who will try to scam you into buying software or kits, or offer you unrealistically high pay for this type of low paid job.
Thankfully, there are many legitimate companies and websites where you can find various data entry jobs, like the ones we have listed in this article.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about data entry, as well as where to find legitimate jobs to get yourself started as a digital nomad.
What exactly is data entry?
It may be pretty obvious from the name of this job, but data entry requires the entry of data or the transfer of data from one source and form into another.
The job may include transcribing audio and video into a text document, typing the information from photos or PDF documents into Word, or others.
Data entry as an occupation can stand for several different job positions, including typists, transcribers, electronic data processors, word processors, clerks, coders and others.
Commonly, data entry jobs offered to freelancers are part of the crowdsourcing model which allows companies to spread out a substantial job among a large number of different people to be completed faster and cheaper.
Although it may not sound like the most exciting job in the world, data entry is something that the majority of people will feel comfortable doing to earn money online from home.
What do you need to start doing data entry from home?
What makes data entry such an attractive opportunity for absolute beginners is the fact that you need to have just a few basic skills and hardware and software which you most probably already own.
If you have a computer and use it regularly, you probably already have the basic computer skills required for finding a data entry job and for performing it properly.
It helps if you have some experience and understanding of using basic software and applications such as Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Sheets, and others.
Naturally, if you want to find jobs online and work remotely, you will need a reliable and preferably high-speed internet connection.
The most important skill is to be able to type quickly and accurately. The reason is that the faster you can type, the more money you can earn per hour or per day.
Usually, data entry jobs are paid per piece completed, so the faster you can complete a microtask or job, the more money you can make per hour, day, and month.
It is a good idea to exercise touch typing before applying for your first data entry job.
The hardware you will need to complete your data entry jobs from home as quickly and as efficiently as possible is a computer, a keyboard with a numeric keypad for entering numerical data faster, and a large monitor or a double monitor set up so you can quickly transfer data from one source to another without having to flip through tabs and open and close windows on your screen.
Apart from these more apparent skills, you should also be prepared to work on your organization skills, your communication skills, as well as on your patience and tolerance for dealing with repetitive information and tasks.
Data entry freelancer and independent contractor – pros and cons
The majority of data entry clerks and operators are independent contractors or freelancers, even though some companies do hire full-time data entry employees.
Keep in mind that as a freelancer or an independent contractor, you will not be covered by the laws for minimum wage, and will most often be paid piece-by-piece instead of per hour.
Also, you will be responsible for paying your own income, social security, and Medicare taxes too, if you make more than $600 and are a US resident.
On the other hand, as a freelancer or independent contractor, you will have much more flexibility when it comes to workload and work hours (depending on your work, of course). You will also be able to work from home, or from wherever you choose, without having to commute every day, and without having to spend hours in an office.
Keep in mind that while being a freelancer or independent contractor can be an excellent way to make a living, being one in the sphere of data entry will most likely not be sufficient to be your sole income.
Instead, if you live in a western country where the cost of living is high, and want to work as a home-based data entry operator, you can expect to be able to make some supplemental income.
How much money can you expect to make from data entry?
Once you find legitimate companies and clients offering legit data entry jobs, you will start earning money. This home-based job may not be the most lucrative one, but it will help you make some extra money.
Make sure you stick to the legitimate companies and websites we have listed and beware of online frauds and scams. It makes sense to perform a quick background check of a new company that you haven’t worked with to make sure that it is legitimate. You can check them at useful websites like Trustpilot or Glassdoor.
As for the money you can make, the exact sum depends on the type of data entry tasks you will be performing, as well as how fast and how much you can work and how you perform.
You can expect to be paid piece-by-piece for data entry tasks. So, obviously, the faster you complete one piece, the more money you can earn per hour or day.
Once you start producing good work quickly, your employer may consider promoting you to a better-paid position.
The lowest-paid data entry jobs are the so-called microtasks. You can expect to earn just about $2-3 per hour for those.
Some of the best-paid data entry jobs can be found at the reputable data entry website. At Axion, you can earn up to $19 per hour for data entry, if you manage to land the job.
