What is Transcription?
Transcription involves listening to a recorded or live speech, for example; presentations, conversation, interviews, sermon, lectures, podcast, conference proceedings, etc, and typing what you hear into a text editor to produce an electronic text version of the speech.
A transcriptionist (transcriber) is the person offering the service of converting an audio or speech into a written text form: Online transcription business is growing so fast and today there are a number of online companies that connect professional transcribers and employers: Ideally, there are two major types of transcriptions that one can choose to specialize in:
Each transcription type has it's own skill sets that a transcriber needs to certify in order to be able to successfully transcribe as a professional.
Becoming a medical transcriptionist is very hard as you will need to have medical education background: To add on top, medical transcription requires extensive training and additional equipment that are not needed in general transcription.
However, all the skills and equipment that are needed to work as a general transcriber discussed below also apply in medical transcription.
How to Become a Professional General Transcriber
Becoming a professional transcriber means that you can be hired by well-paying transcription companies: Acquiring skill sets that will enable you to find online transcription jobs needs training in different areas; experience comes by.
General transcription is any transcription project that is non-medical or does not involve medical stuff. It is the easiest transcription job that one can venture in, as it requires no specific educational qualification to get started. Here are the major specialties in general transcription:
- Academic transcription
- Business transcription
- Media production transcription
- Legal transcription
Legal transcription is considered general transcription since it is non-medical: However, to be hired as by a legal transcription company; extra legal qualifications may be required.
Before you get started as a professional general transcriptionist that can be hired for paid transcription jobs; the hiring companies will need some qualifications at least for the entry level.
Most popular and well-paying companies require experience before employing a new transcriber: However, there are a few companies that hire qualified new transcribers without any hands on experience.
Entry Level Skill Sets for New General Transcribers
As noted earlier, general transcription does not require any educational qualification to be able to work as a professional transcriptionist. However, there are a few general transcription skills that all hiring general transcription companies will need before offering any transcription job to a new transcriber. Here are the skill sets that you need to certify to get started as a general transcriber:
1. Language Check
General transcription may be offered in different languages depending on what the employer need: You may be required to transcribe an audio into one language or another. Most of the jobs will require transcribing an audio into English text: However, some will need to be done in languages other than English.
As such, ensure that you are well conversant with the language that you need to transcribe into before applying for any transcription job. Some transcription companies are very strict and only employs native speakers. However, most of these companies offer language test and one may get a transcription job if they pass the test.
2. General Transcription Style Guide
Like any other freelance writing; general transcription style guide is required to be able to work as a professional transcriber. Styles and formatting are the most difficult part of transcription and need extra training before getting started.
All transcription companies will consider grammar, speech format, and punctuation before employing new transcribers. Knowing when to use punctuations and the correct speech format when transcribing an audio is not an easy task without the right style guide in place, and this is one of the transcription tests that is tested before getting employed.
3. Listening Skills
Listening skills is a necessity as this is what will make you complete your assignment in time. Keeping up with the deadlines is the secret to succeeding with making money as a freelancer.
Most of the transcription companies will test your listening power using a short audio sample. You need to be careful to hear every single word that the speaker is uttering so that you write down the correct words: Unclear words should be noted with the correct speech formatting to avoid inaccuracy in your transcription.
4. Typing Speed
Typing speed is a very important requirement to become a transcriptionist. This is in line with the deadline needs. On the other hand, the faster you can type, the more jobs you will be able to complete in time and make more money as a transcriber.
You need to ensure that you practice typing before applying for any transcription job as most companies will test you typing speed. The average typing speed that will get you hired is about 80 words per minute; which is not difficult to attain with enough practice.
Writing a Compelling General Transcription Résumé
Just like any professional job application process out there; you need a transcription résumé even without transcription experience at hand. Most of the transcription companies that are hiring need your résumé that includes:
- Your full name and Address
- Career objective
- Personal experience
- References if any.
