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What Makes A Good Transcriptionist? 9 Hints

how to be a good transcriptionist

Being a professional transcriptionist requires a hardcore commitment to master a skill. However, it really pays off. But before you have to take training. Although it is an in-demand job, it isn't easy to get one. You must be an expert in typing, a sharp listener, accurate, and dedicated to your work. Most importantly, you must be speedy as there is no place for slow movers in the field of transcription.

The common misunderstanding among beginners or people looking for a transcription job is that "it is a typing job." They think All you need to type what you hear. Yes, it is. But what matters more is the quality of work. It is unachievable without a skill set, background, and support team.

Below are "9" hints (if you have them) that would make you a professional transcriptionist. If you are wondering how to become a transcriptionist, mastering any 3 given skills may be the solution to get a family feeding transcription job.


Hint #1: You type 60+ words per minute.

Having a great typing speed is an essential skill of a good transcriptionist. The overall consensus is that a typing speed of 70 words per minute is ideal to start, but I think that can discourage some highly skilled people from considering work as a transcriptionist.

In my experience, people who can type 60+ words per minute can quickly increase their speed with practice, so even if your typing speed is low, don't be discouraged. The more you do it, the quicker you'll become. The quicker you become, the higher you are earning potential! How's that for motivation?

Not sure what your typing speed is? Head on over to to find out. If you think you're below average, this is an excellent way to practice and build up your speed, too! Also, practice daily at wpm test online to improve your typing speed. Here you can test you current words per minute speed and practice to master keyboarding skills.


Hint #2: You're a word nerd and tend to find little mistakes annoying.

Transcriptionists are required to turn audio files into written text, so having exceptional English grammar and punctuation skills is super important. If you know the difference between your and you're; there, their, and they're; to and too; and other commonly misused words, you are already ahead of the game.


transcriber jobs earning


If you're wanting to pursue transcription, but feel a bit rusty in this area, not to worry! Any transcription training program worth its salt should have an extensive section on English grammar and punctuation relevant to transcription (And if it doesn't, turn around and run away! It's not worth it!).

At Transcribe Anywhere, word use and punctuation are essential parts of our training -- cornerstones, even. Punctuation is what makes the transcript easily readable, so it makes sense it's critical for transcript quality.


Hint #3: You LOVE to research random things on the Internet.

Yes, transcription is a valuable skill that can earn you money! Transcriptionists often have to research names, places, terms, and lots of other information to confirm what they've transcribed is accurate. I have learned SO many things just from my research as a transcriptionist.

If you're a closet Google fanatic like I am, you'll find this part of the job fun and engaging.


Hint #4: You're an introvert with an extrovert's drive to earn money (from home, of course!).

Just because you're an introvert doesn't mean you don't want to make some good cash, right?

Transcription is seriously the dream job for any introvert looking to make a solid income from home -- without having to mingle with a ton of people. You might make a great transcriptionist if you're motivated and ready to work hard to create a reliable income stream from home -- no social awkwardness required!


Hint #5: You're great at meeting deadlines.

This is really important in the transcription world. The quickest way to lose your client is to miss a deadline. Period. It's just poor form. If you're someone who enjoys the challenge of working under deadlines, this is the niche for you.


Hint #6: Friends and family have deemed you their English guru and often ask you to proofread and/or edit their work.




If you've become the go-to person for all things proofreading in your circle of influence, then chances are you've got what it takes. Having a keen eye for detail is an attribute all successful transcriptionists possess. If you already have that skill set in your pocket, why not learn to make some money using it?


Hint #7: You can work at your computer for long periods of time -- and actually enjoy it!

Transcription is also a fantastic way for techies to earn a living from home. Computer lovers usually find the transition to transcription a natural one because they spend a lot of their recreational time on the computer already.


Hint #8: You enjoy (and prefer!) working alone.

The work of a transcriptionist is a solo act, and for those of us that enjoy the solitude, it's a very enjoyable way to make a living. Some social butterflies prefer to work in groups, and if you're someone who enjoys a more collaborative work environment, transcription might not be for you. But if you like having time to yourself to focus on your work, this is the ideal niche!

Hint #9: You find a lot of personal satisfaction in making people happy.


love to help people


As with any business, the #1 goal of the transcriptionist is to make their clients happy. There is a deep sense of satisfaction whenever you return a transcript that's been done on time and done well.

As a transcriptionist, I help business owners grow their business, streamline their communications, optimize their marketing strategies, and SO much more. It really brings me a lot of satisfaction knowing that I am helping them the way I do. Also, keep in mind that happy clients are repeat clients, and repeat clients are referring clients -- win-win!

Your Turn

So what do you think? Do you think you have what it takes to become a great transcriptionist? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts (or questions).


What makes a good transcriptionist?

A good transcriptionist is a keen listener and punctilious to small details that smart and pure verbatim transcriptions require to be transferred in print. For instance, the speaker said “like” five times, the audio transcriber should type exactly that – “… like – like – like – like – like…” – in the transcript.


What is a good wpm for a transcriptionist?

According to high estimates, the average typing speed for a professional typist transcribing audio is between 50-80 words per minute (WPM), with two-finger typists measuring 27 WPM. The true average is closer to 40 WPM.


Can you make good money being a transcriptionist?

Transcription is a well-paying career with many opportunities. A transcriptionist's salary is generally around $15, while an advanced transcriptionist earns around $25 to $30 per hour. With this rate, you can easily earn $1,500 every month if you work 2.5 hours per day for 24 days.


How long should it take to transcribe 1 hour of audio?

approximately four hours
When it comes to individual transcribers, the average time to transcribe one hour of audio is approximately four hours. But, some transcribers quote four hours as the minimum since it can easily reach 10 hours. Transcription time by audio hour varies so much mostly because each audio file is different.


Do you need a certificate to be a transcriptionist?

Freelance transcriptionists do not need to be certified; employers often only require you to pass a typing speed test. But certification may make you more competitive in the job market.


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