Remote transcription jobs can be incredibly rewarding as most offer flexible scheduling options and the ability to choose the amount of work you take on, as long as you meet an employer’s standards and deadlines.
If you are interested in working as a transcriptionist to supplement your income or as a new career path, then it is important to learn about the types of industries that hire transcriptionists, the skills that you will need to have, equipment requirements and how to get started. If you are looking for a remote transcriptionist position, you will need to already have a dedicated quiet place within your home, such as a home office, as well as high speed internet, a computer and noise-cancelling headphones. It is also worth knowing that you may find far more job opportunities if you are fluent in another language, as bilingual transcriptionists are in very high demand. To learn more about remote transcription jobs, continue reading below.
Essentially, the work performed by a remote transcriptionist involves transferring spoken words into a written document format. This often means listening to an audio or video file and accurately typing out what each says. While there is a wide range of work offered to remote transcriptionists, those who are fluent in a second language will likely find even more thanks to those language skills. It is also worth knowing that most, though not all, remote transcriptionists are considered self-employed, independent contractors or freelancers. This means that remote positions will vary rarely be salary or offer any benefits, which is important to keep in mind.
While the equipment that you will need for a job as a remote transcriptionist may change depending on the contract that you take on, you will generally need equipment such as:
You will also require an at-home office to guarantee you have a quiet environment to work in. If you’re not sure how to set up your home office, you can read our helpful home office guide.
In addition to certain equipment, a remote transcriptionist must also possess a certain skillset in order to succeed in this type of career. These skills include:
Typing speed is one of the most important skills for a transcriptionist to have. Most businesses that are interested in hiring or contracting a transcriptionist will require a minimum typing speed of 60 words per minute, but some companies may require between 80 and 90 words per minute. Accuracy is also considered and most companies will require a typing test of some sort before they are willing to hire or contract a freelance transcriptionist.
Being a skilled writer is also an important skill that you will need to possess if you wish to become a remote transcriptionist. In order to take on remote transcription work, you will need to be able to use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. You can brush up on your writing skills, if need be, by reviewing online guidelines, taking online quizzes or attending a few college courses. You can find more tips on improving your writing skills for work, here.
At times, you may be required to perform detailed research when you are exposed to a new idea, industry or field that you may be unfamiliar with to ensure that your transcriptions are done correctly and that you use the correct terminology. Therefore, having strong research skills is also helpful in the transcription field.
Some transcription positions may also require that you are experienced with transcription software such as Express Scribe, and others, though not all, may require a college education or certain transcription certifications.
The above skills can increase your chances of finding a freelance transcription position, so be sure to hone your skills before applying.
Remote transcription jobs can be found across a number of different industries, including:
Each industry requires a different set of skills and certifications, as they all vary in importance. For example, transcribing documents for law enforcement or the legal system will more often than not require a freelancer to have a transcription certification or Bachelor’s degree. Businesses and finance companies, on the other hand, may not have as many requirements for the work they need freelancers to do for them. The type of work that you will find will largely depend on your skills, experience and are of expertise.
Transcriptionist wages largely depend on the amount of work that you would like to take on and how fast you are able to complete that work. A variety of transcriptionist jobs pay by the word, meaning your hourly wages will largely depend on how quickly you can type. If you are not currently an accurate or fast typist, do not worry. There are online courses that will allow you to practice and hone your typing skill, and even some free resources that will help you develop your career.
When jobs do not pay by the word, transcriptionists can generally make anything between $6 and $60 an hour. The difference in hourly wages depends on your skill level, certifications, degrees and overall experience in the field. Beginners will usually be paid by the word, while experts will be paid hourly to transcribe more important documents accurately.
Depending on the industry that you specialize in, the amount of work that you can find can vary greatly. As an example, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted the employment outlook in regards to court reporters to grow by an additional three percent between 2016 and 2026. However, transcriptionists that are fluent in multiple languages may experience an 18 percent job market growth by 2026. Regardless, most fields of transcription are either stable or experiencing job growth, so there is room for freelancers to advance.
Currently, there is a large demand for remote transcriptionists for both part time and full time positions. Many of these positions are considered self-employment, which is why this job can be so flexible and provide so much personal freedom. Flexible remote transcription positions are available for entry-level positions and transcription professionals that have lengthy experience.
While the job you would perform as a transcriptionist takes discipline, the work is generally straightforward and offers you both extra income and a solid career choice. If you are interested in becoming a transcriptionist, you can get started by:
To further assist you with your search of remote work, check out our guide on the best work from home resources to help you get started.