How to get transcription jobs and work from anywhere

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Sometimes, on the writer’s Facebook groups where I’m a member, there are sometimes requests for transcription jobs. I’m a really fast typer, sometimes up to 120 wpm with a high level of accuracy. I did one quick transcription job that took me an hour and I was paid $75! Not bad. If you also like typing and listening and have a strong attention to detail, transcribing could be a career to consider.

There are a few different types of transcriptionists – general, legal and medical.

I wanted to chat with someone who is a full-time transcriptionist to see what this career field is really like. The amazing thing about transcribing is that you can really do it anywhere, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection.

Katherine Ferranti took the course General Transcription: Theory and Practice to get the proper training to work as a transcriptionist and find freelance transcription jobs. 

If you’re interested in a job transcribing, you can sign up for a FREE transcription mini-course here.

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Why did you decide to take Transcribe Anywhere?

Katherine makes good money through transcription jobs. She's a full time transcriptionist
Katherine works full time as a transcriptionist and loves the freedom and flexibility of her work, which can be done anywhere in the world

Katherine: I found the Transcribe Anywhere course through another self-study course called Proofread Anywhere. Some shoulder dysfunction had forced me to scale back my hours as a massage therapist, so I decided to use the extra hours in my work week to develop some skills; skills that didn’t require me to go back to my previous corporate job.

I knew that I was looking for something I could do part-time to supplement my massage practice. But thinking long-term, I knew that I wanted to be able to work for myself from home and from wherever we decided to live in the future.

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I had been a technical writer for 15 years so had some experience with grammar. Because of my technical background both in technical writing and massage therapy, legal transcription really appealed to me.

I did a lot of research into Transcribe Anywhere, including studying the course outline and emailing with the course instructor Janet several times to get all of my (very specific) questions answered. She was honest and forthcoming, and I was encouraged by what a fit transcription was for my skills and interests.

What type of person would Transcribe Anywhere be good for?

Katherine: The Transcribe Anywhere course is perfect for self-starters who want to be challenged and engaged by their work and want the flexibility to work from home and/or run their own business.

I think a big mistake people make with a course like this is thinking it’s going to be easy. Thinking that the course itself will be easy, or it’s easy to run a home-based transcription business with flexible hours, or after launching a website they’ll immediately start making tons of money. NONE of that is true!

But what IS true is that if you commit to developing good grammar skills (or brushing up on the skills you already have, like I had to do), building the technical skills required to be a proficient transcriptionist (which are provided in the course along with real-world practice files), and want the flexibility to work from home and make your own schedule, it’s worth it!

Are transcription jobs usually remote?

Katherine: Yes! You can take this job anywhere. It’s not tied to a city or a region or a country. You can work with clients in different time zones or even different countries!

Or you can work only nights and weekends or only 3 mornings per week.

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There is a lot of flexibility with transcription jobs, which is wonderful. But people often misinterpret that as being able to work 5 minutes here or there and make money or being able to work in the car during the kid’s soccer practice or not having to meet deadlines.

Transcription jobs require quiet, large chunks of uninterrupted time (a 15-minute audio file can take a good transcriptionist 60 minutes to transcribe, proofread, finalize and deliver), and all jobs will have a deliverable date (measured in hours or days, not weeks).

So while the job IS most certainly flexible, I think it’s important to realize what exactly that means.

How did learning to be a transcriptionist help with your business goals?

Katherine: The course helped me with my business goals by giving me an opportunity to learn the practical skills I need to maintain a business doing transcription. I was a decent typist before, had a good foundation in grammar, and I learned a lot of basic marketing stuff when I launched my private massage therapy practice.

But I never would have developed my practical skills to the place that I did without the Transcribe Anywhere course. The real-world practice exercises really help to focus your efforts on developing the correct techniques so you can be efficient in the work.

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One big lesson I learned from running a massage therapy practice is that transcription jobs are so much more satisfying when you get to work with your ideal type of client (for me that meant pre- and postnatal massage and clients with chronic orthopedic issues).

You need solid skills and to be able to deliver results in order to retain those clients. Transcribe Anywhere definitely helped me develop my practical skills so that I can do exactly the kind of transcription work I want to do for the types of clients I want to work with.

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How much do people make with transcription jobs?

Katherine: It’s impossible to provide an average rate because how much you make depends on ALL of the following factors: your proficiency at transcription and grammar, length of the audio, quality of the audio, number of speakers, technicality of the material, how much research is required, turnaround time, general vs. legal transcription, etc.

