Transcription has become popular among those who want flexible schedules and remote work. You can choose your own hours and workload, and typing provides an easy way to supplement income part-time (or even full-time).

Demand for transcriptionists continues to grow as the world becomes more digital. But as any seasoned transcriptionist will tell you – it takes dedication and time to become proficient.

Here’s what you can expect if you want to try your hand(s) at transcription in 2023:

The Skills You Will Need to do Transcription

Typing Speed:

Typing speed is key to transcription work. Starting out, the ability to type 60 words per minute (WPM) is probably best; veteran typists can be closer to 90 WPM!

Speed is important because the faster you can type, the more money you’ll be able to make. Unlike an hourly wage or salaried position, transcriptionists are paid per audio minute or by word. If you’re doing the two-finger-tango-like dad types, you’re simply not going to get very far as a transcriptionist.

Listening for Accuracy:

But it’s not just about speed: accuracy is just as important. Transcription requires active listening to capture every word and nuance. You have to train your ears to decipher different accents and speech patterns. Fields like medicine and legal transcription need verbatim typists (typing word for word exactly as said). While requiring more skill, this work also pays the best.


A strong command of the English language is crucial for producing accurate transcripts. If you get “theirthere and they’re” mixed up, you’re going to have a much harder time being precise.  

The Equipment You Will Need to do Transcription

Reliable Computer and Internet Connection:

Transcription often requires you to work with large files and software (sometimes). A decent computer and stable internet connection are essential for accessing resources online and delivering transcripts in a timely manner.

Many typists will also swear by a large monitor in addition to your laptop (or even two). This will be easier on your eyes, and back, and help with multitasking.  

A Transcription Foot Pedal and Quality Headphones

A transcription foot pedal allows you to speed up or slow down audio while your fingers keep typing. You can also rewind to catch difficult sections of a recording. And don’t skimp on the headphones! Choose high-quality headphones that provide clear audio playback. Noise-canceling headphones are particularly beneficial for blocking out background noise and ensuring accurate transcription.

transcription headphones

Transcription Software

While some companies have their own transcription software, popular products like Express Scribe Pro, FTR, or InqScribe are sometimes required. These programs include features such as foot pedal integration, adjustable playback speed and timestamping capabilities.

Training and Certifications

Transcription doesn’t require a college degree. Not all companies even require training or certifications. But the best-paying jobs typically do.

Medical or legal transcription, for instance, requires greater skill with more rigorous standards. Prior experience and/or certification, for instance, from the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT) or the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) is sometimes necessary. These certifications validate your expertise and demonstrate your commitment to accuracy and professionalism.


Becoming a transcriptionist requires a combination of essential skills and the right tools. Equipping yourself with a reliable computer, quality headphones, and transcription software will enhance your efficiency and productivity.

The field requires patience and skill, but you will be well rewarded in terms of flexibility, remote work and a growing demand for transcription.