What is Transcription?- How to Start a Transcription Business in 2021?

Can you pay attention for lengthy periods? Do you have great attention detail? Are you fast at writing and typing? Do you have good grammar skills?

Then we are here with a great business idea. You can be a Transcriptionist and make money out of the above-said capabilities that you possess.

A Transcriptionist is a person who listens to recorded or live audio and converts them into written format. This job called Transcription.

We are here with a complete guide of what transcription is and how to make a full-time living from this business. Interested? Let’s get started then!


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What is Transcription?

Transcription is a process in which speech or audio is converted into a written document. This is the basic kind of transcription done and is called General Transcription. The person who does the job of transcription is called a Transcriptionist. 

While doing general transcription you are required to transcript personal conversations, court hearings, business meetings, or audio files, etc.,


Types of Transcription

The most heard and used type of transcription is General Transcription. But there are two more types known as Medical Transcription and Realtime Transcription. Let’s discuss them in detail now.


1. General Transcription

The conversion of any general speech or audio file into a written document is called General Transcription. It is usually done for the audio files of various industries such as business, media, academia, and law.

There are certain specializations in General transcription. To do this you need certain experience in the related specialization. The specializations are listed below.

  • Data Entry
  • Legal transcription
  • Financial/Corporate Transcription
  • Offline captioning


2. Medical Transcription

To perform Medical Transcription you need to have specialized training and certification. You have to undergo post-secondary training i.e., a 1- year certificate program or a 2- year associate’s degree.

In medical transcription, all you need to do is transcribe a physician or medical practitioner’s dictation. This transcription of the dictation is added to the patient’s medical record. 

Though it will take more training, medical transcription is a possible career path for LPNs(Licensed Practical Nurses) to work at home.


3. Realtime Transcription

Realtime Transcription means listening to live audio and typing. This requires very high typing speed, accuracy, and specialized stenography equipment. Realtime captioner, Court reporter, and CART(Communication Acess Realtime Transcription) provider are some of the real-time transcription jobs.

Now you know what is a transcription and the different types of it. I hope you got a clear idea. Now let’s see what you need to become a transcriptionist.


What Are The Requirements To Become A Transcriptionist?

Transcription is for everyone but one must have to be familiar with computers and typing. As a transcriptionist, your earnings will be based on your typing speed. Let’s see the other skills and equipment you required to become a transcriptionist.


Skills Required

To be a transcriptionist or to do transcription, first of all, you require good listening skills. That means you need a lot of patience. Along with this, you need to have great typing skills, command over spellings, punctuation, and grammar. 

Some of the other skills or qualities you need are as follows.

  • Confidentiality
  • Accuracy
  • Ability to work quickly.
  • Ability to research.
  • High typing speed.
  • Computer Knowledge.

Equipment Required

A certain set of things are necessary to do the job smoothly. They are as follows…

Internet Connectivity: A computer with a high-speed and reliable internet connection for sending and receiving audio files.

Foot Pedal: You need to invest in a foot pedal that helps you operate the audio files with your feet and help you concentrate on typing without disturbing your hands.

Headset: Use a Headset to focus on the audio without being distracted from other sounds around.

Dictionary/Thesaurus: Dictionary or Thesaurus to help you with spellings.

Manuals that are industry-specific: Such manuals help you to understand different terminology when you are working with an industry that requires high knowledge.

Text expander: It helps you insert the most repeated phrases by just clicking a key or using code.

File converting software:  It helps you convert your files into the format requested by your client.

Read further to know the role of transcription.


Where Do We User Transcription?

Generally, we use transcription in different fields to keep a record of things. Some of the most commonly used areas are listed below.

  • Most Podcasts use transcription to make their programs as articles or newsletters.
  • Journalists transcribe their audios and videos for future reference.
  • Businesses that hold Videos and Webcasts use transcription to convert their presentations into articles and post them on their websites.
  • Similar to the above point businesses that hold Web conferences and teleseminars also use transcription.
  • Legal bodies also maintain a record of audios.
  • In the Insurance Industry, the speech of insurance adjusters while examining accident cases is recorded and transcribed to determine the claims.
  • Course creators and Lecturers transcribe their tutorial videos into different languages to help non-English students.
  • Marketing Agencies and Radio Talk shows transcribe their audios and videos into different languages to reach a large audience.
  • Transcription is also used in the medical field for a completely different purpose. 

