Have you been thinking about how to become a transcriptionist? A transcriptionist is a great option for freelance workers, no matter where you are located in the world.
The basic skills that you need are essentially good listening skills, and the ability to type out what you hear!
Whether you are looking to launch a full-time transcriptionist career or you want to start being a transcriptionist as a side hustle, this article will teach you all about it.
Here, we take a deep dive into:
- What exactly a transcriptionist does
- The different types of transcriptionist work
- The best transcription training courses
- How much you can earn by being a transcriptionist
- Where to find the best transcriptionist jobs
- The best tech gear and tools that transcriptionists need
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What Is A Transcriptionist?
To put it simply, a transcriptionist takes an audio recording and converts it into a written, typed, or printed format.
This is primarily done by listening carefully to the audio recording and typing out the spoken words with as much detail and accuracy as possible.
Broadly speaking, there are 3 types of transcriptionists:
This type of transcriptionist can transcribe most audio recordings. These recordings need not necessarily be in any particular field.
Among other things, a general transcriptionist may be responsible for transcribing:
- Customer service phone calls;
- Meeting minutes;
- Podcasts; or
A legal transcriptionist’s skill set is likely to be more specialized (and valuable!)
A legal transcriptionist is usually required to transcribe court proceedings, lawyer’s notes, meeting with clients, interviews with witnesses, and other related legal proceedings.
A legal transcriptionist is likely to have the relevant knowledge and familiarity with legal terminology, together with some legal background.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, you can check out this step-by-step guide on how to become a legal transcriptionist.
A medical transcriptionist is also called a healthcare documentation specialist. Among other things, a medical transcriptionist may be involved in transcribing:
- A doctor’s medical notes
- Patient records from audio recordings
- Any other healthcare-related documents
As with legal transcription, medical transcription also requires certain training, background, and skills to effectively convert the audio recordings into written form.
Steps To Become A Transcriptionist
If you think that becoming a transcriptionist is something you want to, then there are certain steps that you can follow to get started on becoming a transcriptionist.
Step 1: Acquire the skills to become a transcriptionist
Whether you are a general transcriptionist or choose to specialize in a particular field, there are some core skills that all transcriptionists must have:
- Attention to detail to ensure that the final transcript is error-free
- Fast typing skills to quickly catch all the words that are spoken on the audio recording
- The ability to use computer-aided transcription software (while not necessary, it is a huge plus from an efficiency and business perspective)
- A wide range of vocabulary to accommodate the different types of subject matter that you may need to transcribe
Step 2: Decide what kind of transcription you want to do
This will depend on your background and existing knowledge.
Most transcriptionists start out as general transcriptionists first. Once they gain sufficient experience and contacts, then it is possible to narrow down and specialize in medical or legal transcription.
That being said, it cannot be denied that transcriptionists who specialize can charge substantially more for transcription services.
Step 3: Enroll In Transcription Training
While you do not need a degree in transcription or be certified in any way, there are certain skills in relation to transcription that you can only pick up through experience or transcription training.
Whether you choose to go down the general transcription path or specialize in a particular type of transcription and learn how to become a legal transcriptionist from home, there are plenty of online transcription training courses that you can attend to learn how to become a good transcriptionist.
Among other things, some of the best transcriptionist training courses will teach you about:
- The basics of transcription
- The tools that you require to become a transcriptionist
- Any software that you may need as a transcriptionist
- How to start your transcriptionist business
- Where to find transcriptionist jobs
Good transcriptionist courses will also give you unlimited access to the course materials as well as lifetime support for any queries that you may have.
Read on for a list of the best transcription training courses that are available online.
Best Transcription Training
Transcription training is widely available all over the internet. However, certain transcription training courses stand out. This is due to their comprehensiveness and value for money factors.
Let us explore some of the best transcription training courses online.
Transcribe Anywhere is one of the best-established transcription training companies. If you are looking at how to become a general transcriptionist, then then this course is a great investment.
Among other things you will:
- Learn about all the software and hardware you need and get links and free downloads to the same
- Get plenty of easy-to-use transcription templates
- Get practical training in the form of audio and video files that you can use to practice
- Get lifetime access to course materials, future updates, and the student support community that is on Facebook.
- Best business practices and tools when running a transcriptionist business
Here is a detailed breakdown of the Transcribe Anywhere General Transcription:Theory and Practice course syllabus to give you an idea of what you will learn in the course.
This is an extremely comprehensive course if you are thinking of specializing in legal transcription.
Because legal transcriptionists are very much in demand, this course gives you all the practical details you need to stand out from the competition. This includes:
- 14 full-length training modules
- Over 100 pages of legal terminology
- Definitions and descriptions of the different types of law and legal processes
These are in addition to the basic transcription training that comes with the course.
This is definitely a value-for-money legal transcription course!
If you feel that you aren’t financially ready to invest in a paid transcription training course, then Transcribe Anywhere has a free mini-course to get you started.
This is a great option and is also a great way to get started if you aren’t sure if being a transcriptionist is something you want to completely commit to just yet.
