Transcriptionist – Problems Hidden by the Profession


The progress of the 21st century is inexorably fast moving forward, and almost every day, new professions appear. Twenty years ago, it wasn’t easy to imagine a way to earn money from home, and in 2024 it is considered the norm. Have you ever heard of such a specialty as transcription? Remote work as a transcriptionist is a trending vacancy. Today, we will describe the profession in detail and discuss the five problems employees keep silent about.

Who is a Transcriptionist in Simple Words


A transcriptionist is an expert who converts video or audio to text. In other words, a transcriptionist is a person who manually enters the text that he hears in an audio or video sequence. By the way, copywriters and transcribers are closely related to each other – both interact with the text. A transcriptionist can perform three types of transcription:

  • Verbatim transcription. From the name, it is clear that the expert records absolutely everything that he hears – pauses, lowing, sighs, squeaks, etc.
  • Transcription with edits. The author edits the document according to semantic and stylistic rules. Here the professional omits and does not reflect unnecessary sounds, profanity, and unnecessary phrases.
  • Transcription-retelling. In this case, the task of the transcriptionist is to convey the essence of what was heard briefly.

As you can see, the work involves both creativity and tasks that require an exact sequence. Such a variety will not allow you to get bored or burn out quickly, which is the main advantage of the profession.

Skills a Transcriptionist Should Possess


It would seem that there is nothing complicated in such an activity. You sit, listen to an interview, lecture, webinar, or business meeting, pause the recording from time to time, retype what you heard and create a masterpiece! However, everything is not so simple. The job of a transcriptionist requires the following skills:

  • Good hearing.
  • The ability to type quickly.
  • Command of grammar and punctuation of the chosen language.
  • Mindfulness – in dialogues, voices can overlap, so it is essential to distinguish and catch who said what without confusing anything.
  • Ability to use specialized programs that suppress noise, slow down audio files, etc.
  • Discipline and perseverance.

If you have the above skills, then you can become an excellent specialist in this field even without work experience. All you need is to find customers – there are enough of them at various labor exchanges.

Areas That Need Transcriptionists


If you want to evaluate the job prospects, take a look at the list of areas that require professional human transcribers:

  • Education. Let’s take teachers as an example. Sometimes they do not write down a lecture in detail but only highlight the thesis and plan. In this case, a video or dictaphone recording of the lesson is made. Then the materials are transferred to a specialist for transcription.
  • YouTube. Bloggers may also need to translate the video to text. In addition to preparing subtitles for videos, this can be a complete translation of the blogger’s speech to post finished excerpts on his other resources in the future.
  • Marketing agencies. Based on the transcribed texts, marketers can launch customer acquisition campaigns.
  • Large companies. The activity of such companies is connected with negotiations with clients. Therefore, giants such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft have professional transcriptionists on their staff who can quickly convert a business conversation into text.
  • Information platforms. Their activities are connected with the sphere of news. The task of the transcriptionist is to decode the video to text for posting on the news site.

We have listed five main areas that need an online service, but you can continue this list once you get into the work. Now let’s take a look at the other side of the medal so you can honestly assess your abilities and the mental preparation that is indispensable in this profession.

5 Problems Transcriptionists Face


This profession is unique in that it is fraught with many opportunities and challenges at the same time. Therefore, we bring up the five most common difficulties that transcriptionists grapple with. A review of these situations will allow you to find ways to solve problems in advance and mentally prepare for difficulties.

1. The Problem of Following Deadlines

Not many experts have learned how to keep deadlines. The first problem that a novice transcriptionist may face is the constant lack of time. You will want to take on as many projects as possible to increase profits, leading to projects not being completed on time.

An excellent way to deal with this problem is to make a graph. Regardless of how much time the client allocates to you for the project, you must distribute tasks not to let yourself and the client down. Sometimes customers may demand the unrealistic – to create English subtitles in an hour for a video lasting half an hour. People are known to type much slower than they speak. Therefore, you must reasonably assess your capabilities and negotiate with the client on real terms that you can master.

