Data Processor

Data Processor

data processorConsidered pursuing a career in the Insurance Industry? This interview will take you through the ups and downs you can expect, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more.

I am a Data Processor for a medical insurance company, and I have been with my company for five years. My work entails updating patient information, processing incoming mail, producing computer reports of data, and analyzing data to solve problems.

I would rate my job satisfaction at about a 7. Although I do enjoy my work and my office environment, I feel like I want to be more involved in helping our customers. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that those numbers on the screen represent people. I would like to be more directly communicating and using my knowledge to assist people.

My situation is unique and yet typical, in that I am a single parent and my children depend entirely on my income. I get up and go to work each day for my children; without them, I don't know if I would have held a job for so long at one place. In this way, I believe my job satisfaction has become less important to me in comparison to having a job that supports my family. I started in this job being assigned through a temp agency. After a little more than a year, I was hired on permanently and I have been here ever since. If I could go back, I would have insisted on a higher pay rate during my initial interview with the temp agency; the first year before I became permanent it was hard to make ends meet. I guess it pays to know what you're worth- literally!

The single most important thing I have learned outside of school in the working world is to respect your working environment. Nothing will get you fired more quickly than disrespecting your job, whether it's slacking off, being uncooperative, insubordinate, playing on Facebook or showing up late. There were several other temps in the office with me, and every one of them did something disrespectful in this way that either got them fired or not hired permanently.

The strangest thing that has ever happened to me in my job is receiving a wedding invitation to the company from a customer. Who invites their health insurance company to their wedding!?

Although I do enjoy my job, it's certainly not as exciting as some other jobs. However, there are moments when it is exciting. I felt so proud when I accomplished a very large task for my boss way before the deadline. For an audit, I was assigned to produce reports on a very large number of detailed data about customer files and managed to compile them quickly and accurately, impressing my boss.

One thing that really makes me want to pull my hair out at work is when customers don't update their addresses and we can't contact them! I have hundreds of pieces of correspondence for people who will never get them because we can't locate them.

I am able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. My job can be stressful, but I am able to leave those concerns at the office when I go home at night. The average data processor salary in my experience, depending on where you live, is between $10.00 to $15.00 an hour. In the area I live, this is an average amount of money to make, and so my family makes ends meet. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't wish they were paid more, but we are doing okay. I have only taken one vacation in my time at this job; to attend my sister's wedding. I don't know if I think this is enough, I'm not sure what enough would be.

The education and skills needed to enter this line of work are minimal. I do not hold any degree higher than my high school diploma. However, to get hired and succeed, I recommend that you have a high school diploma or AA degree, or a certificate in Data Entry, Administrative skills, or Accounting. I also recommend that you take a typing skills class or know how to type 10 key by touch and at least 50 words per minute. General office knowledge such as knowing how to file, operate a copier and fax machine, and computer skills never hurts either.

If someone were considering this line of work, I would let them know that even if the work seems tedious, you really are performing a necessary function and are helping people, if indirectly. If you have a good head for numbers, and can work quickly, this job is for you.

If I could write my own ticket, I would have my boss' job in five years. I would like to be able to supervise, work more directly with people, and have more of an impact. I wouldn't mind the pay raise, either!

This is a true career story as told to DiversityJobs and is one of many interviews with insurance agents and IT Professionals, among other careers.