8 Reasons for Choosing General Transcription Work Instead of Medical Transcription

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While medical and legal transcription is better known than general transcription, there are many transcription jobs other than legal and medical transcription.

In fact, general transcription jobs and legal transcription jobs provide more work and better pay than medical transcription jobs today.

So, what’s the difference between medical transcription, legal transcription, and general transcription transcription?

Getting started into general transcription or business transcription is a lot easier than medical and legal transcription.

If you want to get into transcription but you don't want to take lengthy courses or learn medical or legal terminology, you should look into general transcription.

Here are some of the differences:

Medical transcription

Medical transcriptionists (MTs) transcribe medical documents and work for the medical industry. A medical transcriptionist must be familiar with medical terminology and reports.
Learn more about one the best medical transcription courses.

Legal transcription

Legal transcriptionists (MTs) transcribe legal documents and work for the legal industry. Legal transcription is also a great career option. There is a high demand for legal transcription and the pay is great.Legal transcriptionists transcribe legal documents such as court proceedings, court hearings, trial recordings, recorded depositions, testimonies, depositions, pleadings, briefs, interviews, interrogations, statements and confessions, meetings, phone calls, dictated notes, legal correspondence, police interviews and more. A legal transcriptionist has to be knowledgeable in legal jargon and documents.

Want to explore a career in legal transcription? 

Subscribe to my FREE LEGAL Transcription Mini-Course
And read my article, How to Start a Career in Legal Transcription.

General transcription

General transcriptionists (GTs) transcribe anything that is NOT medical or legal. They transcribe general and business topics and provide transcription work for a wide variety of businesses, organizations and individuals.

Want to explore a career in GENERAL transcription?

Subscribe to my FREE GENERAL Transcription Mini-Course.

Business transcription is any transcription needed for a business. The terms general and business transcription are often interchanged. General transcriptionists (GTs) and business transcriptionists do transcription for any field other than medical or legal. Both general and business transcriptionists transcribe general and business topics for a wide variety of businesses, individuals and organizations.

Examples of general and business transcription jobs include transcribing recordings of interviews, meetings, single person dictations, conference calls, seminars, focus groups, radio shows, television talk shows, police reports, podcasts and a variety of other recordings.
If you are interested in transcription work, I recommend that you start with general transcription instead of medical transcription.

Not sure if transcription is the right career for you?
Learn more about general transcription with my FREE Transcription Mini-Course


Here are 8 reasons why you should consider general transcription work rather than medical transcription:

  1. More work and better pay. There is less work for medical transcriptionists today and the pay has gone down. MT jobs are being lost to offshoring and to point-and-click and template record-keeping systems that do not require a human transcriptionist. There are fewer MT jobs and more experienced MTs available to fill the jobs. New MTs are having a difficult time finding jobs. General transcriptionists are in high demand and get better pay than medical transcriptionists.
  2. You don’t need formal training: General and business transcriptionists don’t require formal training while medical transcriptionists need to take extensive medical transcription and terminology courses. General transcriptionists don’t have to be familiar with medical terminology/procedures or legal terminology/procedures. NOTE:Even though you don't need a certificate to get into general transcription, you still need to be able to do the job correctly. And to learn how to do it,  I highly recommend that you take a specialized course.
  3. Inexpensive, faster and easier to start: General transcription is inexpensive to start, requires less experience and is easier to get started than medical or legal transcription. There is very little investment required to start providing general and business transcription. You can start general transcription with just a good computer, Internet access and free transcription software. You do not need to spend money on expensive medical transcription courses and you can start faster because you don’t have to spend precious time going through six+ months of training. And you can start earning money faster.
  4. Less Competitive/Less Outsourcing to Foreign Countries:  Medical transcription is often outsourced to foreign countries. General transcriptionists are getting less competition from foreign transcriptionists. Foreign transcriptionists will typically have a limited English vocabulary and they can't learn general transcription “terminology” because of the wide variety of topics. Idiom can also be difficult to learn for non-native speakers.
  5. Lower Speed Requirements: Most medical transcription jobs require a minimum speed of 80 words per minute. Speed requirements for new general transcriptionists are lower and start around 4o-60wpm. But keep in mind that the faster you type the more money you can make in any type of transcription job.
  6. More Flexible Turnaround Time: General transcribing work typically gives you a more flexible schedule than medical transcription and legal transcription which typically have tighter deadlines.
  7. Easier to Get Work from Home: The information you'll encounter in general transcription is typically less confidential than with legal or medical transcription and clients are less concerned about confidentiality breaches when giving work to home-based transcriptionists.
  8. More Work Variety: General transcribing work covers a wide variety of topics. You’ll get more interesting work and topics in different fields while medical transcription will often be typing up the same type of medical reports.

Don’t stop yourself from starting a profitable transcription career because you are turned off by the stringent requirements of medical transcription. Look into general transcription before signing up for medical transcription courses.

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

If you're thinking about getting into transcription, subscribe 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.

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 general transcription course will get you started right.  It will speed up the learning process, help you get started faster, make you a better transcriptionist and help you get higher paying jobs.

Check out General Transcription: Theory and Practice™.
Janet Shaughnessy's General Transcription Course is a detailed, multi-media course I highly recommend for anyone who wants to get started in general transcription

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2 thoughts on “8 Reasons for Choosing General Transcription Work Instead of Medical Transcription”

  1. This has been a very informational piece to read, thank you. I’m going to purchase a machine and then subscribe to your free general transcription course to see if I’m a right fit. I haven’t been able to work for a few years and I’m too young to apply for SSI.

  2. Hi Jo. Don’t buy a transcription machine. Most transcription work today is digital transcription. Just get the free Express Scribe transcription software to start. And when you start working, get a foot pedal and headset.

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