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How To Become A Transcriptionist – A Complete Guide
  • May 2024
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  • May 2024
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How To Become A Transcriptionist – Steps By Steps Guide!

Are you wondering how you can opt for a profession that allows you to work and earn from home? If the answer is yes, becoming a “Transcriptionist” can be a good option. But since this is a very uncommon field with not much information available online, we offer you this detailed step-by-step guide that will help you become a transcriptionist. Let’s find out how to become a transcriber.

What is a Transcriptionist?

A Transcriptionist is someone that has the skills and knowledge of converting audio recordings or speeches into written or typed text. A transcription allows to preserve the accuracy of what was discussed and to keep a record for future reference. At the same time, the role of a transcriptionist also ensures improved accessibility for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. That being said, the job of a professional transcriptionist involves a lot of scope and offers flexibility with where and when you work. Taking training is also very useful for those who are serious about their profession in the field. While the rate of services as a transcriptionist may vary, the standard service charges are as following:

  • Rev: $0.35 per audio minute
  • Verbit: $0.25 per audio minute
  • Cielo24: $0.50 per audio minute
  • Daily Transcription: $0.75 -1.25 per audio minute

Transcription has three  general categories including:

  • General Transcription – This includes working on any type of transcription that comprises converting audio or speech to written files or documents, regardless of the industry. One can also work as a media transcriptionist job and work directly for media companies. The general transcriptionists also work to provide real-time captioning for events and television broadcasts. It can be done using multiple sources like phone calls, television shows, conference calls, voice notes, etc.
  • Medical Transcription – The primary responsibility of a medical transcriptionist involves typing into a text file, the diction of a doctor, medical practitioner or physician concerning a patient’s case. This can be a remote job, but most often healthcare providers prefer hiring people to work at a doctor’s office, lab, or even hospital. Since this is a specialized field, a medical transcriptionist must also have a certification, a license, or previous work in a medical office. It is also important to ensure the privacy of the patient, along with medical terms, processes, and more. The doctors can either transcribe the medical practitioner’s live speech or record it for transcription later.
  • Real-time Transcription – A real-time transcriber is a professional involved in converting audio to text in a real-time environment as its being said. The work may involve transcribing live speeches, performances, shows or meetings. 
  • Legal Transcription – As the name suggests, legal transcriptionists are the professionals who work on court trials, depositions, and other legal proceedings. Legal transcriptionists are also known or referred to as court reporters. A certificate is mandatory to work as a legal transcriptionist as this helps professionals to have a better understanding of the legal terms, definitions, and procedures. While most legal transcriptionists work onsite at a law office, the job can be also done remotely. 

As a transcriber, you can have different responsibilities each day depending on the project you are working on. The work environment of a transcriptionist can vary from an office setting to working from home.  When working from an office, the role of the transcriber involves transcribing real-time spoken word or confidential audio recordings. Similarly, for the professionals working remotely, their responsibilities likely involve data entry and commercial captioning. 

There can be various equipment required for a transcriptionist such as:

  • Laptop or Computer – You can’t transcribe using a phone. Your laptop or desktop should have enough RAM and storage capacity to effectively and simultaneously run multiple software’s like Google Chrome, MS Word, ExpressScribe, Excel, and a foot pedal. Your computer should have an internet connection. There’s no way to pursue a career as a transcriber without one.
  • Transcription Software – Having a good transcription software is very important. There are various software available online, which offer trial versions so you can check the functioning before going for the ‘Premium or Paid version’. A transcription software allows you to save time while transcribing.
  • Foot Pedal – While this may not be a necessity, it is highly advised to have one because it saves time once you master its usage. You must look for the best Foot Pedal online that comes with a USB connector so you can connect it to any laptop or desktop. Make sure it’s compatible with your transcription software.
  • Headset – There are many types of headsets available, but it is highly suggested to use an over-the-ear, noise-canceling headset for better voice capturing.

Steps To Become a Transcriptionist

Here are some important steps you need to follow to become a professional transcriptionist:

Step 1: Choose your Specialist Field

Yes, it is very important to have a specific field when you want to work as a transcriptionist. You can opt to work as a general transcriptionist or become a more  specialized transcriber. It is important to know that general transcription careers may be more available than specialist careers, so you mustpick them accordingly. With a specific field, you can also expect to earn more money because a general transcription usually has fewer requirements. While general transcription is a common field, for those who want to become specialists like court reporters or medical transcriptionists, it is important to get the relevant experience, education and certification.

Step 2: Meet Technical Requirements

Once you have selected the field of transcription, the next step you want to take is to keep yourself equipped technically before you proceed to take the training program. Practicing a job as a transcriptionist requires many other types of tools, which we will discuss in detail in the same blog below.

Step 3: Take a Training Course

Just like any other specialized field, becoming a transcriptionist also requires particular training or education. This is the reason why you should opt for formal training. You can also look for certification courses in specialized fields like court transcriptionists, legal transcriptionists, medical transcriptionists, etc. Before making the final choice, you must consider your specific area of interest other things like budget, personal schedule, etc. 

Step 4: Get Faster at Typing

As we have already discussed that the prime job of a professional transcriptionist is to convert speeches into written words. So it is very important that you work on improving your typing speed. While you can cope with the speed when converting speeches into text through audio recording. Working on real-time transcription can be tough when you do not have good typing speed. This is why it is important that you are good at computer typing so youwill not miss a single word spoken. There are many online free tools available to get your initial typing speed score. Additionally, you can also consider investing in premium courses to grow your skills even faster. 

Step 5: Gain Experience

Have you ever tried to search for a job when you had no experience? If yes, then you would already know how tough things can be. This is why it is important that you also gain some experience in transcription too. There are many agencies that will also offer free training to fresh professionals to help them get experience. This allows you to build a good portfolio that shows potential employers your experience and knowledge in the industry. You can also apply for voluntary work or internships if you’re considering improving your portfolio.

Step 6: Apply for Jobs

When you have the right skills, training, experience, and an impressive portfolio. The next step you want to follow is to apply for jobs. There are various full-time as well as freelance transcription jobs available online. Opting for full-time jobs can be a good choice for professionals who are comfortable with the commitment of working in an office environment. Similarly, freelance projects can be very helpful for those who appreciate a more flexible working schedule. There are many online platforms where you can search for jobs as a transcriptionist. It is important that you search for the jobs using the right keywords.

Final Words

We hope that this blog was helpful enough to be confident about starting your new career as a transcriptionist. The role of a transcriptionist is quite impressive and interesting. The professional is responsible for converting speeches or audio to text documents. The profession allows you to work from home as well as in an office environment while earning an impressive amount on a regular basis. You just need to have the right skills, education, and experience to become a transcriptionist.

Practice is the key to improving your skills in the field. The more you practice the job, the better results you can deliver. So make sure to never skip practice session, even when you have enough experience in the fie.