Things to Know Before You Become a Home-Based Transcriptionist


The home has become a potential workplace for more and more people. It offers a certain flexibility which office-work cannot compete with. Freelancers, while having to contend with a less secure income, are able to earn money around their homelife. The internet is awash with various opportunities and jobs. One of these is being a transcriptionist, which is someone who would convert live or recorded audio files to text. Here are some things to know before beginning your journey to become a home-based transcriptionist

Typing Speed

The basic skills for being a transcriptionist appear easy. However, though they are ‘everyday’ skills, they need to be performed to a high standard. For one, to be successful you must have an excellent grasp of the language you will be working in. If English is the language of choice, you must have a good knowledge of the grammatical intricacies. Typing speed is an obviously integral skill. This tends to come with practice. Like many job seekers throughout every industry, transcriptionists are having to compete with other talented humans and technology. Businesses, like Verbit, have developed programmes capable of performing these tasks to high degrees of both accuracy and speed. Their real time transcription software can be used in educational settings on Zoom, for instance, to supply transcriptions and captions: they are not just being used for recorded audio, when time is a little more forgiving.

While speed can be translated between devices, there will be differences in size and layout. It is best to have a keyboard which suits you. Thanks to gaming, the market for personalised and specific keyboards is strong. There will be options for small hands, ones at different tilts, mechanical, etc. As you will likely be typing a lot, it’s ideal to have the right equipment to avoid injury or strain.

Listening Skill

Good listening skills are key too. Everyone will speak slightly differently, and being able to parse out and understand each word is an essential aspect of the job, however difficult it may be. As well as this, vocabulary is important: there will be differences in usage, words, and phrases between national (UK and US English), regional (North West and South West), and local (Bronx and Queens).

Having a base knowledge of how they each differ is useful, but it is also something that you can pick up with practice, especially work-specific jargon. If you are transcribing recorded audio, there will be time to research and understand the words and get them correct if you couldn’t fully hear a word and needed to find out if it’s one thing or another.

The Kinds of Transcription Opportunities

As alluded to above, there are a variety of industries which utilise transcription services. Education is one of them, but, also, business, medical, and law are examples. Finding these jobs via trusted websites is important. They will have a range of options and getting your foot in the door is fundamental, but shouldn’t be done at the risk of not being paid for efforts and scammed out of your labour. The transcription job market is very competitive. Breaking in will take talent, dedication, and, as with everything, a little bit luck.