5 Steps to Get Started in General Transcription and Get Transcription Work from Home

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Are you interested in getting transcription work from home?

Transcription work from home especially attracts people who have typing skills or have worked as a typist, secretary, data entry operator and other administrative jobs.

Transcribing is typing what you hear on a recording. General transcription is any transcription that is not medical or legal.

Transcriptionists transcribe phone conversations, meetings, podcasts, interviews, conferences, webinars, lectures, focus groups, seminars and more for businesses, organizations and individuals.

Follow these steps to get started in transcription, become a general transcriptionist, and get transcription jobs from your home!

1. Get the Skills You Need

You don’t need formal training to get transcription work but you need some basic skills to be able to provide accurate transcripts.

And if you don't have any transcription experience, you may need training to become a skilled and successful professional transcriptionist and get better pay.

Here are the skills you need to get transcription work from  home:

In addition to having those skills, a transcriptionist should be reliable and meet deadlines, pay attention to detail and be able to work independently.

2. Get equipment and software

Here are the tools you'll need to do transcription work:

  • You need a computer and word processing software, typically Microsoft Word.
  • You need transcription software to read audio files and make transcribing faster and easier. You can start with Express Scribe, a popular free transcription software. Read more about transcription software here.
  • A foot pedal will increase your transcription speed. Foot pedals allow you to play, forward, rewind and pause the audio file with your feet and keep your hands available for typing (although not necessary when getting started, I highly recommend that you use a foot pedal). Find out which foot pedal I recommend.
  • A headphone or earphone will make it easier to hear and distinguish words.  A noise-canceling headset will help you hear the recording better and improve accuracy (optional but highly recommended). Find out what headsets are suitable for transcription work here.
  • You need a fast internet connection to receive audio and video files.

3. Set up a work area

  • Choose a place to work where you'll have the least distractions from family members. This will help you produce more accurate transcripts in the least amount of time. Get a desk (or use a table) and a good typing chair.

4. Practice transcribing

Before applying for transcription jobs, set up the software and equipment you need, and practice.

  • You must practice transcribing before accepting paid transcription jobs. Practicing transcription is the only way to become faster and better at transcription work. It's best to practice with the type of recordings you want to work on. You can find a variety of audio content to practice with, including interviews, foreign accents and more.

Once you are prepared, you will have more confidence to apply for transcription jobs and pass transcription tests.

Check out my general transcription practice files to help you practice transcription.

Or get Janet's complete course that also includes practice files.

Janet Shaughnessy‘s General Transcription Course is a detailed, multi-media course that includes many transcription practice files. I highly recommend her course for anyone who wants to get started in general transcription. Taking her course will help you become a better transcriptionist and get better paying jobs.

5. Apply for transcription jobs

An easy way to get started in general transcription is by applying for transcription jobs with transcription companies. Although many companies prefer people with experience, some companies recruit newbies who don't have prior transcription experience. But the companies recruiting newbies pay very little.

You'll have to take a test before getting work for transcription companies. Before taking any transcription tests, read my article, How to Pass Transcription Employment Tests.

Transcription companies that accept beginners include Scribie, QuickTate & iDictate, TranscribeMe, SpeechPad, CastingWords, AppenScribe, Rev.com, GoTranscript, GMR, Tigerfish and others.

Read my blog post, Top 25 Transcription Jobs for Beginners – No Experience Required.

A faster and better way to get started quicker is by taking a good specialized transcription course.

You will be able to get better paying transcription jobs after acquiring some experience or taking a specialized transcription course.

When you feel confident that you are ready to take on more advanced work, bid on freelance sites and promote yourself locally and online. Contact everyone you know, contact local businesses, organizations and colleges, and let them know that you're providing transcription services.

Find out if general transcription
is the right career choice for you.

If you’re thinking about getting into transcription, subscribe to my FREE General Transcription Mini-Course. The free mini-course will answer your questions, give you the information you need to help you decide if general transcription is right for you, tell you what it takes to be a successful transcriptionist and how to start a career in transcription.

Sign up for my FREE General Transcription Mini-Course.

Ready to get started in general transcription?

I recommend that you improve any skills you need to work on and practice transcription before applying for any transcription work and taking transcription tests.

Although formal training is not required, I  encourage beginners to take a general transcription course. Taking a course will speed up the learning process, help you get started faster, make you a better transcriptionist and help you get higher paying jobs.

You will be able to get better paid transcription jobs after acquiring some experience or taking a specialized transcription course. Check out my free transcription mini-course to find out if transcription work if right for you.



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