A few months ago, I posted here that a well-known coach was searching for a general transcriptionist to help out with transcribing her teleseminars and other tasks. Although the position was quickly filled, I received a number of emails and DMs via Twitter asking about it. I even met an incredible woman via email who as a single mother has built quite a successful home business working as a professional transcriptionist. Learning about her success inspired me to explore this potential home-based business idea a bit further.
Transcription is a service that has the potential to become a profitable home business. Believe it or not, general transcriptionists are in demand to handle these sorts of tasks :
- Medical Office Transcription
- Psychiatric Evaluations
- Recorded Statements (Legal)
- Insurance Claims
Medical and legal transcription typically require specialized training to master the complex terminology. Medical transcriptionists also need to know how to transcribe medical data and hospital records. Legal transcriptionists testimony, depositions, interviews, etc. It’s much easier to become a general transcriptionist. You can choose from a variety of different projects.
Basic equipment requirements for home-based transcriptionists are:
- High-speed Internet
- MS. Word
- Headphones (optional, but can make it easier to hear so you can transcribe more accurately)
- Foot pedal (optional – you can get started without a pedal and rely instead on transcription software; but eventually you may want to invest in a pedal will help improve productivity by helping you work faster).
Most audio files are now delivered as digital files. Downloading a transcription software program makes it easy to get started. Accuracy is very important when working as a transcriptionist. You’ll need good grammar, spelling and proofreading skills. You should also be able to type a minimum of 65 words per minute. You can find several typing tutorials online to help bring your typing skills up to speed if necessary. The transcription process isn’t just about listening and typing what you hear. Sometimes there’s a fair amount of research involved as well.
The best way to gain experience is to start working with companies that hire transcriptionists as contract workers. The rates and requirements will vary from company to company. Here is a list of companies that hire transcriptionists:
- TASK Transcription Services
- Morningside Partners
- Neal R. Gross
As you gain confidence, accuracy and speed, you may eventually consider branching out and prospecting for private clients on your own. You can make more money without a middleman. Building a reputation as a reliable, productive worker can also lead to more business via client referrals.
If you work as an independent general transcriptionist, share your self-employment experiences.