Skills You Need for Legal Transcription Vs Medical Transcription Vs General Transcription

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Many people have heard about medical and legal transcription but few know that there are many opportunities for transcription work that don't require medical or legal knowledge.

You can provide general transcription for a wide variety of industries.

The methods used to do medical transcription, legal transcription, and general transcription work are similar but the terminology, industry formats, and content are different.

Skills Needed for Any Type of Transcription Work

Any type of transcription, including legal, medical, and general transcription requires excellent typing, listening, English, grammar, punctuation, and proofreading skills. You'll also need basic computer skills, knowledge of word processing software (typically MS Word), and become familiar with transcription software.

In addition to those skills, legal and medical transcription requires specialized knowledge.

Skills Needed to Become a General Transcriptionist

General transcription is any transcription that is not legal or medical.

General transcription covers a wide range of industries, including business, media, insurance, academia and more. And there is a wide variety of opportunities for general transcription work. You can transcribe voicemail messages, interviews, meetings, podcasts, sermons, seminars, and more.

General transcription is easier to get into than legal or medical transcription.  You need the skills mentioned above but you won't typically encounter many medical or legal terms and do NOT need to take an extensive medical transcription course.

Topics vary widely so you can't learn any specialized terms unless you're focusing on one particular industry. General knowledge and research skills will make the job of a general transcriptionist easier.

Recordings can range from a one-person dictation to meetings and seminars with multiple speakers. A lot of the general transcription work involves multiple speakers and speech recognition cannot transcribe those. That's why general transcription is less affected by speech recognition than medical transcription.

Because general transcription doesn't require medical or legal terminology training or certification, it's easier and faster to get started in general transcription.

Although you don't need a degree or certificate to get into general transcription, I recommend taking a general transcription course to help you get started and prepare you for a great career in transcription.

I recommend Janet Shaughnessy's  detailed, multi-media, online
general transcription course,
“General Transcription: Theory and Practice™” 

This course will teach you transcription skills, typing, grammar, and MS Word skills.
And it includes a lot of transcription practice files.

Skills Needed to Become a Legal Transcriptionist

Although you don't need a certification or formal training to become a legal transcriptionist, you do need specialized knowledge. Legal transcriptionists need a solid understanding of legal terminology and be familiar with legal documentation and procedures.

Legal Transcription Free Mini-Course
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Accuracy is crucial when dealing with legal transcription and legal cases. You need to have a decent typing speed and excellent grammar and punctuation skills. Legal transcription typically requires a higher typing speed than general transcription.

Legal transcription includes meetings, depositions, court hearings, meetings, and more.

If you don't have a legal background or legal experience, taking a good legal transcription course is the best way to obtain the knowledge you need to become a legal transcriptionist. It will also expand your employment options.

Click here to get more information about a legal transcription course I recommend

Skills Needed to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

I recommend getting into general transcription or legal transcription rather than medical transcription. Here's why:

  1. Although the need for healthcare services continues to increase, the demand for transcriptionists has decreased because of the use of software and outsourcing to other countries.

There will continue to be a need for medical transcriptionists to review and edit transcripts that are generated by speech recognition. But typically, transcription editing is done by experienced transcriptionists.

2. In addition, the pay for medical transcription is a lot lower than it used to be and is lower for medical transcription than for legal and general transcription.

3. Medical transcription requires extensive knowledge of medical terminology, including drug names, diseases, procedures, specialties, and anatomy to be able to understand and spell medical terms.

If you don't have a medical background (e.g. in nursing, physical therapy, psychology, pharmacy, or biology), you will need to take a specialized medical transcription course. Employers will screen applicants for their knowledge of medical terms through tests.

Learn more about the medical transcription course I recommend

If you don't want to do through extensive medical transcription training
or want to get more insight into what general transcriptionists do,
check out general transcription by subscribing to this
FREE General Transcription Mini-Course.

Not sure which type of transcription is best for you?

Is general transcription right for you? Transcription can be a great career but it's not for everyone. General transcriptionists are in high demand and job opportunities are expected to continue growing faster than average.

If you want to learn more about legal transcription,
sign up for Janet's FREE legal transcription mini-course!


Disclaimer: I only recommend products I believe in. If you purchase a product through a referral link, I will get a commission. It won’t cost you a dime extra, and it helps me to keep providing you with quality information.

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