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Online work sounds like a dream job, right?

When I started, I had so many options — ranging from content writing to work-at-home transcriptionist jobs. But I also knew I was lazy, and so I had to choose a field that required little to no experience. 

Transcription sounded like the perfect starting point, until I realized that specialization was the only way up. The only issue with that? Most of the fields were already flooded with transcriptionists. 

This meant that I had three options: quit, stick to the popular transcription jobs, or look for little-known home transcription work. 

I chose to specialize in a bid to differentiate myself from thousands of other transcriptionists in the market. 

Specialization opens up opportunities that a general transcriber won’t get — you can choose to specialize in common niches like legal transcription, or gain a skill that only a few have. The choice is yours. 

Here are a few transcription jobs that you can specialize in:

Financial Transcription 

Today, meetings are held almost anywhere thanks to platforms such as Zoom and Skype. Typically, companies hand out financial transcripts of these meetings to members and investors, which are used to update them on the company’s financial health. 

These financial transcripts can include:

  • Interim results
  • Market research
  • Earnings call
  • Business surveys
  • Annual meetings
  • Analysts reports
  • Sales reports    

How to Become a Financial Transcriptionist 

This position has the same requirements as any other transcription job — you need a good internet connection, since you’re working from home, and a computer. 

Pay typically depends on the number of words typed per minute; thus, you’ll need to work on your typing speed. 

job transcription
Image from pexels.com by cottonbro

Start by improving on the core skills required by all transcription jobs — accuracy, typing speed, and listening. Then, research into financial jargon as you’ll encounter it frequently. 

Keep in mind that there is no room for error in financial transcription. Even the slightest mistake could affect share price, as seen in 1995 when an accountant omitted a minus sign. 

The accountant transcribed financial records for the Magellan Fund, and turned a $1.3 billion net loss into a net capital gain.  

Therefore, allocate time to proofread your work to ensure that it has no mistakes. 

In addition to accuracy, you’ll need to abide by set guidelines, some of which require confidentiality and NDAs. You can also enroll in accounting courses to help you understand what you’re working on. 

How Much Do Financial Transcriptionists Make?

There is no set number, as it varies depending on the project and the company requesting the services. 

Some companies are willing to pay more for top-tier transcription services, and others outsource to transcription companies. 

As a work-from-home freelancer, pay starts at about $3 to $7 per page. You can also agree to hourly pay, which ranges from $3–$15. Alternatively, you can choose to be paid by the audio hour, which starts at $25 and increases depending on the audio clarity. 

Work on your turnaround time — urgent work-from-home jobs typically pay more. 

This means that you’re likely to earn more working on a 3hr task than a 1-day job, as companies spend more to get their audio files transcribed in a shorter time. 

Sermon Transcriptionist

Churches are recording and streaming their sermons to reach a wider audience, and some are transcribing sermons to share on their social media pages and websites. This allows congregants to share sermons and teachings with their social media friends. 

How to Become a Sermon Transcriptionist

You’ll need a computer, high-speed internet, excellent grammar, and fast typing speed (60 wpm). Biblical knowledge is needed, but it doesn’t mean that you need to study theology — all you need to know is enough to rectify mistakes in the audio files.

job transcription
Image from unsplash.com by Rod Long

The recruiting company might have extra requirements, so you’ll need to check if you meet them. Some work-at-home jobs will stipulate “experience required,” and others will limit applications to native English speakers. 

This is another niche that’s heavily dependent on time — typically, churches prefer short turnaround times as they want to upload the sermon as fast as possible.

How Much Do Sermon Transcriptionists Make?

As mentioned earlier, the amount you make varies depending on experience, project, and company. 

For example, if a church is outsourcing to a transcription jobs company, the company needs to make money, too. Typically, these companies pay transcribers less than half of what they’d get working directly from the church. 

In addition, the urgency of the transcription jobs also affects the rates. If a task is needed in about 2–3 hours or less, the company will pay more. The average rates for such tasks are $25 per audio hour. 

The idea is to work from home for a transcription company for a few months or years. Once you’ve amassed enough experience, you can pitch your skills to direct clients. Here, you can charge $50–$60 or more, depending on the complexity of the audios. 

Ultimately, your earnings are dependent on skills and speed. Get proper training, shorten your turnaround time, and watch as your work-from-home earnings rise. 

Scopist 

A scopist transcribes stenotype into English, and also ensures that proper punctuation, grammar, and formation is followed. This requires a lot of research, since some of the names, terms, and words may be misspelled. 

Scopists work together with court reporters as part of a team and typically have minimum pay. However, others opt to work from home, as it allows them to partner with different transcriber job agencies or court reporters.  

How to Become a Scopist

You don’t need a certification to be a work-from-home scopist, but you need to know what you’re doing. Nothing good comes easy, so don’t expect to improve your skills without investing in training. 

Since you’ll be working from home, you’ll also need to learn how to work with online teams.  

You’ll work with editors and other transcribers as you scale the ladder, and this means you have to learn how to communicate with other work-from-home freelancers. 

You can enroll in a short course to sharpen your communication skills, learn to track time, and a list of other skills. 

As you’d expect with most transcriber jobs, you can work from home with an agency. With time as your skills improve, you can pitch directly to clients. In this industry, referrals are king; thus, you can earn more if you perfect your skills. 

How Much Do Scopists Earn?

According to Salary.com, scopists make between $13–$27 per hour. The median salary for a full-time scopist is $38,927 and this can increase to upwards of $56,000. 

However, as a work-from-home transcriber, you can make more. Get proper training, improve your skills, and learn to work on difficult subject matters — with this combination, you can make over $35–$45 per hour. 

As a beginner, you’ll obviously make less as it takes you longer to transcribe audio files. However, if you can improve on the areas mentioned above, you can get more transcriptionist jobs. If this means working on a $13 transcriptor job to gain experience, take the opportunity. 

Differentiate Yourself

Remember to differentiate yourself — you need to sell your work. How are you different from millions of other work-from-home freelancers?

Work on your skills, and, if you can, add others even better for your resume. 

You’ll get more per audio if you can prove you deserve more. So, get started on our training courses and improve the few areas you’re lacking.  

Time is another factor, as full-time transcribers are preferred to part-time transcribers. 

The former can research, transcribe, proofread, and edit the tasks in the stipulated time. On the other hand, part-time work from home freelancers might require more time due to prior engagements.

Photo by senivpetro / CC BY

Katrina
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. This is a good read. There’s one tip I like to add for beginners. Just to know how much time it will take to complete a minute speech, you can practice by transcribing different interviews available online. You can easily find many samples. Practice them as you are doing a job for a client. It will not only increase your speed but give you the idea of the real job. This way, you will know what’s your client is demanding in the interview and not just making assumptions.

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