In today’s economy, many people want to learn transcription so they can get work to do from home either on a part-time basis to supplement a full-time income, or as a primary source of income on a stay-at-home basis. Whatever your situation or reason for wanting to learn how to do general transcription, learning how to transcribe from audio files is pretty easy. And getting proficient with it only takes time and practice.
This article will talk about the field of general transcription because that’s the fastest type of transcription to get started in. You don’t have to take any special classes and there are no certification programs for a general transcriptionist. You can get work from just about any business or academic field out there, except medical or legal where courses and certifications are most likely required.
And once you learn transcription, the door opens to a nice way to make some extra money or even launch your own general transcription business and be your own boss!
So how do you learn transcription? You do need to know your way around a computer, how to download files and use a word processing program. After that, you just need to follow these five easy steps and you’ll be on your way:
- Download Express Scribe at nch.com.au. Express Scribe is the most widely used software program today for turning your computer into a digital transcriber unit.
- Download Audacity at audacity.sourceforge.net. Audacity is one of the easiest and most often used audio recording and editing software available today. You may find webcasts and podcasts that you will have to record yourself online in order to use them to practice.
- Get yourself a good noise-canceling headset and computer foot pedal. These are necessary tools if you want better speed and accuracy.
- Download or record audio files to practice with. To find webcasts and podcasts to practice with, simply do a Google search for Business Webcasts or Business Podcasts and locate some directories where you can download the audio files or record them. You want to make sure you pick a wide range of subjects to practice with and a wide range of formats. General transcription work comes from all over – individuals, students, companies, other small business owners; the field is pretty much wide open and so your practice files should be too.
- Practice, practice, practice. This is all it takes to learn transcription. Start timing yourself to see how long it takes you to transcribe a 15 minute audio file, then a 30 minute audio file. The industry standard for transcription is four hours of typing to one hour of audio. Getting to the industry standard takes a lot of practice and you can only get faster the more you do it.