How to Become a Transcriber Online – The Ultimate Guide

General transcription is the art of converting audio or video recordings into text documents.

A transcriber employs special transcription software (Express Scribe + food pedal) and various skills to make documents clear and legible from these recordings.

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How Much Money Can You Make Transcribing Online? Average salary of a transcriptionist in the United States
According to a study conducted by Indeed.com, the average American transcriber earns $ 14.03 per hour.

But since we’re looking for opportunities all over the world, let’s see how much a transcriber can earn elsewhere.

Therefore, transcription services are calculated per hour of audio, the amount of money you can earn here will depend on how fast you write and send the complete transcript.

For example, if it takes you four hours to transcribe an hour-long audio file and the price of that audio file is $ 40 (per hour of audio), then you will earn $ 10 per hour.

In this ultimate guide to becoming a transcriptionist, you will learn the exact skills you will need to improve to make money transcribing at home.

Related: How to Make Money Online Without Paying Anything

The best training and certification to become an online transcriptionist
Best Training and Certification to Become an Online Transcriptionist
There is a free 7-lesson transcription mini-course offered by Janet Shaugnessy, a successful professional teacher and transcriptionist.

If you want to offer legal transcription services, take the free legal transcription mini-course and learn everything you need to know about legal transcription.

If you decide to take the full course, you will get a Certificate of Completion. That is something that other course instructors do not offer.
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Janet Shaughnessy in-depth interview for new transcriptionists
To answer all of your questions about the transcript, I had an interview with Janet Shaughnessy.

Janet is the founder and creator of TranscribeAnywhere; a transcription website dedicated to offering extensive transcription training in general, legal and medical transcription.

He began his work from home as a medical transcriptionist in 2007 and later created Zoom Transcription Services.

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Having been a professional transcriptionist for many years, Janet has a wealth of experience in the field of transcription and can help you earn money online by transcribing in 2-4 months.

Check out their free mini-course to see if you can pass the transcription tests that most companies require before you get started.

Can anyone become a transcriptionist? Can anyone become a transcriptionist?
Are special skills, transcription training, or equipment needed?

No, not everyone can be a transcriber. It takes specific training and skills to be a qualified transcriptionist.

In addition to what most people perceive as perhaps the only skill required, typing, transcriptionists must possess a strong command of the English language, including grammar and punctuation.

Transcriptionists must have a good ear and practice focused listening. They should also be comfortable sitting at a desk and working alone.

Special transcription software is required to control the playback of audio and video files.

The use of headphones and a foot pedal are optional, but are used by most professional transcriptionists.

You can find cost-effective transcription software and kits on Amazon.
My Amazon Picks

Jumpstart Your Work At Home General Transcription Career – The Quick and Easy … $ 6.99 (234)

ECS WordSlinger USB Superior Transcription Headphones (224)

Olympus AS-2400 PC Transcription Kit 147588 $ 148.50 (83) AllAds by Amazon

Who hires transcriptionists? Who pays the transcriptionists?
General transcriptionists transcribe anything that is not medical and legal. This could include bloggers, podcasters, interviewers, researchers, academics, conferences, marketers… the list goes on and on.

Legal transcriptionists work in a variety of legal fields, including courts, law practices, court reporters, law enforcement agencies, and insurance companies.

Looking for a solid company that has transcription jobs for both beginners and experts? Take a look here!

You can also find out how to earn $ 1,000 per month by editing transcripts for court reporters.

Do you need to make any initial investment to earn money from transcription?
There is a small investment for the necessary transcription equipment, usually less than $ 100, assuming you already have a computer.

Transcription training is essential and can be found online at various prices. Transcribe Anywhere offers the most comprehensive and affordable training.

Transcription training in transcribing anywhere.

Can you turn transcription into a full-time job?
How often you want to work is entirely up to you. Some transcriptionists prefer part time and others prefer full time.

I think the biggest benefit of working as a transcriptionist is the freedom of time it provides. There is no way you can compare it to ticking a clock.

You have been a transcriber for almost 10 years. How did you start? How was your experience?
In fact, much longer has passed. I started my home business 12 years ago, but learned transcription in high school.

I started my business working as a subcontractor for larger transcription companies and eventually developed enough of my own clientele to start my own business.

Did you face any challenges when transcribing?
Transcribing is hard work, much more than most people realize. It gets easier with time and experience, but I worked a lot in the beginning because, well, I had to support myself and my husband when he became disabled.

I also didn’t have a clear understanding of all the new technology, so I had to learn as I went, often spending too much time trying to figure things out.

This is how the Transcribe Anywhere courses developed. They evolved from the notes I gave my new hires to help them catch up.

