Having a career as a transcriptionist can be rewarding. While most people have a general idea of what a transcriptionist does, not everyone is completely on board with all the intricacies that come with being a transcriptionist. If you’re interested in a career as a transcriptionist, the following information will help you learn more about your desired industry.
What does a transcriptionist do?
A transcriptionist takes audio or video files (or links online) and types the content into a Word document (or other desired document) so that the company or client has a hard copy of the content from the media file.
What exactly do transcriptionists transcribe?
Transcriptionists are used in a variety of different fields. One of the most popular forms of transcription is medical transcription. A medical transcriptionist typically listens to audio recordings by doctors, nurses and other physicians and records them into a document. Medical transcriptionists need to be fluent in medical terminology and need to determine codes so that they can keep accurate records.
Some transcriptionists work for government agencies and transcribe phone conversations, interviews, interrogations or even wire recordings in order to help agencies such as the FBI, CIA, ATF, etc. do their jobs.
Other transcriptionists typically transcribe any audio or video file needed. This can include professional notes, web videos, business meetings or anything in between that needs to be placed into a hard copy.
Where do transcriptionists work?
Some transcriptionists work on-site for their employer, but most transcriptionists have the freedom to work from home. Since transcriptionists only need a computer and some computer software, their jobs can easily be done from anywhere. Because of this, many transcriptionists are even able to set their own hours.
How much do transcriptionists make?
The earnings and wages of transcriptionists vary heavily. A medical transcriptionist working full time for a specific company will typically make more than a medical transcriptionist working part time on their own or a full time freelance transcriptionist may make more than a part time government transcriptionist. According to Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median wage of a medical transcriptionist was $32,900 in 2010.
Transcriptionists can typically get paid in three ways. Some transcriptionists receive one lump sum based on the project they’re working on. Others get paid per transcribed word, and others get paid per audio minute. If you are planning to work as a freelance transcriptionist, you’ll have to decide which payment method is best for you. If you’re working for a service, you’ll generally get paid per word or per minute, but may have the option of working per project. If you end up working as a full-time transcriptionist for a doctor, government agency or other company, you may even get paid hourly or have a set salary.
How do I become a transcriptionist?
There are different ways to become a transcriptionist. First, you need to make sure that you have the equipment and software needed to perform the job. Second, you need to make sure that you are not only a fast typer, but that you’re also fast and accurate. Companies are not willing to hire transcriptionists that are slow or have poor accuracy. It’s also important that you’re a good writer, as correct context, grammar and punctuation are essential to a transcriptionist’s job.
If you have all of these essentials, you’ll need to decide what type of transcriptionist you want to be. If you’re interested in medical transcription, for example, you’ll need to take a medical terminology class.
You’ll also need to determine if you want to work for a company, as a freelance transcriptionist, or work for a transcription service company. If you want to work as the transcriptionist for a specific company, then you’ll need to apply. If you want to work as a freelancer, then you’ll need to find some clients. If you want to work for a transcription company, you’ll need to apply. There are plenty of opportunities out there; you just have to find them.
What is the outlook on transcription careers?
Some people worry that the job of a transcriptionist will become extinct thanks to computer programs, but this isn’t completely true. Over the years, some companies have let their transcriptionists go in order to use a more cost-effective computer program, but many have since returned to using real people. While computer programs do cost less, they don’t provide the same amount of accuracy as a real person. Computer programs don’t hear every word correctly, and even the best programs aren’t programmed well enough to use the right context, grammar or spelling, which ends up causing errors. Companies that used computer programs were then spending quality time going through the transcriptions in order to correct mistakes, and this caused more of a headache and cost more money.
Kelly Grant is a freelance writer from Phoenix. Athough she specializes in business and translation, she enjoys blogging about parenting, cooking, and sports in her spare time.
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