User Reviewed

How to Set Up Your Home Transcription Office

The Internet has brought about many technological advances that have revolutionized home transcription. Years ago, it used to be quite expensive to get set up to transcribe at home since we had to buy tape playback machines and expensive word processing and printing equipment. These days, if you already have a home computer it's possible to get started transcribing digital audio files from home very inexpensively.


  1. Image titled Cope with Having a Bad Day at Work Step 5
    Get a computer. Many people already have a computer at home. If not, you do not need a top-of-the-line expensive computer. You can get started with a basic computer that will cost you less than $800. As long as you can run Windows and some word processing software and have 256 MB of RAM you should be fine!
  2. Image titled Set Up Your Home Transcription Office Step 2
    Get an Internet connection. If you will be transcribing digital audio files that you must download over the Internet then a high speed connection is a must! Cable and DSL internet packages are getting cheaper every day, and it is well worth the money to get connected if you are serious about a home transcription career.
  3. Image titled Set Up Your Home Transcription Office Step 3
    Install word processing software. Many computers come with either WordPerfect or Microsoft Office. You need to have and be able to use one or the other of these word processing softwares, and it will make you a more flexible and attractive transcriptionist if you have and can use both.
  4. Image titled Set Up Your Home Transcription Office Step 4
    Install audio playback software.There are several programs available to start, stop, and rewind audio with a foot pedal, and some provide free versions to get started!
  5. Image titled Set Up Your Home Transcription Office Step 5
    Get a digital foot pedal. This is the crucial piece of hardware for digital transcribing and you will probably have to order it online. It will cost about $80. If you are a serious transcriptionist you will have another pedal as back up because if the one you're using breaks you do not want to be out of commission while you're waiting for the next one to come in the mail! The makers of Express Scribe also sell foot pedal hardware ( ). I use the VEC USB pedal, which is the best product if you have a USB port. If you have a very old computer that does not have USB ports you may have to get a pedal that connects with a serial connector.
  6. Image titled Set Up Your Home Transcription Office Step 6
    Get headphones. Get the very best headphones you can afford. Believe me, you will make the money back in increased efficiency. (If you will be using a notebook computer to play digital audio files you will also need a good set of external speakers to "boost" the audio volume and quality -- plug your headphones into the external speakers.)
  7. Image titled Argue Your Value As a Professional Writer Step 5
    Get transcription Workflow software. Even if you start out small, workflow software can save you time, keep you organised and prevent human error, for example it can do all your invoicing automatically, and help you to receive huge sound files. The two main providers are Winscribe ( and ScribeManager ( In addition, it may be useful for you to install text expander software to quickly type common words and phrases, such as FastFox (
  8. Image titled Prepare for a Technical Writing Interview Step 3
    Start looking for work. One of the largest companies that accepts applications from freelance transcribers is Way With Words. You can also try (, which is a free site listing medical, legal and general transcription jobs. You can also list your resume there for free. Don't forget to check in with small business in your area. A lot of them are always interested in having transcribers and editors join their remote freelance transcription team. It's a win win situation.


  • Some optional extras include a printer, fax machine, good long distance plan, and analog tape playback machines.
    • Don't forget to start an online portfolio so you can easily submit samples of your work when needed.

Article Info

Categories: Working from Home