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Working from Home in General Transcription

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 21, 2008 · 67 comments

I mentioned recently that I was an accidental stay-at-home mom and found myself in the situation of trying to find a flexible, child-friendly work-at-home position.

Through much trial and error, I finally settled on general transcription as a means for providing supplemental income for our family. I've had several people email me about how they could find out more information about becoming a transcriptionist, so I wanted to share a little bit about the industry with you all.

General transcription is a wonderful opportunity for moms to look into.  Whereas many of the traditional home-based business opportunities require significant cash to start, you can get started doing general transcription for a very minimal investment.

In the three years that I've been doing this, I've been able to grow my income beyond what I ever thought was possible for an at-home position. The downturn in the economy directly impacted my family long before recent developments, and transcription allowed me to support my family on my income alone through my husband's intermittent layoffs over the past two years.  While it’s a lot of hard work and definitely not a “get rich quick scheme,” I feel so blessed to have this wonderful source of income that provides me with the opportunity to stay at home with my five children.

Being a work-at-home mom is difficult at times; however, the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks for me.  Staying home to raise my children is only one of a number of benefits that transcription can afford.

Others include:

  • The hours and workload are flexible.
  • There is good – if not great – earnings potential.
  • I'm always learning something new.
  • It is a growing field that is not showing signs of slowing down.

While the benefits are many, success in this career will require hard work and perseverance on your part. The most common misconception that a lot of people have about transcription is that the only skill you need is the ability to type. The truth is that there’s a lot more than that involved. In order to have a successful career as a transcriptionist, you need to be able to listen, think and type at the same time. Additionally, one of the most important skills needed is to be able to actually take the spoken word and transcribe it in a way that fits grammar rules for written language so that it actually makes sense to the person reading it.

Questions to ask yourself if you’re considering transcription:

  • Do you enjoy reading, and do you keep up with current events?
  • Do you have a good grasp of basic grammar and spelling, or if not, are you willing to work hard to hone these skills?
  • Are you detail-oriented, and do you have the ability to follow instructions well?
  • Are you a self-starter, and do you have the drive to work independently with minimal supervision?
  • Do you take pride in your sense of professionalism and meeting your commitments in full?

If you’re just starting to consider transcription as a career, this may seem overwhelming to you, and that is not my intention.  It’s important to know that while you can make a decent living doing this work, it is not “easy money.” It takes a lot of hard work to develop the skills needed to succeed, and you must be committed to developing those skills or you will most likely give up before you reach the point where you are happy with your earnings.

Is transcription right for you? I can’t determine that for you. I can only tell you that after much research, this is the career that works best for me. But the benefits of this career are plentiful, and with dedication and hard work, there’s a good chance it’s the opportunity you’re looking for.

Getting started is fairly easy. Check out these action steps and/or consider purchasing our General Transcription 101: Your Complete Guide to Getting Started ebook package!

This article was adapted from a prior article written by the founders of Transcription Talk, Mandi Ehman, Tara Kuczykowski, and Shaina Olmanson.

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Debra Bozeth March 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Below is a short cover letter that I usually send to potential clients seeking freelance or self-employed transcribers.

DEBRA BOZETH
37E Cambridge Court
Lakewood, New Jersey 08701
(732) 948-7961 (Cell)
(732) 276-6584 (Home)
Email: ldebma@aol.com
debma2003@yahoo.com

Re: Transcription

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Debra Bozeth. Recently I was laid off due to lack of work at this New York law firm. A good bulk of my responsibilities consists of transcribing legal documents, correspondence, medical records, billing, etc. Aside from my legal assistant/paralegal experience and legal transcription of deposition transcriptions, etc., I am also a freelance transcriber with dictation/transcribing equipment located at my home. I have assisted companies in various types of transcribing assignments, including in particular, medical transcribing for a New York company that farms out tapes to be transcribed regarding, i.e., Lupus, Tourette Syndrome, medication in connection with migraine headaches, and various one-on-one seminars consisting of doctor/patient information.