Tell us more about your course: Transcribe Anywhere: Theory and Practice Free Transcribe Anywhere Mini Course
In addition to what I already mentioned, the best way to learn more about our courses is to visit the website, Transcribe Anywhere, where you will find information about our courses, prices, and a registration form for our free 7-lesson General Transcript. General and legal transcription mini-course.

What tips or suggestions for success would you give someone who wants to become a transcriptionist?
Preparation is the first pillar of success. Don’t try to improvise. I receive regular emails from students who tried and failed. “You can’t know what you don’t know.”

Thank you Janet for taking the time to show us how one can become a transcriber and earn extra money from home.

Transcription can be a lucrative home business if you know what you are doing. That’s exactly what Janet offers through her e-learning platform at TranscribeAnywhere.

Go see if transcription sounds like the perfect work from home career choice for you.

Transcription tools and equipment Transcription tools and equipment
There are certain products and services that you must have to become a transcriber. It’s a small investment in a potentially lucrative career.

A working computer
Transcription headphones
Ergonomic chair
High speed internet connection
Microsoft Word
Transcription software
File converter

  1. A computer for transcription
    A simple desktop computer with a full-size keyboard is ideal. Just make sure it’s in good working order.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. You must have Windows installed and enough RAM to save your work.

If you prefer to use a laptop, that’s totally fine. When using a desktop computer, you will need a monitor stand to properly position your computer.

Some good ones that I can recommend on Amazon are:

HP 14-an013nr 14-inch Notebook
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6 inch Full HD Laptop
Dell Inspiron 24 3000 Series All-in-One

  1. Noise-canceling headphones: a pair of noise-canceling headphones for transcription
    You will be working on multiple transcription projects and some may contain background noise or difficult accents.

Getting quality transcription headphones with the “noise canceling” feature is ideal. This will allow you to work faster and get more done in a short amount of time.

ECS OHUSB WordSlinger Deluxe Overhead USB Transcription Headset and Spectra SP-VC5 3.5mm Mono / Stereo Dual Speaker Transcription Headset with volume control are good.

  1. Ergonomic chair computer for transcription
    As you may already know, transcription can be a tedious job because you have to sit for longer periods of time while transcribing.

Getting an ergonomic chair that protects not only your back but the rest of your body is a good decision. He will make sure your feet are flat on the ground, your back is protected, and your hands and wrists are in a proper position.

Failure to do so can result in the development of carpal tunnel syndrome or chronic back pain.

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  1. Internet connection
    As a professional transcriber, you will download digital files from the client’s server or online portal, so a high-speed Internet connection is a must. Visit your local Internet Service Provider and get a good option.
  2. Microsoft Word
    There are clients who like WordPerfect, but many prefer to work with Microsoft Word. This word processing software can check spelling and correct grammar for you.

Grammarly and Ginger can also perform this same task but you have to pay for their services. If you are looking for a free option, PaperRater is the place to be.

You can also configure text expanders so that you only type a few letters of a word and the entire word appears automatically.

Therefore, before starting a project, be sure to consult with your client about which word processor to use.

  1. Transcription software
    write express
    I have heard some good things about FTW Transcriber, but I have been using Express Scribe for the last 3 years and it did not disappoint.

This is a professional transcription program that is easy to use, has start, stop and rewind functions, and most of all, it is free.

There is a Pro version, but if you are a beginner, I would recommend the free version, at least until you can afford the paid version.

Related: Express Scribe Transcription Software or FTW Transcriber?

  1. Foot pedal
    Another piece of equipment to have as a transcriber is a pedal. However, it is not as mandatory as the other five listed above.

As I mentioned earlier, Express Scribe has the start, stop, and rewind functions that are a great substitute for a pedal.

This is required primarily in medical transcription. It costs around $ 80 and can be ordered online, either on Amazon or eBay.

  1. File converter
    There are times when you get a file in video format and have to convert it to an audio format like MP3.

One software that I loved using was File Factory. It made my job a lot easier. But you can also use ZamZar. I’ve also heard good things about it.

One thing I love about this is that it can also be converted to PDF. So this is software that you should definitely check out.

How to become an online transcriptionist working on transcription jobs
One of the questions most people ask is whether you can make money transcribing at home.

In my quest to show you how you can become a transcriber and make money doing it, I will share the six skills you need to be successful, and the software and tools that make subscribing simple and fast.

Master the 6 skills necessary to earn money transcribing from home
Knowing if transcription is the right part-time or full-time career for you comes down to these six skills.

If you already have them, then you are ahead of most beginners. If you are willing to gain these skills and continually improve them, you can become a transcriptionist and see success.

