How to work from home as a transcriptionist
Guest post by April
Hundreds of thousands of people are searching for a legitimate way to earn an income from home. Sadly, an overwhelming majority of what they run into is a scam, produces minuscule amounts of money or requires a considerable investment in training programs and/or years of experience.
Home-based transcription is a work-at-home job which allows people to make a real living without special education or experience required. Granted, just like any real job, it takes practice and study to become efficient, but the pay and flexibility of the job can be very rewarding.
I began my own transcription career at age 18. My mom was a small town court reporter from North Carolina and she taught me how to create legal documents. I was able to use the knowledge she gave me to start my own business as a legal transcriptionist.
I quickly discovered that the field of home-based transcription had many available opportunities. It wasn’t just for people with a medical certification, or even just for those with legal training. There were great general transcription positions available open to anyone with a strong work ethic, speedy typing, and good grammar and spelling abilities. Before I knew it, I had several different companies willing to provide me with work!
This proved to be a tremendous blessing for my family. It financially supported us through three years of my husband’s education and an additional two years through some pretty huge life changes. I took my job with me from North Carolina to California and back again to North Carolina, and was even able to work while caring for two precious babies.
Interested in working from home as a transcriptionist? Here are some qualifications needed:
1. Fast Typer: As a transcriptionist, you specialize in converting audio that you hear into specially formatted documents called transcripts. While you have a foot pedal to start and stop the audio when you need to, you will still need an absolute minimum typing speed of 60 words per minute, by hiring company standardsand to make the job worth your time and energy. If you’re not already a fast typist, don’t worry! Practice is all it takes to get your speed up.
2. Skilled Writer: Proper grammar usage, spelling and punctuation are very important in translating the spoken word to written. You can change the meaning completely by simply misplacing a period or comma. If you need to brush up on your writing skills, I recommend reviewing the guidelines and taking the quizzes by The Basic Elements of English Grammar Guide – University of Calgary.
3. Detailed Reseacher: As a transcriptionist, you are frequently exposed to new ideas, people, places and words you’ve not heard of before. This is a fun part about the job, but it can also be challenging to understand and spell correctly unless you’re skilled at researching.
You can expect to be paid anywhere from $6 to $60 per hour. When I first started and was learning the ropes, I was able to make about $12-$15 per hour. Knowing what I know now, and having increased my typing speed to 90-100 WPM, I am able to make about $25-$30 per hour. The more you practice and work on improving, generally, the more you’re going to make.
Steps of action to starting out as a transcriptionist:
- Create a winning resume and cover letter.
- Make sure you have the tools necessary to perform your work. Many companies require you to type a small transcript as part of your employment application, so it’s best to be ready before applying.
- Start applying to any and all transcription companies you can. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back regarding your first few applications. I applied to nearly 60 companies before I was hired. Once you’ve got your foot in the door, it’s often easier to be accepted by more companies.
Working as a transcriptionist does take a lot of work and discipline, but it’s also a super, straightforward way to earn income from home with refreshingly honest wages for your valuable time and effort.
Happily married and delighted to be the stay-at-home mom of three munchkins (so far), April still enjoys transcribing part-time in addition to caring for her home and family. For more information on getting started as a transcriptionist, get her Home-Based Transcriptionist ebook.
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