There is a way to make some extra money that doesn’t require a year long course that will cost you thousands of dollars where you learn all kinds of legal and medical terms that would be used in transcription work.
In fact, there are a lot of non-legal and non-medical transcription jobs available at this very moment but before you jump into that pool you need to know a few things about it before starting. First off, transcription services are required by much more than doctors and lawyers.
There are journalists who need interviews transcribed for feature articles and researchers who are interviewing subjects for specific studies. There are also market research companies using transcription services from discussion panels as well as podcast producers who need transcriptions to send to subscribers. The list is quite extensive when it comes to how transcription services are utilized.
As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities available if you choose to start a transcription business. Before we get you all set up, let’s go over some details. Transcriptions services make an ideal sideline for seniors who are either retired or semi-retired as it is a task that can be completed at home, at your own pace. Providing you have a computer and some specific software for downloading audio files, you could be already set to start.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind before starting the search for work in the transcription business. First, you need to be a fast typist. Along with speed, you need to be accurate and lucky for all of us there are spelling correction programs on computers so even I can look pretty professional on a sloppy typing day.
Aside from typing skills you need to consider the fact that you will be sitting for long periods of time. If your posture is not perfect, you may need to look at that before starting a transcription business. Hint – the book “Pain-Free At Your PC” really helped me!
Another thing to keep in mind is that since there will be a lot of sitting it is probably a good idea to factor in regular stretching, walking around the house and moving around breaks during a typical typing job.
In order to find out if you are really a good fit for this kind of work there are some simple tests you can take. There is a couple of them located online and you can find them by typing ‘transcription typing test’ in your search window.
Another way to test your skills is to record an hour of conversation. Use the television or talk radio to make it easy and then try to transcribe the conversations from your recording. Talk radio will be a challenge, but if you choose to record that, stick with it and don’t give up as it’s just a test.
A fair ratio is considered 3:1 which means it should take about three minutes to transcribe one minute of dialogue. If that is your pace keep in mind that when you apply that formula to longer work you get a better picture of the time commitment you may be looking at. For example, with the 3:1 ratio it will take three hours to transcribe a one hour tape.
As for what you can earn doing this as a part-time service the industry standard is around $1.50 US per audio minute which translates to $15.00 for a ten minute audio recording and if it takes you an hour to type that ten minute file you’ll make $15.00. There are other rates depending on who you are hired by and what the transcription recording is for but you can also find work online at a variety of freelance websites.
One of the better ones is Proz.com where you can post a profile and indicate you are available for transcription work. You can also use other forms of social media to get the word out including LinkedIn and that’s where you can also subscribe to groups related to transcription work. It may produce a lead or maybe an overworked transcriber will feed you some of their extra work.
As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities available to you if you choose to start a transcription business that does not include legal or medical transcription. Starting your own transcription service can provide a good income, flexibility, and the opportunity to work with some amazing clients.