Transcription can simply be defined as the process by which speech is translated into written form. Transcription has evolved over the years into a specialised area with the rapid expansion and growth of businesses worldwide. Professionals in this field are known as transcriptionists and they are in high demand these days. It should come as no surprise that transcriptionists are expected to do much more than merely type out the contents of an audio file. Transcriptionists are expected to do quite a bit of research and understand terminologies which may not be clearly audible in the recording.
This blog post will cover:
- Different types of transcription jobs
- Qualifications necessary to become a transcriptionist
- Effects of globalization on transcription jobs
Different types of transcription jobs
The job of a transcriptionist has evolved over the years and this has resulted in transcriptionists specializing in their niche fields. The most common branches of transcription are the general transcription, legal transcription and medical transcription.
- General transcription: Most modern businesses use the service of transcriptionists. This can be for transcribing coaching sessions, recorded seminars, one to one interviews and a variety of other business needs. It has become a common practice among busy authors to record their narration in a dictaphone and then hire a qualified transcriptionist to transcribe the recording in a specific format they want. Any person with good English and typing skills can undertake these types of business transcription jobs.
- Legal transcription: Legal transcription, unlike general business transcription, requires the transcriptionist to have some understanding of the legal terminologies used in a court of law. The job involves carefully listening to recorded court proceedings involving attorneys and other legal professionals and transcribing the recordings into documents in a specific format as instructed by the client.
- Medical transcription: This is a much more specialized area of transcription where the transcriptionist is expected to know medical terminologies in a variety of general and specialised medical fields. Accuracy is of utmost importance in medical transcription and all transcriptionists have to undergo training and certification before they start a career in this field. The transcriptionist should always bear in mind that he is dealing with confidential patient records which are very personal and all efforts should be to protect data confidentiality.
Qualifications to become a transcriptionist
The most important attraction of transcription jobs is that a person aspiring to be transcriptionist need not have any special qualification. This is true in the case of general business transcription. If you have good typewriting skill (above 70 wpm) and great attention to detail you can aspire to be a good transcriptionist.
A good understanding of the English language with special emphasis on grammar is a must for any transcriptionist to excel in this field. Good computer skills will be an advantage as the transcriptionist will be working on specialised transcription software like Express Scribe.
Legal transcribers work for law firms, banks and big corporate and they deal with contracts, pleadings agreements and a variety of legal issues. Hence, they are supposed to have a good understanding of these issues.
There are a number of Certificate Courses and Diplomas in legal transcription that is available for aspiring legal transcriptionists. The duration of these courses could vary from six months to two years. Very often legal transcription firms offer on the job training for transcriptionists.
Medical transcription is one field of transcription where a formal qualification is a must. This is due to the sensitive nature of the job involved. Many firms provide online training programs for medical transcriptionists that equip them to work in an HIPAA compliant environment which ensures that patient data are safe and secure.
The training programs are also structured in such a way that the transcribers become proficient in a variety of medical terminologies and jargons that are frequently used in the transcripts. In medical transcription, there is no room for errors since the transcripts form the basis for the settlement of claims in a variety of issues.
Hence most transcription firms have three levels of transcriptionists namely, the medical transcriptions, the editor and the quality controller. The transcript produced by the transcriptionist is reviewed by the editor and the quality controller before it is delivered to the client. The training programs in these firms are also structured accordingly.
Effects of globalization on transcription jobs
Globalisation has affected almost every aspect of our lives and this is true in the case of transcription also. With the rapid expansion of computers and high-speed connectivity, outsourcing of most jobs has become a reality.
This has opened up challenges and opportunities in the field of transcription. Clients have a great choice of talented transcriptionists to choose from and hard working transcriptionists can get a chance to apply for exciting transcription vacancies anywhere in the world. This has also opened great opportunities for working from home.
Transcription jobs are one of the easiest ways for making money. If you have the strong will to work hard with sincerity and dedication this is one field you can definitely explore. The most important advantage is that you do not have to invest huge amounts of money to start a career in this field.