How to Become a Home Transcriptionist Without Training

Transcription is a process by which audio or video recorded notes are transformed into written manuscripts. A transcriptionist uses foot pedals, headphones, an electronic transcriber and types down the recordings into a word processor.


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    No licensing is required to be a successful transcriptionist; however, transcription companies prefer hiring professionals who are certified in transcription, especially when it comes to medical or legal transcription. This does not mean that you can’t be a transcriptionist without training. There have been many transcriptionists who have learned the tricks of the trade 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.
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    One field of transcription, which requires relatively little training is general transcription. General transcription deals with those audio notes which do not require knowledge of a specialized vocabulary. There is no end to general transcription and it can be practically related to anything. It includes Phone answering machines messages, interviews, conferences, and dictations.
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    It is possible to be a transcriptionist without training, but there are few basic requirements and skills which one must possess when considering being a transcriptionist. You would need to be tech savvy enough to use a computer and diction software. 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.
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    Typing skills are a necessity when it comes to transcription. The faster you type, the more business can you individually handle. As a transcriptionist you would be a using a pair of foot pedals which would be connected to your computer. The foot pedal allows the recording to slow down, speed up and playback, freeing your hands for typing. To build typing speed all you need to know is the right technique, you need to learn how to position your hands correctly on the keyboard, and then practice.
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    Good language skills are another major requirement for transcription. Say if you intend to transcribe in English; having a good grasp over the language, its grammar, and spellings will surely play its part in making you a successful transcriptionist. Many transcription work may involve some basic editing, and knowing your language well enough will only make your work easier.


  • If you are not a certified transcriptionist then transcription companies might hesitate in assigning you live work straight away. They may wish to test your skills, and have you do a demo tape first. A few transcription companies have designed their own evaluation test by which they judge the caliber of the transcriptionist before assigning them live work.
  • If you intend to deal in a particular transcription, you would need to buy and keep a few reference books and maybe dictionaries. It’s impossible to remember all the technical terms and even the best can’t to do that.
  • If you wish to take working from home transcription as a serious career then it would be a good idea to get a dedicated phone line for your profession. This would let marginally reduce any chances of communication errors or delay between you and your clients.


  • Transcription companies prefer dealing with those transcriptionists who are good at understanding different accents. If your mother tongue is English then you may make an excellent transcriptionist in English, however if Spanish and you have learned English later, you may have a problem when identifying some obscure accents.

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Categories: Working from Home