What Is 10-Key Data Entry?

Ten-key data entry uses the numeric keypad often found on the far right side of a standard computer keyboard. It resembles a calculator and provides greater efficiency for entering numbers when using word processing and database software.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Ten-key data entry uses the numbers and symbols on a palm-sized section of a computer keyboard. The name "10 key" comes from the keys "0" through "9" that are used to enter the data.

Jobs Using 10-Key Data Entry

Ten-key data entry is used wherever large volumes of number data must be entered. This can include financial information, reference numbers and inventory codes for organizations and departments such as accounting, sales and marketing, logistics, inventory and billing.

In some cases, the information being entered is sensitive, such as when coding for medical billing. Jobs where 10-key data entry is the principal responsibility may be data entry clerk, data entry specialist, billing specialist or data processing specialist.

Salaries and Employment Options for 10-Key Data Entry Workers

Businesses use full- and part-time 10-key data entry workers depending on their needs. Most data entry employees work in an office setting, though some employers may offer work-from-home opportunities.

According to the employment website Glassdoor, the national average base pay for data entry workers was $27,995 in 2020. Salaries typically range from $21,000 to $37,000 per year for full-time workers depending on factors such as geographic location, industry size, type of business and the experience of the data entry specialist.

Learning 10-Key Data Entry

Like any skill, it takes time to learn 10-key data entry and to develop proficiency. General typing courses and specific 10-key typing courses are available through vocational/technical schools, community colleges and adult education programs as well as online. Once you learn the basics, you need to practice to gain speed and accuracy. Use free online 10-key speed tests to assess your skills.

Standards for 10-Key Data Entry Personnel

When hiring someone for 10-key data entry work, know the generally accepted standards. Data entry is measured in the number of keystrokes per hour. Look for 10-key experience on a resume if you've highlighted it as a requirement in a job posting.

The average 10-key speed of a proficient operator is 8,000 keystrokes per hour. A top-notch operator should be able to do 10,000 to 12,000 kph with 98% accuracy.

Health Risks Associated With 10-Key Data Entry

Ten-key data entry requires repetitive motions of the right hand, which can cause fatigue and strain. In some cases, workers can develop carpal tunnel syndrome, a compression of one of the major nerves to the hand, which can cause tingling, weakness and numbness of the hand. Severe cases may require surgical repair. Wrist pads and wrist rests help ease the strain, as do regular breaks from typing.

Computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain, describes eye and vision problems associated with too much time in front of a screen. Data entry workers may experience blurred vision, headaches, dry eyes and neck and shoulder pain. The American Optometric Association recommends that workers follow the 20-20-20 rule: Take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away.

Employers should do the following to reduce workers' digital eye strain:

  • Provide adequate lighting
  • Position screens to avoid glare
  • Ensure workers have comfortable seating (or standup desks if they request them)
  • Allow workers to take visual breaks
  • Encourage workers to seek professional medical help for persistent vision problems