While pursuing a career in transcription work doesn't necessarily require a degree, you will most likely be tested before being hired. A general transcriptionist usually does not need prior education or experience to get transcription jobs, but must pass a test based on typing speed and accuracy in spelling and grammar. Here are some tips to remember:
The items you will need to be a transcriber usually include a computer, high-speed internet connection, headphones and transcription software. Every transcription company has its own style guide so be aware, what works with one company might not work with another.
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As far as skills are concerned, you need to type fairly fast for the sake of being productive and meeting deadlines. You need to be proficient in English, meaning you should have a deep vocabulary and understanding of professional versus common or colloquial usage of terminology and structure.
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In order to get hired by a transcription company, you will likely need to submit a resume and take a test using transcription software with an audio sample. Be sure to include any typing experience or administrative work on your resume. Even volunteer typing work is appropriate.
Find out what the company's minimum typing speed is. Stricter companies tend to set a minimum level of around 50 words per minute while more flexible firms might go as low as 25 words per minute, or perhaps no minimum at all if deadlines are not as important.
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You can improve your typing speed by searching for online typing tutorials. Generally speaking, your hands and fingers need to be placed properly and comfortably, instead of using the very slow one-finger-at-a-time method. Memorizing where letters and numbers are placed on the keyboard will help accelerate the learning process.
Download any popular and free transcription software to help you practice transcribing before taking the test. Have spell check on your computer to double-check your spelling.