Skills Required to Start Home Transcription Without Training

Skills Required to Start Home Transcription Without Training
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


It's possible to start your own transcription business without formal training. You will be working with headphones, foot pedals and an electronic transcriber that will type the dialogues from audio and video recordings into a word processor. And, your job will be to transform the recording notes into written manuscripts. Before we get started, here's an overview of a few basic skill sets you need to be a successful transcriptionist:-

Transcription Skills

  • Strong listening skills
  • Fast and accurate typing skills
  • Language skills
  • Familiarity with MS Word or similar applications.
  • Editing, grammar check, and proofreading skills.
  • Multitasking skills.
  • Efficient task completion skills.
  • Time management skills.

Now that you are acquainted with the necessary skills required for transcribing like a pro, the following information will help clarify the steps you need to take for becoming an independent transcriptionist.

Also Read: 9 Questions That Will Test Your Transcription Knowledge

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Training and Licensing

A license is not needed to become a professional transcriptionist. Companies that provide transcription services, however, usually require certification, especially in the medical and legal fields. It's possible to learn the necessary skills for transcription on the job. General transcription is a field that requires little training partly due to the fact that it doesn't involve a specialized vocabulary. It's used by interviewers and taking down conference notes.

Basic Requirements

Without a license and training, you will at least need to know the basic requirements of transcription. You will be working with diction software and will need to be proficient at computer skills. Typing is one of the most important requirements for being a successful transcriptionist. Learning to type fast is very important if you want credibility and expect to grow your business.

You also need to understand the foot pedals that control the playback speed of the recording while you type. Increasing your typing speed can be done by putting your hands in the proper position on the keyboard and practicing.

Language Skills

Since part of transcription involves editing text for grammatical and spelling errors, you will need to know a lot about English or other languages in which you may transcribe. A lot of the work done by transcriptionists is merely basic proofreading and editing. One way to brush up on your spelling is write a lot and use spell check. The more you write, the stronger you will be at language.


The most important aspect of transcription is accuracy. Legal and medical transcribing must be flawless. There is no getting around the fact that time and effort must be given to get transcription right the first time.

Also Read: Self Discipline for Transcribing at Home

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.