Located at my home office I am equipped with standard, micro cassette and 4-channel transcribing devices. I also have a USB foot pedal that works in conjunction with Start/Stop, Express Scribe, The Record Player and can access Cds equipped with Court Smart software for audio files to be downloaded and transcribed.

In the event you have a desire to contact me regarding the above, and you have requirement for a transcriber, please feel free to telephone me at (732) 948-7961 (cell) or, in the alternative, you can e-mail me at any at the e-mail addresses located in this letterhead. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Debra Bozeth

Reply

2 Debra Bozeth March 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Below is a short cover letter that I usually send to potential clients seeking freelance or self-employed transcribers.

DEBRA BOZETH
37E Cambridge Court
Lakewood, New Jersey 08701
(732) 948-7961 (Cell)
(732) 276-6584 (Home)
Email: ldebma@aol.com
debma2003@yahoo.com

Re: Transcription

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Debra Bozeth. Recently I was laid off due to lack of work at this New York law firm. A good bulk of my responsibilities consists of transcribing legal documents, correspondence, medical records, billing, etc. Aside from my legal assistant/paralegal experience and legal transcription of deposition transcriptions, etc., I am also a freelance transcriber with dictation/transcribing equipment located at my home. I have assisted companies in various types of transcribing assignments, including in particular, medical transcribing for a New York company that farms out tapes to be transcribed regarding, i.e., Lupus, Tourette Syndrome, medication in connection with migraine headaches, and various one-on-one seminars consisting of doctor/patient information.

Located at my home office I am equipped with standard, micro cassette and 4-channel transcribing devices. I also have a USB foot pedal that works in conjunction with Start/Stop, Express Scribe, The Record Player and can access Cds equipped with Court Smart software for audio files to be downloaded and transcribed.

In the event you have a desire to contact me regarding the above, and you have requirement for a transcriber, please feel free to telephone me at (732) 948-7961 (cell) or, in the alternative, you can e-mail me at any at the e-mail addresses located in this letterhead. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Debra Bozeth

Reply

3 Kristina April 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I have been a transcriptionist for over 4 years now. My advice to someone is DO NOT do it. They are outsourcing like crazy and in a few years transcription will be gone. Most places now do not pay enough.

Reply

4 Kristina April 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I have been a transcriptionist for over 4 years now. My advice to someone is DO NOT do it. They are outsourcing like crazy and in a few years transcription will be gone. Most places now do not pay enough.

Reply

5 becky September 11, 2010 at 4:52 pm

How flexible is general transcription? I've learned that medical transcription doesn't provide enough flexibility. What are the time requirements?

Reply

6 Tara Kuczykowski September 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I'd say it's pretty flexible. Most of the files I received from companies had a 48-72 hours turnaround time, so I was able to work on them whenever I was able to as long as I had them submitted within the time specified.

Reply

7 becky September 11, 2010 at 12:52 pm

How flexible is general transcription? I've learned that medical transcription doesn't provide enough flexibility. What are the time requirements?

Reply

8 Tara Kuczykowski September 12, 2010 at 11:26 am

I'd say it's pretty flexible. Most of the files I received from companies had a 48-72 hours turnaround time, so I was able to work on them whenever I was able to as long as I had them submitted within the time specified.

Reply

9 Toni Haddox February 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Does anyone know where to start looking for an entry-level in- home medical or general transcription job?

Reply

10 raj gupta February 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

Yes pl contact
regards
09999909923

Reply

11 raj gupta February 19, 2012 at 11:10 am

Kindly tell how to start?
Regards
raj gupta
09999909923
New Delhi

Reply

12 jltownsend March 1, 2012 at 4:19 am

This is for raj gupta
Do you know of any companies that hire entry level in-home work for general or medical transcription. Hopefully you can share the info with me. I would appreciate it, Thank you.

Reply

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Great explanation! Can you please explain me something! According to you, as a general transcrption How much I can earn?

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