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So, you want to work from home and you’re considering data entry. 

A remote work category like “data entry” is so broad and vague that the name doesn’t really tell you much. After all, what job doesn’t include some entering of data? 

Nevertheless, you might be on a search for a part-time or full-time data entry job. Even if you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for. 

That’s because data entry jobs are some of the most accessible positions available to individuals looking to work from home — including those without prior data entry experience or any particular educational background. 

It should come as no surprise that you won’t get rich quickly by performing remote data entry work from home. Heck, you probably won’t get rich slowly, either. A high per-hour wage might be tough to find with simple online data work. 

But you also might get hired, and that could be a great start for you if you’re looking to work from home. 

So what exactly fits under this data entry umbrella? 

Data entry simply refers to entering data into a system for a company — this can take many forms. 

The requirements for data entry jobs that can be worked at home are basic: you will need a reliable internet connection and standard computer skills. Plus, being a fast typer will also be a major bonus. 

Data entry typically doesn’t involve a large customer service component. However, customer service skills are important for any type of work, including work from home. 

The components of data entry work might consist of task categories such as these:

  • Testing online systems and updating the data therein
  • Filling in missing data in forms through basic research
  • Updating data in company systems and databases
  • Annotation — for example, adding labels to images

If you are not yet familiar with the basics of data entry, this article provides a great overview. 

Now, let’s have a look at some of the best-paying types of data entry work. 

In this article we’ll look at three broad categories of data entry jobs that you can do at home. Because data entry is such a broad field, you’re likely to perform a variety of different task types. 

Image Annotation

gray desk with laptop notepad with blank sheet
Source: freepik.com by master1305

In annotation data entry jobs, your work will consist of annotating (adding text, notes, or labels to) images. This provides computer systems with information about what a particular image is depicting. 

Image annotation is important to various industries. For example, it’s used in artificial intelligence and other high-tech fields. 

It’s also a digital component of the work done by many companies for data management, marketing, and search engine optimization. 

Here are some of the types of image annotation that you might be asked to perform:

  • Bounding Boxes refers to drawing a square (a box) around an object within an image. The object is then annotated. For example, a task might consist of drawing a box around all of the cars within an image of a street. 
  • Image Classification involves applying one label to an entire image. For example, you may be asked to label images of animals by identifying them by species name. Then a computer system can learn to recognize the visual attributes of the species.  
  • Lines and Splines annotation involves labeling the lines within an image. This is used for various tasks related to mapping. For example, you might be labeling lines on an image of a street. This could then be used to help build self-driving car systems. 
  • Polygon annotation is similar to drawing bounding boxes — plot points are used to create an outline of an image. This is more precise than simply drawing a box. 
  • Semantic Segmentation is the labeling of each pixel within an image. Semantic segmentation is an even more exact process than simply providing an outline of an image.  

Learn more about the job types described above here

The science supporting and requiring annotation can be dizzyingly complex, but the work itself is often quite simple and does not require particular knowledge or experience. 

It’s easy to do this work from home. 

Typically a high school diploma is sufficient for at-home data entry jobs in annotation, as some basic training would then occur after hire. 

Training specific to working with online images will also help strengthen your candidacy for annotation work. 

Medical Data Entry

Blue and gray stethoscope
Source: Pexels by Negative Space

Medical data entry is a well-established work category; it predates the work-from-home freelancer boom of recent years. As such, many medical data entry jobs are not remote. 

However, like many industries, these jobs are increasingly available to be performed at home. 

Medical data work is typically part of the medical billing and coding cycle, and the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC) describes this as:

The process of identifying diagnoses, medical tests, and procedures found in clinical documentation and then transcribing this patient data into standardized codes to bill government and commercial payers for physician reimbursement.” 

Medical coders review clinical documentation — they identify the specific billable codes that summarize medical services, and then they seek payments from insurance bodies. 

Medical billers submit the claims and communicate with the payers, so medical coding and billing are part of the same cycle. But, medical coding is more closely related to data entry. 

Work in the medical field can be complex. These jobs are also likely to reward you with a higher pay rate. 

Interested in medical data entry? A college degree and/or some medical knowledge and experience may be required. 

Microtasks

A Microtask, or microjob, is a very small job or individual task within a job. These terms can refer to any sort of small task done for pay, under hire by a company or an individual. 

Not all microtasks involve data entry, and not all data entry consists of microtasks. However, the microtask category is a useful group for discussing some of the variety within home data entry  jobs. 

Microtasks are typically some of the simplest and shortest-term jobs that you will find. Especially if you are looking to work from home. 

This work will tend to be the lowest paying category, but the easiest to obtain. 

Microtask examples include filling in surveys or reading emails, and sites such as InboxDollars conglomerate microtasks. 

Reward payments range from two cents to a few dollars, and the work can be as simple as providing your email address to a company that wants to increase its subscription base. 

Many microtasks consist of data entry — numerous companies provide work-from-home work opportunities in this category. 

Here are a few of the most prominent sites to search through, when seeking a job for data entry:

  • Figure Eight — This platform pays workers for simple data entry tasks. These include internet search research and data categorization. 
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk Amazon Mechanical Turk is also known as mTurk. It’s a crowdsourcing marketplace for data entry microtasks that include things like transcribing handwritten material or audio clips. 
  • Rev.com This site pays workers to transcribe or add captions to video and audio files. 

The per-hour pay rate for a data entry microtask job will not be high, but this type of work is often a perfect fit for individuals that are first learning to work from home. 

Microtasks are also suitable for those that are only seeking a small amount of part time work, or for people with minimal data entry experience. 

Your Next Steps Towards At-Home Work Success 

If you’re looking to work from home, data entry opportunities might be a great place to start your search. 

Working from home in this field often does not require advanced education or prior data entry experience. So, the best time investment when you’re getting started is some basic training. 

That way you won’t have to just take “whatever job you can get” when you search for online data jobs. 

There is specialized training for people looking to build a career working from home.  
Small Revolution offers various courses to help you succeed — find an online course that best suits you. Learn file management, virtual assistant basics, and much more.

Photo by Jopwell / CC BY

Katrina
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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