Want A Career In Transcription? Here Is What You Need To Know

5 min read

Career Trends: December 27, 2022

Curated by the Knowledge Team of  ICS Career GPS

A transcriptionist listens to audio or video files and converts them into a written text format that can be stored in documents.

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As remote work becomes more prevalent, seeking a flexible yet lucrative career has become a popular choice for professionals. Becoming a transcriptionist offers you the freedom to decide your own workload, set your work hours, and the opportunity to earn a decent living from home.

If it sounds like a career choice you would want to pursue, let’s dive into what it takes to become a transcriptionist and how you can achieve success in the role.

Who is a Transcriptionist and what do they do?

As the name suggests, a transcriptionist, also known as a transcriber, listens to audio or video files and converts them into a written text format that can be stored in documents. The audio or video files can include live shows, interviews, podcasts, lectures, corporate meetings, legal proceedings, and a wide range of events.

Before pursuing any career option, it’s important to understand the responsibilities of the role. Let’s take a look at the core responsibilities of a transcriptionist:

  • Listening to live recordings or pre-recorded audio or video files.
  • Close attention to detail and accurate documentation of media files.
  • Proofread documents for any grammatical mistakes or errors.
  • Understanding client requirements and following the necessary specifications for transcription.
  • Follow the guidelines provided for keeping transcriptions confidential.
  • Meeting all deadlines and submitting accurate transcriptions on time.

It’s important to note that a few companies might require you to type word-to-word what you hear, while some may require a completely modified version of what you hear, depending on their guidelines. Some client requirements might also include editing existing transcriptions to improve poor-quality recordings.

What skills do you need to become a Transcriptionist?

When shortlisting candidates for roles, many employers look for relevant skills. Learning the skills required for the role will help you be prepared for the role, and adding them to your resume will make you stand out among other applicants. Here are some core skills you need to become a transcriptionist:

1. Active Listening
  • As the role involves transcribing conversations from audio or video files, active listening becomes an important skill.
  • Listen to some sample recordings and practice writing down the words spoken as you hear them.
  • While practicing, understand every word, pause, dialect, and tone of the speaker in the recording and make a note of it.
2. Typing Accuracy and Speed
  • A transcriptionist must be able to document accurately to produce quality transcriptions.
  • While typing accuracy is important, typing speed is essential too for meeting your deadlines.
  • Make sure you have a typing speed of at least 40-50 words per minute to document your recordings as you listen.
3. Computer Proficiency
  • The role requires basic computer proficiency to get started.
  • Be familiar with Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, and other common applications to make your work easier.
4. Excellent Written Communication Skills
5. Time Management
  • Transcriptionists must manage their time well, since some clients may need their files transcribed within hours.
  • You can use these free, quick, and amazing time-tracking tools to boost your productivity and manage your time better.
6. Attention to Detail
  • For accurate transcription, having attention to detail is essential to improve on.
  • Enhanced attention to detail will help you produce quality work and maintain your performance consistently.

Here is how you can become a successful Transcriptionist:

Here are a few tips to help you become a successful transcriptionist:

1. Pursue an Education
  • There is no specific qualification to enter the transcription industry.
  • A high school qualification or equivalent should suffice for entry into this field.
2. Find your Niche and Industry to Work
  • As there is no specific qualification required to enter the transcription industry, finding your niche is the first step to getting a job as a transcriptionist.
  • As a transcriptionist, you can work in various industries, including legal, medical, business, entertainment, mass communication, and more.
  • Choose the niche you relate to most and are interested in pursuing to get the most out of your transcription career.
  • Further, you can earn a degree in the same field to gain expertise and stand out when applying for roles.
3. Upskill with Online Courses
  • You can upskill yourself with relevant online courses.
  • Choosing the right online courses is the key to success in any industry.
  • You can learn about transcription from the best online learning platforms like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and more.
4. Gain Industry Experience
  • Gaining some industry experience through freelance, part-time jobs, or internship opportunities will keep you ahead of other applicants and help you get a better idea of the role.
  • Apply to the best job search portals like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, and more to get your desired role.

Transcription is in demand as a flexible career opportunity. Furthermore, if you are still a student or looking for a side hustle, the role could be a great way to earn some extra income.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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