Digitization is gradually taking over everything and transforming how things are done. Most of all, it is taking them online. We are banking, shopping, dating, and socializing online. Better yet, people are working online!
Transcription is just one of the available work-from-home jobs whereby freelancers are converting their skills into dollars.
Here is everything you need to know about working from home as a transcriptionist.
What is Transcription?
In the simplest form, transcription is the process by which live, or recorded audio is converted into a written document. Better put, it is writing down speech. The audio can be a lecturer speaking, an interview between two people, a sermon, a podcast, a webinar, or any other form of speech.
Why convert these recordings to text?
Some professionals are too busy to type their work, so they use the help of transcribers.
People with hearing difficulties may require knowledge from lectures. These people also need to understand movies; and again, transcribers come in to help.
Another reason may be, personal preference. Let’s say a business owner recorded a video, but many of their clients prefer to read over watching a video, so they transcribe the video into a written document so that they can appeal to a broader range of people.
Three Types of Transcription:
Just like there are different types of audio files, there are different specialties of transcription with the three main specialties being General, Legal, and Medical Transcription.
1. General Transcription
As the name suggests, this type of transcription does not focus on any specific context. Instead, it involves the conversion of all kinds of audio: webinars, lectures, sermons, business recordings, interviews, and phone conversations amongst others. In this type of transcription, no specific knowledge of the subjects is required.
Related Content: Working from Home as a General Transcriptionist
2. Legal Transcription
At times, people will need legal recordings transcribed into written documents. These may be court proceedings from judges, lawyers, or advocates. A legal transcriber is required to possess knowledge of legal jargon and terminology to be able to effectively work in this type of transcription.
Related: Free Legal Transcription Mini-Course
3. Medical Transcription
Similar to legal professionals, transcribers in the medical industry will transcribe documents for doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychiatrists, and nutritionists who need their recordings converted into written documents. Medical transcribers need to possess medical knowledge and terminologies common within the medical field.
Related Content: How to Work From Home as a Medical Transcriptionist
Online transcription work is a great work-from-home opportunity if you possess the right skills.
Here are the skills you need to start working as a transcriber:
1. Perfect Command of English
This is self-explanatory. Punctuation and general diction skills are necessary for one to be a transcriber. In short, petty errors such as confusing “it’s” with “its,” or not knowing when to use a comma or colon should be avoided at all costs. Finally, it is an added advantage to be able to distinguish between the US and UK commands of English.
2. Perfect Listening Skills
The types of audio you will encounter in transcription will vary significantly in quality, accent, speed, and complexity. As such, one should be able to listen keenly and get the words right.
3. Good Research Skills
In some instances, you may receive audio that has non-English words, or words that you’ve never heard of before. To come up with a well-typed script, it will be necessary to look some words up. Often names of towns, people, and things may not be clear in the audio. By taking the extra time to research the unknowns you’ll improve the quality and acceptability of the submitted work.
4. Speed in Typing
Speed is absolutely critical in transcription work. Transcribing a single audio file may produce hundreds to thousands of words. A typing speed of at least 40 WPM (words per minute) is mandatory for many jobs. The faster you can type, the more money you can earn in some cases. However, it’s important to note is that speed should not compromise accuracy.
- A computer with the latest software
- A fast and stable internet connection
- Express Scribe software (allows for more natural transcription without needing the mouse)
- DFX Audio Enhancer software (boosts the quality and level of audio files)
- High-quality headphones
- A verified PayPal account
- An ergonomic desk and chair (transcribers spend many hours on the computer)
Related Content: What Equipment Do You Need to Work From Home?
How does Transcription Work Pay?
Pay is calculated either per audio hour or minute. According to PayScale.com, the median wage for a transcriber is $15.16. Of course, you can earn more based on the audio quality, level of experience, and type of transcription you’re completing.
Where to Find Legitimate Transcription Work:
There are tons of transcription companies. To apply for an account with any of them, you must possess the skills mentioned above. Be sure to read over the style guides of individual companies and complete a test, if required.
This list highlights the popular transcription companies, an what many of them pay:
- AccuTran Global – Hires contract transcriptionists for the financial, medical, and legal industries.
- Appen – Hires freelance transcribers worldwide.
- Daily Transcription – Transcriptionists earn between $0.75 -$0.85 per audio minute, and most transcriptionists earn around $10 per hour.
- eScribers – Hires independent contractors and offers weekly pay via direct deposit.
- FlexJobs – The paid membership site has a host of opportunities (remote, freelance, and part-time) for transcribers.
- GMR Transcription – Hires U.S. and Canadian transcribers only.
- Production Transcripts – Hires highly proficient, experienced freelance, Transcribers.
- Rev.com – Hires freelance transcribers from all over the world. Pay is $0.36 – $0.65 per audio minute.
- Scribie – Offers transcription services for health, business, and other industries. Pay is $5-$25 per audio hour.
- Speechpad – Hires transcribers from all over the world. According to its website, transcribers can make .25 – $2.50 per audio minute.
- Tigerfish – Hires U.S. based transcribers only.
- Transcribe Me – According to their website, they pay $20 per audio hour. Hires transcribers from all over the world.
- Verbal Ink – Hires U.S. based transcribers. Offers medical, legal and market research transcription.
- Freelancing sites such as Freelancer, Fiverr, and Upwork also have transcription jobs, and the pay is negotiated between the client and transcriber.
Related Content: Seven Companies That Hire Beginner Transcriptionists From Home
This article is intended to brief you on what transcription entails. As is evident, this work-from-home opportunity is not rocket science. If you meet all the requirements and are patient enough to learn the art, you can succeed in working at it.
Are you interested in working from home as a transcriber? Not sure if you have the right skills? Check out Transcribe Anywhere’s General Transcription and Legal Transcription courses that can be done from home.
Originally published August 25, 2015. Content updated by Holly Reisem Hanna on April 18, 2019.
Sheeroh is a work at home mom, who works as a transcriber and a blogger. She’s very passionate about online freelancing. She blogs at workonlinekenya.com, and her goal is to provide others with helpful information about working online and the experiences she has gained in her online work journey.