A transcription job is a great way to earn a steady salary with the perks of working from home. However, like any other occupation, it requires certain skill sets to become a successful transcriptionist.

There's a whole list of businesses that need transcription services. So, there is a demand for this type of career, but its growth is much slower if you compare it to other jobs.

Since transcription work only needs you to type things you hear from a video and audio file, it might seem like an easy job. However, there's still a catch. You'll inevitably encounter recordings that aren't audible.

Hence, you need to master different skill sets to tackle all the issues that may arise while transcribing the content. Let’s discuss these skills in detail.

8 Transcription Skills You Must Have

Here are eight transcription skills and how you can develop them:

1. Listening skills

Transcribing files is all about listening. You have to capture every element in the recording, which can be difficult because of conversation speed, overlapping discussions, slang usage, and other noise disturbances. That is why you need to improve your listening skills.

Find a video, audiobook, or podcast to enhance your listening skills. But start small. Best to transcribe a file with only one or two people having a conversation. Listen to it multiple times.

After hearing it, play it again while typing everything you hear. Finally, compare what you typed against the recording to see if it's on point.

Once you've got the hang of transcribing with a couple of people having a discussion, practice with multiple speakers this time.

2. Typing skills

An excellent transcriptionist knows how to meet deadlines. So they must have exceptional typing speed where they can transcribe 60-80 words per minute with little to no error.

It's important to memorize the keyboard and know where to place your fingers when typing. There are apps where you can practice your accurate typing speed. Another enjoyable option is to watch movies while typing the dialogue.

Here's a tip: Use foot pedals to make it easier to operate an audio recording.

3. Editing skills

Editing skills are your ability to identify and correct errors when transcribing. So, you must have a vast vocabulary in your toolbox to edit documents meticulously. Also, grammar, punctuation, and spelling proficiency can help you submit quality transcripts.

Medical transcription is more specific. Thus, knowing industry-specific terms and languages can be an advantage.

You don't need an English degree to have good editing skills. You can learn by taking online courses on editing and proofreading.

4. Computer skills

The world revolves around technology now. So, computer skills are a must. To excel in transcription services, you need to know how to use the computer and its functions, particularly Microsoft word. But if you want to be at eye level with other transcription specialists, it's ideal to have advanced computer skills.

You can maximize software applications if some of your clients need you to place subtitles on a video.

To boost your computer skills, you need to be willing to learn them. Ask a friend to teach you. But if you want to learn the technical parts of it, there are tons of resources online.

5. Time management skills

Managing your time is important as a transcriber. Since you'll be working alone with no one to hold you accountable, time management skills can help you stay productive.

Develop the habit of creating a to-do list and find a specific time in your schedule when you can focus on deep work. Avoid distractions at all costs, as they can prevent you from meeting your deadlines.

6. Multitasking

You'll need to divide your attention into different things since you must listen attentively while typing and editing. This skill will help you with productivity, especially if you have multiple projects.

Organize your projects according to priority and avoid distractions so you can finish projects on time while exceeding client expectations.

7. Goal oriented

Clients will need you to follow a specific standard when transcribing. So being self-motivated to work towards a common goal will make them realize your dedication to your job.

This skill goes well with time management and organizational skills. It's helpful to write your tasks with corresponding schedules to stay focused. If possible, ask for feedback from your client or mentor to improve your approach.

8. Attention to detail

A transcriptionist must pay attention to details as some work will need verbatim and non-verbatim transcription.

In verbatim transcription, you must include every word and expression a speaker makes, such as um, er, and ok. However, in non-verbatim transcription, it's the opposite because you need to cut the fluff.

Improving Your Transcription Skills Will Lead You to Success

Transcription work offers a lot of benefits and opportunities to scale your career. So regardless of your reasons for becoming a transcriptionist, you'll find this job more satisfying if you have a learning mindset. Mastering all the skills mentioned above will put you on the right path to becoming a successful transcriptionist.

Become a Professional Transcriptionist

To know more about how to become a transcriptionist and work from home, you can refer to these two comprehensive guides: