A transcriptionist or transcriber is a person who performs transcription.Transcription is a difficult and specialised job that necessitates specialised knowledge and the ability to multitask. All transcriptionists must have a set of basic skills, and those who specialise in a particular field will require additional industry-specific knowledge.
A pair of good ears is a must in transcription work. Even in general topics, you should have a clear understanding of dialogues even if there are audio challenges like background noise, crosstalk and soft voices. At times an audio transcriptionist should make intelligent guesses i.e, “ sounds like” for feeble parts of the audio.
Having a sharp memory is an added advantage to a transcriptionist as it saves a lot of time. It is said so because the transcriptionist doesn’t have to pause the audio frequently, having a sharp memory helps the transcriptionist type longer dialogues from the memory without pausing or replaying the audio.
Fast typing speed and high accuracy
An average person types at 40-45 words per minute, but a good typing speed of a transcriptionist is at 60-80 words per minute with very minimal errors. On the other hand, a professional audio transcriber can type as fast as an impressive 100 words per minute
Grammar, punctuations, and spelling proficiency
Transcription requests differ from client to client, where one may request for verbatim-specific, some clients still prefer non-verbatim or clean, easy-to-read transcripts. In order to transcribe a document in a manner without losing the meaning and original thought of a dialogue, a transcriptionist should have high grammar, punctuations and spelling proficiencies. Even though there are online tools that help in identifying and correcting mistakes, it is mandatory that the transcriptionist has a good knowledge foundation to prevent basic and embarrassing mistakes.
Transcriptionists should have good research skills. They work on diverse topics daily. They can research for information they are not familiar with or for catchy words. Also for nouns like names, acronyms, companies, establishments or brands in general.
Keen attention to detail
A good transcriptionist should be a keen listener and attentive to small details as a pure verbatim transcription requires it to be transferable in print. For example, the speaker said “like” five times, the audio transcriber should type exactly that —”…like–like–like–like–like …”– in the transcript. Sounds like hmm, Uhm, and uh-huh are also understood in different notations crucial to market researchers. Laughter and pauses are also detailed in transcripts. Small details like this are also bringing about the meaning conveyed by the speakers in the audio, which is why transcriptionists should be particular with these as requested by the client.
Focus and determination
To be a qualified transcriptionist, one must be focused and determined to get the job done competently. A 1-hour file takes an average of 6 hours to transcribe. It’s serious work to be done. A transcriptionist should be able to neglect unnecessary distractions and concentrate on long periods of time whilst transcribing to ensure complete accuracy and timeliness of work.
Diligence and strong goal orientation
Transcriptionists should be in particular and self-motivated towards reaching the team’s goal, which is providing top-quality transcripts on time. Therefore, they should be passionate and careful about following the company’s standard of quality. In the end, attention and strong goal orientation along with focus and determination boost the perks and benefits you get as a transcriptionist when the company you work for realizes your dedication.
General transcriptions work across multiple fields, so it is necessary that transcriptionists are fast -learners who understand different topics in short periods of time for them to turn the material into sensible, top quality transcripts.
A person does not need to have advanced computer skills to become a transcriptionist. Basic skills like knowing to how to maximize the use of Microsoft Word for proper transcription formats and also Google search proficiency is enough, but the openness and willingness to learn how to use the required transcription software is a must.