What do you think of when you consider working at home as a transcriptionist? When many people think about doing transcription at home, medical transcription is the first to come to mind. It’s a great job but requires serious training beforehand. However, there are other possibilities for people who want to work at home as a transcriptionist.
No matter the kind transcription, many jobs require some training. This will help you understand formatting and practice transcribing. This is far more challenging than just typing what you hear, even when you are typing verbatim.
The challenge with transcription jobs is that most companies will want experience. It’s a tough job and if you want to work at home, you aren’t directly supervised. It’s tough for a company to trust someone who hasn’t done the job before.
What Is It Like To Work At Home As A Transcriptionist?
Working as a transcriptionist has some advantages. Many jobs have flexible hours. In most cases you will be transcribing recorded dictation or conversations. The amount of background noise you tolerate is a personal preference. Most transcriptionists prefer to keep the noise to a minimum so that their work is heard more clearly.
All transcription jobs require tremendous accuracy. Expectations for accuracy are often around 98.5%. To be sufficiently accurate you need to develop an ear for transcription, which takes practice. It’s amazing how much better and faster you can work once you have done this.
A transcriptionist needs great typing skills. It is not uncommon to see jobs require a minimum typing speed of 80 wpm. Of course, this is a skill you can develop on your own and there are plenty of online tests you can take to show your skills.
Your English skills must be excellent to be any kind of transcriptionist. This includes grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. Some kinds of transcription will require specialized vocabulary. You must also be comfortable with the required technology, such as word processing software.
Many community colleges have classes you can take to learn basic transcription, medical transcription, or legal transcription. You can also take online courses. The advantage to online courses is that they most resemble your hoped for working conditions. Not everyone can cope with the lack of face to face interaction in online courses. You’ll have the same issue when you work at home, however, so this is good practice.
What Equipment Do You Need To Work At Home As A Transcriptionist?
Your equipment needs are fairly minimal. You probably already have a computer. Most companies prefer high speed internet access. A part of the job will be downloading the sound files and uploading your finished product, making high speed internet vital.
You will want a foot pedal to control the dictation. Some companies will provide this while others will expect you to provide your own. Amazon has a great selection of transcription foot pedals. Choose wisely – it has to work with your software. Most are pretty flexible, but read the description and reviews to make sure you have the right one.
You will also probably enjoy noise canceling headphones… something to make the sounds around you a little less distracting. These are generally very easy to find. You don’t need top of the line headphones, but something to cut out at least some background noise can be helpful. Any headphones that will work with your computer will do the job if you don’t care about blocking background noise.
You absolutely must get training to be a medical transcriptionist. Career Step is the school I recommend for this. Their training is good enough that some employers will accept it in lieu of experience, which is a huge help in landing that first job.
As you gain experience as a medical transcriptionist, you can go into different specialties. It may be useful to get certification through AHDI as well, although many jobs do not require it. Some certifications require a certain amount of experience before you can test for them.
Electronic medical records have greatly changed this job. Many medical transcriptionists aren’t happy about that. Some companies still use traditional medical transcriptionists, but others use medical transcription editors, which means you are editing transcriptions done by voice recognition software. Be aware of these challenges before you take any training for this career.
Legal transcription is less known as a work at home job, but there are positions out there. You’re best off going for legal transcription if you have at least some legal background already. This will make you more comfortable with the terminology.
If you’re considering legal transcription as a career, try this free legal transcription mini course first. This will give you a taste of what to expect before you spend anything.
Legal transcription is similar to the job of a scopist, but it’s not quite the same thing. Some places may use the term interchangeably, which can make things confusing.
General transcription is an excellent work at home job. Pay is generally based on production. This means you may be able to improve your pay by improving the speed of your work. The availability of work may limit your income, however. This can be enjoyable yet sometimes frustrating work.
While training in general transcription may not be specifically required, it is an excellent idea to get some. Transcribe Anywhere has a good course, including a free mini course to introduce you to what’s really involved in general transcription. Getting trained takes some money and time, but should get you off to a better start as a general transcriptionist.
General transcriptionists transcribe many kinds of things. Some transcribe television shows. Others transcribe interviews. Still others transcribe business meetings, and the list goes on.
With all these options, it may be difficult to decide which kind of transcription jobs most suit you. Consider what interests you as well as any work experience you have already. Pick the kind of transcription that best suits you, so that when you work at home as a transcriptionist, the job is interesting to you.