Data entry specialists interested in generating income through freelance or contract work need steady or sizeable projects to make it worth their effort. Such work is often made available by organisations and clients who are willing to pay professionals to enter their business-related data, though some may require additional training or certification to be eligible for these positions. Finding these opportunities through a variety of sources such as websites, colleges and word of mouth can lead to a steady flow of work for data entry specialists.
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Ask a local doctor's office or hospital records department if they have paper-based medical data or recorded audio that needs to be entered into a computer database or typed into a word processor. Most health care and medical-based businesses require data entry workers with some type of certification. For example, a certification in medical transcription is usually preferred from a school accredited by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. Medical billing and coding usually requires some formal training as well. The work is commonly performed at home, but some hospitals might prefer the work be completed in-house. Also, large medical transcription service organisations allow transcriptionists to work remotely, whereby the work is downloaded and uploaded via the Internet.
Contact your local courthouse for data entry projects. This is commonly called legal transcription, but branches off into niches, such as a court reporter and stenotypist. Education and training varies based on which type of legal transcription you choose to pursue, but the National Court Reporters Association certifies more than 60 programs. Some states also require licensure. Transcriptionists might perform the work at the courthouse or at home, depending on the nature of the job. Some national companies offer legal transcription opportunities at home.
Seek out general transcription projects from businesses, universities and writers. Commonly called financial transcription, many corporations need typists to transcribe quarterly earnings and financial results conference calls. Researchers and academicians at colleges and universities frequently voice-record their findings and results as they work and need typists to commit their ideas to paper. Novelists and nonfiction writers might first record their ideas on tape and need a skilled typist to type them out.
Find companies that contract out data entry opportunities. As an example, Key For Cash is a company that allows registered subcontractors the opportunity to work from home. The data written on paper forms is scanned and shown on a Web page. As a human typist, you decipher the written data and type it in the field provided. Find similar work-at-home projects webistes such as the "Rat Race Rebellion" and "Workplace Like Home."
Ask an elementary school, church or other organisation if they have data entry projects. Schools and churches commonly hold fundraisers and need customer names and order information neatly typed and entered into a database or spreadsheet for record keeping.
Apply for secretarial and administrative positions. These jobs are commonly offered directly through employers or through temporary hiring agencies. In the "Skills" category of the application mention typing and data entry. The projects might include transcribing audio, taking customer orders and entering written data into a spreadsheet.
Tips and warnings
- Express Scribe is a free audio playback program that works for general, medical and legal transcription. Additionally, consider using a foot pedal to slow down, speed up and rewind the recording.
- OpenOffice.org offers a free word processor that is available for download. Though this application can save in the ".doc" format used by Microsoft Word, ask the suppliers/employers of your data entry project if it is acceptable to use.
- Have awareness about the symptoms and causes of carpal tunnel syndrome as you take on long-term data entry projects. Consider obtaining a wrist brace/splint.
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