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How to Become and Make Money as a Transcriptionist

How to Become and Make Money as a Transcriptionist

Today I am featuring two wonderful SAHM’s who work from home as transcriptionists. They both have a lot of information for you to determine whether it is something you’d like to do, how to become one, and how to make money transcribing as well.

Thank you so much Mandy and Michelle for sharing your wealth of information with us!

Michelle is a married mom of 3. She has taken the time out of her busy schedule to share the following with you…

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A.  I wanted something that I would be able to do from home since daycare is so expensive and I didn’t want someone else raising my children.  I wanted to be there for all their firsts but still help out financially.

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position? 

A. I went to college and got my Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Medical Transcription.  I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field and this was something that would give me the work-from-home position that I wanted plus be in the medical field.

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?

A. It’s not necessary to go to college and get a degree to do transcription work.  I work for a company as an independent contractor and they don’t require you to have a degree.  I would look into what companies don’t require a degree and save yourself a ton of money.

Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A. The company that I work for is super flexible.  I also co-own a craft business and we had so many orders once that I had to step away from transcription work for 2 months and I was able to do that with no questions asked.  With this company I can work as little or as much as I want and I don’t have to commit to any certain number of hours or jobs completed.  It’s all up to me and my schedule.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A. Since transcription work is typing out audio files I can work whenever and wherever I want as long as I have Wi-Fi access.  Even though I have 3 kids at home they’re old enough that they’re pretty independent so I’m able to work all throughout the day with the exception of getting them meals.  I work 5-1/2 days a week currently and leave Sunday’s for my family.

Q.  Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A. If you decide you want a degree in medical transcription do a ton of research on the school.  The one that I attended told me they were accredited and they are not.  None of my class credits would transfer if I wanted to further my schooling at another school.  The best one I’ve found is Career Step.  Even though my school wasn’t truthful with me I still have a degree that can be included on my resume should I ever want to get a different job than with the current company that I work for.

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. Again, schooling is not required by all companies.  It all depends on where you want to work and whether or not you want that degree.  I do all types of transcription, not just medical which is what I have a degree for.  If you can type with accuracy and speed then you’ll be able to do transcription work.  I completed my degree about 3 years ago and have worked for my current company for 2 years.

Q. What is the income percentage you bring in? or How much do you make from this job? or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income? 

A. Since I am able to work as little or as much as I want my income varies each week.  Right now the income I make is just to supplement what my husband makes and cover the costs of food and other household needs.  If you have the time to dedicate to doing transcription you can make a decent amount but I have children, a craft business, and a blog to attend to as well as doing transcription work.

Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?

A. I would start with a Google search for transcription jobs.  If you’re interested in just medical transcription then check out MTStars.com or MTJobs.com.  They have job listings for newbies and seasoned transcriptionists.  I would go with a Google search if you’re just looking for general transcription.  There are companies that have actual shifts that you work, offer insurance, shift premiums, and sign on bonuses.  It all depends on what you’re looking for really.  I have worked for Rev.com and absolutely love it!  Not only do I have complete flexibility in my work schedule but I’m also able to pick and choose which jobs I work on, not all companies allow this.  Most companies send you the audio files and you’re stuck doing them no matter what the quality is.  They also make it super easy to format your work with having their very own platform that you work within.  That means that there’s less work for you in the end, just straight typing.

Materials you will need for medical transcription: Medical dictionary (Stedman‘s is often the most preferred), Drug Reference Book (this gives you the brand names and generic names of all the drugs currently available, Quick Look Drug Book is often preferred), and an AHDI Book of Style (this has basic formatting requirements for medical records).  These books are all available at Barnes & Noble or on Amazon and can be used as a write-off on your taxes once you start your medical transcription career.  You may also be required to purchase an FTP subscription but this is also a tax write-off.

Materials you may need for general transcription: Headphones: I use these headphones  because they work really well at drowning out background noise from the kids and the TV and are very comfortable to wear for hours on end.  A good, up-to-date dictionary.  This isn’t completely necessary since Google does a great job helping you find the information you need but it can be a good reference if needed.  ExpressScribe, this makes your audio files easier to use.  With ExpressScribe there are free and paid options, I’ve only ever used the free option.  You may also need an audio format converter so you can convert MP4 audio to MP3 since the free version of ExpressScribe only allows you to use MP3 audio files.  I use DVDVideoSoft.com’s free version and it has always worked great for me. With ExpressScribe I don’t use a footpedal although some companies require that you have one.

Thanks Michelle!

 If interested in transcribing sign up for a trusted company called REV here.

