Could you please advise me on what equipment is required from me to do on-line transcriptions? Also, what rate of pay would I be looking for at any hourly rate?
Thanks for your question about work at home transcription and dictation work. There are two parts to your question so we will deal with the first part, what equipment do you need?
The good news is that you do not have to spend out any extra money. All you need is a computer with a broadband internet connection and a set of headphones. Transcription service companies work with digital files, essentially this means a sound file just like any music file you may already have on your computer. You will already have the software to be able to play these files, the software will allow you to play, pause, rewind and fast forward through the transcript.
If you find a good company or two that provides you with consistent amounts of work you may want to consider buying some specialist foot controls that will allow you to control the playing of the transcription with your feet. This leaves your hands free to do the typing and therefore makes you more productive. I would suggest you only invest money in your venture once you are earning a consistent amount from doing transcriptions.
So on to the next part of the question, how much does on-line transcription work pay? As a general rule of thumb the pay is about the same as an administrative assistant and the rate will vary between companies. If you work directly for an individual or business you will generally earn more than going through a transcription servicing company.
Generally the faster you can type the more you will earn, of course the work that you do will have to be accurate otherwise they will not send any more work your way. Every company has a different way that they work out how much they pay their workers but you will find they will not pay you by the hour but rather on a piece rate basis such as by the amount of words typed. A good typist could be earning the equivalent of about £7 to £12 an hour.
The type of transcription work that you can do varies and if you have experience in specialist areas it will improve your chances of getting hired. Specialist areas include medical transcriptions, legal transcribing, business which covers meetings, transcribing minutes and other transcribing that does not require you to understand specialist terms. There are also a number of other types of work you may not have thought of such as transcribing speeches, talks, interviews and podcasts. Many individuals often require people to type up their voice recordings.
So where do you find all this transcribing work? You may not find many of the transcription or secretarial service companies in the UK advertising for staff. The reason is that they generally get all the workers they need from people like you contacting them directly. You can also contact them and see if they are hiring people with your skills and experience.
Every company is going to be different but try not just to send an email asking if they have any transcribing work for you. You will unlikely get a reply. You need to sell yourself to them, tell them who you have worked for in the past, explain the specialist areas you have worked in such as medical, legal or patents and trademarks. Tell them how accurate you are and explain how you are good at correcting spelling, punctuation, correcting grammar, dealing with stutters, um's and ah's.
You can also find work on one of the many freelancing sites such as Freelancer.com, Getafreelancer.com, Elance.com and Peopleperhour.com which all list businesses and individuals looking for workers like you. If you are willing to contact local businesses and advertise your services locally you will be able to charge a much higher rate although this will require more work initially.
I hope this helps Dee and any others looking to do transcription work from home. Always remember however you should never have to pay any money up front for this type of work no matter how they dress up the fees they are charging.