If you’re seeking a job that allows you to work from home, pays well and, in many cases, requires little to no prior experience, consider becoming a transcriptionist. Transcriptionists are typically independent contractors who listen to audio and video files to transcribe the content. The transcribed material is typically categorized by general, medical, and legal. Most companies dealing with medical or legal records require you to have some knowledge or experience in the field.
Work From Home Transcription Jobs
In general, transcriptionists are required to have an excellent command of language and grammar, a high degree of attention to detail and a computer with high-speed internet access. Transcriptionists transcribe and edit recorded reports.
There are quite a few advantages to transcription work. Most clients will allow you to work from home. Say goodbye to the daily commute and hello to the freedom to live anywhere with internet access. Many companies and clients allow you to work as much or as little as you wish, provided your turnaround time meets their demands. This flexibility allows you the ability to take time off at your leisure, whether for family commitments or vacations.
Education and Training Requirements
Transcribing isn’t a one-size-fits-all job, as the level of difficulty and vary greatly depending on several different factors. For those who are just entering the field and have no experience or college education, investigate general transcribing.
They will instead administer a screening test to evaluate your skills, including typing ability, command of language and grammar, and attention to detail. Experience, speed, and proven accuracy will make you a strong candidate.
As with any profession, the more training and experience you have, the more money you will make. So, consider looking into transcription courses offered online, at local community colleges or business schools. Some websites provide free transcription training and typing tests.
For example, stenospeed.com offers dictated sound files ranging from 40 to 230 words per minute – in general, medical or legal categories. Irrespective of the avenue you take, it is always wise to prepare for any new job, and improving your skills will qualify you for higher paying positions.
Types of Transcription Jobs
- General Transcriptionists: General transcriptionists listen to audio files and convert them into written text documents. The task requires the ability to listen carefully to audio and video files, sometimes of questionable quality and perhaps with accented speech, and create an accurate report.
- Medical Transcriptionists: Medical transcriptionists convert doctor recorded reports into written reports. Additionally, they may use speech recognition technology to review and edit medical documents. One must be familiar with medical terms, legal standards and privacy requirements that apply to health records to qualify – as well as keen attention to detail. Medical transcriptionists must also be aware of the legal standards and conditions that apply to health records. In most cases, companies prefer to hire candidates with previous experience or who have certification in medical transcription. Though many transcriptionists can work from home, some are asked to work in hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, nursing homes, and other medical establishments. Keep this in mind when job searching.
- Legal Transcriptionists: Legal transcriptionists create and edit documents from a legal professional's dictation. Although no formal training is required to become a legal transcriptionist, it is essential to have a basic understanding of legal terminology and to have a good command of the English language.
Finding a Work From Home Transcription Job
There is no shortage of work-at-home transcription jobs, and the industry is expected to grow at an above-average rate over the next 10 years. You can search for them on many of the large job boards, including Indeed, Simplyhired, and Monster.
Companies that offer transcription services often hire remote freelance employees and will list open positions on their website. As with any work-at-home job, you should carefully research any company before you apply to make sure they are legitimate.
How Much You Can Earn
Pay for transcriptionists can vary greatly. Many jobs pay per audio hour or minute, and depending on your skill level and the quality of the recording, the time it will take to complete the task will vary.
Know that “$30 per audio hour” is not $30 per hour of your time worked. This rate is actually quite low – transcribing an hour of audio can take up to three hours, depending on your typing speed. When starting out as a general transcriptionist, you shouldn’t accept anything less than $50 to $60 per audio hour. For medical and legal work, hike that rate even more.
General transcriptionists typically make between $10 and $20 per hour. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical transcriptionists make a mean annual wage of $35,120 and a mean hourly wage of $17.86. Legal transcriptionists earn a comparable wage. Remember that, professionals with more experience can expect to make anywhere from $20 to $30 per hour.