Now Mandy, a wife, mother of two, and Contract Transcriptionist, will share her interview with us.

Welcome Mandy!

Q. What inspired you to begin working?

A. When I began working from home I was actually transitioning from a job outside the home.  I had been working at McDonald’s for seven years at the point when a friend of mine told me about this position she had taken to make a little extra money on the side.  She mentioned she was doing it from home and I was ALL over it! My son was one and a half at the time and I really felt that I was missing out on some important moments in his life.  My friend gave me the information and I sent in my resume.

Q. How did you go about starting your business or arranging a work at home position? 

A. This part was pretty simple actually.  All I needed to do was update my resume and send it in to National Capitol Contracting, the company I would be contracting with.

Q. What are some tips you would like to share with others who are interested in doing something similar?

A.  In order to do this kind of work you absolutely have to have the time.  If you are someone like me that means that you’ll need some quiet time to yourself to get the work done.  My son is now 4 so giving him something to do is pretty easy at this point, but my four-month-old is another story!  Right now I can only work when someone is watching my youngest, or when she is asleep.  Another extremely important tip is to have a transcription foot pedal.  They are a bit of an investment, but if you are really interesting in making a substantial amount of income you will need one.  I have included a link HERE to the exact foot pedal that I use.

Q. How many hours do you work a week or how much of your time does this position require? Is it flexible? Is it consistent?

A.  The great thing about this position is that you are your own boss entirely.  If you want to take work you can request as much as you want!  If you don’t want to take work, you don’t have to.  For instance I took a solid five months off for the birth of my daughter with no questions asked from the company.  When I was working in full swing I averaged about 15 hours a week work-time.  As for being consistent this really is dependent on a couple factors.  In the beginning work may not be readily available to you at all times.  Workload to the company tends to ebb and flow through different times of the year.  As you improve/consistently provide the company with quality work you will begin to get work more consistently.  You just have to stick with it!  I am now to the point that I can get work every time I ask for it.  In fact I have not been denied any work for the past two years.  My secret?  I went through a background check in order to be able work with sensitive information (social security numbers, phone numbers, addresses, etc.) It’s a bit of a process, but it is well worth it in the end.  I promise.

Q. When/how do you find the time to work?

A.  I generally work when it is convenient for me, but if I absolutely NEED to get some work in a particular week I will first be sure that I will have sufficient time to myself to do the work.  I check with my husband to see what his schedule is.  If he is unavailable at a time when I need him I check with family members.  If it comes down to it and no one can watch the kids for me I will work through the night until the work is finished.

Q.  Are there certain tips/advice you’d want to share with others who want to start working like you?

A. The best advice I can give you is to just not give up!  This work can be a little tedious in the beginning because you are learning the ropes.  It literally took me three hours to transcribe 10 minutes of audio when I first started, and now I’m up to doing an hour’s worth a day if I want to.  Stick to it!

Q. Was training/schooling required for the position? How/when did you complete it?

A. There is no training required for this position, but of course certain things will absolutely help you if you happen to have them in your background.  You need to be able to type, obviously.  The faster and more accurate the better.  You need to know your grammar and how to use a computer a little better than the average joe as well.

Q. What is the income percentage you bring in? or How much do you make from this job? or Does the income help a little, medium, or is the main source of your family’s income? 

A.  Last year I made just over $5,000. That $5,000 was equal to what I would have made working full time at McDonald’s after you accounted for gas money. Currently, I make $600.00-$800.00 a month. So for my family and our situation it helps quite a bit and allows me to be home with my babies.

Q. How would someone who wants to do something similar get started?

A. If interested in transcribing sign up for a trusted company called REV here.

Thanks Mandy!

Mandy is a wife, mother of two, and a Contract Transcriptionist.

Mandy

Other Posts in this Series:

