Transcription can be a lucrative job, and often it’s just the thing for people who want to work on their own. Transcription jobs are on the rise, and this is a great way to make a bit of extra money or turn it into a full-time career. If you’ve got the skills, this can be just for you.
What are Transcription Jobs, Exactly?
We love this simple, clear definition from our own Bunny library, transcription is the process of converting speech or audio into a written text. Pretty simple, eh? Sure, it is, but transcription jobs also have some high demand for perfectionism and attention to detail. When you are transcribing material, it needs to be exact and precise. So, if you are good at this, you can be quite desirable in this field.
Though transcription is all about converting speech into written text, it has a lot of different purposes and audiences. For instance, one valuable reason behind transcription is allowing people with impaired hearing to have access to the spoken word. The Association of Transcribers & Speech-to-text Providers tells us about the importance of transcription for removing barriers in communication.
Transcribers (sometimes called “real-time captionists”) are trained in meaning-for-meaning transcribing and do not produce a verbatim transcript. A meaning-for-meaning transcript includes environmental cues, non-verbal, and nuanced information.
According to the ADA, a qualified speech-to-text provider is defined as someone who effectively, accurately, and impartially conveys real-time communication access in text, either on-site or remotely. A qualified provider will have a high level of comprehension, ethical behavior, real-time speed, and accuracy” (Fast Facts-Speech to Text Services: Hiring Qualified Providers, 2015).
This allows those who otherwise may not gain information to access it. Whether we’re talking about the school system or business or community settings, this is an integral facet of the big world of communication. These transcription jobs can have a huge positive impact on the community.
Transcription can also promote engagement through the Internet and social media. We see the need here as Preferred Transcriptions shares this valuable information:
The goal of any online content or platform is to help grow your viewer-base. Offering multiple forms of media for your video content makes it easier for more people to access it, regardless of their wireless capabilities or connectivity.
Some individuals prefer multiple forms of media when it comes to learning and retaining information. This way, if they miss something, they can easily refer back to it in the written format. It means not a second of your work is being overlooked and you can ensure the messages you wish to send are being heard.
Think about it this way… when a brand shares a video or other spoken form of media, by allowing the audience to share it through quotes and snippets, it can be that much more accessible. It’s also a great way for people to dig deeper and refer to the message easily. This isn’t just for video, either. This can be a great way to share live speeches or podcasts. The more mediums a message can be shared in, the farther it can go. And sharing is huge for success, right. We all know that. The more people who see a message, the better the chances for engagement and letting even more people see it.
Here’s a big one in transcription – keeping records of meetings and documenting important material. Think about this scenario. There’s an important meeting in a business organization. When it’s over, some of the executives need to go back over what was brought up. However, they can’t remember it exactly as so much was covered. So they can turn to the transcription. There it is – word for word.
This is huge in many fields, including the education, medical and legal worlds. This can be anything from transcribing a phone conversation to a major meeting, court case, or presentation. These transcriptions can later manifest in a number of places; you never know.
Legal and Medical Transcription
Since we just mentioned this, let’s take a look at medical and legal transcription. These are the two main specific fields of transcription, and it does take a bit more to succeed here. Everything else is referred to as general transcription. Often pros recommend starting in general transcription unless you have a background in the medical or legal field. There is a lot of terminology you’ve got to know and certification you may have to earn.
According to The Balance Careers, Legal transcriptionists listen to dictated recordings made by attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals and then transcribe them into legal documents. Much of what they work on may eventually show up in court. Whether you work at home or in a law office, a legal transcriptionist will need to make sure documents are clear and error-free. Pros should be familiar with legal jargon and terminology and have great attention to detail. There’s the opportunity to become certified as a legal transcription professional and this will increase your status as a transcriptionist.
Like law, this area of transcription is specific. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics shares this definition and information:
Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and convert them into written reports. Most medical transcriptionists work for hospitals, physicians’ offices, and third-party transcription service companies that provide transcription services to healthcare establishments. Others are self-employed.
Clearly, this is a detail specific field and there’s really no room for making mistakes. Often certification and licensing are essential. Medical terminology, abbreviations, and HIPPA laws are all important to know when it comes to transcription in this area.
Be careful entering this field, though. It’s one of the few transcription fields that is seeing a decline due to advancing technology.
General Transcription Jobs
Here is where the variety lies. These are jobs in school systems, with businesses and community organizations, and pretty much everywhere else. You may get hired for a one-time gig or on a regular basis. You may get a few jobs to work on at once, and if you’re great at time management and a little bit of juggling, this can be a great career or side hustle. The lovely thing is that you can work on your own, with a service, or freelance site. We love our pro transcribers here at Bunny Studio, and know we have a mark of excellence.
What Skills are Necessary for Transcription Jobs?
We’ve touched on some important skills for transcription already, but let’s take a deeper look. What do you need to be successful at transcription?
- Attention to detail – This is crucial because you have to discern speech and subtle nuances. You need to make sure to include all words spoken, even fillers like umms and ohhhs. If you are working as a freelancer or independent contractor, you’ve also got to have the attention to detail to stay on top of your workload.
- Great grammar and spelling skills – It’s up to you to get the grammar right and spell everything correctly, even if you’re not sure about it. You may have to do a bit of research and keep up with the correct spelling of names and other job-specific words. And don’t mess up your commas – you can easily get the meanings mixed up!
- A decent grasp of technology – You may think all you need is Microsoft Word to type your work, but there’s more than a good transcription pro should have. This article shares some of the tools transcriptionists should have, from headsets to a foot pedal. It all makes the work easier and more efficient.
- Motivation and schedule setting – Whether you are working solely on your own or maybe with a great service like Bunny Studio, you will have to set your own schedule and be disciplined to get the work done. You also have to be motivated to find jobs. They aren’t going to fall in your lap at the beginning.
The Benefits of Working at Transcription Jobs
So maybe this looks appealing to you, and you’re now thinking it may be a great gig for you to get into. You’re right! Transcription work is an excellent way to make some side money or work in a full-time capacity. Jobs are pretty easy to find, and the work is often project by project. This means you can start and finish one at a time or take on a few depending on how you like to work.
You can work in an area that can make a difference if that’s where your heart is. Remember this can make the spoken word (videos, podcasts, all kinds of audio material) accessible to those with impaired hearing. You are not only opening the world a bit to people with hearing impairments, but you are helping those podcasters and others get their thoughts and ideas to a broader audience.
The field is growing. Most areas of transcription are growing (except medical), and the work is plentiful. For many transcription pros, there is as much work as they want.
Another great reason to get into this field is the flexible schedule. If you’re a freelancer, you have a lot of flexibility in your day to leave room for other things. This can be more work, family time, a yoga class, errands, baking bread, whatever it is you want or need. In fact, our Bunny findings show that freelancing provides Pros the freedom and adaptability to work in a way that better fits their lifestyle and preferences.
Summing Up Transcription Jobs
If we have enticed you into looking further into transcription jobs, we’ve done our job! Transcription is a great place to be, and there is lots of support and online ways to get started. It’s flexible, fulfilling, and lucrative. If you have that attention to detail and a great grasp of language, it may be just for you. If you are already a transcriptionist looking for a great place to work, let us know at Bunny Studio. We are a unique creative fulfillment platform and pride ourselves on our pros. We’d love to chat.