Work at Home in Transcription

To work at home in transcription (and actually make money doing it), you’re going to need a certain skill set and the right equipment as well as to know where to find transcription jobs and how to avoid scams. That's a tall order, but you’ll find all that here. Use this article and its links as a resource in your home transcription job search.

Work-at-Home Industry Outlook:

Headphones Keyboard Transcription

As technology has made this kind of remote working easier, e.g. audio files can be downloaded from the web and documents uploaded, the number of home transcription jobs has increased. And so, like data entry, transcription is a growing work-at-home field, but also like data entry, home-based transcription jobs can pay significantly less than their office counterparts. Low-paying transcription jobs abound, especially since these jobs almost always pay on a per-piece rate. Experienced and/or specialized transcriptionists, however, can make this a lucrative home business.

Types of Work-at-Home Transcription Jobs:

Data Entry
Data Entry. Getty/Tim Flach

The broadest type of transcription job category is general transcription, and the skills required, duties performed and salaries vary widely. General transcription includes everything from very basic data entry jobs to legal and financial transcription to offline captioning.

Medical transcription, on the other hand, is much more specialized and requires training and certification. A medical transcriptionist transcribes a physician or medical practitioner’s dictation.

While typically home transcriptionists work from recorded audio, a real-time transcriptionist listens to live audio and types. It requires very fast typing speeds, accuracy, and specialized stenography equipment. Many real-time transcription jobs, such as a court reporter, are not likely to be done from home, but some, like a captioner, can.

How to Find Home Transcription Jobs:

This is a list of companies that offer legitimate work-at-home transcription positions: Home Transcription Jobs.

Scroll down to find company profiles of data entry firms.

Getting Started in Work-at-Home Transcription:

Start by looking at the skills required for transcription. A fast typing speed is, of course, the most obvious skill, but there are many others. In addition to being fast, you have to be accurate. And not just an accurate typist, but you must be a detail-oriented person with the desire to produce absolutely clean copy. This means you must have excellent knowledge of grammar, punctuation,

If your typing is fast and accurate and your editing skills excellent, next consider your hearing and listening (which are not the same thing). As a transcriptionist, you will have to listen to recordings (or possibly live audio in real-time transcription) and type what you hear. People may speak in accents, mumble or use unfamiliar words. 

The type of equipment required will vary from job to job, but a computer with an internet connection is a must; additionally, you'll probably need transcription software, which is often provided by the company or can be downloaded free, and/or word-processing software. Headphones and a foot pedal to control the audio, if not required, will improve speed.

What to Look Out For:

Getty/Joe Raedle

As always, you'll want to be familiar with the signs of a WAH scam when looking for home transcription work. In particular, companies may try to sell you bogus training or certification for non-existent jobs at their firms. Medical transcription does require certification, but for other forms, no specific training is usually required. And if the training needed for a particular job can only be purchased through the employer, be very wary.

Remember, legitimate companies do not charge fees for you to work for them. Be very careful of any company selling a “business opportunity.”

However, more than just looking out for scams, you have to be sure an opportunity will be worthwhile. Most of the time payment for transcription jobs are based on your output, so if you are inexperienced, your lack of speed and accuracy can limit your money-making ability.