Here in this post, we will talk about how online transcription jobs work, what skills you need to be a freelance transcriptionist, which is best for transcription companies, and all the things you need to become a good transcriptionist.
So let’s get started!
What is the meaning of an online transcription job?
In general, transcription or transcribing is a synonym for ‘writing out’ or ‘typing out.’ Transcription is the process in which audio or video recording is converted into a written document.
Sound’s easy! Right? But it’s not so.
Transcription is a subject in its own right because there are different forms and guidelines to make the right transcript for the right application, as it is a time-consuming process.
Who is a transcriptionist?
A transcriptionist is a professional typist who listens to recorded or live audio files and converts them into text format.
They offer transcription services in fields like medical transcription work, legal transcription work, GMR transcription work, and many other fields requiring transcription.
Types of transcription
1. Verbatim transcription
Verbatim transcription, also known as Literal transcription, records the way “how something is said” and includes all speech and utterances that the speaker conveys.
In this type of transcription, repetitions, interjections, stutters, interrupting words, and colloquial language is typed out in the document.
Where is it used?
There are many areas where verbatim transcription is required. For example:
- In legal transcription work, recording a witness statement, interview, deposition, or testimony is all evidence in a case.
- Interviews also require verbatim transcription, depending on the type of interview.
- In research where how something is said can be of importance.
2. Non Verbatim transcription
Non- Verbatim transcription is also known as edited or non-verbatim transcription, in which irrelevant words that break the flow of reading, like stutters, repetitions, and false starts, are edited out of the transcript.
In this transcription, the objective is not only to report the dialogue but also to ensure the transcript is flowing and easy to read.
Where is it used?
Clean transcription is the most popular and widely used in many fields. For example:
- Edited transcription is the ideal solution where published or academic documents require an element of formality and simplicity.
- During medical transcription, sentences should make sense, and filler words should be removed to increase the ease of reading, but the message must not be changed. So, edited transcription is best in this case.
- Business memos and meeting minutes require clear, straight-to-the-point information.
Top 7 Skills for freelance online transcription jobs
1. Typing skills
Good typing skills is one most basic skill of a professional transcriptionist. An average man can type about 30-40 words per minute, but a good typing speed of a transcriptionist is at 50-70 words per minute with very minimal errors.
If you aspire to be a professional transcriptionist, you should have a minimum typing speed of 40 words per minute (wpm).
2. Good listening
For transcribing audio files or video recordings, one should have good listening skills. You should be able to deal with audio challenges like background noise, crosstalk, and soft voices.
3. Accuracy, grammar, and English proficiency
A transcriptionist should have high grammar, punctuation, and spelling proficiencies. Without compromising the meaning and original thought of the dialogue.
There are digital tools that help identify and correct mistakes, but it is still important for them to have a good knowledge foundation to prevent basic yet mortifying mistakes.
4. Adaptability and technology proficiency
General transcriptionists are required to offer services to a multitude of fields. Transcriptionists are required to be fast learners and comprehend different topics in short periods.
A transcriptionist doesn’t necessarily know computer skills. Basic computer skills like knowing how to use Microsoft Word for proper transcription formats and also Google search and transcription software is a must.
But, having advanced skills can result in better prospects.
5. Sharp memory
Instead of frequently pausing the audio to type, having a sharp memory helps in typing longer dialogues. Without the need for frequent pauses and replays.
6. Research skills
You should have outstanding research skills to be a professional transcriptionist. Online transcription jobs require good research skills as diverse topics are assigned to them every day. Especially in the case of general transcription.
7. Focus and determination
A qualified transcriptionist should be focused and determined to complete his task on time. Transcribing jobs requires complete accuracy and timeliness of work.
Tools for online transcription jobs
1. Laptop or computer
If you wish to be a freelance transcriptionist, a laptop or computer is a must. Choose between a desktop and a laptop or keep both, depending on your personal preference.
Some leading transcription software only works on Windows, so it is recommended to go with a PC instead of a Mac for transcription.
2. Foot pedal
A foot pedal is also one of the transcription tools. A foot pedal helps you play, rewind, and fast-forward the audio while you are typing.
Being able to do these things with your feet will free up your hands by simply pressing the levers with your feet. It will increase your work speed.
3. Comfortable headphones/ headsets
Having a good headphone/ headset is essential for transcription equipment. It should be comfortable to wear.
Over-the-ear headphones cover your entire ears and are very comfortable to wear. In comparison, other headphones don’t cover the whole ear, some might be comfortable, and some be not.
It’s a matter of your personal preference. Choose the one you find most comfortable and with good audio quality.
4. Word Processing Software
Microsoft Word is one of the popular word-processing software for online transcription jobs. Other examples of word processing software are OpenOffice Writer, Word Perfect, and Google Drive Document.
MS Word provides an audio transcription feature for the online version of Word that converts audio files or short audio clips directly to the text and even separates the text based on the speaker.
