What Do You Need To Become A Professional Transcriptionist?

To be a professional transcriptionist in today’s industry it takes more than to be a fast typer on a keyboard. Professional transcriptionists undergo training in how to transcribe an audio file. As well as this, if someone wants to specialise in a special area of transcription, they will also be required to have a strong knowledge in the industry they wish to specialise in.

This article will explain what it takes to become a transcriptionist and things you should consider when looking into entering the transcription industry.

The Convenience of Becoming A Transcriptionist:

For many people being a transcriptionist seems like a convenient career path. This is due to the fact that as a freelancer you can work from the comfort of your own home. This is a work environment which has become more popular since the global pandemic.

Working from home removes the need to travel to a place of work, which if your location of work is not within walking distance is going to save you money when it comes to transport. As well as this, the lack of travel to and from work means you have more time in the day to be able to do things that you enjoy.

As a freelancer, you can also set your own hours, and choose which companies you would like to work with. This means you can choose which companies to work with. There are various questions to ask a transcription provider to assure you are working for a reliable and reputable company that is not going to affect your reputation as a transcriptionist.

Starting A New Career Path:

Training to be a transcriptionist at a later time in your life is not something you should worry about. If you have no previous experience in the transcription industry, it is not too late to train as a transcriptionist.

As long as you can type quickly and have the ability to listen well, you will be able to train in the transcription industry with no problems at all.

Specialising In A Certain Area Of Transcription:

There are many areas of transcription, from legal transcription to medical transcription which as a transcriptionist you can choose to specialise in. In some cases someone who had previous employment within the law industry, would be the perfect candidate to train as a legal transcriptionist due to the fact they already possess a strong knowledge within that field of work.

If you decide that you want to specialise in an area of transcription you have no previous experience in, you would have to undergo some sort of training within that industry. This is so that you would be able to have an understanding of the language used within that industry, which would enable you to transcribe more accurately.

Practice And Training To Be A Transcriptionist:

Some aspects of becoming a transcriptionist require practice. For example typing. You might think you are a fast typer, but unless you’re able to type at least 70 words per minute, you are not going to be fast enough. This speed however can be improved over time. In some cases it involves becoming more comfortable with using more than two of your fingers when typing out any type of text. Once you have mastered this you should see yourself becoming much quicker.

There are many online sources, such as online typing speed tests which are ideal to practise getting your words per minute up, as well as this for you. As well as this there are many online exams to train in and that you can take.

There are some parts of becoming a transcriptionist which take more than practice though. For example having a good knowledge of English grammar is something which is learnt. You might think getting the right ‘theirs’ in the correct context is easy. But for many people it is something which often slips. So learning to use the correct spellings of words, in the correct context at a quick pace is something that has to be learnt and requires training.

As previously mentioned, if you are looking to specialise in a certain industry of transcription you are not familiar with, you might have to do some training within that field to transcribe these audios accurately.

Equipment To Invest In If You Are Considering Becoming A Professional Transcriptionist:

Becoming a professional transcriptionist may seem like it just requires a laptop and a pair of headphones, but there is much more to it. Therefore, if you are considering becoming a professional transcriptionist it is important to invest in the right equipment.

When it comes to a laptop, or even a PC the type of computer itself does not really make much difference. Whether it is a Windows computer, or a MAC you want to make sure that it has a good enough RAM as well as plenty of storage. This will assure that it operates efficiently for what you need.

Microsoft Word is something else that you should invest in when looking to become a transcriptionist, however some companies you might choose to work for may have different softwares for you to work within. This is also why you should assure your computer has plenty of storage, as if you are working for multiple companies, there may be multiple softwares you need to have downloaded.

Other things you should invest in is a comfortable and high quality keyboard and headphones. A cheap keyboard may affect your ability to type at the speeds required of a transcriptionist. And cheaper headphones not only can be uncomfortable to wear for a long period of time, they can also affect the quality of the audio file, making it more difficult to hear what is being said.

You can invest in equipment such as foot pedals and text expanding softwares, however these are not a necessity, and are something that can be looked into once you have grown and made money within the transcription industry.

To Summarise:

To conclude there are many things that you can do, and need to consider if you are wanting to take steps into working within the transcription industry. The first is to decide if there is a specific area you want to specialise in, and if you have the knowledge required to specialise in that chosen area.

You also need to consider what companies you want to put your name to, as working with an unreliable company can affect your transcription career further down the line. Working with companies of a higher standard and good ethics is important.

Finally, you need to assure you have the correct equipment and set up from the start, otherwise this can restrict the workload you are able to take on at any given time, as well as your income.

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