General Transcription Training vs Medical Transcription Training

To get medical transcription jobs, you typically have to take a medical transcription training course. You need to learn a wide range of medical terminology and specialties to be able to understand and spell medical terms. Medical transcription also requires a lot of  practice to acquire the necessary skills to get an MT job.

General transcription training

Learning general transcription is a lot easier than learning medical transcription.

You don’t need to learn medical terminology or spend any money on medical transcription courses.

You don’t even need any formal training to become a general and business transcriptionist. Taking a transcription course will speed up the learning process and make you a better transcriptionist faster but is not required.

General transcription covers a wide range of non-medical topics and industries. That’s why you don’t find general transcription terminology courses.

So, how do you learn general and business transcription?

Transcription skills include typing, listening, grammar and punctuation skills. In this article I’m discussing several ways that you can acquire the skills you need to become a general and business transcriptionist.

1. Increase your typing speed

General and business transcriptionists are typically paid based by production. Your typing speed will affect how much money you can make as a transcriptionist.  The faster you can transcribe the more transcripts you’ll be able to produce in the least amount of time and the more money you’ll be able to make.

Transcription companies expect a general transcriptionist to have a minimum typing speed of about 40 to 50 words per minutes and some companies require higher speeds. The faster you can type the better. But keep in mind that accuracy is even more important than speed.

Keep working on improving your typing speed by practicing and using typing tutor software. You can also instantly increase your typing speed by using word expanders or text expanders and other keyword shortcuts. See more information about word expanders here. Fast Fox Typing Expander is a great typing expander I recommend.

2. Learn your word processing software

The typical word processing software used for general and business transcription is MS Word. If you are proficient with your word processing program, you will be able to format transcripts faster.

3. Improve your grammar skills

You need to be proficient in grammar, spelling and punctuation. If you need to brush up on your grammar, you can take a course from your local community college or take an online grammar course.

4. Learn industry vocabulary

You can expand your vocabulary and general knowledge about an industry you want to work for by reading online articles, books and newsletters about that industry and visiting related websites.

5. Take a general transcription course


6. Take a medical or legal transcription training program (optional)

Although taking a medical or legal transcription course is not necessary to become a general or business transcriptionist, the training will help you develop transcription skills. Medical transcription courses usually include transcription practice tapes with real doctor dictation. You can find medical and legal transcription courses online and at local colleges, universities and trade schools.

See my recommendations about medical transcription schools.

Click here to get more information about a legal transcription course I recommend.


7. Practice transcription

The more you practice transcription, the better and faster you’ll get.  You can practice by transcribing audio files, podcasts, teleseminars and interviews you find online. You can record and transcribe TV programs and conversations.

One of the best ways to acquire transcription experience is by practicing with practice audio files that provide the same types of audio that transcriptionists are getting.  Sample dictation files are available with a variety of recordings (e.g. interviews, podcasts, meetings), industries, topics, speed, voices, accents and difficulty.

Using practice files will help you to become a skilled transcriptionist fast. It will improve your listening and transcription skills, transcription speed and accuracy. You can compare your transcript with corrected transcripts. You can verify how you’re doing and learn from your mistakes.

Transcription practice files will help you develop your listening skills and skills to decipher speech, and improve your overall transcription skills. They help you become familiar with various voices, accents, inflections and speech paces.

Transcription practice audios are also great for people to get a feel for transcription and see if transcription is the right career for them.

Get more information about transcription practice files here.

Keep practicing and keep improving your transcription skills. Being faster and better means that you can make more money and become a reputable transcriptionist who will get repeat business and referrals.

To test the skills of a general transcriptionist, hiring companies will typically require you to pass an online test. Accuracy, speed and following instructions are important to pass the test. If you pass the test, the company will contact you when they have work available. Make sure to be ready before taking the test and apply for general transcription jobs.

Here are some training resources:

If you’re interested in transcription jobs that don’t require specialized training, consider general transcription jobs. Visit General Transcription Work From Home to get more information on how to get started in general transcription work.

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