The rate you make with transcription jobs will also vary depending on whether you work through an agency or fully on your own. And the rate paid by agencies varies widely, too. The rule of thumb is that the more proficient you are, the more money you can make.

If you don’t have great skills, you can work, but you’ll probably work for an agency that doesn’t pay a great rate. Whereas, if you have excellent skills, good references, and want to put in the marketing effort to find clients, you can demand a much higher rate.

It’s fair to say that you can make a solid part-time income right out of the course if you have above-average skills and about 20 hours per week to dedicate to work.

(Want to learn more about transcription? Check out this FREE mini-course.

What do you love most about being a transcriptionist?

Katherine: Transcription is engaging! If you are very, very lucky and/or choose your clients well, the subject matter alone can be interesting.

I have two general transcription clients and learn a LOT by transcribing their podcasts, which means I get paid to learn cool stuff!

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Also, I do legal transcription, which is enjoyable. Legal proceedings can be both entertaining and infuriating, and transcripts require a level of detail in their formatting that keeps me challenged and focused. It’s never the same day twice, and I am always learning something new.

In addition, I use a wide variety of skills throughout the day, which keeps things fresh. There are the technical skills required for transcription (speed and accuracy in typing as well as a thorough working knowledge of grammar), research skills (both for grammar as well as topical knowledge like spelling medications and pathologies correctly), interpersonal skills required to communicate with clients, and marketing skills used in building and running my business. It’s not a boring job!

Where do you find remote transcription jobs?

I find transcription jobs in a couple of different ways. My general transcription clients I found on my own. Meaning, I did some work as practice, submitted it to them, and told them my availability if they wanted to hire me. In all fairness, this was a group I had previous, non-transcription related dealings with, so it wasn’t a total cold submission.
The second transcription client came as a referral from the first. Referrals and word of mouth are everything, which is why it’s important to be professional, responsive, and do great work.
I currently do all of my legal transcription work through an agency. That’s a bit easier in the sense that I just log in and work as much (or as little) as I want to that day.
I also have a website and potential clients find me that way. I don’t do much direct marketing at the moment because I am so busy (I do this work full time) with my current set of clients and agency work.

How easy or hard is it to find freelance transcription jobs?

The ease of finding work may vary between general and legal transcription. There are transcription companies out there who hire anyone and everyone, no experiences needed, but the pay is terrible, and you won’t improve your skills. (Consider yourself warned.)
My experience has shown there is a ton of legal work, especially if you work through a legitimate agency (do research, ask them questions about their processes, interview with several to find the best fit for you, etc.). Honestly, I could work 24 hours a day (if I wanted to) and always have work.
(Want to learn more about legal transcription? Check this out: Legal Transcription Free mini course)
I have done such consistently good work for the agency I work for that they invited me to be a proofreader, which gives me even MORE work. Finding jobs on your own takes more effort and time – marketing is a full-time job and special set of skills in and of itself – but the jobs are out there.
Podcasts, web videos, radio programs, lecturers, presenters, lawyers, court reporters. There is a lot of opportunity in the transcription field. Networking is key – you never know when you’ll stumble upon someone who could really benefit from your services.

You can check out Katherine’s business website: Ferranti Transcription.

And if you’re curious about what it takes to become a transcriptionist, go here: Transcribe Anywhere.

How to work remotely FREE email course!

Ditch your desk job and work from anywhere with my free 5-day course. You'll learn about the top remote work jobs, online skills you need, and what employers are looking for.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. (*You'll also be subscribed to The Wayward Home's email list, all about van life, RVing, sailing and living smaller. Welcome aboard!) Powered by ConvertKit

3 thoughts on “How to get transcription jobs and work from anywhere”

  1. I have worked as a transcriptionist for about 20 years, 7 1-2 years in office settings (oncology and ortho). The rest of my time has been at home, either remotely, picking up tapes or dictaphone. I just retired last December and am finding out that my limited income is not allowing me to have much free spending money to do anything or buy anything. I would like to be able to work 16, no more than 24 hours a week, if possible, I would like to be free on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but would consider any shift. I have typed for our local hospital for almost 3 years, done internal medicine/family practice, some OB/GYN, cardiology, etc. It is something I enjoy very much, anything except editing. I worked one job that was mostly editing and I would like to avoid that if at all possible. I have my own computer and foot pedal and could purchase ear phones or whatever else deemed necessary by an employer. I can furnish employer references, as well as personal. Please let me know of any jobs that you think I might be interested in. Thank you.

    Anna Jackson


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