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How To Become a Transcriptionist The Smart Way

Transcription is among the most flexible freelance jobs. This work entails converting audio into written words with an appropriate processor like Microsoft Word or Mac equivalent software. While this job sounds easy, becoming one can be quite overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to begin.

Below is a guide that will help you become a professional transcriptionist.

1. Basic Skills 

Whether you want to become a freelancer or need a company to hire you as a transcriptionist, you must acquire the basic skill set. It can be extremely difficult or impossible to become a freelance transcriptionist if you don’t have the basic skills. Besides, most companies shy away from hiring inexperienced transcriptionists, but some provide a test to see whether you have the required skills when hiring. As such, whether you want to become a freelancer or an employed transcriptionist, the basic skills you must have include:

  • Familiarity with MS Word or similar software
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Multitasking skills
  • Fast and accurate typing expertise
  • Excellent command of English or the language you will be writing
  • Excellent grammar check, editing, and proofreading skills

In addition to the above expertise, it would help if you knew how to manage your time to complete your tasks before the deadline.

2. Get the Right Equipment

Besides gaining the required skills, you will need the necessary equipment to do the transcription work. Some of the required equipment includes:

  • A computer with MS Word or similar software
  • Reliable internet connection
  • Transcription software
  • A headset with a microphone

You may also need a foot pedal for playing audio back when you miss something. However, you can still use the keyboard to control the audio.

Practice your Transcription Skills

Now that you have the right equipment, you may begin to practice. Of course, it goes without saying that the more you practice, the better you become. There are several ways to improve your transcription skills.

They include:

  • Taking advantage of dictation apps to ensure that you get used to listening to audio recordings or videos and typing the word out
  • Utilizing typing apps to become an accurate and fast typist
  • Using grammar enhancing software to learn how to spell words correctly. It would help if you also used applications like Grammarly and Hemmingway when proofreading your work to ensure that it’s readable and has the right formatting.

Take a Course

While taking a college degree and certification isn’t a compulsory necessity for becoming a transcriptionist, it can help you become a smart transcriber. A certificate or diploma can also help you get a job with a better salary.

Ideally, you can undertake a general transcription course, which will help you learn everything there is to know about transcribing. However, you may also choose a specific field or niche that you want to learn. These fields may include legal, medical, or financial. Taking a course in a specific field will help you learn the basic terminologies used in that specific area.

You can go to college or take online courses from various websites. If you cannot pay for the courses, take advantage of the GoTranscript scholarship. This site helps transcriptionists gain the right knowledge and documents for becoming professionals in this field.

Prepare Your Resume

Having a professional resume is important, especially if you are looking for potential jobs. You can write a new resume or update the one you have by adding the new documents you’ve acquired. Important points to include in your summary are:

  • Job experience
  • Applicable courses taken
  • Specific skills, both general and technical
  • Programs to which you have technical knowledge

A professional summary will also give you higher points on your resume.

Apply for a Job

Applying for a transcription job is necessary to becoming a smart transcriber. It will give you an ideal platform to advance your skills and necessary experience before divulging into your network or getting better pay.

Create an Online Presence

If you want to become a freelancer, it will help if you create an online portfolio through platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. In your portfolio, ensure to include all your skills and services to increase your chances of finding clients.

Becoming a transcription will allow you to earn a living from home. With that said, you will need to earn the required skills, equipment, and education to get in a better position to find employment or gain clients as a freelancer. Creating a professional online portfolio is also crucial in becoming a smart transcriptionist.


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