You can arrange these heading in the order that they appear. Here are a few résumé formatting points to put at your fingertips when writing a general transcription résumé:
- Resume should be easy to read, you can use Ariel or New Times Roman with font size of 12
- Summarize all your information on one page for easy reading
- Only include job experience and skill sets that are related to transcription like typing, proofreading, editing, and note taking
- Make your résumé up to date with relevant job experience that involves transcription related jobs
Some companies will need you to copy and paste your résumé into their sites: As such, ensure that you have your résumé in a well organized format that will keep the original format. You can use text editors that allow for easy copy and paste like Ms Word or Notepad.
Equipments for online Transcription Jobs
1. Computer and Internet Connection
You need to have a computer to be able to work as a transcriber. A computer is what you will use to download and listen to audio files that are to be transcribed. A computer will also enable you to type your assignment into a text document before submitting your work for payment.
To work online, you also need to access a faster internet connection that will enable you to receive audio online, work on them and submit through the internet.
2. Noise Cancelling Headphones
To listen to audio files, you will need to have a good pair of headphones that will make the speech more audible. The more clear are the words, the more accurate your transcription work will be.
Using headsets designed specifically for transcription purposes always produce high and quality audio playback that will make it easier to clearly hear the speeches.
This is because these headphones are designed with high-quality materials that cancel noises both in the audio and in the background to promote quality listening of speeches when transcribing.
One the best and affordable is ECS WordHear Headset that comes with high noise cancelling capability producing high quality output that even a small child can hear clearly.
3. Transcription Software and Foot Pedal
Transcription software such as ExpressScribe can be very useful for more clear and faster transcription. Transcription software makes managing your audio files easier as it allows one to receive audio and video files in different formats including, MP3, WAV, WMA, AIFF, MP2, VOX and more.
ExpressScribe also has several other features such as video and audio playback, which enables you to slow down or speed up the speech audio to levels that you are comfortable to work with in order to produce high-quality work within the time specified. There is also a free version of ExpressScribe for both Windows and Mac users but with fewer transcription features.
For a faster typing, Foot pedal is used in transcription to control the audio and video playback features such as; fast forwarding, rewinding, starting, and stopping. This equipment increases typing speed by allowing hands to concentrate in typing only while you control the audio with your foot. The type of foot pedal use USB connectors, unlike the older ones that use serial port connectors.
Top 13 Online General Transcription Companies that Hire Worlwide
The recruitment process in all transcription companies is always thorough to ensure that only qualified transcribers are employed. The recruitment process for hiring transcription companies usually involves a number of test before getting jobs.
If you are a non-United States, Canada, and Uk resident; getting online transcription jobs can be very hectic as most of the hiring companies are US based and they need either US, Canada, or Uk residents for transcription jobs.
Moreover, most of these companies will only hire native English speakers and it is difficult to get hired if you reside out of the mentioned countries. However, there are a few general transcription companies that hire transcriptionists worldwide.
Some will need hands on experience and necessary qualification before offering jobs to new transcribers. On the other hands, there are a few who will hire new transcribers with no experience but with all the necessary skills only after taking a thorough audio transcription test, grammar and style formatting test prior to finding paying jobs.
Here are general transcription companies that hire transcribers from all over the world with all the requirements that they need:
TranscribeMe is one of the best general transcription company that hires transcribers worldwide: TranscribeMe also offers further specialization such as medical and legal transcription that have higher pay scale than general transcription.
This transcription company hires new transcribers with a strong command of English language, excellent understanding of English syntactical and grammatical rules, and ability to clearly hear American English accents and high typing speed.
TranscribeMe pays general transcribers USD 20 per audio hour (specialized transcription may earn higher) through PayPal on a weekly basis. To get started, please register with TranscribeMe and take their test and training program.
Rev is an entirely online-based transcription company that hires transcribers worldwide. To work for rev, you need no special equipment other that your computer, internet connection, and headset.
