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Transcription As A Career

By Expert Author: Stephen Simmons

With an increase in globalisation and easier access to methods of international communication, much focus has arisen on challenging and breaking communication barriers across communities and throughout the world. Although the practice of transcription is an old one, it is becoming ever more popular and there are many diverse job opportunities to take advantage of in this field. Find out what a Transcriber does and what it entails to become one below:
So what does Transcription involve?
In a wider sense of the word, transcription is the act of converting speech (either live or recorded) into a written document and can be done through various methods, depending on the client's requirement.
Transcription formats can be divided into 3 formats:
Verbatim Transcripts: This type off transcription entails that every single word or phrase, whether it is mumbled or spoken clearly, needs to be recorded exactly as it is said by the speaker or audio recording. This type of transcription requires that close attention is paid to utterances and even emotions displayed in the audio file. Emotions like- a laugh, grunt, or tremors in one's voice are also to be jotted down.
Verbatim Transcripts are usually done for: legal cases or court hearings. Because so much attention needs to be paid to detail, Verbatim Transcribers are usually the highest paid employees in this field.
Edited Transcripts: With regards to these transcripts, the intention is to omit words or utterances without actually altering the essence of the recording. Here the Transcriber will need to have a good understanding of what is just clutter and what is necessary to record. These edited transcripts should have more of an understanding about the content of the audio file instead of the word to word mentioning.
Edited Transcripts are usually requested for: filing written records of seminars, speeches and conferences.
Intelligent Transcripts: This form of transcription is an accurate record of what has been verbally said whilst eliminating utterances and pauses such as "ah", "hmm" or "umm". Words like these are irrelevant and add no value to the conversation or speech, so they are eliminated to keep the record sounding more "intelligent."
This kind of transcript works best for situations such as: capturing recorded interviews or important conversations.
Each transcript format comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages and the company which employs you or your client's requirements will determine which of the options you will have to implement.
Now that you have a good idea of what transcription involves, do you think it is something you would be eager to do? If so, your next step would be to research what kind of skills and qualifications you would need to enter this career path. There are also numerous different fields which require this practice; you need to find the one which would best suit you. I have done my own research and summarised my findings below.
Skills and qualifications you will need:
1. You will need to be a fast and excellent typist.
2. Your spelling and grammar should be perfect.
3. It would be beneficial if you were fluent in more than one language.
Fields where Transcription is required:
1. Journalism
2. Research purposes
3. Conferencing
4. Podcasting
5. Telecasting
The list above mentions only a few of the areas where Transcribers will be needed; realistically the opportunities for this skill are quite abundant.
So what's the money like?
The average industry rate for transcription services is estimated at around $1.32 per audio minute. So if you have a file that is 5 minutes in length, it would amount to $6.60. This isn't bad if it takes you less than an hour to type the audio recording. Just remember that you are usually paid by Audio Minute and not by the amount of time you have spent capturing the audio file.
Now that you have the ins and outs of this job title, I hope you will be able to make your decision and move forward successfully with your choice. Transcription is an interesting career and one of its advantages is that you often get to do it from home! This job can be quite a tedious one however and your earphones can leave you with a headache, but all in all... sounds good!

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