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Transcription Services News, Issue #002
October 31, 2012


Welcome to the Transcription Services Newsletter. This is our first issue since we have changed the focus of our newsletter. Previously we were focusing it towards business owners and people who use transcription services, but we realized people are pretty much interested in getting their items transcribed and not wanting much information about it. We do work with a lot of typists in the industry though and realized there was a much bigger interest in a newsletter directed to their needs and interests. So welcome all who have recently joined!

Transcription Tip of the Month

One of the questions we ask on our application form is do you like to read? And then a follow-up question is what do you read for fun? The reason we ask this question is because we strongly believe that people who read a lot make the best transcriptionists. People who read a great deal have larger vocabularies, as a whole, than those who don’t. Do any of you ever take the Reader’s Digest vocabulary quiz? I think it’s called It Pays To Increase Your Word Power. When I was younger (in my twenties) I didn’t get many of the words correct. After a few decades of heavy reading (and transcribing) I find I can get almost all the words!

What do you do when you are transcribing something and a speaker says an unfamiliar word? I have had several transcriptionists simply mark it as unintelligible and move on. What I would suggest you do is to try spelling it phonetically. I find that many times when I do this I actually get the spelling correct! Or I can pop it into Google and quickly get the correct spelling. Sure, it takes a little bit longer if I have to Google something than if I were to just mark it unintelligible. But by taking that extra time I am both providing a better transcript to the client and learning something new at the same time.

Individuals who are readers are also usually better with proper grammar and punctuation. Think about it, if you read a lot you are exposed to a lot of punctuation and grammar, so you are just familiar with the correct usage. Pay attention to punctuation, spellings and grammar as you read and you might just learn something new.

Bottom line – read, read, read! Read anything and everything. Read online and offline. It really will help you in your job as a transcriptionist.

Transcription Jobs

One of the best ways to get started in the transcription services industry is to work for a company offering transcription. We will bring you a couple each month that hire subcontractors. We do not personally work for these companies or know much about them except that they do hire subcontractors. Make sure to see our Tips When Testing With a Transcription Services article for some help when applying for jobs online!

Daily Transcription has an online test with complete instructions.

E-Typists Transcription Services is looking for legal transcriptionists.

Transcriptionist Spotlight

Each issue we are going to spotlight somebody who is working as a transcriptionist by conducting a short interview with them. Our first interview is with Barb Vagnier who has been working for Pioneer Transcription Services for a few months now. Here is our interview with Barb.

How long have you been a transcriptionist?

I have been a transcriptionist for seven years.

How did you get started as a transcriptionist?

I saw an ad in a newspaper about working at home, so I gave it a try, even though you're always skeptical about seeing these ads.

What type of training did you get to become a transcriptionist?

This place offered one week of on-site training for the transcripts that they did.

Do you work for transcription companies, have your own clients or both?
I have always been just an independent contractor and never had my own clients.

What do you like about working from home?

I love the flexibility, being able to do things that I haven't been able to do in a long time like go to Curves and exercise. My daughter is in her last year here at ASU and will graduate in Architecture, so it's been so great to be able to help her when she needs it.

What is your favorite piece of transcription equipment?

This is funny, because after having a less than desirable transcript, it was suggested that I might look into buying a new headset. It has been the most incredible thing ever!! My husband bought me a great headset called "Shure," which has made a world of difference in my life! I always thought my hearing was going on me and didn't want to admit that!

What is the best thing about your job?

Just the freedom of working as much as I want or as little as I want. It gives me the flexibility to do the things that are important to me right now in my life. I lost my mom last year and it just gives a lot of perspective that anything can happen at any time.

What is the worst thing about your job?

The only thing that I would say to this is that I am a perfectionist and I do strive to do the best work I can, but when places turn in horrible quality recordings it is very frustrating to me because of the technology out there right now. There really is no reason that a person should have a bad quality recording.

What advice would you give to somebody trying to break into the transcription field?

This is something that you have to be dedicated to and set your own limits as to what you want to accomplish as a goal. You can do very well in this field if you set your mind to it as if you are actually working at a company or thinking this was your own company. A lot of my friends always say to me, "Oh, you're so lucky, you can do what you want, you work from home." But that is not the case. I actually turn my phone off during the time I work and treat it as if I'm not at home.

Thank you, Barb, for a great interview. If you would like to be considered for a future Transcriptionist Spotlight, please e-mail us at and let us know!

We hope to be getting a newsletter out on a regular basis now. We welcome your input on how we can improve it and what types of things you would like to see as it relates to providing transcription services.

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