Rev application is short and thorough: It includes contact details, work information, grammar test, writing test, and transcription test. You are also expected to upload your résumé as the last process of the application.
If your application is successful, you will be notified through your email address after a few days. Rev also pay transcribers on a weekly basis through PayPal. To get started, register with Rev today and take the short test.
3. TSI Transcripts
TSI Transcripts is a non-medical transcription company that hires general transcribers worldwide. TSI transcripts accept new transcribers with no experience but with these minimum qualifications:
- Excellent computer skills
- Understanding of English language, grammar, spelling, and punctuation
- High typing speed of 70 words per minute
- Require digital transcription equipment such ExpressScribe, foot pedal, start-stop
- College degree or equivalent work experience
Accutranglobal is one of the general transcription companies that are hiring transcribers globally: They are interested in new and highly skilled transcriptionists who can work independently and deliver in time.
They offer a simple questionnaire and test process for interested candidates. Accutranglobal pays either in US Dollars and Canadian Dollars.
5. Transcription Outsourcing
Transcription Outsourcing is a great transcription platform where you can benefit as a paid transcriber or get your transcription work done with qualified professionals. Transcription Outsourcing covers Medical, Legal, Low Enforcement, Business or General transcriptions. There registration and application processes are simple and anyone can go through successfully.
6. Verbal Ink
Verbal Ink is a general transcription company hiring English language transcribers worldwide. Their application process is simple and involves sending a transcription resume through email address. Here is all they need in a new transcriptionist.
7. Same Day Transcription
Same Day Transcription is also hiring general transcriptionists worldwide who good command of English language. Their application process is simple and involves filling a short form and forwarding a transcription resume. They also need all the transcription equipment including, headset, foot pedal, and transcription software.
8. Way With Words
Way With Words is one of the best general transcription company hiring transcribers worldwide. Their application process is very thorough. New applicants are required to open an account before proceeding with the application process.
SpeechPad is also one of the general transcription company hiring worldwide. Their application process is the simplest and it involves filling in a short form. However, there is a verification process that new transcribers are taken through before getting jobs.
eTranscription is a general transcription company that hires independent contractors worldwide. Their requirements are minimum including typing speed of 80 words per minute, good command of English language, excellent grammar and transcription document formating. They encourage the use of transcription equipment including, start/stop foot pedal for accurate transcription.
AppenOnline is one of the best general online transcription company offering transcription jobs in a range of languages incuding some African languages. It accepts new and experienced transcribers from all over the world. Their registration process is easy and no extra transcription equipment are needed.
Cactusglobal hires experienced transcribers globally. Their application process is easy and you only need to submit your resume through email and they get back to you. You can get their site through the above link and get started with transcription job when approved.
Etranscriptionjob is also a general online transcription company hiring transcribers worldwide. The application process is simple and the applicants are required to fill-in their personal details and send their résumé through their site. Once the application is submitted, the applicant will receive a short audio about 3-5 minutes long to transcribe. If you pass the transcription test, you get the job.
Did you find this information useful? Please let me know in the comments area below: Also, if you know any general transcription company that hires worldwide, please remember to mention it in the comments.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Barack James (author) from Green City in the Sun on February 20, 2015:
Marie Flint: I agree with you, to be successful in online transcription, you need to have some passion for it before investing a lot. Also, some accent are so difficult to get if you are not native speaker of the language in question. The job however is easier when done with the equipments needed; they may be costly for a starter but they improve the quality of work and time to complete the work. Thanks for your comment.
Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on February 20, 2015:
Perusing this piece, I see you have done an excellent job covering the subject. I am a former medical transcriptionist, but have never done paid work on the internet. My paid work was also minimal with experience in psychiatric and pathological transcription.
The toughest part of the job is being able to hear what is being dictated. Also, the special equipment needed for internet transcription is relatively expensive. So, if you don't love the work to begin with, the investment isn't going to be worth it.