Unfortunately, the companies and websites which pay the most for data entry have the most candidates, and thus you will likely have to wait on a long waitlist before you can land a job with them.
And then, once someone finally gets called for one of these openings, they tend to stay there for long, so the competition is pretty steep for these rare opportunities.
Since so many people are trying to get better-paid data entry jobs, many scammers will try to make money from this fact.
Be careful when presenting unchecked websites and customers with your personal data, and with your bank account information, and don’t agree to pay for any kind of software or other before you get hired for a job!
To stay on the safe, side, you may want to stick to the following legitimate companies, websites, and other sources for data entry jobs online:
Where to find legitimate data entry jobs
AccuTran Global is mainly famous as an online transcription company, but it does often offer data entry jobs too.
The company’s requirements for transcriptionists are having a typing speed of a minimum of 70 wpm and being a citizen of the USA, Canada or the UK.
You can try out for the data entry jobs available, and if you score well on the application test, you may land a job as a general transcriber too.
Axion Data Entry Services is a reputable company that, unfortunately, rarely has open positions for home-based data entry operators. But, we will strongly recommend that you register online in its database so that you can get contacted when a position is open for an independent contractor.
The requirements for applying are a minimum typing speed of 30 wpm, with excellent accuracy, and 2-3 years of data entry experience. You will also need to pass a background check before being approved.
Although they do require a nominal charge of $5, $7, or $10 to keep your name in their database, the company is perfectly legitimate and worthwhile signing up for.
If you can land a job at Axion as an independent data entry contractor, you can expect to work from 20 to 25 hours per week and get paid quite generously per each completed piece.
Birch Creek Communications is another online transcription company that periodically hires data entry independent contractors.
The pay is per completed piece, as well as depending on your performance.
The work hours are flexible, but you can expect to need to work from Monday to Friday.
You can get detailed information about the requirements for the transcription positions are here.
These two partner companies offer online transcriptions of audio content, and they hire independent contractors to perform the transcriptions.
Quicktate transcribes audio files of up to 5 minutes, and iDictate offers transcriptions for audio files, which are 5 minutes or longer.
You will need to create an account on the Quicktate website to apply for a remote job.
The pay is $0.0025 per word at Quicktate and $0.0050 per word at iDictate.
If you perform well at Quicktate, you can get promoted for jobs for iDictate where the pay is higher per word.
You can apply for various freelance jobs at Clickworker, including copy editing, text creation, categorization, research, proofreading, surveys, app testing, and others, including data entry.
You can sign up for free and, after that, complete a brief test in order to get assessed.
Depending on your performance, you can land various jobs and microtasks like data entry and others. You will receive the available microtasks and jobs for you via e-mail.
Clickworker pays piece-by-piece, but it is an excellent way to gain experience and try out some better-paid jobs with fewer requirements such as researching, app testing and others.
It is also a great way to save time for searching for small individual jobs and microtasks, as you will receive all the suitable ones for you directly in your inbox.
DionData Solutions is an online data entry and data management company with over 10 years of experience in the field.
Although it is currently not hiring independent contractors for data entry positions, such listings do turn up periodically on the company’s website, so it is worthwhile checking it regularly.
The typical requirements of the company for being approved for such a position include: typing a minimum of 60 wpm, basic computer skills, a computer, and high-speed internet connectivity.
All applications are accepted online only. Only US citizens can apply.
Kendell Creek Communications is a sister company to Birch Creek Communications, and it specializes in legal transcription.
The payment for legal transcription is from $0.75 to $1.75 per page.
The company also offers openings for data entry positions for independent contractors, so keep an eye on its employment opportunities page.
GoTranscript is another online transcription company that offers home-based jobs for transcriptionists for video captioning, as well as for data entry.
The company hires people from all over the world, the requirements being having good English skills. There are no requirements for the typing speed, and you will be expected to transcribe a 10-minute audio or video file for about 6 hours.
You will need to undergo training and certification once you are approved.
GoTranscript pays weekly via PayPal or Payoneer.
