How To Become An Online Transcriptionist
Becoming an online transcriptionist is easier than you think, so here’s how you can get started.
Skills required to become an online transcriptionist:
- Strong listening skills
- Strong language skills
- Fast and accurate typing
- Entry-level computer skills
- Time management skills
Now that you know the fundamentals of what is required to become a transcriber, let’s dive in further!
Skills Required To Become An Online Transcriptionist
Let’s take a deeper look into which skills are required to become an online transcriptionist so you can decide whether this career is for you!
1. Strong listening skills
Becoming a transcriptionist requires patience. When you receive a recording, you cannot choose the quality of the recording you’ll transcribe, so there would be moments where you will receive audio files that are low quality and may be difficult to understand.
Without a certificate and training, you will at least need to know the basic requirements of transcription. Essentially, you should be a good typist and have a keen ear.
2. Strong language skills
Naturally, having a strong command of the English language is absolutely crucial as a transcriber.
Clients expect your transcription to be clear, concise, and have correct punctuation, grammar, format, and semantics.
Spelling mistakes are a big no-no with transcription, so if you want to earn more money and build your reputation it is imperitave that you hone your English skills like a pro!
3. Fast and accurate typing
As a transcriber, you should aim to have a typing speed of roughly 60 to 75 words per minute, with an accuracy of at least 98%.
Need some tips for improving your typing speed and accuracy? Here’s what you need to know.
4. Entry-level computer skills
In order to become a transcriptionist you should be able to use basic computer programs such as Microsoft Office and additional software that is required to transcribe in the correct format.
In a nutshell, you need to be a quick learner and have the ability to catch on to new software and anything computer-related.
5. Time Management skills
In order to transcribe effectively you will need to know how to manage your time like a pro.
If you take too long you could spend all day on one audio and lose out on some serious cash!
Do I Need Any Qualifications To Become An Online Transcriptionist?
Now that you know which skills are required to become an online transcriptionist, you’re probably wondering if you need any formal qualifications?
You do not need any formal qualifications or certificates to become an online transcriber, but that does not mean that you should not consider getting qualified. Completing a specialised transcription course can help improve your skills and job prospects and elevate you to an advanced level of transcription much faster.
So, if you plan on taking transcription as a serious career, then it is highly advisable to take a specialised transcription course to get you ahead of the rest!
What Equipment is Required To Become An Online Transcriptionist?
Now that you know which skills you’ll need to become an online transcriptionist, let’s take a closer look at the equipment you’ll need to get the job done.
1. Transcription Software
The first investment you make in your transcribing career will go towards your transcription software. A lot of transcription software is free and downloadable, which is ideal for beginners. Other premium software will cost between $50 and $100. Whether you are using Windows or OS X, you will need to choose the right software for your operating system. The preferred transcribing software should be able to process different video and audio file types, such as wma, dct, mp3 or wav files, with customizable timestamps.
An excellent pair of headphones is essential for transcribers, so you should invest in a headset that is above-average quality.
Here are some tips to help you to make the right decision for choosing your headset.
It is best to have a pair of headphones that come with a 3.5mm jack, as with USB headphones and a sound card. The sound card attached will break easily. If you are looking at going with earbuds over headphones, your earbuds may be comfortable for only a short period of time, until they start falling out, and hurting your ears.
On-ear headphones may be an option but these are still not as good as over-ear headphones, as they rest on your ears, and can be quite uncomfortable for big-eared people.
Over-ear or closed-ear headphones have ear cups with soft and thickened padding, wearing these headphones is quite comfortable. When you are working in a quiet room, these are the best headphones to transcribe with. A lot of noise rejection features on these headphones aren’t that good, so when you are working in a noisy environment, you want to be sure you have the right headphones with the best noise-canceling features.
So, be sure to test your headphones for comfort, noise-canceling, durability, and can process a mid-range, between 250 Hz and 2000 Hz, this is the frequency of the human voice.
3. Word Processing
You will need a word processing application to type and edit the final document. Make sure the word processing application you use to transcribe with can produce files in the format your clients request for.
Wondering which word processing applications are the best? Check out the top 10 Essential Transcription Tools and Software for Transcribers.
4. Internet Connection
If you are reading this article that means that you have an internet connection which is great! Your internet connection should be a mid to high-speed internet connection.
So as most transcribers are working from home, you will need to test your connection to allow you to receive and send files securely and quickly.
On that note, becoming a transcriber requires you to be a fast and structured worker who will deliver accurate transcriptions within the deadline. You should be discreet and make your client comfortable by assuring the client that their transcription project remains confidential.