When it comes to transcription services, there are so many professionals to choose from. Online platforms have powered a rapid change in the industry, so you can hire a transcriptionist from the other side of the world in no time. But before you get a transcriptionist on board, you need to know the types of transcription.

This professional’s job is to document audio or video by listening to the speakers and converting what they said into written or electronic documents. This job requires serious training and extreme patience. The work of a transcriptionist can involve a myriad of topics, which include legal, medical, business, and many more.

Whether you’re a newcomer in the field or you’ve been commissioning transcriptionists for years, there are many important factors you need to consider in order to get your job done right. In the end, accounting for these concerns and the different types of transcription will help you save both time and money.

What Do Transcriptionists Do?

Many transcriptionists specialize in fields like law, but there are also thousands of professionals that handle general transcription. When looking for professionals to hire, you may find people working for the general field if they are still starting out. This allows them to gain more experience and find out which topic suits their skills best.

Almost all companies and professional fields require transcription at some point, whether it’s in interviews, meetings, discussions, phone calls, conferences, and a lot more.

Types of Transcription and What They Are Used For

There are three main types of transcription services. Here are the types of transcription services you should know.

Verbatim transcription

Also called strict verbatim transcription or true verbatim, this type of transcription is very detailed. Its goal is to capture everything that was said by the speaker, including all pauses, non-verbal communication, and filler words. As a result, it is one of the longest and most laborious types of transcription. If the audio or video has more than one speaker, the transcriptionist may note the interruptions, affirmations like “uh-huh,” and overlapping conversation. This type of transcription is used in movie subtitles.

For example:

“Hello, everyone! (Applause) Thank you for watching my TED Talk. Thank you so much. (Applause) Okay, uh, everyone (laughter), everyone can sit down since we’re live. I, I need to start this speech. You know, I think you c-c-can tell I’m slightly nervous. (Laughter)”

As you can see, every element in the speech is included in the transcription, like pauses, stutters, and laughter. The ambient noise from the audio may also be included if provided. However, transcriptionists don’t need to include the noises that do not have a bearing in the final document, like thunder or construction work, since it may interrupt the flow of reading.

Edited transcription

Also referred to as clean verbatim transcription, edited transcription is one of the most commonly used types of transcription. Similar to verbatim transcription, its goal is to preserve the meaning of the speech accurately. A greatly edited transcription does not paraphrase the text since it may change the meaning. However, it also does not fully capture the way the speaker communicated the speech. Filler words and stammers, as well as other non-verbal communication, are left out since it does not add meaning to the transcription. Edited transcription does well at striking a balance between readability and the accuracy of the speech.

For example:

“Hello, everyone! Thank you for watching my TED Talk. Thank you so much. Okay, everyone can sit down since we’re live. I need to start this speech. I think you can tell I’m slightly nervous.”

For this type of transcription, all essential words the speaker utters is included. The ambient noises, irrelevant sounds, and non-verbal communication are all omitted. Other filler phrases and words are also eliminated. For audio files with multiple speakers, affirmations and interruptions are also excluded.

Intelligent transcription

Also called verbatim transcription, this is one of the types of transcription services that focus on transcribing words into readable texts. Professionals have more opportunities to edit and omit the parts of the speech instead of focusing on how the speech was originally uttered. For this transcription type, the goal is to communicate the meaning of the speech naturally. To do this, repeated sentences are deleted, and there may also be sentence restructuring involved.

For example:

“Hello, everyone! Thank you for watching my TED Talk. You can sit down. I think you can tell I’m slightly nervous.”

For this type of transcription, clear communication is prioritized more than what the speaker said. Considering this, all grammatical and punctuation errors will be corrected. It removes all non-verbal communication, filler words, off-topic content, and repeated sentences. Meaning, the transcript may not completely reflect what was said in the audio, but it still contains the meaning of what the speaker said.

types of transcription

What Types of Transcription Should You Use?

The different types of transcription are used for various purposes. In this section, we will let you in on what transcription type you should use.

Market research

If you are hiring a transcriptionist for this type of audio, then you should be interested in reading about all the pauses, as well as the “um” and “uh-huh” since the fillers will give you a clue on what the respondents are feeling. In this case, you need to go with verbatim transcription. This will allow you to convey the real response of the consumer.

Medical transcription

For this transcription, it is very important to get the correct gist of what the doctor is saying. All transcribed sentences should have meaning, and the filler words should be omitted. This will help with the ease of reading. Despite removing all filler words, the message must be the same.

Having an incorrect transcription of medical audios or videos may lead to serious consequences. For this, intelligent verbatim transcription is needed.


Business owners want to see the information that is straight to the point. For example, if you are giving them a transcript of a meeting about video content marketing strategies, they will simply waste time reading the transcript if it is filled with unnecessary content. They don’t want to be bothered with incomplete sentences or filler and repeated words. Therefore, you should go with intelligent verbatim transcription.

Academic document

This type of document needs formality, so edited transcription is the best choice. Incomplete sentences, as well as all informal speech, will all be converted into a formal sentence.

Qualities of A Good Transcriptionist

Despite the rise of intelligent speech software, there’s nothing else that compares to the service a professional transcriptionist can give. The US transcription market is even expected to increase until 2027. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in this professional.

Accuracy and speed

The different types of transcription jobs have a fast turnaround delivery. Most of the time, clients want the final output within 24 hours. Therefore, professionals need to have fast typing skills and accuracy. Experienced transcriptionists have amazing language skills and can easily decipher accents, as well as edit grammatical errors.

Research skills

You should hire a transcriptionist with outstanding research skills, especially if you have low-quality audio. Since it is common for technical jargon to be pronounced improperly, hiring a good transcriptionist that can easily detect mistakes is necessary.

This skill is especially important if you need transcription for the medical or legal field. The professional should be able to understand the terminologies you are using and quickly research the topics to bridge the gaps. This will ensure that the output captures what you said.

Grammar skills

No matter what document you want to commission, the professional must understand punctuation and grammar rules. The way a transcriptionist places punctuation in the script will affect how the output is interpreted. As a professional, transcriptionists need to type whatever they hear in verbatim. If they place punctuation incorrectly, the meaning of the sentence can change.

Great listening skills

Transcription jobs are not a walk in the park, especially when you have audio that contains heavy accents, noise, and indiscernible words. Despite all these issues, clients will still expect transcriptionists to give them the perfect output. Because of this, professionals need to hone their listening skills well. They must also be well-versed in techniques that can improve the quality of the sound. Sometimes, there is a need for transcriptionists to use specialized equipment to improve their listening skills.

Commitment to confidentiality

Keeping your data secure is part of the transcriptionist’s job. You should look for a professional that knows all the legal repercussions of data mishandling. For instance, medical and legal transcribers need to abide by confidentiality and privacy rules to protect their clients and themselves.


If you want to hire a freelance transcriptionist, they need to be motivated and have self-discipline. It is not uncommon for transcriptionists to pull an all-nighter just so urgent projects can be finished. To overcome all challenges like this, they must have intense self-motivation. No matter what the audio or video quality is, they need to get the job done.

Aside from that, they also need to be a fast learner. This will allow them to understand various topics in a short period and therefore turn in superior quality outputs.

What Types of Transcription Do You Need?

When you’re still getting started in your quest to find a good transcriptionist, you may be confused as to what types of transcription you need. But now that you know what to look for and demand, you can finally enjoy more time on your hands. If you want to hire a freelance transcriptionist without dealing with hassles, Bunny Studio is perfect for you.