To be a freelance transcriptionist, you have to be equipped with certain basic necessities. Let us look at some must-haves for you to start with freelance transcription jobs. You can always buy the basic ones to start with and later on can be upgraded.
Computer: For transcription jobs, your computer does not require a lot of computing power. You don’t really need high-end CPU or lot of storage space as long as you are not using the system for any other purpose. Even an Intel Celeron Process would do if money is a decisive factor. You can choose a laptop or a desktop, it doesn’t really matter.
Internet Connection: It is necessary for you to have high-speed Internet connectivity as sometimes you would have to work on software provided by the transcription companies that would allow you to connect fast and secure. You would be uploading and downloading audio files and text documents and would also require a lot of research. It is also preferred to have a backup internet connection so that your work is not distracted even if your primary connection fails.
Transcription Software: There are quite a few transcription tools readily available in the market, some are free and some require a nominal fee. Express Scribe is one of the popular software you can think of.
Microsoft Word: It is preferred to have Microsoft Word though you have alternatives. Most of the transcription software, guides and tutorials used by transcription companies are based on Word.
Headphones: Stethoscope style headphones are commonly used by transcriptionists; however, you can use any as long as the audio output is clear and loud enough for you to transcribe.
Foot Pedal: Though a foot pedal is not a must, it is good to have. Controlling audio playback with function keys while transcribing could slow down your efficiency, so it is always better to have one.
Comfortable Seating: Ergonomically suitable work space is much needed. This is something you need to carefully choose since transcription jobs demand extensive sitting and is definitely not a sit-on-the-couch type of job. Uncomfortable seating can lead you to develop neck or back pain.