A growing number of people are discovering the joys of working from home. According to a study, an estimated 3 million American professionals are employed full-time or part-time online. Industries that are most likely to offer remote work include medical and health, government, finance, customer service, and computer and information technology. Medical transcriptionists, in particular, are in very high demand, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2015 data, the median hourly rate for transcriptionists is $17.17—which is considerably higher than the minimum hourly wage in the country today. Transcription work is demanding and requires precision and the ability to focus, but it can be very rewarding especially if you decide to make a career of it. Anyone can be a work-from-home transcriptionist, but being a successful worker entails a lot more than being able to type at a high speed. If you want to achieve work-life balance and are ready to take the next step towards financial freedom, here's how you can become a successful work-from-home transcriptionist.
Before you can start working as a work-from-home transcriptionist, you have to ensure that you have the skills to pass transcription tests online to get hired. If this is your first time working online, your first few days of preparation should involve getting comfortable doing productive work for a few hours while at home. This doesn't mean falling down a YouTube rabbit hole or trawling through Instagram for hours—try practicing your typing skills, or taking paid online surveys. Doing anything productive online gets you in the proper mindset to work from home in the coming days. Next, learn how to type fast without any errors. Aim for 60 words per minute. You can practice by transcribing a video that you enjoy. Videos of talk show segments, sitcoms, or TV shows work well for this purpose. Doing this enables you to practice your listening skills as you'll be doing a lot of listening while you transcribe. Now that you're all set, follow these tips to be a successful work-from-home transcriptionist.
There are four things that you'll need as a transcriptionist—a computer, a stable Internet connection, good quality headphones, and a foot pedal. The latter enables you to push play, fast forward, or rewind a video so you'll only use your hands to type as you work. Having well-made and good quality equipment makes working a pleasure and it saves you a lot of headache in the long run.
Doing transcription work means that you'll need to be in an environment that promotes productivity. This means having minimum distractions and noise. You might think that your bedroom is best suited for doing transcription work, but it's likely that you'll feel far too relaxed to be productive in this area. Set up someplace far away from the television and if you have kids, it's also best to have your home office away from their play area. Choose a comfortable chair for your work area—keep in mind that you'll be sitting there for hours at a time. While it can be tempting to have lots of office supplies, pictures, and various knick-knacks on your desk, resist the urge to do so as these will only distract you from doing your work. Have only the equipment or tools that you need on your home office desk, and keep everything else out of sight.
Speed isn't everything when it comes to transcription work. When transcribing, it's important to use proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Keep in mind that it's possible to change the meaning or the intent of a speaker with a misplaced comma or period.
As a transcriptionist, you'll often hear words and terminologies that you don't understand, but part of the fun of the job is doing research to learn more about words that you've never heard before. As you get into the habit of doing research, you'll notice that you become more knowledgeable and you have an easier time transcribing future work.
Most companies have deadlines, so it's important to meet them each and every time. To do this, take into account the length of the video or the audio file to find out how much time you need to work on it. Have a set schedule for doing deep work and stick to it as much as you can. Avoid procrastinating and install site blockers to block off favorite websites temporarily to avoid getting distracted while transcribing the file. However, it's impossible to work for hours without stopping, so make sure to take a break every two hours or so. Stepping away from your workstation gives you time to recharge and enables you to meet your deadline and meet your employer's expectations. Being a full-time transcriptionist can be challenging, but it's a fun and less stressful way to make a living while you're at home. Follow these tips to become a successful work-from-home transcriptionist and still have time for your family and friends.