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Why Work at Home as a Transcriptionist?

Aug 17, 2007
When many people think about doing transcription at home, medical transcription is the first to come to mind. It's a great job but requires serious training beforehand. However, there are other possibilities for people who want to do transcription.

General transcription jobs often require some training, as you need to understand formatting and practice transcribing, which is far more challenging than just typing what you hear, even when you are typing verbatim.

The challenge with transcription jobs is that most companies will want experience. It's a tough job and if you want to work at home, that means you aren't directly supervised. It makes it tough for a company to trust someone who hasn't done the job before.

Working as a transcriptionist has some advantages. Many jobs have highly flexible hours, as in most cases you will be transcribing recorded. The amount of background noise you tolerate is a personal preference, although most transcriptionists prefer to keep the noise to a minimum so that their work is heard more clearly.

All transcription jobs require tremendous accuracy. To be sufficiently accurate you need to develop an ear for transcription, which quite simply takes practice. It's amazing how much better and faster you can work once you have done this.

Obviously a transcriptionist needs great typing skills. It is not uncommon to see jobs require a minimum typing speed of 80 wpm. Of course, this is a skill you can develop on your own and there are plenty of online tests you can take to show your skills.

To build your basic skills, most community colleges have classes you can take to learn basic transcription. You can also check for online courses if you think you will study well that way. The advantage to online courses is that they most resemble your hoped for working conditions, as you will lack the face to face interaction present in a classroom.

Your equipment needs are fairly minimal. You probably already have a computer. Most companies prefer high speed internet access as in many cases you will be downloading the sound files and uploading your finished product.

You will want a foot pedal to control the dictation. Some companies will provide this while others will expect you to provide your own. The best selection for these is on eBay; just make sure you buy from a reputable seller.

You will also probably enjoy noise cancelling headphones... something to make the sounds around you a little less distracting. These are generally very easy to find. You don't need top of the line headphones, but something to cut out at least some background noise can be very helpful. But any headphones that will work with your computer will do the job if you don't care about blocking background noise.

General transcription is an excellent work at home job. With pay generally being based on production, you can be limited by the availability of work but it also means you can improve your pay by improving the speed of your work. This can be highly enjoyable yet sometimes frustrating work.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.homewiththekids.com/blog/ about life working at home. Visit her site to learn more about general transcription work at home jobs .
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