When it comes to real-time transcription, a communication realtime translator (CART) is the only one that is actually covered and mandated by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) to assist those individuals that are hearing impaired. If you are looking for an exciting career that can be done remotely or onsite that also helps those with a disability, becoming a communication access real-time (CART) transcriptionist may be a good fit for you.
Just like translators from one language to another, this particular transcriptionist is designed to give real-time conversation translation of speech into an arrangement that is easily discernible by those who are hearing impaired. Often used in educational and legal settings, the transcription/translation will be displayed on a computer screen or some other format with a less than 2 second interim between typing and display.
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The number one skill that is required is a typing speed of 225WPM with accuracy of 99%. Because there is no time for review, proofreading or editing coupled with the fact that it needs to be as close to instantaneous as possible, these requirements are pretty hard fast.
Along with the typing, you will need an excellent understanding of English grammar including spelling, rules and punctuation. You are going to be the translator between a hearing and a hearing impaired person, so you have to be a step above the other types of transcriptionists.
Beyond the high school education, many states and companies require certification in transcription and court reporting transcription because much of the equipment for CART transcriptionists and court reporters are the same. Depending on the program, it may be based on credit hours or hours. Getting your Associates of Applied Sciences degree (AAS) in court reporting is also very helpful.
These courses will include English grammar skills, various types of equipment that can be used, formatting of various types of programs such as Word, typing and keyboarding skills including how to increase speed, and, in many programs, various types of terminology such as medical or legal.
Along with the educational requirements, some of the training will depend on the state in which you reside. For many states, a certification and state licensure process which will include a competency examination, is required to be able to work in many educational settings. For freelancers, this is not true, but would be good to have. Along with that, a membership to an official transcription organization such as the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and keeping up-to-date with the continuing education and certification programs will also make you a better candidate than many others.
Basing the salary like court reporters, the Bureau of Labor & Statistics shows the median salary to be $48,160 per year or $23.15 per hour as of 2012, the last year they have statistics for. Salary.com shows the average annual salary being $52.831.
Another thing you will want to consider is where you can find CART jobs. While there are a wide variety of places, we will discuss the larger freelance and job posting sites that you can find online.
TranscriptionJobsHQ.com: We have partnered with top companies to offer you a very easy-to-use job search engine that pulls all listings from Simply Hired, Monster, and Indeed to show you just about all of the legal transcription jobs that you can find on the internet. If you can’t find your job here feel free to keep searching elsewhere, but we are confident that our database has most of them.
Upwork.com: The transcription jobs on this website range from large to small. Once you create a profile, start out by charging a reasonable rate by audio/video minute and then build up your profile to eventually have a higher cost and repeated clients. It takes some time, but this can be a great way to get multiple clients coming back over and over again.
Rev.com: This is a great company to join if you'd like consistent transcription work provided to you. The problem with joining this company is that you'll be paid less per audio minute because they have to make money too, but they are very consistent with the work that they get.
Simplyhired.com: This is a job listing site that covers a wide range of industries. You can search by keywords such as transcription or corporate transcription. You will want to have a general cover letter that you can edit for each job and a relevant resume as you apply directly to the company itself. These jobs can be at home or in an office.
Careerbuilder.com: One of the largest of the job listing sites, careerbuilder.com has been around for well over 15 years. Again, you will want to upload a relevant resume and have a general cover letter that you can review and edit for specific companies. Since companies can also search the database for relevant workers, it is good to have a copy there as well.
Again, using key words, you will search the database for relevant jobs and apply per the specifics listed in the job details.
Monster.com: Another large job listing site, you can upload resumes, use the resume builder, develop cover letters, search the database for position and review job details. You will apply to each job per the instructions listed in the job details.