Are you a good typist with a little bit of spare time, and the ambition to make some cash with a lucrative side hustle?
If so, it might be time to acquaint yourself with the wonderful world of being a transcriptionist—work you can do from the comfort of your own home.
The work is flexible, simple, and with the right opportunity, it can even be pretty well paying.
If those terms all describe aspects of a career opportunity that matter to you, than you might want to read on as we explore the ins and outs of this unique job.
Who This Is For
There are two attributes that are going to be very beneficial to the aspiring transcriber.
The first is the ability to type at a reasonably quick rate.
In the modern era of computers, this is an attribute that problems describes a great number of people reading this.
You are also going to need a high threshold for tedium.
That’s right, transcribing is not always exceptionally exciting work.
For those that don’t know, this job essentially just entails listening to audio clips, and typing out verbatim what they say.
How interesting your gig is will of course ultimately depend on what sort of audio files you are transcribing, however you shouldn’t expect to land a job writing out the transcript for your favorite podcast or radio show.
A lot of the time we are talking about transcribing audio from meetings, conversations, or even Doctor’s notes on patients and procedures.
While even that description might not sound so bad to you the truth is that a couple hours into the process you are probably going to go progressively disillusioned.
That’s not to say that this is a bad job. It’s flexible, comfortable, and easy. It’s just not for everyone. If you are the type of person who can’t even sit still for fifteen straight minutes, or listen intently to a lecture or even basic interaction, you’re just not going to be suited for this gig.
Remember that the entirety of this job hinges on your ability to listen flawlessly and transcribe as you go. This requires an attention span that is not inherent to all of us (including myself). There’s no shame in admitting that listening to a doctor rattle off big words for a few hours isn’t for you.
On the other hand if you are patient and attentive, you may very well find this work relaxing and rewarding.
The most basic requirement for this job is of course going to be a computer, and the ability to type on it extremely quickly.
Generally speaking the average transcriptionist can type at least fifty words a minute but do keep in mind also that in a competitive hiring scenario, candidates that can type quicker than that will almost definitely be given preference.
Jobs that pay by the hour are especially going to place a big premium on a candidate’s ability to type crazy quick.
You’re also going to need to be exceptionally accurate.
The point of transcribing is to create an exact record, which means that you will need keen ears that are capable of taking down exactly what is said each and every time without flaw.
Then there are additional characteristics that might be exclusive to particular jobs.
For example, people that are looking to transcribe in a medical context are going to need to get special certification, simply due to the fact of the very serious and important nature of the work.
While jobs of this nature may or may not pay a little bit better, the process of getting certified may be a little bit more than you are looking for if this is only to be a side hustle.
For the more casual job candidate, quick, and of course accurate typing skills, as well as access to high speed internet and the ability to stream audio files are all that you are going to need to get into this career field.
Getting Transcription Jobs
It sounds oversimplified, but the way that you get into the world of transcribing is simply to apply.
Of course there is going to be a research component attached to the work as well.
You will certainly need to stay vigilant and search the online market for opportunities as they arise.
Keep in mind that the majority of this work is actually freelance and that means that you are going to have to compete for each job that you take.
There are plenty of sites that have long lists of opportunities, but if you are looking for a relatively secure way to get into the world of transcribing your best bet is probably going to be through a freelance website.
How Much Does Transcribing Pay?
There is no standard salary for most transcribing jobs.
Generally speaking, this work pays by the audio hour.
That means that you will get paid based on how long the clips that you are transcribing last.
For example, a job might pay $60 dollars for an audio hour, but that does not mean that you are making anywhere near $60 an hour.
It might take you three, four, or even five hours to complete this task depending on how complicated the file is.
Naturally, the more accuracy, speed, and experience you have, the quicker you are going to be able to complete jobs and the more money you are going to be able to make.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when discerning whether or not you should give transcribing a try.
While this is not the most exciting work in the world, and it also isn’t likely to make you rich, it is still a world of opportunity for the person that has some time, and a little bit of skill with the keyboard.
If you are looking to make this whole online thing a career, you might be interested in some good old affiliate marketing, which is the same exact line of work that I'm in.
Other than that, thanks for reading and good luck!