data entry specialists working on her computer

A Data Entry Specialist or a VA – Which Is Best?


Data entry specialists are responsible for entering data into a computer system. The data may include names and addresses, contact information, phone numbers, or any other type of information that can be entered by typing on a keyboard. Depending on the company and position, the duties of a data entry specialist may vary. Some companies require their employees to enter data into databases, while others just need help with repetitive tasks like answering emails or taking calls in an office environment.

A data entry specialist

Data entry operator positions are often part of a virtual assistant or online assistant job description. Though there may be a little crossover, they are two different jobs with different duties. Also, such specialists must be able to work independently without supervision; they’ll be responsible for completing projects without needing constant feedback from anyone else on their team.

The tasks of a data entry specialist and VA

Data entry specialists and virtual assistants are similar in that they both perform administrative tasks. However, there are also some differences between the two positions:

  • A virtual assistant typically works remotely, while a data entry specialist may work either in-office or remotely.
  • Also, a virtual assistant typically manages their own schedule and is paid per project, while a data-entry clerk has set hours and is not paid based on the number of projects completed.
  • A virtual assistant can be responsible for coordinating other employees or contractors at times (e.g., scheduling appointments), while a data-entry specialist rarely has to do this.

Be mindful of the differences in job descriptions when applying for positions. While you may be qualified for one position, this does not necessarily mean you’re qualified for both.

The difference between a data entry specialist and a virtual assistant

While the terms data entry specialist and virtual assistant are often used interchangeably, they’re actually two distinct positions. A virtual assistant is someone who specializes in administrative tasks—scheduling meetings, booking travel arrangements, sending out invoices—and doesn’t necessarily need to know how to use a computer. On the other hand, data entry specialists are more tech-savvy and have a broader skill set that allows them to perform multiple tasks such as word processing or managing databases.


If you’re interested in working as a virtual assistant or online assistant, contact us to learn more. We can help you find the right position for your skills and experience level.

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