Everything You Need To Know About Transcription In 2021

Transcription has become that career which anyone and everyone can get into, and honestly, it doesn’t take too much for one to be an excellent transcriber. It’s a career that can be done from the comfort of your home and pays really well (relative). In this article, we will look at some frequently asked questions by beginners, and by the end of it you will have all the answers to your questions. Let’s get into it.

Who is a Transcriptionist (Transcriber)?

In a layman’s language, a transcriptionist or a transcriber is a person who creates transcripts from already recorded audio. This means they listen to different audios and end up typing out everything they hear on the audio files. For a more professional definition, a transcriptionist is a specialist who converts recorded audio/video files into written reports. Becoming a transcriptionist is not as hard as you might think, but as a beginner, you need a bit of training and practice before you can fully enjoy the benefits that come with working as a transcriptionist.

What Does a Transcriptionist Do?

Now that we know who transcriptionists are, I believe you can already tell what they do and what some of their duties and responsibilities are.  So basically, a transcriber converts already recorded audios and videos from voice to word. It can be in the legal, medical, finance, business or whichever field you might think of. In order for you to be a great transcriptionist, you need to have great typing speed and be very accurate and have a commitment to delivering great quality transcripts.

What are the Skills Required to Become a Transcriptionist?

Just like in all other careers, there are a set of skills that one needs in order to be a great professional. The same applies in the transcription career. The very first skill you need to be a great transcriptionist is being good at multitasking. As you have noticed by now, being a transcriptionist entails you to listen and type at the same time. Being great at multitasking will definitely come in handy when you get down to business as a transcriber. You also need to have a great command of the languages you will be transcribing. Contrary to popular opinion transcription isn’t always for English audio/videos, different languages can be transcribed. Having a good command of the language you work with is a very important skill. Other than these, the ability to search for industry-specific information and a good working knowledge of computers and software programs are required by a skilled transcriptionist to perform fool-proof transcription.

What Does It Mean to Transcribe Audio?

Have you ever wondered how you can get information on an audio/video file on a word document in order for easy, safe keeping and documenting? Doing this is what we refer to as transcribing an audio. Transcription is the best way in which you can convert all your audios and videos into a word document format. In audio transcription, transcriptionists usually transcribe interviews, manuscripts, reports, meeting, forums, dictations, script correspondence, articles, speeches, teleconferences, and telephone conversations.  So basically, transcribing an audio is self-explanatory. It is when a transcriptionist converts audio/video files into written transcripts.  

How Do You Transcribe an Audio Recording?

In transcription, you need to know that there are two types of transcription. There is human transcription, which is done by human beings, while there is another kind that is known as machine transcription. Machine transcribers are a good way to do your audio/video transcriptions. However, they are usually not error free, that is where human transcribers come in. Human transcribers can proofread and edit machine automated transcripts in order to ensure that they are free of any errors and are accurately transcribed. This is why a lot of companies prefer working with professional transcribers for their transcription works. A professional transcriptionist transcribes your audio recordings by paying attention to the number of people speaking, the author’s intended meaning, the clarity of the recording (background noise), and the clarity of the speaking voices (accents, mumbling, etc.).

How Long Does It Take to Transcribe One Hour of Audio?

In transcription, you need to understand that transcribing an audio hour will not take an hour to transcribe.  It will definitely take you more time. It’s a standard expectation in the transcription career to transcribe a fifteen minutes audio in one real time hour.  This is not usually the case, seeing that there are beginners who might end up using much more time to transcribe a fifteen-minute audio. Going by that standard transcribing an hour of audio might take you 5 to 6 hours depending on whether you are a beginner or an experienced transcriber. So, depending on the quality of the recording, the speed at which the people are talking and, above all, your experience as a transcriptionist, you can take a shorter or longer time to transcribe an hour of audio.  

What is a Good Typing Speed for a Transcriptionist?

A good typing speed is really relative in transcription. There is always a standard speed that every transcriber is expected to have, but it is not possible for everyone to have the same speed and transcribers don’t really have the same speed. Having great typing speed goes hand in hand with being accurate with what you type out. So, having a typing speed of 80 words per hour and not being accurate is a recipe for failure in transcription. Your typing speed should always go hand in hand with your accuracy because in the long run, the accuracy is of most important than the speed. So, to answer this question, a professional transcriptionist should type at least 60 words per minute with no errors, as mentioned by industry standards. Although, transcriptionists who work with time-sensitive projects usually have a typing speed of 80 to 100 words per minute.

How Much Money Can You Make as a Transcriptionist?

There is a lot of money to be earned as a transcriber, but it is all dependent on a couple of factors. One of the key factors that determines how much a transcriber could earn is the amount of money a particular company pays per audio minute, and how many minutes a transcriber can work on. A company might pay a small amount to transcribe a minute, and another might pay more. This only means that there is no standard payment for transcribers. If you are a skilled and committed transcriptionist, then you can easily make $25 per hour or more, depending on how many hours you put in. This means you Will get $25 transcribing an hour of an audio which will take you almost 5 hours to complete.

How Much Do Legal Transcriptionists Make?

As I mentioned on the point above, payments usually depend on different factors. For legal transcription, your payments will depend on whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. Being an employee means they will pay you according to the rates of the company you work for, while being a contractor means you will have your own terms on the payments you can take on. With that said, it is believed that legal transcribers make between $ 25000 to $50000 annually.

How Much Money Can You Make as a Medical Transcriptionist?

Medical transcriptionists usually receive hourly pay. The United States Department of Labor reports that the median annual salary of full-time medical transcriptionists is $33,480, which translates to an hourly rate of $16.10.

How Do I Become a Transcriptionist?

Now that you know all you need to know about transcription, here are some steps you can take in order for you to be one.

  1. Be very sure this is a career that you want to really take on and brace yourself for all the difficulties. You might be interested in general transcription, medical transcription, or even legal transcription. Be sure to try out all the transcriptions types, so you can settle on one that suits you.
  2. Be sure to take on training so you can gain more exposure. The training will make it possible for you to get certificates, which will later on make it easy for you to get a transcription job. They will also help you understand what transcription work is and will also help you gain the skills needed to become a professional transcriptionist.
  3. Practice transcription so you feel confident while applying to companies and gaining clients. This will also increase your productivity.
  4. Learn how to find transcription jobs and stay away from scams. Note, that legitimate companies do not charge you fees to work for them.

By now you can be confident enough to talk about transcription to anyone and not have a fear of lack of knowledge. If transcription is a career you want to get into, you can try it and see how it goes.

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