How to Become a Successful Transcriptionist

A transcriptionist is a person who converts audio and video files to text files. Transcription work can provide a decent income and is convenient since you can work from home. Transcriptionists provide written records of conversations, interview programs, lectures and more. A freelance transcriptionist can choose where and when to work. Depending on what you’re transcribing, you can also learn new things.

Types of Transcription


Medical transcription is commonly used and is essential in the medical field. These transcriptionists may require licenses, certification, or prior work experience. You’ll need a robust understanding of medical terminologies, anatomy, and healthcare documentation.


Legal transcribers provide written records of trials, dispositions, and any other legal proceedings. The documents produced are often used to help lawyers prepare for trials and may be used in courts.


General transcription covers a variety of jobs. One can transcribe videos and podcasts for blogs. This is the most common type of transcription sought after.

Requirements to Become a Transcriptionist

For you to become a transcriptionist, you require the following:

  • A laptop or a computer that’s up to date and has ample storage space. The computer must have a working Microsoft Word installed.
  • Good and stable internet and network. This is a must-have requirement for transcription. The download speed should also be reliable.
  • Also, you need a combination of technical skills and soft skills. It may seem simple to listen to a recording and type it out but it can be more challenging than it seems.
  • Transcription software includes a headset to improve the sound, a foot pedal so you can play, forward or rewind without taking your hand off the keyboard. However, some transcription companies may ask you to download certain apps to access their audio files.
  • To become a transcriptionist, you may need good networking skills. Start letting people know you’re offering transcription services. You can use various marketing techniques to network with others.
  • You are required to be fast, accurate and timely to boost your chances of getting transcription work and referrals. This can be achieved through hours of practice.

Skills Needed to Become a Transcriptionist

Language skills

To become a transcriptionist, you need to be fluent. Language skills are essential to successful transcription.  This includes grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary.

Exceptional listening skills

A transcriptionist should have active listening skills. You need to be able to focus effectively.

Tech skills

Becoming a transcriptionist involves both transcription software and hardware, thus you need to be confident with technology. Basic skills like knowing how to maximize the use of Microsoft Word for proper transcription formats.

Proofreading skills

Proofreading gives you a chance to catch any typos or errant commas before you deliver the transcription to the client. This needs to be done keenly and accurately.

Typing skills

To become a transcriptionist, you need to be able to type fast and well. The faster you learn to increase your typing speed and accuracy, the quicker you’ll become a competent transcriptionist.

Specialist knowledge skills

If you plan to provide specialist transcription services, you’ll need to be familiar with relevant terminologies.

Time management skills

Time management skills will help you beat deadlines. The faster and more efficient you become the more capable you are to have many transcription jobs.

Research skills

A transcriptionist must have outstanding research skills. This will help them in catching words or terminologies to be familiar with as well as finding crucial information.

Freelance transcription websites

There are several transcription websites a transcriber can use. The following are some of the best transcription websites for a beginner:

  • TranscribeMe
  • GMR Transcription
  • GoTranscript
  • Rev
  • CrowdSurf
  • Upwork
  • SpeakWrite
  • Transcript Divas
  • Audio Transcription Center

Summary of How to Become a Transcriptionist

For a person that wants to become a transcriber, the above-mentioned steps are relevant for them. He or she needs to possess the relevant skills and gain experience to become a professional. Transcription is an area with a lot of potential and a promising future to earn an income. Hence, it’s a good idea for a beginner.

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