Career Development

What Does a Transcriptionist Do?

Find out what a transcriptionist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a transcriptionist.

Transcriptionists are responsible for converting audio or video recordings into written form. They commonly work with medical, legal, and business professionals who need to accurately preserve their communications in a permanent format.

Transcriptionists must have excellent listening skills as well as strong writing ability. They must be able to listen to an audio recording and write down everything that is said in a clear and organized fashion. This requires attention to detail and the ability to multitask effectively.

Transcriptionist Job Duties

Transcriptionists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Creating a digital copy of an audio recording by using computer software such as Dictation or Dragon Dictate
  • Transcribing written text, usually from audio recordings of interviews or meetings, though some positions may transcribe video recordings instead
  • Adding metadata to audio files, including titles, speaker names, dates, locations, and other information needed to index the file
  • Editing transcripts to ensure they are accurate, complete, and easy to read
  • Proofreading transcripts to check for spelling and grammatical errors
  • Reviewing transcripts for legal purposes, such as identifying confidential information that needs to be redacted
  • Following special formatting requirements, such as using brackets to indicate a speaker change or using superscript numbers to indicate a tape number on a transcript of an audio recording
  • Reviewing transcripts for content to ensure that they accurately reflect what was said during the recording
  • Providing transcripts to clients in a variety of formats, such as hardcopy or digital files that can be uploaded to websites or emailed to customers

Transcriptionist Salary & Outlook

Transcriptionist salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for. They may also earn additional income through freelance work.

  • Median Annual Salary: $32,492 ($15.62/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $60,000 ($28.85/hour)

The employment of transcriptionists is expected to decline over the next decade.

As technology continues to improve, more types of audio and video files can be digitized and automated, reducing the need for transcriptionists to convert them into written text. In addition, the use of speech recognition software will allow fewer transcriptionists to handle a larger workload.

Transcriptionist Job Requirements

To become a transcriptionist, one typically needs to have the following:

Education: Most employers require transcriptionists to have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some employers prefer candidates who have completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field such as English, journalism or communications. Courses in these fields often include courses in writing, grammar, research and public speaking.

Training & Experience: Most transcriptionists learn the specific software and techniques they need for their role while on the job. Training typically lasts between one and three months.

Certifications & Licenses: While transcriptionists do not need a certification to work, many seek one to improve their skills or address a specific career need.

Transcriptionist Skills

Transcriptionists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Typing: Transcriptionists need to type quickly and accurately to transcribe audio and video files. They should be able to type at least 60 words per minute to transcribe an audio file in a timely manner. They should also be able to type accurately to avoid errors in the transcript.

Listening: Transcriptionists must be able to listen to audio recordings and type what they hear. This requires focus and attention to detail. Transcriptionists should also be able to listen to a speaker on the phone and type what they say.

Research: Transcriptionists need to be able to research information to ensure they transcribe it correctly. This can include researching medical terminology, company names, addresses and other information. Researching can help you learn more about the subject matter you’re transcribing and can help you improve your skills.

Editing: Transcriptionists often need to edit their work to ensure it’s accurate. They may also need to edit audio files to make them easier to read. This can include correcting punctuation, correcting spelling and making sure the transcript is in the correct order.

Communication: Communication is the ability to convey information to others in a clear and understandable manner. Transcriptionists communicate with clients, coworkers and other professionals on a daily basis. They must be able to convey information in a way that is easy to understand. This is especially important when transcribing medical records, legal documents and other complex documents.

Transcriptionist Work Environment

Transcriptionists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, and transcription services. They usually work full time, and some may work evenings or weekends to complete rush assignments. They spend most of their time sitting at a desk, transcribing medical reports from audio recordings made by physicians and other health care providers. The work can be repetitive and sometimes stressful, but transcriptionists can usually control their work pace and take breaks when needed. With experience, transcriptionists can usually qualify for higher-paying positions and may have the opportunity to work from home.

Transcriptionist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how transcriptionists work. Transcriptionists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Remote Work

The growth of remote work is a trend that is quickly changing the way we think about work. As more and more people are able to work from home, the need for transcriptionists will decrease.

However, this does not mean that transcriptionists are without value. In fact, they can still be very valuable to businesses by providing accurate transcripts of meetings and interviews. This allows employees to focus on other tasks while still getting the information they need.

Transcriptionist Skills Will Be in High Demand

As technology advances, the need for transcribers will continue to grow. This is because many companies are moving towards using digital records as opposed to paper ones.

This means that transcriptionists will be in high demand, as they are the professionals who can convert these records into readable text. By developing strong skills in this area, transcriptionists can ensure that they are prepared for the future of business.

More Use of AI in Transcription

As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more popular, it is likely that it will be used more often in the field of transcription.

This is because AI can be used to automate some of the more tedious parts of the job, such as spelling corrections and formatting. This would allow transcriptionists to focus on more important tasks, such as listening to audio recordings and writing down what was said.

How to Become a Transcriptionist

A transcriptionist career can be a great way to get started in the field of communications. It’s a job that offers flexibility, so you can work from home or anywhere with internet access. You can also choose to work part-time or full-time as needed.

The best way to start your transcriptionist career is by getting certified. There are several organizations that offer certification programs, including the National Court Reporter Association (NCRA), the American Transcriptionists Association (ATA), and the International Association of Medical Transcriptionists (IAMT).

Once you have your certification, it’s important to build your portfolio of skills. This will help you find more jobs and increase your earning potential. You can do this by taking online courses, attending workshops and conferences, and networking with other professionals in the industry.

Related: How to Write a Transcriptionist Resume

Advancement Prospects

Some transcriptionists may eventually move into management positions, training and supervising other transcriptionists. Others may become self-employed, working as independent contractors. Some may find work as court reporters or captioners.

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