You’ve long trotted the internet for various reasons and now feel like it’s the opportune time to turn Tweeting fingers into typing fingers. Joining a transcribe team and then launching a career as a transcriptionist is not as tricky as your pals exaggerate. You’ll need to work yourself up the ladder.
Luckily, freelance platforms and jobs are available for anyone looking to begin. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, captions & court transcription hires will increase 9 percent within the 2019-2029 forecast period to surpass any career’s growth rate.
In essence, most general transcription jobs don’t even require previous training or certifications. As long as you’ve practiced and mastered the art, you can search jobs online, take a transcribe test, and hit the path to success.
If you have a keen ear for audio, sharp eyes for written mistakes, and speedy fingers to type up whatever you capture, then you almost certainly have it.
A knack for accuracy and strict adherence to rules are other must-haves; yes, these can make or break your final test score and overall job experience.
A word of caution to anyone considering a career in this sector; don’t rush, hoping you’ll jump in today and begin making money tomorrow. Because a long list of rules governs the transcription world, it’s wise to train, research and practice for a month or so before handling any serious projects.
Spend hours and hours sharpening the skills you need to survive and thrive in this job.
What Skills Do You Need to Join a Transcribe Team
Most remote transcription jobs are posted in freelance platforms as on-the-go tasks by various service seekers. Your role as a wannabe transcriber is to practice, take a test, be part of these freelance teams and get access to a rich pool of projects.
But freelance websites have strict vetting procedures that end with a transcription test that candidates must pass to join their team. The good thing, you can learn and master whatever it takes to get cracking on these tasks
9 Skills to Begin a Transcription Career
A keen ear for audio, sharp eyes for written mistakes, and speedy fingers to type up whatever you capture, then you almost certainly have it. A knack for accuracy and strict adherence to rules are other must-haves; yes, these can make or break your final test score and overall job experience.
Below are the nine qualities to master;
· Careful listening
A sharp ear for audio is paramount to a transcriber.
It would be best if you practiced the art of listening amid some challenges and chaos like ambient noise, active give-and-take discussions, and muttered speech.
In some situations, you must make reasonable guesses for audio sections that are hardly decipherable. Nevertheless, you can rely on transcription tools to help you decipher incomprehensible sections.
· A persistent word researcher
You’ll undoubtedly run into many new words in the various audio files your clients need you to transcribe. Developing the knack to hear, identify and research more about new terms, abbreviations, brands’ and people’s names, etc., makes transcribing projects less strenuous.
Don’t hesitate to pause and replay if you do not catch the words properly. A second chance allows you to confirm what you heard.
· Good content retention
It would help if you also had excellent content retention to recapture the audio parts you listen to and type up with speed. This saves you the hassle of playing, pausing, and replaying all the time when transcribing a file. A sharp memory also increases your working speed, ensuring you transcribe long audio files in good time.
· Speedy typing skills with no typos
Typing speed is calculated in words per minute (wpm). Any rates 35 to 45 wpm can get you started on the job.
However, you’ll need to upgrade to 60 wpm and above as you advance up the job ladder and join a senior transcribe team.
Experts can go as fast as 80 to 100 words per minute.
· Excellent grammar and spelling
You must be keen on your grammar and spelling. Freelance sites have severe consequences for simple mistakes if their internal transcribe team spots silly errors in your transcript. Remember, most companies take a project through multiple phases to guarantee quality.
Though you have lots of tools to rely on, use this opportunity to polish your grammar.
· An eye for detail
The final transcript must follow all rules to the letter. Make it a habit to repeatedly edit the paper to spot spelling mistakes, poor spacing, long paragraphs, speaker labels, etc.
You must also take note of challenging audio parts like crosstalks and transcribe them accurately. Any laugh or pause in between a speech must be included in the transcript.
Clients consider these tiny details vital in the final work because they help readers tell the speaker’s emotion throughout the conversations.
· A dedicated worker
Transcription jobs are demanding and require a dedicated worker who respects schedules. A 15-minute audio file requires 3 hours of concentration to complete. Hence, learn to stay away from disturbances during these grueling hours of work.
