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How to Become a General Transcriptionist

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Unlike medical and legal transcription, general transcription often does not require any extra schooling. Once you gather the necessary materials, you can opt to start your own general transcription business or look to an outside job. Many companies require transcription for educational lectures, business meetings and documenting important notes. Accuracy is one of the most important skills you will want to hone.

Purchase a foot pedal. Foot pedals are not absolutely necessary, but they make transcribing much easier by allowing you to pause, play and maneuver through sound files while keeping your hands free for typing.

Purchase a noise-canceling headset. A good quality headset makes transcribing much easier. Bose is a popular, but pricier choice. Check your local electronics store for a starter headset if you are not ready to spend a lot of money.

Download transcription software. Express Scribe is a popular choice that is a free download. You can set your foot pedal up in Express Scribe and it will play many sound file types.

Practice transcribing. You can create your own voice files to practice off of. You could also practice off of other files such as audio books or podcasts. The more you practice, the better your "ear" will become. Practice with some ESL dictators, if possible, as a lot of companies like hearing you have experience with foreign dictators.

Search for jobs that include general transcription duties. Many office jobs require general transcription as a job duty. If you want to do nothing but transcribe, search job sites for general transcription specifically. General transcription can be done from home as well, so check freelance websites, such as UpWork. Work-at-home forums are another great source for tips and feedback about companies.


Avoid job offers that require you to pay money. Companies should be paying you to work for them.