An audio typist is someone who creates typed documents from dictated or recorded sound files. The typist listens to dictated documents using either a special cassette player or software on his or her computer and types out the information. There may be other duties included in the typist's position, such as general administration, filing, or copy typing. Audio typists are also called transcriptionists, but the transcriptionist job description may vary from the traditional role of an audio typist.
The main duty of an audio typist is to transform dictated or recorded sound files into typed documents so that the information can be printed or stored on a computer. Professionals like as doctors and lawyers often require the services of audio typists to help turn their sound recordings into documents.
Sound files used by the audio typist are normally obtained from a micro-cassette. The recorder generally comes with a headset and a foot pedal to make it easier for the typist to type while listening to the recording. The headset helps reduce any noise and makes it easier for the typist to understand the recording. The foot pedal allows the cassette to be rewound or fast-forwarded. This means that if the typist needs to stop or rewind the tape he or she can do so while typing.
The job description for an audio typist may include other administrative duties, and he or she may be required not only type the documents but to also file them. Other duties may include general typing, such as copy typing, or the typing of correspondence. In smaller businesses audio typists may be asked to perform secretarial duties as well, such as answering the phone, taking notes, or typing in short hand.
An audio typist might also be called a transcriptionist. Transcriptionists, however, tend to work remotely, using digital sound files and their computers. They may still use a foot pedal and head set along with special software that functions exactly like a micro-cassette recorder would. Transcriptionists are generally paid by the word and are usually considered to be freelancers, but in some cases they may work as full-time employees from a remote location.
In order to become an audio typist you need to have a very high typing speed and accuracy. Employers may take on applicants with little or no experience, but being computer literate and able to touch type will probably work in your favor. The position may also entail working outside of office hours rather than the usual 9 to 5 schedule. This can be an easier option in situations where a lot of transcribing needs to be done in a short period of time, and documents that were dictated during the day need to be available the next morning.