Whether you’re an experienced transcriber, or just learning the ropes, you can probably find suitable work at Speechpad. Here is some information to help you decide if Speechpad is right for you.

What Does the Job Entail?

You’ll need to listen to audio files or watch videos, and type out whatever is spoken. In the process, you’ll do minor editing such as ignoring filler words such as: um, uh, er, ah, like, okay, I mean, and you know. This is called “clean copy” transcription, and it applies to most of our jobs. Some jobs require “verbatim” transcription, which requires you to type out every verbal utterance, including filler words, stutters, etc. Beginners usually start with clean copy transcription.

In a nutshell, transcription is no more than typing what you hear. Although that may sound easy, some people may find it to be more difficult than others do. For example, sometimes you’ll have to contend with poor quality audio, thick accents, distracting background noise, or multiple speakers talking over each other. These things make it more difficult to understand what’s being said. You may have to replay a section of the audio several times before you understand exactly what was said. This requires patience and persistence.

You’ll also need to research certain words or phrases on the web to make sure you correctly understood what was said and get the right spelling. This part of the job might seem tedious to people who are not used to doing web research.

On the other hand, transcription work can be very rewarding, because it affords you the flexibility to work whenever you want and as much or as little as you want. You get to set your own schedule. Take vacation whenever you want. Take time out of your work day to run errands, pick up the kids, meet a friend for a long lunch… whatever you need or want to do.

What Skills and Experience Do I Need?

While formal experience as a transcriptionist helps, it’s not required. However, the following skills are important:

  • You should be fluent in the English language (or whatever language is required for our foreign language transcription jobs).
  • You need solid grammar and punctuation skills.
  • You should be conversationally competent with diverse dialects, vernaculars, figures of speech, and jargon. If English is not your primary language, you will be at a disadvantage, because you will be more likely to mishear what you don’t understand.
  • You should have a typing speed of at least 40 words per minute, with 100% accuracy. You can find out how fast you type by searching the web for typing speed test.
  • You should be detail-oriented and comfortable searching the web to find the correct spelling of proper nouns and technical terms.
  • You should have good listening skills and be able to listen and type at the same time. It helps to have a quiet environment to work with no distractions.

Do I Need Any Special Equipment or Software?

You only need a computer, internet connection, and headphones. If you are using a Windows-based computer, we suggest getting a foot pedal. We recommend the Infiniti Foot Control – IN-USB-2. The Infiniti Foot Control – IN-USB-1 and the Start-Stop® UNIVERSAL Transcription System will both work as well. Once you have the foot pedal, you can download Speechpad’s Foot Control software to allow you to use the foot pedal with our transcription and captioning consoles.

While all of the transcription jobs can be completed inside of our transcription console, some of the more experienced transcribers may prefer to use their own transcription applications, such as Express Scribe, which comes in professional and free versions.

Please keep in mind your use of any tools must comply with Speechpad’s Worker Confidentiality Agreement. For example, you are not allowed to use any online tools other than our worker website. None of the tools you use should require or even allow media or text to be uploaded to a third party website. Any local copies of customer media and/or your work product must be completely erased from your computer after you submit the work.