These are some of the many uses of transcription. Now let us discuss how necessary transcription has become.


Demand for Transcription and Job Opportunities

Most of us have an idea about Transcription but we don’t know that it is very important in day to day life. Transcription plays an important role in the success of every industry and government agencies. It helps to maintain accurate records, comply with regulations, boost sales, etc., in respective industries.

Now with advancements in technology, the need for transcription is increasing. The technologies such as speech recognition and text-to-speech are creating a great impact on the future of transcription as well as the future of transcription jobs.

According to the research done by an international marketing firm Marketsandmarkets the speech recognition industry is going to triple or more by the end of 2022. This shows that the future of transcription is very bright.

We have seen about future prospects, now let us see what career prospects do a transcriptionist aspirer has in this field.


Career Opportunities and Growth

There are several career opportunities for you as a transcriptionist. You may select to work for general, legal, or medical transcriptions.

Proper training is required to become a professional transcriptionist. Along with this, if you are certified within your state as a transcriber then it would help you go long way. It will help you gain credibility and a solid reputation.

As a beginner, you can search for jobs online on websites such as TCI Job BoardIt usually encourages newcomers.

Coming to salary, the salary of a transcriptionist may vary from company to company. On average, it can be around $10-$20 hourly. Here hourly doesn’t mean the number of working hours, it is the time length of the audio file that you transcribe. There are also some companies that pay per page. The low per page pay rate may be anything less than $1.

Though most companies require you to work onsite, there are companies that provide you different ways of doing your transcription job. You can do it as a side job in your extra time, work full-time from home.

If you have become a good transcriptionist then, you may be promoted to the position of Transcription reviewer.

As already said under the above side heading, your future and growth as a transcriber are in safe hands due to rapidly advancing technologies.


How To Start A Transcription Business or Job From Home?

As transcripts are an exact record of the spoken word, it requires a lot of attention and the ability to write and type a transcript. There are certain steps to be followed to write a transcript efficiently. They are discussed below:


1. Block Out Time to Transcribe

Transcription requires a lot of time. To transcribe one-hour long audio or speech you need to work for 5-6 hours on an average. In the case of multiple voice presence in the audio, transcribing may take much longer. The only way to do it fast is by improving your typing speed.

2. Listen to The Recording

Before starting to transcribe, listen to the audio completely to understand the conversation. Also, compare the notes you have taken earlier with this audio. 

3. Change The Speed of The Audio

Pause, forward, slow the speed, etc., to listen clearly and understand each word of the conversation. This can help you avoid doing mistakes while transcribing. Use a foot pedal for doing this so that you don’t disturb your hands from typing.

4. Format Your Transcript

Remember that your transcript should not be like a long piece of an essay. Make different formattings such as adding header and footer, mentioning the date, time, and page numbers, etc. Change the paragraph whenever there a new voice starts speaking or when something is being quoted.  Assign nicknames or short forms to identify different persons.

5. Transcribe Every Single Word

You should not add or remove any words from the audio, neither should you correct any grammar mistakes. You should just transcribe everything as it is. In the case of grammatical errors, just mention [sic] just beside the mistake. Similarly, at places where the voice is inaudible mention the time of recording and write [inaudible].

6. Identifying Non-Verbal Communication

Conversations are a combination of both verbal and nonverbal communication. Sometimes the people, laugh or sigh while speaking. In such cases just mention the action done. For example, if a person is laughing while saying something just mention [laughing] after the word which they laughed.

Remember that you should not add any emotion in such places, just simply mention the action.

7. Mention Pauses 

It is also important to mention the pauses that occur in a conversation. Whenever there are pauses indicate them consistently by using the symbol […]  or just by writing [pause]. 

8. Proofread the Transcript

Use a dictionary or thesaurus to spell check and punctuate your transcript. However, remember that you should not make any grammatical corrections. The language of the speaker must be reflected as it is in the transcript.

9. Listen to The Recording And Read Your Transcript Simultaneously

This one last step will help you compare if everything you have written is similar to the recording or not. It can help you make changes if you made any mistakes through the process.


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Companies That Provide Online Transcription Jobs

Apart from real-time transcription most of the transcription jobs are usually work from home types. So it is a great chance for you to make money by sitting in the comfort of your room and escape the hustle of all the onsite jobs.