We recommend that you always take time with a margin, as there are force majeure circumstances. For example, you may temporarily lose power or the Internet and need more time to complete the project. However, do not overuse time. If you feel like you can achieve a task earlier, do it. Free time you can spend on yourself or household chores.

2. The Problem of Adapting to Smart Technology


For those involved in manual transcription, completing a project can be time-consuming. Your earnings depend on the speed of typing and editing. Today, manual editing is inefficient. Many platforms automatically detect errors and give suggestions for improvements. Therefore, every expert should be able to adapt to intelligent technologies.

You should also actively use transcription programs that will allow you to complete the task more quickly and efficiently. Of course, you should not mindlessly trust AI and refuse manual transcription. However, you can let the latest technology recognize voices, eliminate background noise, and distinguish between accents. The difficulty lies in the fact that not everyone can deal with the functions provided by these programs. Therefore, we have selected the most easy-to-understand transcription software with efficient functionality:

  • Descript is a versatile editor that makes editing easy.
  • Sonix is the most accurate automated transcription service.
  • Trint makes any audio and video searchable, editable, and shareable.
  • Maestra is a transcription, subtitling, and voice-over platform that allows you to translate audio and video files into the desired format automatically.
  • Happy Scribe supports over 60 different languages to convert audio to text.

This list could go on for a long time. However, start with the basics and then master more complex platforms.

3. The Problem of Gaining a Reliable Reputation

The job of a transcriptionist involves close collaboration with trust. Building a base of satisfied customers is challenging. However, it is much more difficult to get positive reviews. Any negative statement in your direction can significantly damage your reputation. Be prepared that even loyal clients can terminate the contract if they read a negative review about you as a transcriptionist.

Learn to control your emotions to avoid negative comments. If a conversation seems ridiculous or unacceptable to you, do not dwell on it. Treat the work professionally and keep the customer’s confidentiality. Never post audio that customers trust you on social media or provocative sites. Also, keep an eye on the quality of papers and deadlines, which we talked about above. Only under such conditions will you win customers’ trust and create a successful reputation on the network.

4. The Problem of Listening to Bad Sound


Analyzing an awful sound can be the biggest challenge for an aspiring transcriptionist. Failing to do well with the first project, containing background noise and different accents, you risk getting a bad review and ruining your career as a transcriptionist. However, some methods will better understand the speaker and deal with the problem.

The first thing you can do is break up the recording into shorter chunks. This is especially important for long hours of recording. For five-minute videos or audio, this strategy may not be necessary. To divide the record into parts, use special tools. Don’t do it manually – splitting fragments can be time-consuming and not consistently accurate.

The second thing you can do is use free audio to text conversion services. By running the recording through an automated transcription platform, you can see fragments that require more careful analysis. Parts with good sound, you can check for punctuation and make changes. However, you will save a lot of time listening to all the material.

5. The Problem of Excessive Depletion

The last big mistake that young transcriptionists make is over-exhaustion. You will neglect sleep and food in the first months since a new profession will cause you some interest. Drainage of vital signs for the body can be a severe problem and a further hindrance to work performance.

To avoid this problem, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Organize your workday properly. You can write down a to-do list for today. The main thing is to calculate your strength and not try to do more than is possible.
  • Get enough sleep. The optimal sleep duration for an adult is 8 hours.
  • Follow your diet. A balanced diet is a key to a healthy body and a strong immune system.
  • Don’t forget about rest. So that there is no overwork, and the work is productive, you need to take rest breaks.

You should not bring yourself to an extreme state, constantly exhausting the body with work. Sometimes it’s better to sleep, take a walk, or relax so that later you can get back to work with renewed vigor. Remember – the happier you are, the more productive your work will be!


A transcriber is a good start for those who want to learn an online profession, as this direction develops skills that will be useful to you in other jobs. Like any other profession, transcription comes with its own set of complexities. However, there are no impossible situations. If you need extra income and are interested in this profession, use our tips for dealing with common problems of transcriptionists, and you will be able to build a successful career!