It guides you through, among other things:
- the top 10 factors to determine if transcription is good for you
- How much you can earn as a trained and skilled transcriptionist
- Where to get transcription work from
- The recommended list of equipment you will need as a transcriptionist
The transcription course offered by the Transcription Certification Institution teaches you about all the necessary transcription resources and equipment you need.
It is a self-paced course that guarantees you a transcription internship once you have completed the course.
More importantly, this course gives you a monthly payment option so that you can better manage your finances while still getting everything you need to launch your transcriptionist business.
Once you complete the course, you also get access to the institute’s job board where you can get access to various premium transcriptionist jobs.
With this, you are bound to make your money back in no time!
If you are interested to learn more about the other transcription courses that are available online, you can check out these articles on the:
How Much Can You Make As A Transcriptionist?
How much you can make as a transcriptionist will depend on the type of transcription work that you do, as well as how much transcription experience you have.
According to the Transcription Certification Institute, a transcriptionist can earn about $15 an hour, while a more advanced or experienced transcriptionist can earn between $25 and $30 per hour.
Additionally, ZipRecruiter states that a work-from-home transcriptionist can make an average of $58,441 a year or $4,870 per month.
It can be seen that being a transcriptionist can indeed be quite rewarding. That being said, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, how much you earn will very much depend on how much work you can take on and complete at any one point in time.
Best Transcription Jobs
Once you feel like you are fully equipped and trained, it is time to look out for transcriptionist jobs!
Before you get started, it is important to note that most of the time, people or companies who are looking for transcriptionists will require you to take a test to determine whether you are suitable for the transcriptionist job. This is most commonly known as an accuracy test.
Now that you’ve had a heads up, let’s dive into some of the best transcription jobs that are available!
This is one of the best transcription jobs for beginners.
They pay between $0.25 to $0.35 per audio minute and any background or experience in law or medicine will entitle you to a higher-paid rate.
This is another great option for newbie transcriptionists. Casting Words pays between $0.60 and $1.20 per minute of audio.
Daily Transcription is an extremely popular transcription service. They have well-known clients such as The New York Times and HBO.
Prior experience is not needed. However, they are only open to applicants from the USA and Canada. With Daily Transcription, you can expect to earn between $0.75 and $0.85 per audio minute.
GoTranscript is another great transcription company. They accept applications from all over the world and are great or slow typers or those who are just starting out in the transcription world.
Go Transcript pays about $0.60 per audio minute.
GMR Transcription boasts a client list that includes Amazon, Microsoft, the Discovery Channel, the University of Oxford.
That being said, they only accept applicants who reside in the USA. They are open to hiring beginners who have passed their exam and transcribed 2 hours’ worth of audio for them.
GMR pays between $0.70 to $1.25 per audio minute.
You can also find more of the:
Tech and Tools That Transcribers Need
Being a transcriptionist means sitting for long hours in front of a computer, listening to audio recordings, and typing on your computer.
As such, there are certain tools that are essential to enable you to do your job in the most efficient and comfortable way.
- A pair of comfortable, noise-canceling headphones to make sure you can pick up every detail on the audio recording. The Sony WH-1000XM4 is one of the best and most comfortable headphones available online.
- A foot pedal to pause and play the audio so that you can keep your hands free and focused on typing. This IKKEGOL USB Single Foot Pedal is affordable and easy to use. If you are looking for something more durable, then the Olympus RS27 Digital USB Transcription Foot Pedal is a great option as well!
- A comfortable ergonomic chair that will take care of your back during the long hours of sitting and typing. The Smugdesk Ergonomic Lumbar Support Chair has multiple adjustable features that allow you to customize it to your body. Perfect for hours of sitting at your computer!
- Computer-assisted transcription (CAT) software. While these are not entirely necessary to become a transcriptionist, they will most certainly allow you to move through your transcription tasks faster. And the quicker you can complete your transcription work, the more you can take on, and the more you can earn!
Check out this article for a comprehensive list of transcriptionist tools for more details on all the tech and tools that you may need as a transcriptionist!
How Long Does It Take To Become A Transcriptionist?
With all the things that you need to arm yourself as a transcriptionist, you may be wondering how to become a freelance transcriptionist in the shortest time possible.
In all honesty, it depends on you and the efforts that you make to become a professionally trained transcriptionist.
While most of the transcriptionist training courses are self-paced, the more consistently you attend your classes, the faster you can become a transcriptionist.
That being said, it is best not to rush the process. It is safe to say that it takes between 4 to 6 months for a student to become a fully qualified transcriptionist who is capable of producing professional transcriptionist work.
And there you have it! Everything you need to know on becoming a transcriptionist! While it may seem daunting at first, especially with having to go through some intense transcriptionist training courses, it is most certainly worth it.
As a transcriptionist, you can set up your own business and make money while working from home, at your own time. You set the rules and you determine how much you want to work, and when you want to work.
Now that’s the dream! So go get started on your transcriptionist career today!