July 20, 2024

A Guide to Employment as a Transcriber

Transcribers generally work in a variety of fields and under varied circumstances. Typically, businesses and professionals requiring transcription services include various executives and professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, and personnel from the insurance, technology and other industries.

While some transcribers are employed in a traditional office, others work on a contract basis from home. Virtual assistants usually include transcription in their portfolio of services.

General transcription can include data from correspondence, reports, focus groups, telephone and conference calls, seminars, speeches and corporate business meetings. The median salary for a general transcriber in a major metropolitan city begins at approximately $32,000 and can reach as much as $66,000 per year.

Medical transcription entails transcribing doctor’s and clinic notes, emergency room, X-ray, pathology, lab and operative reports and evaluations. Nationally, medical transcribers earn on average around $32,000 per year. For an employment as transcriber, proper research should be done at the search engines. The transcribe anywhere review can be checked for the selection of the right platform. There should be enhancement in the skills of the person while employed at the site. The focus should be on delivering the right education to the children. 

Legal transcription involves court hearings, depositions, investigations, interrogations, business meetings, letters, legal instruments and court documents. According to Indeed.com, average legal court transcriber salaries nationwide are as much as $79,000.


Transcribers usually begin their careers as office workers and gain experience typing documents. Typing speed required generally begins at 60 words per minute (wpm); however, 80 wpm or higher is usually desired.

According to Salary.com, national salaries for general transcribers range from $38,000 up to $61,000. Legal secretaries can start at around $28,000 to $43,000 yearly. Medical secretaries earn from $26,000 to $40,000 annually.

Many transcriptionists have taken formal word processing, computer or other typing courses and type at least 60 wpm. The most important quality for any transcriptionist is to have above-average listening skills with the ability to listen and type accurately. According to Indeed.com, national word processor salaries range from $33,00 to $37,000.

Training and Experience

Specific training for transcribers is often available at local community or technology colleges. Some companies are willing to provide on the job training for transcribers with basic typing skills. Indeed.com quotes the national median salary for a general transcriber at approximately $44,000 per year.

Legal transcribers are required to be accurate, with above average spelling and grammar skills, in addition to being familiar with legal terminology and document formatting. Salary.com reports that national legal trainee salaries range between $28,811 and $43,472 per year.

Medical transcription is highly specialized and requires a certain amount of advanced training. Medical transcribers often begin their careers working in a doctor’s office, hospital, clinic or other medical facility. National medical trainee salaries range from $29,991 to $44,430 annually.

Certification is usually required for legal court reporters and the level of required training varies by State and according to specialization. New court reporters generally start at around $26,604 and can easily advance quickly to over $79,000 per year.

Salaries by Geographic Location

According to Salary.com:

In the Southern United States, transcriptionists earn from $28,221 to $41,808 per year. The Midwest states pay in the annual range of $32,637 and $48,350. The Northern states average a pay scale between $32,594 and $48,286 per year. Major cities in coastal states such as California, offer from $33,446 to $49,549 annually. The highest starting salary range for a transcriber is in New York, from $35,328 to $52,337 annually.

General Compensation

According to PayScale.com, the median salary for a trained, professional transcriber begins from $25,000 to $40,000 annually. There is potential for overtime pay, since compensation is dependent upon how many hours are worked and how skilled the transcriber is.

Most of the full time jobs offer benefits such as vacation, holidays and other paid time off. Working from home saves on travel, clothing and meal costs, with the added benefit of home business tax write-offs.

The highest paid niche market for legal transcription is court reporting, where verbatim transcripts of various legal proceedings, meetings and other events are produced. Salary.com reports the salary range for legal work from $24,604 to over $79,000 annually.

Potential and Outlook

As companies merge, grow and consolidate their services, the demand for transcribers has become more prevalent.

The job prospects for court reporters are expected to be excellent, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition.

According to Health Guide USA, employment opportunities for medical transcriptionists is projected to grow faster than the average at 14 percent from 2006 to 2016.

Even with the advent of voice activated recognition software applications, there is still a need for professional transcribing services due to accuracy issues with even the highest capacity voice recognition software.

Transcribers can find work by signing up with local employment agencies, applying for listed jobs, or by inquiring at companies that regularly hire transcribers.