Introduction to Money-Making SAHM Series

Series 1: Medical Billing

Series 2: Starting an Online Business

Series 3: Housecleaning

Series 4: Cosmetology

Series 5: At-Home Airline Assistant

Series 6: Become an At-Home Employee

Series 7: Beachbody Coaching

Series 8: Freelance Writing

Series 9: Run an at-Home Daycare

Series 10: Write and Self-Publish an eBook Part 1 & Part 2

Series 11: Teach Music Lessons from Home

Series 12: Distribute a Product You Love

Series 13: Blogging

Series 14: Become a Virtual Assistant

Series 15: Buying and Reselling Cheap Finds

Series 16: Become an Editor

Series 17: Making Money as a Transcriptionist

Series 18: How to Write and Publish a Paperback or Hardback Book

Series 19: Do Online Tech Support from Home

Series 20: Graphic Design

Series 21: Sell Your Own Sheet Music Part 1 and Part 2

Series 22: Start a Preschool from Home

Series 23: Start Your Own Boutique

Series 24: How to Make Money on YouTube

Series 25: Take Legitimate Online Surveys

Series 26: Open an Etsy Shop

Series 27: Become a Photographer

Series 28: Become a Property Manager

Series 29: Make Money Locally Teaching a Talent, Sport, or Hobby

Series 30: Substitute Teaching

Series 31: Sell Shaklee (MLM)-removed

Series 32: Review Websites for UserTesting

Series 33: Sell Mary Kay(MLM)-removed

Series 34: Become an Affiliate with Spark Naturals Essential Oils

Series 35: Quilting and Embroidery

Series 36: Make Money by Doing Laundry for Others through Laundry Care

more coming…pin or bookmark for more.

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14 Responses to How to Become and Make Money as a Transcriptionist

  1. kipper says:

    I don’t want to appear negative but there are some reasons to really think about before going into a career in home medical transcription. Many medical offices have switched to using computer software where transcription is done electronically(Dr.does dictation and a software application prints the data). This makes transcription by a human obsolete. That is one reason why I stopped doing transcription. The other is a repetitive stress injury caused by typing eight hours a day, five days a week for 20 years. If you work for a foreign owned transcription service, they do not take out social security and withholding from your paycheck.

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Kipper- Sorry you have had such a bad experience doing medical transcribing. There is still a lot of work out there for it and other types of transcription. I don’t want readers to read your comment and think it is a dying industry. In fact with so much audio being produced transcribers for that audio are needed even more now than before. But Thanks for sharing your opinion.

    • Shawna says:

      I worked for a Mayo Clinic Health System and they did transfer to using a computer software where it is transcribed as the dr dictated. However they are still using transcriptionists to check what is being transcribed. So they may not need as many but they still use them. They hired a service to do this for them. So there are still jobs out there for them. The transcriptionist just does it a little differently.

  2. Marilyn Watros says:

    HI, I was just trying to find where we can contact Mandy on facebook, I can’t find the info. Thank you.

  3. Kari says:

    20 years is not a ‘bad experience,’ it is a career! Transcription is not a bad gig but the pay is seriously not what it used to be, the quality of what is typed varies now and the professionalism is gone. Those of us who started out 25+ years ago know the difference between what it is and what it was. If people are happy typing for pennies go for it, otherwise keep looking for something else. The math is there for anyone who wants to check, my last job was at 16 cents per line, required to type 1000 lines per day and keep 99+% accuracy. We didn’t get paid by audio minutes but the requirements of typing at least 80 minutes a day were there and I easily did well above that in an eight hour day. Occasionally I could type 1000 lines in under four hours straight typing, none of the editing they do now. Still think it is a great job?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Kari- It is not my intent to say that something is a great job or isn’t a great job… only that it is available as a legitimate job. A job where you work and get paid while at home. I have given many many many different options of work at home jobs. If you don’t believe transcribing is worth it that is fine, but that is YOUR opinion. I’m sorry you’ve seen a drop in pay. I’m sorry this is no longer a great job for you. Thank you for leaving your experience.

  4. Heather says:

    Hi there! I’ve been searching for work I can do from home. I’m not a mother, but I do have some medical conditions holding me back from working out of my home. There are so many companies out there that require a start up fee so I’m VERY glad I stumbled across this on Pinterest. My only question is, how do I find the transcribing jobs that don’t require experience. I visited the websites that Michelle mentioned, and was quickly discouraged when I saw that they all require 1+ years of experience. Can anyone point me to a legit website that has listings for newbies?

    • Anita Fowler says:

      Heather- the Facebook contact info was left at the bottom of the post for her. I recommend sending her a Facebook message. She told me she is very willing to help anyone who needs help getting started. Let me know if you can’t reach her. Good luck!

  5. […] Series 17: How to Make Money as a Transcriptionist […]

  6. iveth amaya says:

    hi, I would like to know how to contact very interesting been in the medical field many years now I’m a mother of 4 please let me know thanks

  7. KR says:

    This is a dying profession no matter what anybody tells you. Maybe other trans no but medical is. Coding is the new wave. Colleges do not teach med trans because jobs are disappearing. I have done med trans for 38 years. Mostly editing now. There were 18 of us and now 4 of us. Work is sporadic and pay down to a third of what I made before. This new electronic med records killing us off and Drs will be fined for not doing

  8. […] Series 17: How to Make Money as a Transcriptionist […]

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