Do you hate going to a job?
You're not alone. More and more people these days are choosing "life" in the work-life balance argument and who could blame them?
The problem with going to a job you hate is that life is short and you shouldn't have to do things that you aren't 100% into doing.
Problem is, it's hard to find a gig that will allow you to work on your own hours. Offices allow their employees to work from home occasionally, but not all the time.
If only there was something these free-spirits could do to make some cash.
Enter: transcription. Yes, transcription is a viable way to make money working at home. All you need is a secure internet connection, ears, and fast fingers.
There are dozens of legitimate work from home opportunities for medical, legal, and general transcriptionists. And most of the time, you don't need any experience to get working.
So how do you go about doing this? This is our guide on how to become a transcriptionist and work from home.
How To Become a Transcriptionist
What Is Transcription?
Transcription involves listening to a clip of audio and typing out everything you hear. It can involve one person or groups of people in conversation.
When you're transcribing an audio file, you need to label all of the speakers, throw out your concept of good grammar, and type out verbatim what is said in the clip.
It's harder than it sounds. You can run into varying degrees of high and low-quality clips in your searches, and sometimes it's near impossible to understand what is being said.
However, transcription is a good way to work from home and some transcription services actually do offer decent at-home pay.
Can Anyone Transcribe?
To become a general transcriptionist, all you really need is some skill with a keyboard. So, yes, anyone can transcribe, in theory. Most services require that you type at least 70 words per minute.
You don't need any special knowledge to become a general transcriptionist. But you are required to have some awareness of legal terms to become a legal transcriptionist and medical terms to become a medical transcriptionist.
To transcribe well, you need to be able to quickly decipher what someone is saying in an audio clip and type it as they speak.
You don't have to type at the speed they speak at, but you usually get paid by the word or per audio minute/hour, so it's in your best interest to be quick.
What Do I Need?
All you need is a fast internet connection, some headphones for close listening, and your quick typing.
Some transcription employers will require you to download a specific program to type in, and most will require that you purchase a foot pedal to control the audio file (play, pause, fast-forward, rewind, etc.).
Since you'll be sitting at a computer for long stretches of time, there are optional materials that you could purchase to make your life a little bit easier.
A comfortable desk chair to keep your back straight and feeling okay, and an ergonomically designed mouse and keyboard to avoid carpal tunnel would both be advised.
Is It Worth It?
Again, transcription jobs usually pay by the word or by the audio minute or hour.
If you're just starting out, this really doesn't work out to be very much money per hour. You have to remember that these companies know that you want to work from home, and the pay rates suffer for it.
Some companies act as great transcription practice, and even though the pay isn't great, you are getting paid to learn how to transcribe.
As you get quicker, the money will get way better. If you're good, some of the major transcription services will pay the equivalent of between $15 and $20 per hour. Not bad for something you learned how to do at home.
Typical Application Process
The more reputable transcription companies have pretty rigorous application requirements.
After your resume is approved, they'll make you go through a good amount of unpaid training in which you're expected to read a lot of materials pertaining to the work at hand. After the training modules are completed, you're made to do short tests. They're usually easy if you were reading closely.
Furthermore, once you've completed the training modules, you'll then be required to do a series of "training jobs". These are test files similar to what you'll be faced with if you get the job. How many you will have to do depends on the employer.
The requirements to pass all of this testing are actually quite high. This is how they weed out all of the candidates, so you have to score close to perfect to pass all of this testing.
So, Is It Worth It?
Once you're accepted, it's time to get transcribing. It can be a lot of time and effort completing the training process, so whether or not it's worth it is subjective. But this is what you wanted, to be able to work from home.
A lot of the big transcription companies have seemingly endless amounts of work. So in a sense, you can make as much money as you want.
Always remember, however, that you'll have to put in a lot of time to get to the point where you feel like you're making a decent hourly wage.
In reading reviews online from current and former transcribers, you get a sense that while it is enjoyable to work from home, you have to do A LOT of work to make decent money. Something to keep in mind when applying.
Becoming a transcriptionist is relatively easy for someone who is a fast, accurate typer, and a good listener. If you possess the right qualities, you should have no issues getting through a transcription company's application process.
While your work-life balance should be considered, using online transcription as your sole source of income isn't advisable.
If you feel that you can make all of the money you need transcribing at home, great, but consider getting a part-time job and doing transcription on the side for supplemental income.
Published by Erika Rhea