How to Become a Transcriber

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Transcriptionists are an essential part of many businesses. Doctors, lawyers, reporters, teachers and businesspeople frequently use their services to convert recordings into printed text. This is an ideal job for anyone with good typing skills and the ability to listen carefully to recordings. You don't need a college degree to be a transcriptionist, but a degree could help you get your first job.

  • Attend classes to learn transcription techniques. Take a transcription class at your local college or online. Coursework may include how to use transcription equipment, medical and other industry terminology, listening and typing techniques.

  • Specialize in an area of transcription. Industries in need of transcibers typically include medical, legal, academic or business. Types of transcription may include transcribing audio notes, interviews, conference calls or lectures. You may need to learn industry-specific terminology to specialize in particular areas such as the medical or legal fields. By specializing in a particular industry, you may be able to get more work.

  • Consider transcription certification. While not required, you can earn a voluntary certification in transcription. This can come in handy when applying for your first job. For example, to qualify for certain medical or legal transcription assignments you may have to be certified.

  • Purchase equipment. If you're planning to work from home, you may need special equipment. At the very least you'll need a computer with word-processing software and computer speakers to listen to audio files. You can also purchase special foot pedals that allow you to easily stop and rewind these files.

  • Look for transcription jobs. Finding jobs may be the toughest part about becoming a transcriber. Search for jobs online, in your local newspaper or contact local medical, legal, academic or other types of businesses in your area. One of the best ways to find a job is to look at job websites that only post transcription work.

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