5 Skills That All Transcriptionists Need - TypeWhizz


5 Skills That All Transcriptionists Need

skills that transcriptionists need

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5 Skills that All Transcriptionists Need

A transcriptionist/transcriber is a demanding job that can be rewarding when equipped with the necessary skills. Becoming a transcriptionist means being able to use all the skills in your arsenal and multitask between them to produce high-quality content.

All transcriptionists need a common skill set and those specializing in specific industries will need the skills suited to their industry.

skills that transcriptionists need

Here are five skills that you need to become a transcriptionist/transcriber:


1. As transcription is the process of converting audio into text, the foremost important skill that a transcriber needs to have is a strong ability to listen. Equipped with a pair of good ears can be vital for a precise understanding of dialogues despite audio challenges, such as cross-talk, multiple people speaking, background noise, and soft speakers.

2. Multitasking is a must, as transcribers must be able to listen, understand and type simultaneously taking all the knowledge and experience to create an excellent product.

3. Fast and accurate typing skills. The average typist will type 40 – 45 words per minute. Transcribers are required to type 65 to 75 words per minute. Should you have lower than the required speed – 65 words per minute, you can practice getting better on a couple of free websites such as Keybr.

4. Fluent understanding of language – both formal as well as colloquial, grammar, and punctuation. When you are a transcriber in any language, being able to understand the context of the audio file received is important when completing your transcript. Some of your clients will require verbatim-specific transcripts, most clients prefer non-verbatim, easy-to-read transcripts.

5. Last but not least, working knowledge of computers and software programs you need to use to perform your process of transcription. For example, learning how to use the autocorrect function in word processing platforms/programs increases your speed of transcription. Converting an audio file into a text document comes with the importance of speed, grammar, punctuation, and spelling proficiency are all highly regarded.

However, there are digital programs to support your transcribing, that identify and correct mistakes enabling you to process your transcript efficiently, it is still necessary to have a good foundation of knowledge to help reduce the occurrence of mistakes.

Industry-Specific Skills You Need

When working as a transcriber in a specific industry, you will need to have prior industry experience to be able to know industry-specific terminology. This applies especially to transcribers working in the medical and legal industries. If you don’t have prior experience and you want to work with a specific industry, some training will have to be taken to get the relevant experience needed to work with your desired industry.

Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists need knowledge and experience as you will need to know anatomy, drugs names, diseases, and treatment, surgery procedures, and more. It is required for medical transcribers to take training before becoming a transcriber in the medical industry.

Legal Transcriptionists

Working in the legal industry, legal transcribers cover a wide range of topics from legal meetings, court hearings, investigations, depositions, and police interviews. If you are interested in legal transcription, you will need dedication and reliability. Working with lawyers can be challenging but rewarding at the same time. With a lot of terminology and procedures in the legal industry, training is required before becoming a legal transcriptionist.

General Transcriptionists

Becoming a general transcriptionist can be a lot of work, you will need to be able to handle multiple subjects from medical, legal, business, personal, education, fitness, etc.

Becoming a general transcriber can be great, as you will work with all the different industries broadening your knowledge and possibly depending on whether or not you want to choose a specific niche. You will get the experience of working with each industry, thus down the line, when you are looking to become an industry-specific transcriber you can choose wisely.

Getting training as a general transcriptionist is required to cover all the above-mentioned industry-specific niches when it comes to having the appropriate knowledge, terminology, and procedures to get an accurate transcription document delivered.
Being a general transcriptionist requires a passion for quality, you will be working with many different industries, to stay up to date with those industries will take training and practice. To deliver high-quality transcripts and grow your business you will need to nurture a discipline on quality.


You will need to be good at getting information quickly, finding the relevant information pertaining to your current client’s needs, and deliver. So you are required to have a good understanding of what to search for and how to get it online. General transcription may be easier to start but can be difficult to perform as you are working with many fields with little to no previous experience.

skills that transcriptionists need

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Take a look at our Online Transcriber Training!

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