5. File Converting Software
There are several transcript file formats, each with its uses and benefits. Commonly used formats are:
- Word (.doc) or text (.txt) document
- PDF (.pdf)
There may be times when your client has requested that your final transcript needs to be in a specific format like a PDF, you may find using a file converting software useful that can convert text files to files with other extensions, like JPG, or DOCX.
6. High-speed internet connection
To download multiple audio files and video recordings, do research, a reliable internet connection is necessary.
7. Ergonomic desk chair
Transcription jobs require a lot of time sitting at a computer desk, you must have a comfortable ergonomic office chair. An ergonomic chair provides your neck and back with support and comfort. They are usually expensive, but there are also some which are affordable.
8. Dictionary or a Thesaurus
If you plan to work from home as a freelance transcriptionist, it’s a good idea to keep a dictionary or a thesaurus handy.
It’s recommended to keep a dictionary or thesaurus for legal transcription, medical transcription, and research transcription.
9. Transcription kit (optional)
The transcription kit contains transcription instruments. If you do not want to buy the headset, software, and foot pedal separately, you can buy a transcription kit.
There are also kits with just the software and foot pedal, which can be a good option if you already have headphones that you like.
10. Text expander (optional)
Text Expander can save a lot of time and increase your typing speed. It’s not mandatory to use a text expander. Not only does the typing speed, but it also helps reduce errors.
11. Manuals Which Are Industry-Specific (optional)
Legal transcriptionists and medical online transcription jobs have to deal with lots of technical terms. Therefore, online transcription jobs involve the use of manuals as per the specific industry requirements.
What about a transcription training course?
It’s not compulsory to get formal training to become a transcriptionist. Many aspiring transcriptionists do enrol in specialized training, as it is beneficial. Others master the skills of a good transcriptionist through practising several online transcription training courses that teach you about the basics of transcription.
You should choose a course that fits your purpose of choosing it and guides you on how to get transcription jobs.
Here are some popular transcription training courses:
- Transcription Skills – Learn Beginning to Advanced Skills (Udemy)
- Master Captions, Subtitles & Transcription Tools! (Skillshare)
- How to Become a Transcriptionist (Udemy)
- General Transcription: Theory & Practice™ (transcribeanywhere)
- Transcription Certification (Transcription Certification Institute)
- Learn How to Transcribe (Skillshare)
Although a certificate isn’t necessary in the transcription world if you’re looking to apply to a nice transcription company, a certificate could help you come across as a professional in the field and help you stand out from the crowd.
Steps To Become A transcriptionist online
Choose which kind of transcriptionist you want to work as
There are several different types of transcriptionists. Typically, the transcription industry is broken into three categories: General transcription, medical transcription and legal transcription.
If you’re a beginner, start by looking into general transcription jobs. This career path has a much lower barrier to entry — often requiring no formal education or training and little prior experience.
Working as a transcriptionist who specializes in medical transcription or legal transcription will likely require a state license or completion of a certification program. You’ll also need to understand potentially complex medical or legal terminology. These specialized fields often pay better than general transcription work.
1. Must have skills and tools required to become a transcriptionist
The person must have all the skills and tools, discussed in the post, to become a transcriptionist. Along with that, you should also be able to manage your customers, have multitasking abilities, and have high language proficiency.
As a beginner, you don’t have to worry about meeting all these requirements. When first starting, all you need is to adjust time and a quiet place to work. Initially, all you’ll need is your laptop and a headphone.
As you progress and decide this is the job for you, investing in better equipment is a smart option. As you advance to higher positions, you’ll need to buy transcription software and a foot pedal.
2. Create an online presence
To get online transcription jobs, you need to have a CV, through which you can apply for transcription jobs.
Whether it’s through your Facebook page, an online portfolio site, or a website for your transcription service. It’s time to shout about your skills, services, and how hiring you to transcribe for them will benefit them.
Once you have an online presence, it will be easier to look for work.
3. Study guidelines for transcription style
Before you start working for a transcription company, learn how they anticipate you to transcribe their files.
This will assist you in passing the initial transcription test when you join a company.
Not every transcription company adheres to the same guidelines. Some will require verbatim transcribing, others may not.
Some jobs may need you to identify speakers as ‘speaker 1, speaker 2’. In contrast, others may require you to identify them by name.
4. Find an entry-level job or an internship
Now, you are ready to find a job. Some companies hire transcriptionists with no experience or are new in the transcription industry. Others may not.
So, it’s always better if you start with internships to get some experience and if you have done a certified course before, it’s always a plus.
Best transcription companies
Some of the transcription companies that are popular for offering online transcription jobs:
Transcription Hub is one of the best online transcription jobs sites. It offers different types of transcription services such as education, medical, legal, translation, and insurance. You can earn a lot of money using this site. Registration on this site is free.
When it comes to transcribing at Transcription Hub, interested freelancers are required to successfully pass a skill assessment test to be certified to start taking on transcribing jobs.
The average pay is about $0.75 per audio minute of a tape.
On registration, you need to submit your work for evaluation. You will get on board once your work is approved. You will be able to reach various levels such as gold, silver, bronze on completion of work.
Transcript Divas offers one of the higher-paying remote online transcription jobs, with rates going up to $2.98 per audio minute.
Previous work experience is not necessary, but they have high standards and only accept a percentage of applicants. You have to pass the skills test to get a job.
SpeakWrite is one of the best online transcription jobs, but you’ll need a bit of previous transcribing experience.
As a transcriptionist for SpeakWrite, you’ll be paid $0.005 – $0.006 per word. To work for SpeakWrite, applicants must pass a skills assessment test.
Rev is one of the most trusted and popular sites for transcription services.
Here you need to listen to audio or video and type what is said in the audio or video. You will get $0.30 to $1.10 per audio minute/ video minute. You need to take a transcription test. It involves an English typing test and a grammar test.
GoTranscript is the ultimate online transcription jobs website for beginners. You don’t need to be a professional transcriptionist or even have a fast typing speed to get jobs on GoTrascript. Moreover, they will pay you about $0.60 per audio minute.
Speechpad is another good company to work for. You earn around about $1.00 to $2.50 per audio minute (or about $20 to $140 per audio hour).
It’s free to sign up, and before you can start working you’ll need to pass a transcription test.
CastingWords offers transcription jobs to freelancers. You need to transcribe, edit and complete jobs online on this site. You will be paid $1 per audio minute.
Furthermore, you will get badges on the completion of tasks. The badges level will help you to get more assignments and a higher pay level.
8. 3Play Media
3Play Media pays based on the project, but they suggest the equivalent is about $10–$30 per audio hour, depending on your efficiency.
Online transcription jobs for beginners
A career as a transcriptionist can be very useful. Transcriptionists job is very flexible, you can work from home with safety and comfort and work as per convenience.
First, shore up your typing skills through hours of practice. Tons of websites offer typing tips. Some are even free. The faster you learn to increase your typing speed and accuracy, the quicker you’ll become a competent transcriptionist.
The quickest and easiest method is to find a company that hires freshers transcriptionists. Most require that you take a short transcription test to evaluate your typing skills. If you pass, the company will most likely give you simple tasks at the start.
Online transcription jobs for beginners, becomes easy to get if you have a certificate of training. If you want to enrol in an online transcription training program, make use of the advice given earlier. Speak with a representative of the training company as well as recent graduates.
Acquiring or purchasing the best equipment you can afford is highly recommended. Transcriptionists who have better equipment like text expander software, dual monitors, and high-quality headphones can transcribe much faster than our people who don’t use all the tools and equipment available to them. If you decide not to use a foot pedal, you will be sacrificing at least 50% more in speed alone.
Job search tips for experienced transcriptionist
After all, companies look forward to saving time and money. Experienced transcriptionists should make the best use of their experience and past work.
Add details and a portfolio of your work in your job resume and cover letter. Focus on improving your typing speed and grammar skills to become a more efficient and professional transcriptionist.
Apply to transcription companies, asking for experienced transcriptionists, as much as possible.
How much does a transcriptionist make?
Professional transcriptionists who work remotely as independent contractors generally earn anywhere between $15- USD 45 per hour.
The annual salary for a full-time freelance transcriptionist ranges from about $20,000-$84,000.
If you are an entry-level transcriptionist, you’ll be paid per audio minute in most cases, but if you calculate the amount that you make per hour of work, it may wind up being less than minimum wage. However, you can increase that amount by improving your skills.
Some people provide their transcription service on a contract basis, also outsource your work and earn accordingly.
How much do legal transcriptionists make?
Top-tier and experienced legal transcriptionists can earn more than $60,000 annually. Whereas, average legal transcriptionists salaries are around $35,000 annually.
Most freelance transcriptionists are paid on basis of per line or minute. The more audio files you transcribe and the faster you transcribe them, the more money you make.
How much do medical transcriptionists make?
The average medical transcriptionist hourly pay is $16.95 per hour. Whereas, a certified medical transcriptionist gets between the pay scale of $28-$35 per hour.
Factors that affect transcription pay
Your pay as a transcriptionist will depend upon several factors, for example:
- Audio Quality: Better audio quality ensures less time to transcribe and therefore lower costs.
- Transcription Style: Adjusting style as per client, calls for more money.
- Length of the Audio: Ideally, the longer your audio, the costlier your transcription.
- Accent: An accent difficult to comprehend in the audio would mean transcription charges are higher.
- Topic/subject of transcription: Audios that requires a deeper and better understanding of the subject will be charged more as the transcriber will need extra time for research.
Well, that was all you need to know before starting your transcription journey. So, how about giving it a try? Do try online transcription jobs, if you love writing and listening and if you want to earn some extra money.
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