Good typing
Attention to detail (aka precision)
Correct grammar
In-depth research
1) listening skills
Good listening skills are required to be able to present quality, professional work at all times. These are the best ways to improve these skills.


Avoid distractions while transcribing. Work in a quiet environment and focus on what the speaker is saying. Listen to every word that is said.

Don’t assume what you think should be said, but rather, listen to every word that is said and how it relates to what you have already transcribed.

Listen and learn
Go to YouTube and find videos that have captions to listen to and learn from. Listen to what the speakers are saying and confirm that the words are exactly what is written on the screen.

If what you heard is not what is being said, slow down the video and listen to it again. Doing this 20 minutes a day for a month will put you on the cutting edge. You will become a better listener in no time.

Diversify at the beginning
to diversify

Get different audio files on different topics and listen to them frequently. When you go to a site like Voice of America in Programs, you will find many audio recordings that you can download and listen to.

When you are starting out, you may want to familiarize yourself with different fields. Right now, you can’t afford to give up on a project because you lack the proper skills to handle it.

So, diversify and venture into different fields when you practice and then once your skills have improved you can be selective and choose one or two topics of interest that you can work on.

Choose a topic of interest
I know this may sound counterintuitive as I mentioned “diversify” at the top, but yes, you should pick a topic or two of interest after you have gained experience.

I know there are people who like to be everywhere. This can be good up to a point, but not quite. The most successful people you see focus on one thing at a time. They do it so well and that is why they are so successful.

Personally, I loved working on self-development materials because I got a lot of useful information from projects that I could apply in my daily life. That really motivated me to keep doing the same kind of projects.

2) Fast writing speed

Most transcription companies expect you to have an accuracy score of 95-98% and a response time (TAT) at least three times that of audio recording. Here are some tips on how to improve your typing speed and meet these requirements.

Perfect posture
It is a known fact that transcriptionists, more than anyone else, sit for long hours writing. So for you to feel comfortable and focused, you need to position yourself well.

Make sure your feet are flat on the floor with your knees at 90 degrees. Keep your back straight and supported and make sure your fingers are on the home keys. With this type of posture, you will notice an increase in your typing speed over time.

Avoid looking at the keyboard
At first this may seem almost impossible to do. But, as you gain momentum, your muscle memory will dominate the keys and typing will soon become second nature to you. Before you know it, you’ll start typing effortlessly.

Start with letters like AAAAAAA and then go to SSSSSS or AS AS AS, etc. Write a full page or two. The idea here is not to rush. Go slow at first and let your fingers get used to the correct keys. Once you master the keyboard, you will type faster.

Write with both hands
hands on keyboard

Typing with two fingers slows down typing. A friend of mine used to call it wood pecking. You write the letter F and then take 30 seconds to find the letter Y.

Imagine if you were writing a 20 page document. How long do you think it would take to complete it? You may be sitting all day staring at the computer wondering why it is not moving forward.

The correct houses are A, S, D, F for the left hand and J, K, L ,; for the right hand. This is well presented in the image above. We have amazing online typing teachers that you can take advantage of.
My Amazon Picks

Mastering Computer Writing, Revised Edition $ 21.99 (215)

Mavis Beacon Teaches Writing Platinum 20 – Old Version $ 37.72 (183)

Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing Deluxe 20 – Old Version $ 19.99 (114)

Platinum 5 Kids Typing Trainer $ 14.99 $ 19.99 (627) AllAds by Amazon

Run Write Speed ​​Tests
typing test

There are many online typing test sites that offer free online typing practice. One of them is typingtest.com.

This is a great site that has typing tests, courses, and games to help improve your typing. They claim to be the number one resource and I think they are.

When you take the typing test, you will be able to see how many words per minute you have typed. You will be given the wrong words you got and an overall score.

Take just 30 minutes a day for the next 30 days and you will see a difference in your speeds. You’ll be able to type fast, get words right, and it’ll be a lot of fun!

Practice! Practice! Practice!
Once you have mastered writing, don’t get left behind and say, “I’ve achieved my goal. Now I don’t need to do this anymore.” Writing is an activity you do on a daily basis.

Even if you don’t have a job every day, search for books online and write or go to forums or Facebook. Practice typing as consistently as possible.

3) Accuracy
Accurate transcription plays a very important role in all industries, such as the legal, business and medical fields. For this reason, you need to know the effective ways in which you can improve your transcription.

This excellent section was written by Verbatim Transcription Services! If you want to become a transcriptionist, check out your current job listings.

Master Terminologies
As a professional transcriptionist, it is critical that you gain a good understanding and background in the field in which you will be involved.

Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with the terminologies and phrases that are commonly used in the field to avoid transcribing the wrong information.

