A transcriptionist is a documentation specialist, who listens to voice recordings and converts them into written reports. There's a lot of information online on how to become a transcriptionist. However, you will have to train and practice before you can enjoy the benefits of a career as a transcriptionist.
As mentioned earlier, a transcriptionist transcribes medical, legal, or other records from spoken or recorded format to written word. Besides having strong skills at the computer keyboard, a transcriptionist should possess an eye towards accuracy and a commitment to deliver a quality written record to each client.
Being a transcriptionist requires specific skill sets and the ability to multitask. Attentive listening along with fast and accurate typing speed is a must. Also, a strong command over language (both formal and colloquial), grammar, and punctuation are needed. Other than these, the ability to search for industry-specific information and a good working knowledge of computers and software programs are required by a skilled transcriptionist to perform fool-proof transcription.
We all know that transcription is the best way to convert recorded audios into accurate and readable text. In audio transcription, transcriptionists usually transcribe interviews, manuscripts, reports, meeting, forums, dictations, script correspondence, articles, speeches, teleconferences, and telephone conversations. When transcribing a recording, you are usually paid by the recorded audio minute. However, the rates may vary from company to company and depend on the clarity of the recording/audio files.
Today, there are many tools available for transcribing audio recordings, but they are not error-free. It's better to outsource your audio transcriptions to the experts in the transcription industry, as it will save you a lot of time and money. A professional transcriptionist transcribes your audio recordings by paying attention to the number of people speaking, the author's intended meaning, the clarity of the recording (background noise), and the clarity of the speaking voices (accents, mumbling, etc.).
The professional industry standard allows one hour to transcribe 15 minutes of clearly recorded speech. Therefore, it takes a minimum of 4 hours to transcribe a one-hour recording, depending on the quality of the recording, the speed at which the people are talking and, above all, your experience as a transcriptionist. However, it can also take as much as 6 or 8 hours because becoming an audio transcriptionist is not easy and requires a lot of training and practice.
As already stated, fast and accurate typing is of great significance to become a transcriptionist. A professional transcriptionist should type at least 60 words per minute with no errors, as mentioned by industry standards. Although, transcriptionists who work with time-sensitive projects usually have a typing speed of 80 to 100 words per minute. Also read: Why Typing Speed Is So Important in Transcription
If you are a skilled and committed transcriptionist, then you can easily make $25 per hour or more, depending on how many hours you put in. Moreover, the exact amount you earn as a transcriptionist will depend on the company you're working for and, of course, your speed and skill level. In fact, the transcriptionists who specialize in the legal and medical field can make an even higher wage per hour.
Your earning as a legal transcriptionist depends on whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. However, it is believed that most legal transcriptionists earn between $20,000 and $60,000 per year.
Medical transcriptionists usually receive hourly pay. The United States Department of Labor reports that the median annual salary of full-time medical transcriptionists is $33,480, which translates to an hourly rate of $16.10.
Further reading: How To Get Started As A Transcriptionist – A Complete Guide