What is a Good Typing Speed for Data Entry?

What is a Good Typing Speed for Data Entry

Data entry work requires many skills. You need to be efficient, with an eye for detail and you’ll need to be proficient in your use of popular data entry software programs.

But perhaps the most important skill for a data entry specialist is to be a great typist.

What is a Good Typing Speed for Data Entry

A good typing speed is an essential skill for data entry

The first thing people think about when considering their typing ability is their speed.

Data entry work can be fast-paced, there are often tight deadlines to be met, or perhaps you’re paid on a per-task basis, meaning the faster you can work, the more you’ll earn.

Being a fast typist will increase your productivity and make you more attractive to potential employees. But what typing speed should you be aiming for?

While a speed of 30-40 words per minute (WPM) could be sufficient for an office worker conducting general duties, data entry is more time-focused and will require a faster speed of work.

A slower typist could well be replaced by someone who can work faster and achieve more per hour, so it’s very important to practice and get your typing speed up if you’re a little slow.

For data entry work, a minimum of 60 WPM is usually expected, with many experienced data entry professionals clocking up speeds of 80 or even 90 WPM.

Speed should not result in sacrificing accuracy

However, being a fast typist is worthless if your work is full of mistakes.

Anyone can type fast badly!

Data entry work depends on accuracy. There really is no room for error.

One figure out of place can massively throw off a calculation, and two digits transposed in a phone number would make that number entirely invalid.

Small typing errors in data entry can have massive consequences, ones that could lose you your job, so you must place accuracy above speed, even when you’re under pressure to work faster and meet a deadline.

While you’ll be looking for a high typing speed, you should also be aiming for a high level of accuracy.

Anything below 95% accuracy would be unacceptable, so consider that as the bare minimum requirement for data entry work. 

How can I calculate my typing speed?

So how do you work out how fast you actually type?

Well, you could set a timer and then count how many words you can type in one minute, but it’s far easier to make use of one of the many free online typing tests that have been set up to help you accurately calculate your typing speed.

Not only will it provide you with a reliable word-per-minute typing speed, but it will also calculate your level of accuracy, which as we’ve already mentioned is just as important as your speed.

How can I improve my typing skills?

Luckily, typing is a skill that is easy to improve upon.

Basically, the more you type, the better you will get, but there are some tips and tricks you can learn to give you an extra boost too.

When you’ve found a typing speed calculator that you find easy to use, keep revisiting it to see your improvement.

Keep an eye on those accuracy levels. If your accuracy is falling, slow down a little. When your accuracy is high, you can afford to work a little faster.

Keeping speed and accuracy at the same level is important, these two skills should advance at the same rate.

There are many online typing courses available, many of which you can complete free of charge.

You may also find that you can study for typing qualifications at your local college.

However, there’s nothing better than experience and that’s so easy as you already have everything you need.

Just set to, and keep typing! The more you type, the better you’ll get.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to write a novel, now’s a great time to get started, but it’s the volume rather than the content that matters, so even if you’re copying your junk mail word for word, it will all help to get your typing up to speed to be more productive in the data entry industry.

Tips for improving your typing skills

Beyond simply practising, there are other ways in which you can enhance your typing skills. Here are some tips…

Learn to touch type

Prodding away at the keyboard with two fingers can get you so far, but by utilizing multiple fingers you’ll increase your typing speeds massively.

The more you practice this, the more your muscle memory develops, and you will find you no longer need to look at the keyboard as you type.

Your fingers will simply know where they need to be!

Maintain the correct posture

Straining will slow you down. Ensure your chair is at the correct height, and your eyes are around 20 inches away from your screen.

Your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle and your feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest.

Create the perfect environment for concentration and focus

We can often make mistakes, or be slower, simply because we are distracted.

Working in a quiet environment will make a big difference to your typing speed and accuracy level.

Turn off your phone notifications, and wear noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs if your office is noisy.

If there are other people in your environment, perhaps colleagues in an office, or family if you work from home, make it clear that you are not to be disturbed within working hours.

Constant interruptions will slow you down and make you lose track of what you’re doing.

Learn keyboard shortcuts

It’s amazing how many people don’t know the most basic of keyboard shortcuts.

Making good use of shortcuts can really speed up your work.

You’ll find full lists online but the shortcuts you’ll find most valuable include Ctrl + X to cut, Ctrl + V to paste and Ctrl + C to copy. Ctrl + Z will undo a mistake quickly, and for formatting you can easily make bold or italic text using the shortcuts Ctrl + B and Ctrl + I.

Learning these shortcuts can help you speed up everything you do on your computer, so it even has benefits beyond data entry work.

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