Many companies are searching for individuals who can help with audio file transcription and transcribe their interviews. Plus, with podcasts gaining in popularity, there are countless brands that now also upload an audio transcription of their weekly podcasts to their websites. This means that nowadays transcribers are rather sought after!
Therefore, if you are searching for a way to earn money while working remotely, you might want to consider becoming a transcriptionist. You can always complete it on a part-time basis as a type of side project to figure out whether or not this will indeed be a viable career option for you.
In a nutshell, a transcriptionist converts audio files, such as an interview or podcast, into written format. There are three main steps involved: recording the actual interview, podcast, etc., transcribing the audio and then formatting the written product, in other words, the transcript.
Needless to say, you need to boast excellent listening and typing skills! As you will have to sit in front of the computer for long hours and a lot of the work can be completed remotely, patience and self-motivation will also come in handy.
At times, you will also have to determine which information is inconsequential which means that analytical skills are important as well. For example, when working with an interview for qualitative research it is often best to exclude repetitions.
On the other hand, if the interview will appear in, for instance, a magazine, you will want to ensure that you have preserved the voice of the speakers correctly so that your audio transcription will communicate the same degree of emotion. Although it might sound counterintuitive, this will mean that you might have to include some errors that the speakers have made to preserve authenticity.
Depending on the industry in which you work, you might also need to be familiar with specific terminology. For instance, a medical transcriptionist will also need to understand medical terms and be familiar with medical codes.
In the United States of America, a transcriptionist can expect to earn an average hourly rate of
about $16 per hour. According to Glassdoor the national average transcriptionist salary in the US is about $25 000 per year.
Now that you have a better understanding of what does a transcriptionist does and can earn on average in the US, you will want to turn your focus on how to become a transcriptionist. The most suitable way to start your career as a transcriptionist will probably be to complete work for a transcription company that provides an online transcription service.
Although you do not need any formal training, it will be worthwhile to complete a short grammar course and improve your typing skills as this will help you to work more efficiently.
Before taking on your first big project, it is also a good idea to transcribe a couple of short audio files as a trial run. After all, practice makes perfect and accuracy is key!
Luckily there is transcription software and tools that can help (and many of these are, in fact, free). In many instances, you will find that half of the work can be completed by automatic transcription, while the rest of the job will call for your professional judgment and analytical skills.
For starters, if you are also tasked with the responsibility of actually recording the interview, you will be glad to know that you no longer need to use a clunky dictaphone. Nowadays there are a couple of apps that can make high-quality recordings. For telephonic interviews, you can, for example, use TapeACallPro, Call Recorder or Google Voice. For interviews via Skype, you can opt for Call Recorder for Skype, Piezo, Vysor, DU Recorder or Quick Voice.
At the end of the day, one of the most important things is to ensure that your recording is clearly audible without too much background noise as this will make your task at hand just that much easier. So, if you know that you will have to record in a noisy setting, consider using an app like Rev Voice Recorder.
Once you have the audio recording, the actual work of turning the audio file into text format can start. The best way to transcribe interviews is definitely with the help of automation. For this, you will need to use transcription software. For example, the Audext app employs artificial intelligence (AI) to complete the work in a matter of minutes automatically.
After the audio transcription has been created, you are ready to start working with the written text. If you opt to work manually, you will have to switch between programs – an audio player and a text editor like Notepad.
Though, by using an app like Audext, these two programs are essentially combined into a single program which makes the work much easier and faster. Audext, for instance, also allows you to adjust the speed of the playback so that you can format the text at a pace that you feel comfortable with (this is especially great if you are only just starting out).
All things considered, one of the major tips when working with transcription tools is to make sure that it does not undermine the quality. As mentioned earlier, accuracy is absolutely crucial for this job!
Completing audio file transcription can offer you great flexibility. One of the major pros is that in most instances it is a remote job that you can either complete on a full-time or part-time basis. In addition to the flexibility that it offers, you can also expect to earn an average of about $16 per hour and that is without having to make any expensive upfront investments.
That being said, it does require long hours in front of the computer, but at least you will learn about a wide range of topics if you opt to work as a general transcriptionist. Therefore, if you value learning new things on a daily basis, working as a transcriber will guarantee job satisfaction.
Who knows, as transcription offers many opportunities, you might even be able to start your very own business that offers an online transcription service one day?
Katin runs her own podcast show, and interested in best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.