You just need to listen well, type it up and send it back.
What you bring to the table: Typing accuracy and speed, a good pair of headphones (which makes interviews easier to understand).
Expect to earn: From $5 to $40 per hour.
How to get started: Look for regular work with a transcription service such as the ones at verbalink.com and scribie.com, or branch out on your own by contacting local newspapers, magazines, and TV news stations. One enterprising way to find nonfiction writers is to check book publishers’ author websites (there are hundreds at harpercollins.com/author/websites.aspx). On the author’s site, look for an e-mail link or mailing address.
As an Interview transcriber, it is your job to convert a speech (either live or recorded) into a written or electronic text document. Transcription services are often provided for business, legal, or medical purposes. Interview transcription is a word-to-word written documentation of a taped or live interview. All types of interviews pertaining to legal cases, businesses, research, celebrity interviews and much more can be transcribed. While tapes need to be played and replayed to get the exact information one is looking for, transcribed copies allow easy lookup for the desired information. A written transcript is also important to identify key topics discussed in an interview. People with hearing impairments or deafness can also have access to the interview proceedings with accurately prepared interview transcripts.
For many years, market research companies would conduct focus groups where they collected data that they then turned over to a transcriber to write up the report. Interview transcribers were also known as court reporters. Technology and the use of the Internet have created more opportunities, for instance, podcasters or YouTube video owners could hire an interview transcriber to take their radio and videos and transcribed them into written format to sell as an e-book or a training program.
Things to Consider
This job sounds easy enough, right? But just like any other job, what’s easy for one person won’t be for another.
You also have to be aware, sometimes the files you listen to will be very poor quality, making it difficult to understand what’s being said on the tape. And other times, you might find yourself trying to interpret unclear dialog spoken in poor English or with a thick accent by foreigners.
As an Interview transcriber, you need to be aware that the work is also quite repetitive. You will have to listen to the same audio over and over again in order to be sure you have transcribed it perfectly. If repetition drives you insane, transcription might not be the line of work for you.
However, the flexibility of the work may make up for the fact it can be challenging and repetitive. If you enjoy a flexible work schedule, transcription might be the right fit for you.