The most of email I receive asks about work-at-home jobs, and a significant portion of those email indicate they want to get paid to do data entry or type. Starting out, I was the same. I just wanted someone to pay me to do menial work. However, I learned through trial and error (and losing some money) that work-at-home jobs are no different than outside the home jobs. I’m not sure where I originally got the idea that I could sit home and input data (I’d never inputted data before) and I’m not sure why, with all the great information about work-at-home jobs that is now available, people still think they can sign up for data entry work. I blame the scammers and deceptive schemers.
Here’s what you need to know about data entry work:
1) Nearly all data entry jobs you’ll find online or in the classified ads at the back of a magazine will be scams or deceptive schemes. If you’re charged money, that is a clue that the data entry “job” being advertised isn’t employment and you should stay away.
2) Legitimate data entry work probably won’t pay enough to make a living. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median wage for data entry in May 2013 was $13.69 an hour, but those were for outside the home jobs in areas such as accounting, schools, and government agencies. The highest paying data entry work is found in aerospace product manufacturing, electric power distribution and the U.S. Postal service. You’ll be luck to make a few bucks an hour in a home-based data entry job and odd are the work will only be for a few hours a week, if that much.
3) You need skills and experience to do data entry. The legitimate data entry jobs I do find, often require you to know specific software or industries, or to be able to do other types of work, such as research. For example, you may need to know how to use Excel, not just to enter data, but to sort and organize it. You may also need to show you have speed and accuracy in data input.
If you have data entry skills, I’d recommend searching for work that include that type of work, but aren’t exclusive that type of work. For example, you consider work in virtual support or research. The other option is to take on short-term data entry gigs through microwork sites, where you’re more likely to find legitimate jobs.
To avoid work-at-home scams, be sure to read:
Scam Alert – Includes tips on evaluating work-at-home options you come across.
Scam Alerts Category – Lists the posts on WAHS that cover specific scams
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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