We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Become a Transcriptionist?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In order to become a transcriptionist, you first have to be sure you have three crucial skills. One, you have to have excellent listening ability. Two, you have to have quick, accurate typing skills. Three, your language, grammar and spelling have to be strong. Of the main different types of transcription — corporate or general, medical and legal — only medical transcriptionists usually need formal training.

To become a transcriptionist in the medical field, education and training in medical terminology, anatomy and pharmacology are required. Information recorded by doctors needs to be transcribed into official health reports, so complete accuracy on the part of the medical transcriptionist is essential. It's a good idea to check the successful hiring rates of graduates before deciding on a particular medical transcriptionist school program. Some programs in medical transcription include a practicum and this can be a good way to start to become a transcriptionist. A practicum is work experience in an actual job setting as part of a learning program.

Medical transcription programs may take anywhere from 6 to 8 months to complete. Medical transcriptionists work in doctor's offices or in hospitals as well as for transcription services. With some experience, a medical transcriptionist may often be able to work from home as an independent contractor. In order to become a transriptionist of any kind, confidentiality and respect for patient and client privacy is required. Many organizations expect job applicants to do well on a transcribing test before they can become a transcriptionist for the company.

Becoming a corporate, or general, transcriptionist requires no special training except basic transcriptionist skills. Some previous experience in a business environment working with clients is preferable if you want to become a transcriptionist in the corporate world. You have to be able to format each company's materials into the exact format requested. Organization is also necessary in transcription because the work for different clients must be kept neat and separate.

The field of legal transcription is relatively new. Like, general or corporate transcriptionists, legal transcriptionists usually don't need any formal training. However, a working knowledge of correct legal terms is important. Legal transcriptionists listen to legal discussions, court hearings, pleadings and testimonials. They may work in legal departments of corporations or in law firms.

Working from home as an independent contractor is often an option for a person who wants to become a transcriptionist in the legal field. There is competition for jobs due to companies that outsource legal transcription work overseas. Work can often be found if the applicant has a record of 100 percent accuracy in preparing legal reports from listening to recorded information.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.