It doesn’t matter whether you are a parent who stays at home with kids or a first-year student; perhaps you will not refuse to earn some extra money. With a variety of possible remote professions, the position of transcriptionist starts to attract more and more attention.

This interesting activity lets you get a good income and enjoy participating in great projects. Still, most people are mistakenly thinking that being a transcriptionist is simple and no special knowledge is required. The reality is the opposite. You need to learn how to use automatic transcription software, type quickly, listen carefully and have plenty of other skills.

Get Ready to Start Practicing Transcription

If you want to succeed with your practice, make sure that you have the following tools:

  • A laptop/computer. If you are serious about becoming one of the best transcribers, you simply must have access to a laptop or computer to get a top-quality result.
  • Voice-to-text software. By using ordinary media players, you can waste a lot of time. It would be challenging to replay necessary passages time by time. This is when transcription software seems to be a good idea. It allows using pedals or hotkeys for fast audio replay or transition.
  • Headphones. A top-quality pair of headphones is another important thing for every transcriptionist. The laptop’s speakers will not allow you to listen to the audio clearly and present a top-quality outcome.
  • Internet connection. A stable internet connection is necessary for searching unknown jargon or terms. Google is helpful in finding homophones that you might not have even thought about. 
  • Microsoft Word or other similar software. Such software allows proper formatting and is not difficult to work with.

7 Tips to Help You Get Transcription Job

Once you have all the necessary tools, you can go on practising to catch difficult words and boost your level. Here are a few nice tips for you to consider and implement.

Improve typing skills

Professional transcriptionists are typing about 50 words per minute. Hence you should type at least 60 words per minute. Mind that the quicker you type, the more work you can do. This will result in a good salary. There are plenty of helpful resources such as Typing Academy, KeyBr, etc. You can use them for at least 10 minutes per day to practice your typing skills. This way, you will improve typing muscle memory, speed, and accuracy.  

Transcribe different types of audio

Most people think that having good typing skills is enough for a successful transcriptionist. Only a few individuals understand how important it is to be able to listen to complex audio. Unfortunately, not all podcasts and files are easy to understand. You may deal with audio that has many voices, strong accents, noise, difficult names, etc. Hence, you need to practice as much as possible. Start with short YouTube files, listen to presentations or conference speeches. When you are already good with simple recordings, go to work with longer ones. Each time find a more complicated file that features speakers like TEDTalks. It will help you learn different pronunciations

Refresh grammar

Proper spelling and grammar are very important for a good-quality result. You can find plenty of dedicated programs for practising transcription and improving your accuracy. Make sure that you understand the common classifications of words that are used in the English language (verbs, pronouns, conjunctions, etc.)

Learn transcription format

Besides having perfect grammar knowledge, you need to clearly understand transcription formatting. Some clients require particular formatting. Usually, there must be a line between speakers, and the identifiers “audience” or “speaker” are typed in bold. Other details of formatting are font types, margins, layouts, sizes, etc.

Develop critical thinking

It is difficult to imagine transcription practice without critical thinking. Be ready for the situations when you must decide on what the speaker says and the context where he/she uses particular words. As many English words have a few meanings, you will have to choose whether “hear” or “here” was mentioned. That’s why developing critical thinking is crucial.

Evaluate common mistakes

Even talented international transcriptionists make mistakes, and it is not surprising since they are humans. The most important point here is to evaluate common mistakes as even small mistakes can lead to huge problems. Hence accuracy should be a top priority. Check your work a few times and make sure there are no grammatical, spelling, or punctual mistakes. It would be helpful if you make a list of slip-ups that you are regularly doing. Correct them in a separate document and remember the right variant.

Take online tests

If you want to get hired by a transcription company or just check your expertise, then take advantage of numerous online tests. They check all skills and knowledge that are required for being recognized as a real expert. Usually, tests include spelling, language, punctuation, grammar, listening skills, good typing skills, knowledge of computer software, etc. Each successful test lets you feel more confident and inspired, which is also very important for becoming a good transcriptionist.


Becoming a well-paid transcriptionist is really in your hand. By preparing the necessary stuff and following all the above-mentioned tips, you become one step closer to reaching your aim. Try not to give up when you understand that some audio seems to be too difficult for you. Perhaps you heard such a saying as “Practice makes perfect.” So, keep positive, practice, and enjoy a top-quality result.

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