General Transcription Training vs Medical Transcription Training

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To get medical transcription jobs, you typically have to take a medical transcription training course.

  • You'll need to learn medical terminology, anatomy and physiology to be able to understand and spell medical terms.
  • Medical transcription also requires a lot of  practice to acquire the necessary skills to get an MT job.

Although many local community colleges offer MT classes, I don't recommend taking an MT class at a community college as most of the large MT companies will not consider you to be skilled enough to work for them. Instead, choose a more thorough MT course.

See my recommendations about medical transcription schools here.

General transcription training

Learning general transcription is a lot easier than learning medical transcription.

  • You don't need to learn medical terminology or spend money on expensive and time-consuming medical transcription courses.
  • You don't even need any formal training to become a general and business transcriptionist. However, taking a specialized general transcription course will speed up the learning process, make you a better transcriptionist faster and help you get better paying transcription jobs.

So, how do you learn general and business transcription?

Transcription skills include typing, listening, grammar and punctuation skills. In this article I'm discussing several ways you can acquire the skills you need to become a general transcriptionist.

1. Increase your typing speed

General and business transcriptionists are typically paid based by production. Your typing speed will affect how much money you can make as a transcriptionist.  The faster you can transcribe the more transcripts you'll be able to produce in the least amount of time and the more money you'll be able to make.

Transcription companies expect a general transcriptionist to have a minimum typing speed of about 40 to 50 words per minutes and some companies require higher speeds. The faster you can type the better. But keep in mind that accuracy is even more important than speed. If your speed is too slow, keep working on improving your typing speed by practicing and using typing tutor software.

2. Improve your grammar skills

You need to be proficient in grammar, spelling and punctuation. To brush up on your grammar, you can take a course from your local community college or take an online grammar course. A good general transcription course, like Janet Shaughnessy’s course called “General Transcription: Theory and Practice™”  will include grammar drills.

3. Become proficient with MS Word

The typical word processing software used for general transcription is MS Word. If you are proficient with your word processing program, you will be able to format transcripts faster and use other features in Word that will increase your speed. To improve your MS Word skills, you can take a class at your local community college or get online tutorials. A great general transcription course will also include grammar lessons.

4. Learn industry vocabulary

General transcription covers a wide range of non-medical topics and industries. You can expand your vocabulary and general knowledge about an industry you want to work for by visiting related websites and reading online articles, books and newsletters about that industry.

5. Take a general transcription course

As I mentioned above, taking a general transcription course will make you a better transcriptionist faster. It will prepare you for the work you'll be doing, help you avoid mistakes and help you get higher paying jobs.

Find out more information about general transcription by subscribing to this FREE General Transcription Mini-Course.

Not sure if general transcription is right for you?

This FREE general mini-course will help you explore what's involved in doing general transcription work and answer your questions.

Anxious to get started in general transcription?
Get this detailed, multi-media general transcription course now
Janet Shaughnessy’s detailed online course, “General Transcription: Theory and Practice™”  will teach you transcription, typing, grammar a d MS Word skills. Plus it includes lots of transcription practice files.

6. Take a medical or legal transcription training program

If you have medical transcription or legal transcription experience, then you already know how to transcribe. Knowing medical terminology, anatomy and physiology will give you an advantage if you want to work for insurance companies or police departments. Experience or training in legal transcription will also help you get transcription work with insurance and police departments.

But if you're new at transcription and want to get into general transcription, I recommend taking a course in general transcription rather than a medical transcription course.

See my recommendations about medical transcription schools here.

Get more information about a legal transcription course I recommend.

7. Practice transcription with transcription practice files

You must practice to become a skilled transcriptionist. The more you practice transcription, the better and faster you’ll get.

It's very helpful to practice with different files. You can practice by transcribing audio files, podcasts, teleseminars, interviews and other recordings you find online. You can record and transcribe TV programs and conversations. One of the best ways to acquire transcription experience is by practicing with practice audio files that provide the same types of audio that transcriptionists are getting.  Sample dictation files are available with a variety of recordings from different industries, different topics, speed, voices, accents and difficulty.

Transcription practice files will help you develop your listening skills, improve your overall transcription skills, transcription speed and accuracy. They help you become familiar with various voices, accents, inflections and speech paces. You can compare your transcript with corrected transcripts, verify how you’re doing and learn from your mistakes.

Transcription practice audios are also great for people to get a feel for transcription and see if transcription is the right career for them.

Keep practicing and keep improving your transcription skills. When you're getting faster and better you'll be able to make more money and become a reputable transcriptionist who will get repeat business and referrals.

Make sure to be ready before applying for transcription jobs. If you provide inaccurate transcripts or fail a company's transcription test, you may not get another chance to re-apply.

If you're interested in non-medical transcription jobs that don't require knowledge of medical terminology, look into general transcription. Subscribe to my free General Transcription Mini-Course to get more information on how to get started in general transcription work.

Ready to get started in general transcription but don't know how?

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 format training is not required, I  encourage beginners to get specialized training.  Taking a specialized 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 better paying jobs.

Check out my general transcription practice files here.

Or get this detailed, multi-media general transcription course

This course will help you acquire all the skills you need to get started in general transcription. It includes instruction in typing drills, grammar and punctuation, MS Word, transcription skills, transcription formats, lots of practice files and much more. This general transcription course includes the practice files you need to become a professional transcriptionist. 


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