Transcription is a career which has, in the last couple of years, become something that can easily be done from home. Thanks to the Internet, high-speed cable, and DSL, this job, which used to require a commute to an office, no longer does.
If you have a computer, Microsoft Word, high-speed Internet access, or DSL, and can type 65 words-per-minute, all you need is a pair of headphones, a foot pedal, and the software to play downloaded files.
There are several different types of transcription, and depending on your education and background, you may be better suited for one than another. Medical transcriptionists transcribe doctor’s office notes, hospital records, and other healthcare related audio.
Legal transcriptionists transcribe court depositions, pleadings, interviews, and letters. Transcriptionists specializing in business transcribe conference calls, meeting minutes, and interviews. Finally, generalists transcribe just about anything, including focus groups, interviews, conference calls, podcasts, and radio shows.
Pay varies widely among companies. But don’t sell yourself short. This isn’t simply typing. It involves investigative skills, as well as strong grammar, spelling, and proofreading skills. Difficult audio (audio with foreign speakers or lots of background noise) takes longer to transcribe than good audio.
But once you’re no longer new to the profession, don’t sell yourself short. Perform well, and expect to get paid a fair wage. The following is a list of companies that hire transcriptionists. I found this list of companies on the message board at WAHM.com, a great resource. Some require experience. Some are willing to give newbies a chance. Good luck and good typing!
Update November 2012: I have recently published Jump-Start Your Work at Home General Transcription Career: The Fast and Easy Way to Get Started! for those wishing to get started in general transcription. It includes information on:
- The equipment you will need and where to find it (some at no cost to you)
- Pay rates and estimated turnaround times
- Information on text-expander programs to help you type faster and earn more
- The tricks I’ve acquired over the course of my nearly eight-year career as a general transcriptionist
- Information on dealing with taxes
- Tips on creating a resume that will get you hired
- Opportunities for practice
- Links to valuable resources and support, as well as a list of 60 companies (with URLs) that hire home-based general transcriptionists (also a special website page with password, which will be constantly updated to reflect the most current URLs)
- MUCH, MUCH more
All of this is available for the cost of a cup of coffee. I made it affordable, in the hopes that everyone would be able to benefit from it. You will literally acquire all the tips and tricks it took me years to learn, which means you will be transcribing smarter and faster, and making more money right from the beginning!
Jump-Start Your Work at Home General Transcription Career: The Fast and Easy Way to Get Started! is available at Amazon for Kindle. If you purchase it and find it useful, I do hope you’ll take the time to leave a review. Thanks so much!