What Does A Transcriptionist Do?

Due to technological development, thousands of remote works have emerged as the times require. Transcription is among them. What does a transcriptionist do, and how to become a transcriptionist? This post provides all the information your need to know about the profession of a transcription specialist. Whether you are hiring a professional transcriptionist for your transcription task or searching for the transcription skills required to become a qualified transcriptionist, this article is perfect for you.

What is a Transcriptionist?

Before we dive into what a transcriber really is, we need to first answer the question: what is a transcription job? Transcription refers to the process of converting the audio in the audiovisual files to written text.

What does a transcriber do during this process? You say?

A transcriber, or by another name, a transcriptionist, is the person who “translates” the audio content into written text. And the more appropriate verb for this process is “transcribe” rather than “translate”. It sounds easy on the surface. Right? So easy that many people think they can manage transcription tasks right off the bat. Is it true? Not really!

Reasons to Use Professional Transcriptionist

Despite the low entry barrier of the transcription profession, transcriptionist is still a demanding job that requires certain skills and work ethics. Skills aside, many people are unwilling to transcribe the audio themselves and prefer to hire a transcription specialist. Why? Not that they don’t have the equipment and skills required to get the job done. It’s because the transcription process is very time-consuming.

Broadly speaking, it takes an average of 3 to 4 hours to transcribe one hour’s worth of audio. If the speaker speaks very fast with a strong accent or the audio content is highly technical, the overall time needed to complete the transcription job will also increase. Transcription requirements often take place in medical and legal businesses, in which the professionals can spend the same amount of time creating more value with their specialty than with plain audio transcription.

Become a Transcriptionist - The Two Options

Two options are open if you intend to become a transcriptionist. You can either apply for a transcription role in court offices, trial rooms, law enforcement offices, healthcare facilities, insurance offices, broadcast centers, etc. or start as a freelance transcriber. Working as an internal transcriptionist provides a higher and more stable income but you can’t benefit from the remote working experience of a freelance transcriptionist. The choice is up to you.

How to Become a Transcriptionist?

So now you have a general idea of what a transcription job looks like and also find it attractive, how to become a transcriber?

Although the process of transcription sounds simple, involving merely listening and typing work. It is actually more complicated than that. In reality, only those who are insanely patient and committed to the transcription profession can produce quality work. There hasn’t been any standard/official requirement for transcription roles. But most companies with transcription job openings require the applicants to have such skills as excellent reading & active listening skills, good written & verbal communication, fast typing, and self-direction & motivation. 

If the audio content is highly technical and related to a specialist industry such as legal transcription, the employers may also require relevant transcription experience. Once you’ve decided on making transcription a career, focusing on a specialist industry can help increase your hourly rate, taking your annual income to a higher level.

Transcription Skills Required

Good listening skills help transcriptionists precisely capture the spoken message on the spot or in a recording. Their thorough understanding of the verbal content also boosts their typing speed, leading to a faster output and higher efficiency. Transcription work is usually charged per hour. Saving time means the costs are more under control for the companies, making their transcription service more competitive in the market. Transcriptionists with excellent reading skills can follow instructions from the clients better and also proofread the transcribed text themselves, enhancing the accuracy of the transcription work.

A good transcriptionist should also be a good communicator, verbally and in writing. Just like any other profession, a transcriber needs to understand guidelines and properly coordinate with different roles internally and externally to keep the project going. So good communication skills matter to a professional transcriptionist.

A skilled transcriber can usually type very fast. People speak at different speeds – some talk very fast in one audio, and others speak very slowly in another. So it’s critical for transcriptionists to skillfully adapt their typing speed to meet the requirement of each audio. A fast typer can handle transcription of slow-speed audio, but a slow typer can’t manage the other way around. As mentioned above, fast typing skills can also increase the hourly rate of a transcription specialist. It really is a win-win situation for the employer and the transcriber.

Transcription work is tedious and requires great attention to detail. Besides the insane patience, transcriptionists must have self-direction skills and motivation to meet tight deadlines and give their best effort. They must be masters in managing time and prioritizing tasks.

Apart from these required transcription skills, the applicants for the transcription job are required to have technical abilities and access to operate various transcription tools.

Need a professional transcriptionist service?

Entrust your transcription service with an experienced language service provider with expertise in language transcription like Wordspath. We work with thousands of skilled transcription specialists worldwide to deliver highly transcripts that matters to your projects.
Further discuss your transcription needs using the form on this page.

To Wrap Up

Now that you’ve learned the technical know-how to be a transcriptionist, you can decide whether or not to use/become a transcriptionist yourself. 

What does a transcriptionist do? Put simply, a transcriptionist turns the spoken content into a written text script on a digital device or in shorthand. You can imagine this role as a machine in which the input is an audio file, and the output is in text format.

Wordspath can help

Wordspath provides many cost-effective language localization services and multimedia solutions such as transcription, subtitling, and voiceover services, with guaranteed accuracy and at scale. 

We take pride in our quality-driven workflow that combines the excellent work of our linguists, desktop publishers, project managers, customer service, and technical team. Their endless support allows Wordspath to provide first-rate language solutions in 150+ languages for thousands of customers who need to connect with the world.

Wordspath also offers machine translation post-editing services translating the content with our proprietary MT engine and having our in-house/contracted linguists review,  edit, polish, and proofread the results.

Meanwhile, we are highly experienced in delivering tailor-made localization-related solutions such as desktop publishing, transcription, subtitling, and voiceover. Our ability to quickly handle a wide range of content types between nearly all language combinations sets us apart from our competitors. Should you need to consult on your best-fit language solution, you can contact us through live chat or email to info@wordspath.com. Or simply request a free quote.

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