The Smart Crowd is a part of Lionbridge and hires people for completing jobs and microtasks of all kinds, including data entry.
You need to register at the website, and then you will be assessed and offered jobs that fit your performance, experience and qualifications.
You can take up as many micro tasks and jobs as you want and can handle.
Payment depends on the types and the number of jobs you have completed and is issued every month.
Scribie offers work for the transcribers of audio and video files. The jobs you will be assigned if approved, will generally be with a length of 6 minutes or less.
You can apply for a job via the online form.
The company’s independent contractors need to be proficient in English and understand different English accents.
If your application is approved, you will be prompted to take a test and will be graded.
If you fail the test, you can re-take it up to 10 times. If you pass, you will be hired immediately.
The company keeps track of its contractors’ performance, and you will need to keep up with a consistent score of 2.75 out of 5 to keep your position.
If you consistently score high grades, you may be promoted to a higher paid reviewer job.
SigTrack is a crowdsourcing website hiring data entry workers who need to process petition signatures and voter registrations, as well as other forms during petition season.
The pay is based on the accuracy level. You will need to maintain a level of accuracy of at least 98% to keep your position and be assigned as a reviewer for the work of others.
The positions are open to US citizens only. Landing an online job at SigTrack requires that you have high-speed internet, a Windows Pro or higher or a MAC OS 10.12+, as well as dual monitors.
You will need to do a brief Skype call in order to prove your identity.
The payments are done via PayPal and are based on the number of assignments you have completed.
TDEC (The Data Entry Company) is the biggest provider of outsourcing services to both governmental and commercial customers in the world.
The company is continually hiring data entry operators, the majority of whom are freelancers or independent contractors. To enter, you will need to send your resume and apply via e-mail.
It doesn’t usually advertise its open positions, so there is a bigger chance that you will land a job by applying now.
This South Carolina based outsourcing company consistently posts all the available job offers on its website.
You can find various types of offers, including translation, content writing, market research, secretarial services, data entry, and others.
If you are looking for a data entry job at Capital Typing and get approved for it, you can expect to be given jobs like research, data extraction, direct mail and marketing services, database development, database management, and others.
If approved, you will be hired as an independent contractor with flexible work hours and a competitive salary.
You need to send your resume, samples of your work, Skype details, and salary requirements via e-mail at email@example.com
If Capital Typing is interested in your application, you will be invited for an interview via Skype by their representative.
This data entry and database development company offers job openings for data entry operators, document and mail handling clerks, administrative personnel, MS Access database programmers, and others.
Since the company’s clients include legal and law enforcement agencies, you will need to get a background check before being approved for work from home or in-office.
The requirements for working from home are to have a computer and high-speed internet.
Usually, the jobs include data entry or document scanning, as the company offers its customers’ data entry services including transforming data from paper into electronic databases.
This is a website where you can land various microtasks to complete, including data entry.
In some cases, Microworkers may pay more for a completed microtask than on other similar websites. You will receive your payment for all completed and approved jobs and microtasks via PayPal once it reaches $10.
You will need to register online and can sign up for receiving job offers via a newsletter or e-mails.
This will save you the time and effort of having to search through the database of available microtasks every day.
Amazon Mechanical Turk is the leading crowdsourcing marketplace and microtask website, and you can find thousands of different available tasks, including data entry.
You will need to sign in via Amazon and register in order to gain access to the various microtasks. When you select Human Intelligence Tasks (HIT), you can search for data entry or other microtasks that are of interest to you.
In some cases, you may be required to meet a qualifier to land a job. Payment is provided only once your work has been accepted, and is through bank deposit or Amazon gift cards.
This crowdsourcing marketplace is the perfect place to find the most suitable remote job for anybody with just about any experience, education, and skill level.
You should be careful, though because not all job offers are exactly legitimate, so if something looks suspicious, you should pass on to the next microtask.
Another problem with Amazon Mechanical Turk is that usually, the pay is lower than what other online companies and customers are ready to pay for remote data entry work.
Working Solutions is an agent workforce community made up of independent contractors, providing opportunities for those who prefer to work from home.
