Tips On How To Become An Online Transcriptionist In 2023

become a transcriptionist

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Transcribing is among the great ways of making money from home based on its pay and flexibility. So, what is transcription? And how to become an online transcriptionist?

Transcription is the process of listening to audio files and recording (typing) what they hear. Participating in a comprehensive online course would give you a head start if you’re considering starting a transcription career!

Being a transcriptionist is one of the most straightforward ways of making money from the comfort of one’s home.

However, to be started a transcriptionist can be difficult. The challenge owes to the fact that there is a very high competition in the industry and also the rising demand for general transcriptionists each day.

If you are a newbie in the industry of transcription, you are in the right place!

Have you ever considered having a transcriptionist career? In this article, you are going to learn everything you need to become an online transcriptionist.

Let’s just dive in!

Whats Is Transcription And Who Is A Transcriptionist?

Transcribing, or transcription is the process by which a person converts either live audio or a recording into document or text format. A transcriptionist, on the other hand, is the person converting the audio file into text format.

Is Being A Transcriptionist Right For Me?

First, to be started as a transcriptionist, you need to make a decision as to whether a career in transcription is the right choice.

You only can decide whether this is for you or not, we just help you get determined. With that being said, we’ve just set some questions, if the answer is yes for the main of them, you are a good match to be a transcriber.

✔️ Do you accurately type at 45 words per minute (WPM) or more? (typically transcription companies require around 98% accuracy).
✔️️ Do you own a fast, reliable computer that can store and load large files?
✔️ Do you have a quiet place where you can work without distractions?
✔️ Is $15 to $35 per hour an acceptable income range for you?
✔️ Do you have experience using computers and the internet?
✔️ Would you say you have a high level of self-discipline?
✔️ Would you consider yourself a good proofreader?
✔️ Do you have good grammar/punctuation skills?
✔️ Do you enjoy making your own work schedule?
✔️ Do you have experience using Microsoft Word?
✔️ Do you have a computer with internet access?
✔️ Are you able to follow written directions?
✔️ Are you able to meet strict deadlines?
✔️ Do you keep up with trends?
✔️ Are you a good listener?

If your answer was YES for almost all of the above questions, you seem to be a good match for a career in transcription.

Transcription work is in demand for organizations that need their focus groups, interviews, and podcasts, etc, transcribed. There are a lot of ways through which you can become a transcriptionist. However, it is highly recommended that you begin your career by subcontracting for transcription companies.

This article has been written as a guide to teaching you everything that you need to know about becoming a transcriptionist and being hired by transcription companies that are well paying.

The Requirements To Become A Transcriptionist

Transcription is all about listening to video or audio files and typing what you hear. Companies hiring professional transcriptionists usually need a high-quality foot pedal to control audio playback along with transcription software.

However, a lot of companies hiring newbies require lesser equipment requirements, and therefore, you will only need to have a high-speed internet connection and a computer or a laptop.

Is Being A Transcriber Easy?

The job sounds very easy. However, just like other jobs, what is easy for one individual will not be as easy for another person.

For instance, at times, the files you listen to might be of poor quality, and it will make it hard to understand what is being said. At other times, you could find yourself trying to interpret a dialogue that is unclear, speak with a thick accent or poor English or both.

The work is also very repetitive. You will listen to the same audio a few times to ensure that everything has been transcribed perfectly. If you hate repetition, then transcribing might not be your line of work.

However, the work’s flexibility can make up for the fact that it can be repetitive and challenging. Also, managing your schedule translates to planning time off when need be.

What You Will Find In This Article Guide

  • How to avoid jobs that are low paying during the start of your career, showcasing the minimal equipment needed without spending loads of cash, and also guiding you through how you can apply to transcription companies.
  • Strengthening your grammar and typing skills to increase your efficiency as a transcriber.
  • How to build your career in transcription.
  • The ultimate guide to starting in one of the three transcribing categories: general, medical and legal.

Tips To Becoming A Transcriptionist

1. Invest in learning

If you are joining as a beginner, it is important to start by learning as much as you can about freelance transcription work. For example, you could be expecting to get a less-paced podcast session but end up finding one that is rushed.

The next step you would most likely take would be, finding if the podcaster was imaginative enough to create a text-only version of the podcast. This way, it would be possible to read the pages at your speed and convenience.

If your dream is becoming a transcriptionist who delivers transcripts that the clients actually like, you would most likely work with such clientele; journalists, podcasters, etc.

Take into consideration joining a professional transcribers’ forum. This will help you to discover a wealth of helpful information and transcription hacks from professionals who earn through transcribing, and this, in turn, helps you in building your skillset.

These mentors and forums will give you an online community in which you can vent the frustrations of your journey and celebrate achievements together. A community of real individuals who understand your issues perfectly.

As a newbie in the field of transcription, it would also be very helpful to take online courses. There are numerous online courses on search engines that will be helpful in understanding more about transcribing.

We have searched the internet for the best transcription resources and as a result of our research, we’ve found that Transcribe Anywhere is the best company that provides all-inclusive education and lifetime support, to help you build a career in transcription!

These courses will take you through the journey from being a newbie transcriptionist to a confident transcriber possessing the skills that are needed by transcription companies.

Want to learn more but can’t commit to a paid course? Transcribe Anywhere also offers free mini-courses in general transcription and legal transcription to see if either field is right for you.

⭐ Learn more about how to build a successful career as a transcriptionist, with lifetime support! (Open in a new tab)

2. Increase your typing speed

If you can type about 40 WPM (words per minute) on the keyboard, it is a good start. Ideally, about 60 WPM will help you in delivering transcripts quickly and therefore making your clients happy.

