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General Transcription – How do I start?

Ready to enter the field of general transcription? Here are something you need to know.

What kind of work does a general transcriptionist do?

General transcription work could include but not limited to: Interviews, business meetings, conference calls, focus groups, press briefings, radio shows, video shows, panel discussions, seminars, lectures and speech etc.

Who would use general transcription services?

Many businesses and professions use general transcription services, such as: government, insurance companies, financial professionals, teachers, students, marketing researchers, professors and other general businesses and corporations.

How do I get started if I have no experience?

Fortunately there are some transcription companies will hire workers with no experience. However, you still need to have the required skills I mentioned in my last post (Transcription Job overview), and practice and be prepared to take transcription tests which could include transcribing a short audio, grammar and punctuation tests.

Please remember how fast you do a certain transcription job depends on the quality of the audio, how familiar you are with the audio material subject, your listening skill, your grammar, proofreading and editing skills. Another point is since audio sujects vary greatly, if you have a basic knowledge of a wide varity of topics, you probably will find the job much easier.

Following are some resource you can use to test and improve your skills:

  • Sample audio test: here is a a good audio sample test: http://www.freelancetranscriber.com/transcriptiontest.pdf
  • Practice audio: do a google search for “free podcasts”. Podcasts are usually crystal clear audio and short, and you will have a variety of topics to choose from.
  • Grammar: grammarbook.com (the blue book of grammar)
  • Typing: although typing skills is not essential, a few companies do require minimum speed. Following are some free typing test and practice sites:


There is no formal training for general transcription, it is just a matter of getting your foot in the door and doing it regularly to build your speed. There are companies that willing to hire with no experience, such as TigerFish and AccuTran. TigerFish even have their test posted on their website. You can also check your local transcription companies and craigslist looking for temporary assignments that will give you the experience to apply for other companies later.

Here is a few good companies that offer general transcription jobs:

Accutran – accutranglobal.com
Cambridge Transcription ctran.com
Domenichelli Business Services moderndayscribe.com
Escriptionist – escriptionist.com
Morningside Partners, LLC – fdch.com
Mountain West Processing mountainwestprocessing.com
Net Transcripts – nettranscripts.com
Rapidtext rapidtext.com
SpeakWrite speak-write.com
Tigerfish tigerfish.com
The Transcription Company transcripts.net
Ubiqus ubiqus.com

7 thoughts on “General Transcription – How do I start?”

  1. A very explanatory blog of what transcription jobs are and how is a transcriptionist going to work on it. It doesn’t require any experience if you have the caliber in yourself. Experienced people has this caliber advantage from before. 😉

  2. This is great post. nicely discuused about essentials of a transcriptionist. The same applicable for audio transcription and medical transcription.

  3. Nice post. Anyone good at computer and English language can start his/her career in general transcription. For this, no formal training is required, but one should have patience and a good ear for listening.Anyone good in typing can start general transcription business.

  4. Hello, I have more than three years of experience in interview and financial transcription. I do like to start home based transcription and i do have a team of editors and fast writers. Please assist.

  5. I am a good in typing. I wish to do on-line typing job from home. my typing speed is (60 words/min. so let me now what is the procedure to become a member of your company. so that I can earn from home.

    awating for the favourable reply

    H.S. Yagnik


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