Business Processing Outsourcing

BPO stands for "Business Processing Outsourcing", which is when a company contracts an outside provider for services or business processes. These companies offer the same services that a company may be hiring employees in house or possibly contracting freelancers to do, but the BPO can usually do it for less. Very often U.S companies contract a BPO firm to outsource jobs to another part of the world where labor is cheaper, like India or the Philippines. This is often called off shoring. These global BPO jobs are not usually home based. However there are still many companies that do hire for worldwide Work At Home jobs.

However, BPO also may hire workers in the United States, when the client company prefers to have U.S based workers but doesn't want to hire and employ them itself. These BPO jobs are often but not always home based positions because a work at home workforce can be much cheaper for the BPO firm to maintain. These jobs may be for independent contractors or employees. This is called Home shoring. The types of services BPO's offer vary widely. These firms might employ Call Center Agents, Data Entry operators, Transcriptionist, Translators or Accountants

Data Entry

Data entry is a broad term that encompasses a number of occupations. These include electronic data processors, typists, word processors, transcribers, coders and clerks. Additionally the way that data entry jobs are performed may vary, with data entry operators working for Micro Labor outfits that use crowd sourcing techniques or more traditional data entry companies. In essence data entry means to operate equipment often a keyboard that inputs (Alphabetic, Numeric or Symbolic) data into company's system. The data entry operator may be required to verify or edit data as it is entered. And while many of the data entry positions listed above fall under the data entry umbrella, jobs that are advertised as "data entry jobs" usually require the least skills and in turn pay the least. Specialized data entry positions, like medical transcription or medical coding, require more training and or certification. And even among general transcription jobs, there are many different types of transcription, which may take more experience and speed than your typical data entry job.

Pay Structures

Data entry pays using a variety of rate structures, such as

  • Hourly Wage
  • Per Piece
  • Key Strokes per Hour
  • Key strokes per Minute
  • Per Work

Employment positions in the United States that pay in structure other than a hourly wage must pay the minimum wage of the state in which the work is performed. However, these other types of pay structures may allow experienced data entry operators to earn more. Additionally, the way data entry work is sent to home based workers can affect its pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Data entry keyers (not transcription or typists) are paid an average of nearly $14 per hour. However, this is for employment jobs in brick and mortar offices not data entry from home. Pay for data entry from home can range as little as $1 per hour up to the average rate for an office based data entry operator. Of course no jobs will advertise $1 per hour work, but the complicated per piece pay structures can work out to be that little.

Skill Required

A degree or particular type of education is not usually required for this field. People can gain fast and accurate typing skills through classes or other methods, such as extensive practice. Certain specialized fields may require training in particular software programs or knowledge of subjects like medicine and anatomy. These opportunities usually pay better than general entry positions, but may require certification, education, or previous experience. Some data entry work may require other skills, such as verifying data or editing. These jobs typically pay more if they are paid on per piece basis, the rate will be higher but they will take more time to perform, so the overall pay could be less for someone not as skilled. Also, transcription jobs may be advertised as data entry. Since this takes more skill and accuracy, these jobs will pay more than simply data entry keying jobs.