All information provided in this report is based on the analysis of Transcription Certification Institute (TCI) staff. All provided estimates in this report are based on our strategic partner’s experience in running a successful transcription company for several years. Our collective experience suggests that the earning potential and employment entirely depends on the transcriptionist or the business owner. Using the materials and tests of this report can help the reader start their transcription business or find a successful career as a work-from-home transcriptionist.
Here is the surprise – typing speed is not critical when considering a general transcription profession, especially for work-from-home job opportunities which generally pay based on the production of transcripts.
Instead, customers mostly care for accuracy, proper transcript formatting, and timely turnaround. When it comes to the transcribed product, a slow-typing transcriptionist will earn less in the beginning. They can increase their hourly earnings as their typing speed improves. Customers will never know or care about the typing speed as long as deadlines are met.
Successful transcriptionists need to have the following skills:
Most people think that a successful transcriptionist only needs to have good listening skills and fast typing skills, but transcribing is more than that. You have to be well rounded in the language enough to know the difference between phrases like "Bear Market" and "Bare Market."
You must be able to recognize the difference between "discreet" and "discrete".
Good Listening & Attention to Detail
Very often transcriptionists encounter recordings spoken with different accents and varied levels of clarity. Good listeners will complete transcriptions faster and more accurately. Given that the earnings in this profession are determined by performance, this skill will result in the highest income for a general transcriptionist. Also, transcription pay rates for "bad recordings" are typically higher, which means that a transcriptionist can make more money for the same amount of work if they can pay close attention to details.
Patience is a real virtue for a good transcriptionist. Very often (almost always for bad recordings), transcriptionists will need to go back a few times to understand the exact words. Patient transcriptionists typically have higher accuracy, resulting in more regular customers and fewer transcript returns.
Discipline and Responsibility
Transcriptionists need to meet deadlines. Clients will not meet their own deadlines if the transcripts are late. Transcription is a profession that requires discipline and responsibility to complete work on time that follows client instructions.
Transcriptionists need to understand the context of recordings to consistently generate above average quality transcripts. A transcriptionist will often need to make a judgment call when the recording is not clear.
Good grammar, spelling, and vocabulary
Transcriptionists may need to fix the grammar used within the recording. Good grammar and spelling skills will increase the transcript quality, resulting in loyal and higher paying customers. Transcriptionists will encounter not-so-common words while transcribing. Thus, a wide vocabulary will help complete the transcription quickly.
Microsoft Word knowledge
Proficiency in MS Word is required for a good transcriptionist. Clients not only expect accurate transcripts in MS Word format, but they quite often ask for the transcript to be sent in a specific format that they use. Transcriptionists will need to be able to convert transcripts to customer-preferred formats.
Conventional wisdom may suggest that a transcriptionist needs to be a fast typist. Fast typing helps a transcriptionist earn more per hour, but this skill is NOT needed to start as a transcriptionist. Transcriptionists are paid by production, so slow typing will result in less income. Transcriptionists will generally earn more if the transcripts are accurate and speed is moderate.
The following tools are needed to become a work-from-home general transcriptionist:
Computer, Software, and Work Station
A computer with a printer hook-up and a comfortable space for working is needed to become a work-from-home general transcriptionist. The computer needs to either have speakers or high-quality headphones for listening to recordings. We suggest headphones because it will not disturb other people.
The computer should have at least Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel software. MS Outlook is desired for communication with clients and for setting alerts about impending project deadlines.
Transcription software such as FTW Transcriber or ExpressScribe is needed to play the recordings for transcription and is compatible with other transcription equipment.
High-Speed Internet Access
Transcriptionists will be downloading and uploading files from the client websites and other FTP sources. Many of the files will be large. Transcriptionists will be unable to download voice files and transcribe them in time for tight deadlines without access to a high-speed internet connection.
There are several free online websites that can help you learn how to type quickly and accurately. Many transcription companies either have their own training program or will pay for the training required for transcriptionists.
The best option is to take lessons and get a certificate of course completion. If you have never transcribed before, or if your work was rejected by any professional transcription company when you took their test, you probably require training.
Get complete online training to become a successful work-from-home general transcriptionist for a modest fee at www.transcriptioncertificationinstitute.org. After completing the course with a qualifying final course score, become an intern to build credibility and gain access to the transcription industry.
There are several choices when starting out in the work-from-home transcription business.
Become an Independent Contractor Transcriptionist
Many clients want to hire transcriptionists as independent contractors (IC) and pay by performance. It could be a work-from-home or client's location job opportunity.
Transcriptionists will need to demonstrate their qualifications and expertise in order to get hired as an IC transcriptionist. A profile highlighting experience on professional networking websites like linkedin.com and on social media sites like facebook.com should be done by transcriptionists who want to work from home.
Earning a certificate from Transcription Certification Institute will help build credibility as a qualified General Transcriptionist.
Work for Brick and Mortar Transcription Companies
There are brick and mortar transcription companies looking for general transcriptionists. There are directories of transcriptionists available on the web that may help identify any transcription company in the area of the transcriptionist’s choice. Having a completed profile, certification of typing speed and accuracy, and certificate of completion from TCI will help you set you apart from other transcriptionists.
A job that pays an hourly wage will be available based on your typing speed and accuracy. Free typing practice is available at www.typingweb.com. These companies usually test for speed and accuracy before hiring.
Work for Online Transcription Companies Worldwide
A new transcriptionist may have a better shot at finding transcription work as an independent contractor transcriptionist at online transcription companies. These are typically work-from-home jobs, where companies pay by performance. What really makes a difference here is accuracy and timely delivery.
The most successful online transcription companies are always looking for qualified transcriptionists. Having an online profile on linkedin.com and facebook.com, etc. could be helpful when applying for an IC transcriptionist position at online transcription companies.
Transcriptionists typically need to take and pass the online transcription company’s test in order to get work from them.
Become a Virtual Transcriptionist for Clients Worldwide
Transcription clients typically prefer to work with one transcriptionist instead of dealing with a company so that the transcriptionist can get used to the client’s style and special requirements.
Chances of getting a Virtual Transcriptionist job will increase dramatically if a transcriptionist can also provide Virtual Assistant services to their client.
"Start Your Own Transcription Business"
The following is required to start a transcription service business:
Starting your own transcription business requires juggling at times. It requires a business plan, a website, online and offline marketing, execution of work, and perhaps a need to hire qualified transcriptionists. This would depend on how much you want your business to grow.
Transcriptionists should think about starting their own business only if they plan to become a large transcription services provider. You can contact companies that help build transcription websites and market them. These companies can be found by searching for online consultants on Google, Yahoo, or MSN. Make sure the company has developed and marketed transcription websites. One company that has built several transcription websites is www.gmrwebteam.com.
Whether you are working from home as a general transcriptionist or running a full-service transcription business, here are some marketing activities that will help you acquire more customers:
We suggest you create a marketing budget when you start your transcription business and let professionals like onlinebizhq.org handle your marketing. A professional marketing company will help you increase your revenue substantially.
How much you earn as a general transcriptionist will depend on your skills, marketing success, and perseverance.
Below are some earnings estimates for general transcription work (PLEASE NOTE – THESE ARE JUST ESTIMATES, NOT GUARANTEES)
Pay hour fees could be anywhere from $10 to $35 and up, depending on skill set and client. Transcriptionists will need to demonstrate superior typing speed and accuracy of typing in order to get transcription jobs that pay hourly.
Pay-by-Performance transcriptionist is paid for the work completed. Below are some typical general transcription rates: