For many, the ideal job is one which allows you to make money at home. You might need to work at home to increase income or replace lost income, there are many options available. You might try being a freelance writer or even start a blog.
While I’ve shared several great ideas in the past, another one I want to share with you is transcription. It is the type of work that is a fit for many people — especially moms who want to make money to help their family.
I recently visited with Janet Shaughnessy, who has a great course that teaches people how to make money at home as a transcriptionist. Her course – TranscribeAnywhere – has taught countless people how to get started in this line of work.
I asked Janet some of the questions I had about the course, in the hope that it would help you as well.
What is Transcription?
Transcription is the art of turning audio and/or video files into text documents. You listen to recorded content and type it into a text document to be used in a number of different ways. There are general, legal, and medical transcriptionists.
Medical transcription is on the decline due to the adoption of the electronic medical record and outsourcing. I really don’t offer those services any longer and I certainly don’t teach it.
Do you need any background?
In order to succeed as a transcriptionist, you must be:
A fast and acc fast and accurate typist. You must also be proficient in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. One must have knowledge of the internet and critical thinking skills (research) and familiarity with the hardware and software needed to provide transcription services.
These skills can all be learned or improved upon with training and practice. However, if you’re not self-motivated and self-disciplined, you’re probably not a good candidate for transcription work.
Is this still something companies need?
I always smile when I hear this question. Although one of the myths out there is that voice recognition software has reduced the need for transcriptionists, nothing could be further from the truth.
With the proliferation of audio and video content being produced on a daily basis via the internet, the need has actually increased! Voice recognition technology has to “learn” one voice. It can’t handle multiple voices. There is now way it can format a document. It can’t punctuate nor differentiate context. These are all things that a qualified transcriptionist does.
Who would do well as a transcriber?
Anyone who has the skills mentioned above or the commitment to become skilled. You also need to have an entrepreneurial spirit, since you’ll be self-employed, as well as not mind working alone most of the time.
What does it cost to get started?
The basic cost of hardware and software is around $90 – $100. Training prices are all over the place. There are courses for thousands of dollars and there are courses for $25. At Transcribe Anywhere, our mission is to offer the most comprehensive, yet cost-effective, training available.
Do I need special equipment?
You need transcription software and a headset. A foot pedal is optional, but most transcriptionists prefer using one.
What type of income could I expect to make?
A beginning transcriptionist should expect to start somewhere in the $15/hour range. That’s just a general guideline. Keep in mind that we’re not usually hourly employees. We’re self-employed. We go into a lot of detail in our courses about how to charge for our services, but generally speaking, a good transcriptionist works on a 4:1 ratio — meaning it will take four hours to transcribe one hour of audio or video.
We set our rates according to that guideline. Depending on how much time you have available or want to devote to work will determine how much you can make. Zoom Transcription Services made six figures last year. Did I start out making that much? No! I worked hard and built up my business over time.
Is this line of work good for anyone?
Nope. It’s not for everyone. If you don’t have an above-average command of the English language and aren’t willing to work hard to improve and expand your skills, you won’t succeed as a transcriptionist.
If you think that this is something that might work to supplement or replace your income, check out the TranscribeAnywhere course for more information and get started.