Digitization is gradually taking over everything and transforming the manner in which things are done. Most of all, it is taking them online. We are banking, shopping, dating, and socializing online. Better still, people are working online!
Transcription is one of the available work from home jobs whereby freelancers are converting their skills into dollars.
Here is everything you need to know about online transcription jobs.
What is it?
In the simplest form, transcription is the process by which live or recorded audio is converted into an electronic document. Better put, it is writing down speech. The audio can be a lecturer speaking, an interview between two people, a sermon, podcast, webinar, or just any form of speech.
Why convert these recordings to text? You may ask. Because some professionals are too busy to type their work they use the help of transcribers. Again, people with hearing complications may require knowledge such as that from lectures. In addition, these people need to understand movies; and again, transcribers come in to help. Also, you may have recorded a very helpful video on social media marketing or another topic, but for some people, such as employees, may not be able to watch it in the office. Therefore, transcripts come in handy.
Types of Transcription:
As highlighted earlier, there could be multiple types of speeches. Similarly, there exists different types of transcription. However, let me talk about these three main: General, Legal, and Medical.
1. General Transcription
As the name suggests, this type of transcription does not focus on any specific context. Rather, it involves the conversion of any type of audio: webinars, lectures, sermons, business recordings, interviews, and phone conversations amongst others. In this type of transcription, no specific knowledge on the subjects is required.
Here's some more info on how to get started with general transcription.
2. Legal Transcription
At times, people will require having their recordings made by legal professionals such as judges, lawyers, or advocates put down in writing. In some instances, an entire court session may require the same. This is where transcribers come into play; they listen to the audio and type it. A transcriber is required to possess knowledge on legal matters to be able to effectively work in this type of transcription.
3. Medical Transcription
Similar to legal professionals, players in the medical industry (doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychiatrists, nutritionists, gynecologists, etc.) may require their recordings converted into writing. Owing to the complexity of terminologies used in medical transcription, the transcriber will need to possess medical knowledge, such as scientific terms of diseases, treatment procedures, and terminologies common in the medical field.
Online transcription work is a friendly business if you have 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 US and UK English.
2. Perfect Listening Skills
This is the first and very important skill you need in this context. Unlike your CNN reporter who ensures you have the best listen, the types of audio you will encounter in transcription will vary 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, one may receive audio that has non-English words, or words that they never heard before. To come up with a well-typed script, it is necessary to Google for some words such as new words, names of towns, people, and things that may not be clear in the audio. This improves the quality and acceptability of the submitted work.
4. Speed in Typing
Speed is key in all types of online endeavors, transcription included. Transcribing a single audio file may produce hundreds to hundreds of thousands of words. As such, a typing speed of at least 40 WPM (words per minute) is mandatory. The faster you are, the better you perform.
Important to note is that speed should not compromise accuracy. Type fast, and type well.
- A computer with good performance
- Fast internet that is stable
- Express Scribe software (allows for easier transcription without requiring the mouse)
- DFX Audio Enhancer software (boosts the quality and level of audio files)
- Headphones of good quality
- A verified PayPal account
- A comfortable computer seat (transcribers spend many hours on the computer)
How does Transcription Pay?
Pay is calculated per audio hour (60 minutes of transcribed audio). For starters, the pay may range from 15$ to $20 per audio hour. The rates increase gradually through $40 to $50, $60 or even higher. This depends on the audio quality, level of experience, and type of account.
Where To Get Legitimate Transcription Work
There are tens of transcription accounts. To apply for an account with any of them, you must possess the skills mentioned herein, read the style guides of individual accounts, meet the requirements they need, and finally complete a test, if required.
This list highlights the popular transcription accounts, plus what they pay per audio hour:
- Rev.com – Hires freelance transcribers from all over the world.
- GMR Transcription – Hires U.S. and Canadian transcribers only.
- Tigerfish – Hires U.S. based transcribers only.
- Speechpad – Hires transcribers from all over the world. Pay varies but starts from $15 per audio hour.
- Verbal Ink – Hires U.S. based transcribers. Offers medical, legal and market research transcription.
- Transcribe Me – Pays $20 per audio hour. Hires transcribers from all over the world.
- Appen – Hires freelance transcribers worldwide.
- Freelancing sites such as Freelancer, Fiverr, and Upwork also have transcription jobs, and the pay is negotiated between the client and transcriber.
Take Home Point
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. A word from those that have worked as transcribers for long; it may be tiring, but the fruits are worthwhile!
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.
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