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Monday, June 30, 2008

Getting Started – The Benefits of Transcription as a Career

Those of you who are looking into transcription as a possible work-at-home opportunity are probably trying to weigh the pros and cons of this industry against others that you're researching. While I can't tell you if it's right for your situation, I can tell you why it's the career that we've each chosen for ourselves.

  • The hours are flexible. While some sectors – specifically financial and broadcast – do require faster turnaround times (TATs), for the most part you will have at least 24 hours to complete a file, oftentimes even longer than that. This means that you can work late at night, early in the morning or whenever works best for your schedule as long as you get the work done.

  • There is good – if not great – earnings potential. Tara's talked before about the income expections for transcriptionists. While it may be tough starting out, the income potential rivals many other career paths and has allowed all of us to support our families at one time or another due to layoffs and other situations.

  • You're always learning something new. As transcriptionists, we transcribe everything from sermons to medical conferences and from interviews with movie stars to the speeches of world leaders. We learn about the latest technology, current affairs, world history, medical breakthroughs and investing strategies. This doesn't mean that every file we do is so interesting (I've transcribed my fair share of customer service complaints), but I always look forward to the files that grab my attention and teach me something new.

  • It is a growing field that is not showing signs of slowing down. While there has been some talk of offshoring transcription services, many general transcription companies are vocal in their commitment to keep these services in the U.S. There's also been discussion of the threat of voice recognition software, but everything I've read indicates that this software is nowhere near up to par for most of the work that we do. And so, for now, there is an abundance of audio needing to be transcribed, providing job security for years to come.

Is transcription right for you? I don't know. But the benefits of this career are plentiful, and with dedication and hardwork, it may just be the opportunity you're looking for.