There are many companies that offer Transcription jobs both for beginners and experienced ones. A list of a few is given below:


1. Daily Transcription

This company offers services in the fields of corporate, entertainment, and legal transcription in the US and Canada. Top transcriptionists at Daily Transcription claim to make $250-$950 weekly. Glassdoor reviews indicate a pay rate of $10-$11 hourly.


2. AccuTran Global

AccuTran Global is a US-based company that hires both experienced candidates and newbies. The pay is per word starting from a rate of  $0.05 for beginners up to $0.066 for senior transcribers. 


3. Crowdsurf

This company offers transcription and captioning HITs on the work market. To work in Crowdsurf, you need to be fluent in English and create a work market account. According to Glassdoor reviews, the average pay is $6-$7 hourly.


4. GoTranscript

Transcription services from this company are available worldwide. GoTranscript does ask its employees for any experience. Their website claims that most of their transcribers earn $150 per month.


5. National Capitol Contracting

This company is suitable for beginners. However, they usually prefer experienced candidates. National Capitol Contracting pays $40 per hour.


6. AI Media

 AI Media hires freelance transcribers to do captioning for movies, Tv shows, YouTube videos, etc. However, the pay rates here are low.



This company has occasional openings for real-time remote captioners. You require experience to be hired at VITAC.


8. Caption Max

They also hire captioners occasionally that too to work from home. To work in CaptionMax you need to be located in and around Minneapolis, MN.


9. Ubiqus

Different types of transcription including medical transcription are required at Ubiqus. Experience requirements are not mentioned.


10. TerraNova

They are currently hiring medical transcribers. To work at TerraNova you require one year of experience or a certification in medical transcription.


11. Verilogue

They hire freelance medical transcribers and translators. Verilogue requires candidates with experience and fluency in a foreign language.


12. StenTel

It is a US-based company. To get placed at StenTel you require experience or you must have a certification from an AHDI approved program.


13. Softscript

This is a US-based company. It hires transcription for different types of transcriptions. Softscript wants candidates with three to five years of experience in transcription. It hires people from the US only. It provides attractive benefits packages.


14. Key Transcriptions

They offer several remote medical transcription jobs. Key Transcription hires candidates with at least 3 years of experience.


15. Acusis

This company also provides medical transcribing jobs. It welcomes both full-time and part-time transcribers. They require to have at least 3 years of experience in transcription. At Acusis they provide competitive compensation.


16. Written Communications

They hire candidates who live in the US and Canada. Written Communications prefers to select candidates who have at least three years of experience.


17. Voxtab

Voxtab hires freelance transcribers from different parts of the world including the US. The candidates are required to have a minimum of experience in transcribing.


18. Transcribe.com

They are currently hiring general transcribers based in the US. Experienced candidates are mostly preferred. Transcribe.com pays its employees daily with PayPal.


19. Transcription Center

This company mostly hires transcribers based in the US and UK. They are looking for candidates with experience and fluency in English. Transcription Center specializes in focus groups and interviews for university and market research.


20. Take1

Take1 is a UK based company that provides transcription services in the field of entertainment. They prefer to hire experienced candidates.


These are some of the companies that provide jobs for transcribers. To know more refer to job boards such as Fiverr, Craigslist.org, CreativeCow.net.


Benefits and Challenges Of Transcription Field

Most of the transcribing jobs are done from home except real-time transcription. So let us have a look at the benefits and challenges that you may have transcribing from home.


  • You’ll have the freedom to set your working hours.
  • You can take breaks when required.
  • Accepting and rejecting the projects is completely under your control without any pressure.
  • No need to hustle every day to attend the office.


  • As a beginner, you’ll have a lot of stress to land as a transcriber.
  • You may not have projects during certain times of a year for certain types of transcriptions.
  • You will be responsible for your taxes.
  • Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper is necessary.
  • There will be no one to assist you in case of any confusion.

Now you have a complete idea about Transcription.



We hope you got a clear picture of the transcription. So, if you are an aspiring transcriber then imbibe all the skills that you need to excel in this field. If you are already an experienced transcriptionist, then you may have found here many more companies to make money with your experience.


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1 thought on “What is Transcription?- How to Start a Transcription Business in 2021?”

  1. A personal passion project of mine to write profiles about female powerlifting athletes at my local gym to promote the sport and encourage others to try it out. As such, I often ask them out for coffee interviews to get writing material. Using a sound recorder all this time has been serviceable but sometimes could get muddles and difficult to decipher. Hiring a realtime transcriptionist seems like a good idea because of their expertise in typing speed and accuracy.


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