You will need to register via the online application form, and then pass a few tests in order to be approved as an agent. The results of your assessments will be sent to you within two weeks of your application.
The knowledge of Spanish or French language is a plus when applying for Working Solutions.
If you are approved, you will be given access to review and pick the jobs and programs suitable for you.
The payment depends on the specific program or job and can be done via a mailed check or bank deposit.
Flexjobs is one of the leading online job boards, which often has openings for data entry jobs too.
Since all of the offers and leads are handpicked and screened by real humans, there is no chance of stumbling upon a scam at Flexjobs.
The downside is that you will need to pay a fee for accessing the job listings, which can be hard when looking for a low paid remote job like data entry. On the other hand, by gaining access to all the available job listings, you may be able to find a much better-paid job opportunity suitable for you!
Upwork is one of the most popular and trusted job boards for finding freelance jobs as well as for finding freelancers to do work for you.
You can find numerous data entry job offers at Upwork, including ones for novice freelancers.
The website will charge you 5 to 20% of all of your transactions with customers on the job board.
Still, you will gain access to the thousands of different online job offers posted every day, and you can land a job that is even better for you at Upwork.
What are some alternative jobs to data entry you can work from home?
As we pointed out earlier in the article, data entry can be a great way to start your career as a work-from-home freelancer.
It requires minimal experience and training. It also doesn’t require that you have a specific education type and degree.
Another advantage is that for performing data entry work, you don’t need any specialized hardware or software to be done from home.
Plus, you can work as much and as often as you want.
But, other online jobs have similar advantages and are superb for newbies in the digital nomad world.
Here are some alternative jobs you can do from home to earn some supplemental income, or in some cases make a living:
Transcription is one of the most obvious alternatives to entry data when it comes to entry-level freelance or independent contractor work.
General transcription usually doesn’t require specialized training, neither does it require advanced technical skills.
It requires that you listen to audio, or watch a video and listen to it, and then type exactly what is being said.
Of course, you will need to have a keen eye for detail, and of course, be proficient in English or in any other language you are applying for.
Fast typing is also a plus because transcription jobs usually pay per audio minute or per word, so the quicker and more accurate you are, the more money you can make.
Some companies and customers may require that you use a foot pedal for playing and handling the audio as you write, and others may request that you have training, but there are various transcription training courses online which you can choose from.
For medical or legal transcription, you will probably need to have more extensive experience in the medical and legal fields, as well as some type of certification.
But as a whole, general transcription is a great way to start making money by working at home.
And it usually pays more than data entry too.
Email or chat-based customer service
If you are not keen on handling customers over the phone, you may still want to consider starting work as an e-mail or chat customer service assistant.
There is a growing need for people handling these tasks for large and small companies of all kinds and types.
You can land work directly for a specific company or start working independently and grow your list of customers as you get better too.
You can find a job as an e-mail and chat customer service operator at companies like Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Site Staff, Site5, Support.com, Talk2Rep, The Chat Shop, TeleTech, and others.
If you type fast and have a gift for writing, you may want to consider starting making money online by writing content for customers.
It can pay very well if you have the experience or can show the skills needed for writing blog posts or other online content.
Once you get used to writing for customers and polish your skills, you can start earning $50 and more per hour while working from home.
If you do well, it is highly likely that businesses and other customers will keep giving you new assignments, so you can easily start making some steady income by writing, instead of spending most of the time looking for new jobs and clients.
While working from home, and becoming a freelancer may sound like the perfect job to have, it is definitely not for everyone.
But, if you are looking for making some extra money on the side, apart from your day job, taking up jobs and microtasks as a data entry clerk will help you gain the organizational, communication, and technical skills to start working independently for yourself.
As you gain more confidence and experience from working from home, you can start taking up more jobs, as well as more complex ones, and thus earning more money.
This is probably a better idea than simply quitting your job and starting to work as a freelancer from home with absolutely no idea what it takes whatsoever.
Anyway, whatever you decide to do, if you are thinking about earning money by completing data entry jobs from your home – good luck!