Transcription has long been a work at home opportunity for a lot of people. It is a very large field that offers a wide variety of work. It can be a great job for skilled typists.
Transciption is generally done with audio or video files. It involves listening to a given file and recording precisely what was said. General transcription is the basic place to get started and will have you transcribing a variety of audio and video files.
Basic Requirements for General Transcription:
Typing is an important skill in transcription. The faster you can type the faster you will be able to work. A good baseline is a WPM (words per minute) score of 40 or higher. You can get away with something a bit lower but 40 is a good starting point. You also want to have a good handle on spelling and the English language. Having to constantly look up words will slow your speed down.
Details of General Transcription:
Transcription is generally a very flexible work from home job. Some jobs will pay on an hourly basis while others will offer you pay based on number of minutes transcribed. Both can be good options depending on your ability. The other nice thing about transcription jobs is that many companies are will to hire beginners to learn the trade.
Pay Rate for General Transcription:
Many general transcribers with some experience are able to make between $10 and $20 per hour. However you probably won’t make this starting out. In fact, starting out you will struggle to make over minimum wage. Because of this its usually better to start with a beginner company and get some practice before you decide to do this full time.
It should also be noted that many transcription services pay per hour transcribed instead of an hourly rate. This means the faster you can transcribe the higher your pay rate. Most transcribers take 4-6 times as long to transcribe as the material they are transcribing, so 1 audio hour could take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Make sure you factor this in when looking for jobs. You will generally want to earn $50+ per audio hour transcribed.
First thing you will need is a decent computer and internet connection. Transcription isn’t going to require anything top of the line but you also don’t want to wait an hour to load a video. You will also want to invest in a foot pedal. Foot pedals allow you to control the audio file letting you rewind, fast forward, start and stop. This simple device will save you countless hours and is a requirement for any good transcriptionist.
I would also suggest a good pair of headphones or speakers. The audio files you transcribe can sometimes be of mediocre quality and you don’t want your speakers making it more difficult.
Beginning Transcription Work:
To get started you want to get some practice transcribing while making a little bit of income. The are a variety of sites that take beginners.
Amazon Mturk: This is probably the easiest to get accepted to. There are very few requirements and it is all freelance work. However you will be lucky if you earn $1-2 an hour transcribing there when you are starting out. Once you become more skilled you definately can earn $10+ an hour on Mturk.
Scribie and Quicktate are also good companies for beginners. They are easier to get accepted into and they will be good practice.
There is also a variety of e-books out there to help you even more. Spending a couple dollars up front to learn from someone else’s wisdom can be a great idea. I would suggest a either of these as good options
The first book talks a lot about freelance transcription on Mturk.
The second talks about working from home for a variety of other companies.