After hours of work, take a breather and then embark on confirming the script’s accuracy, grammar, spelling, speech tags, and any custom formatting rules per your client’s instructions.
· A tech-savvy worker
To join a transcribe team, you must handle computers, browse the internet, download & run transcription software and type up words using your keyboard. It would be best if you also familiarize yourself with Microsoft Word for accurate transcript formatting.
For advanced transcribing, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with hardware like a foot pedal for transcription.
You must also be flexible and willing to learn because some clients provide you with specific software for their projects.
Remember, the software must be updated from time to time, so be sure to do the same for your tools.
The Pros & Downsides of Working in a Remote Transcribe Team
Even long before COVID, remote working was a popular trend. Then came the shelter-in-place restrictions, and more and more people began operating from home.
According to Remote Jobs statistics posted in SmallBizGenius, 18 percent of workers operate from home full-time. In the US, a whopping 4.3 million workers (3.2 percent of the entire working population) work remotely.
Transcription jobs make up a significant portion of online opportunities. While most people prefer working remotely for its flexibility, joining a transcribe team can be lucrative and stressful.
The Pros of a Transcribing Remotely
A remote job emancipates you from office slavery that threatens to eat up your whole year, stresses you up, and suppress your growth potential.
· Work at your own time
Forty percent of remote workers cite “flexible working hours” as the most significant advantage of working from home.
Workplaces finally realize that allowing a transcribe team to work remotely is much more beneficial than bringing everybody under one roof. The freedom to work when you feel productive is essential in ensuring quality work and occupational satisfaction.
· Determine your pay
Freelance jobs are a way to open multiple revenue sources.
Feel free to sign up with numerous transcription services and earn as much as you want while climbing up the job ladder.
Most transcription projects are one-off contracts, but jobs are available year-round depending on your freelance site’s network.
Still, like any other freelance field, you’ll likely face low seasons, especially if you rely on one source.
· Take and reject projects as you wish
Not all projects are right for you. Even some top-paying transcription offers can cause more harm than good to your bottom line.
Thus, confirm that you have the know-how to handle the task before committing to a project.
Feel free to reject if the instructions are not clear and the client isn’t responding. In a nutshell, you work with whom you want, when you wish.
· Enjoy breaks, eat at home, and do physical activity
Not everybody takes their tea or lunch at stipulated office meal times. Some people have naps after heavy meals and prefer to eat late after work. If you’re one of them, a strict lunchtime policy can slow you down.
Also, a remote job allows you to take walks, hit the gym, and cook your meals at home, which is strenuous when you have to commute to and from every day.
· Cut the stress and spending related to commuting to work
How much do you spend on car gas and maintenance? Does driving to work and back eat up many 2-3 hours of your day? What of the traffic jams? The parking tickets you have to pay for daily?
Well, all these could go away if you braced yourself to join a remote transcribe team.
The Downsides Transcribing Remotely
While boasting multiple benefits, transcribing remotely can come with many challenges to a newbie freelancer like you.
First you must get used to the idea of working from home. The freedom to handle tasks at will can be further hampered by distractions taking a significant toll on productivity.
Below are the cons of a remote transcription job.
· Jobs can be tight for newbies
Most transcription projects are one-off contracts, but jobs are available year-round depending on your freelance site’s network. Still, like any other freelance field, you’ll face low seasons, especially if you rely on one source.
· Working at home alone can be lonely
Your workmates help you with insights and ideas. They also make you smile and share meals with you. Working remotely all alone can get you lonely. This further causes difficulty in opening new job networks and revenue streams.
Remote workers make the most of tech and link with colleagues in web groups and webinars.
To End Things Off,
Starting a transcription career and ending in an expert transcribe team isn’t as difficult as your friends make it sound.
A keen ear for audio, sharp eyes for written mistakes, and speedy fingers to type up whatever you capture, then you almost certainly have it. A knack for accuracy and strict adherence to rules are other must-haves; yes, these can make or break your test score and overall job experience.
Begin small and make it a habit. Use favorite at-home videos to practice. Use free online practice sites, and when you’re good to go, search for transcription jobs at Bunny Studios.