Happy clients will give great reviews and recommendations, and therefore getting more work that will help in catapulting your career as a transcriber.

If your typing speed is below 40 WPM, you will need to practice and increase your speed. A lot of audio and video files take between three to five hours to transcribe.

And the faster and accurately you transcribe, the more income you will earn from your transcription career and it is, therefore, important to be fast.

3. Grammar matters

If you want to earn through transcribing, you need to check your grammar. It will come in handy when you want to distinguish similar-sounding expressions and words (homophones) but have varying meanings.

This is one of the most valuable advice a newbie can get, striving to polish your grammar and written communication skills.

Proofreading skills apply once you are done with your typing marathons. Expert transcribers learn the ins and outs of grammar and usage.

For me, Grammarly is a great tool that I can’t imagine my life without! It’s literally a little superpower.

Grammarly is a technology company that develops a digital writing tool using artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

You can download their chrome extension for FREE, and delight yourself with such an amazing tool! (Download the free chrome extension)

4. Listening skills are vital for transcription work

Your typing intent is fuelled by listening devotedly. You will need to practice keen listening to hear and understand what you are required to transcribe.

You will be transcribing different audios in your transcribing career, and they will range from one speaker sermons, to focus group interviews where you will be required to differentiate who is who. You could also receive audios with a bit of background noise.

5. You might need the help of a transcription software

When you are getting started, you could want to use free transcribing software. You can choose whether to invest in paid software tools after being positive that freelance transcription career is a job you would want to pursue long-term.

This software can help you in setting hotkeys on your keyboard, slow, speed, stop, pause, back-track, or forward the audio to your convenience.

6. Prep up for a wholesome venture

Being a transcriber will help you to get numerous exciting projects to collaborate on. You will get to team up with numerous great clients in different fields.

From religious and philosophic sermons and internet marketers to recorded interviews of great people, you will want to keep an open mind for what is awaiting you ahead.

Working as a transcriber is a richer career in regards to learning various subjects and perspectives of thinking every day. If you have a desire in the above, you will find transcription fulfilling, therefore, be open-minded.

7. Look for the kind of transcription needed by the client

There are various clients that will require the final transcripts that you will submit to be edited for filler words, including ‘mhs’ and ‘uhs’ and false starts, for instance. This is called clean verbatim transcription.

There are other clients that will request for the audio to be typed word for word – like job interviews where the interviewer would like to hear each word that the interviewee used and their expression of the interviewee unedited. This is called full verbatim transcription.

Therefore, make sure that you ask your client the kind of transcript they require before you start working on it.

8. Is it general, medical, or legal transcription?

There are other types of transcripts, although from a different perspective.

General transcription work is about typing out video or audio files covering all types of topics and industries, for example, entertainment, businesses, self-development, and others.

Enrol in the free general Transcription mini-course (Open in a new tab).

Medical and legal transcription encompasses the process of converting audio and video files to written form, with the added knowledge of medical and legal terminology.

Enrol in the free legal Transcription mini-course (Open in a new tab).

9. Where to get transcription work online

This is of course, without a doubt, the question a person wishing to become a transcriptionist, the question about where you can get online transcription jobs.

After you have followed the above tips, it is now the time to relish the rewards. You will need a good clientele to make sure that you scale your potential of earning.

There are various transcription freelancing sites where you can legitimate transcription career, for example, Upwork, Freelancer, and PeoplePerHour.

There are also numerous clients that search for virtual assistants to help with transcription work, and therefore, you need to keep an eye out for virtual assistant jobs too.

Transcribe Anywhere can also help you find jobs and build a successful career. Isn’t it a great resource? It’s your all-in-one solution for building a transcription business.

How Much Does Transcription Pay?

The payment for transcription varies, with general transcription paying better than most of the work at home jobs. You can make up to $ 25 per hour or more, and the ones specializing in legal can earn even higher wages per hour.

Generally, the amount of money you will make as a transcriptionist per hour will depend on the company you are working for, the work available, and your skill and speed level.

If you are being paid $ 50 per audio hour, it means that you earn $ 50 for every hour of audio transcribed.


Transcribing is among the great ways of making money from home based on its pay and flexibility. Basically, the work of a transcriptionist is listening to audio files and recording (typing) what they hear. Have you ever considered having a transcriptionist career?

It’s a lucrative business opportunity, that you can do anywhere and anytime.

Like anything in life, in order to master it, you need to learn it first, and here’s where the Transcribe Anywhere company comes in.

If you’ve decided that this is for you, start by a very beginner-friendly course that provides real support.

According to our research, Transcribe Anywhere has stood out, for the value and support they do provide!

Even if you are low on budget, and cannot afford their courses, they have free mini-courses in general and legal transcription, it would be a nice idea to grab your seat there, test its water, and check to see if either field is right for you.

I hope that you’ve found value in this article, and feel free to share your ideas and comments down below, and I promise to reply as soon!

And if you’ve not grabbed your free mini-course yet, make sure to get it as the seats are limited.

Now after being armed with knowledge, are you considering starting a transcription career? From EcomDimes, we wish you good luck with your financial freedom journey!

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Odeh Ahwal

Odeh Ahwal

So behind every great blog is usually someone who runs it all. That would be me, Odeh Ahwal. I've created the eComDimes blog with a mission to help people provide well for their families by starting online businesses, share my experience, and just introduce you to different ways of making money online! eComDimes we help you turn your dimes into dollars!

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