This is very important, as you could imagine the harm that could be done to a patient if the wrong drug or dose was transcribed. It could even be deadly.

Quiet work environment
Focus on distraction-free audio in your space, which means you may want to select a quiet spot where you won’t hear any noise other than the audio you’re transcribing.

Create a short summary of the audio topic
Before the actual verbatim transcription, you may want to create a short description or summary of what you are about to transcribe for money. This will include the main message of the particular audio file.

If you were to transcribe an interview, you may want to prepare the important elements of the interview, including the time and date, the interviewer and the interviewee, and the topic / topic.

Listen to the audio first
Find the time to listen to the entire audio file before writing it into the text. This will help you improve the time efficiency of marking specific areas, which contain unclear or inaudible audio.

In the process, you will be able to tackle the same problem when transcribing and avoid making mistakes while working on the copy. /container.html

Set up a template
Use a good verbatim transcription template to save time preparing the template or format you need. This will not only improve the accuracy of the transcription, but it will also allow you to focus on the transcription.

Learn abbreviations
If you discover abbreviations in the file, you may want to spell it out in your description so that readers can understand what it means.

4) Grammar skills
If you are writing non-verbatim versus verbatim, then grammar skills are important. Verbatim transcripts will be written exactly how you hear the audio, while non-verbatim transcripts are forgiving to clean up the script. The amount of editing you do will depend on the requirements of each client.

Read read read
Reading can improve your grammar skills without boring you to pieces with learning from textbooks. Instead, get lost in your favorite novel. Just be sure to pay more attention to words, sentence structure, and general grammar.

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Take grammar tests
You can improve your grammar by taking free online grammar and editing tests. Exercising your skills on a daily basis is the best way to keep your skills current while continually improving them.

Get tutoring or take a class
If you still need help improving your grammar skills, it’s okay to ask for help.

There are places like Skillshare and Udemy that offer tons of free prerecorded classes, or you can set up lessons with a live tutor through Wyzant.

Related: Proofreading Jobs Online

5) Productivity and scheduling skills
In order for you to become a successful transcriptionist, you must learn to plan your day productively.

It’s important to stick to a routine or schedule every day so that you can turn in quality work, meet deadlines, and have some free time to spend with your family. 37 / html / container.html

Here’s the exact schedule that helped me stay productive as a Rev.com transcriber.

I woke up at 5:00 am
Sign in to the site
Check available projects
Read instructions and requirements like:
TAT (delivery time / expiration date)
Verbatim or Non-textually
Number of speakers
Audio length
Audio quality
Amount to be paid
Any special request
This takes me 30 to 45 minutes max.
Pick one that’s favorable and claim it.
I get a notification from the site informing me the exact time I claimed it and when the transcript is due.
I download it to my computer using IDM (Internet Download Manager) and upload it to Express Scribe.
I open a blank Microsoft Word document, save the transcript with the name of the audio file, and start typing as fast as I can.
I activate Focus Booster and set 10 minute breaks. For every hour worked I rest 10 minutes.
I connect to Skype and leave my email open in case the client wants to communicate with me or I want some clarification.

6) Research Skills

Knowing how to do a Google search correctly will not only make your work easier, it will ensure that you submit client-ready transcripts that meet their needs in a timely manner.https://9c26747edeba4d7f5bcd8e0d51e0d89e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

In this example, the transcriber (my subcontractor) didn’t know the correct spelling of the speaker. So, she decided to do her best and write it as a phonetic. See the example below.

Google search

As you can see above, Angle Barrenweld is what the transcriber typed. But, the correct spelling should be Ingvild Bjornvold. So, how do we go about finding the correct spelling?


Copy the terms Social Solutions and paste it in Google and click search. Social Solutions is a company/brand name. You will realize that there are lots of searches on there but there is no mention of the director anywhere.https://9c26747edeba4d7f5bcd8e0d51e0d89e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The next step is adding the word “Director” to those two terms as shown below.

Social Solutions Director

Here, several searches with the term director showed up. We have April Rose who is the Director of Account Management. Chris Wheeler, the Director of Advanced Support Consulting Group and Senior Director of Account Management Sales whose name has not been disclosed.https://9c26747edeba4d7f5bcd8e0d51e0d89e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

They are all directors working at Social Solutions. But, our main focus is on the Director of Strategic Initiatives. Our last option is to type “Social Solutions” put a dash then “Director of Strategic Initiatives.” And, bam, we got our search.


The fifth search result has a brief bio about the speaker. This is a great resource for getting more info about him in case it’s needed in the transcript.

Have you done transcribing or know someone who does? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!

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Madison Smith

Entrepreneur mom of 2, Dedicated to finding work at home jobs and ways to make money online.

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