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What skills do I need to succeed as a typing contractor?

While many people believe that transcription typing is 'easy' and anyone can do it, in reality typists are highly skilled professionals who must possess a broad range of skills and qualities in order to perform their job effectively. 

The skills that you need to be a successful typing contractor include:

  • At least 3 years’ research, medical, finance or legal transcription experience.
  • Research. You need to be able to use the internet (Google) to research names and key terms. 
  • Listening. You need to have a good ear for audio and be able to understand and transcribe files with poor audio quality, files where the speakers have foreign accents and files where multiple speaker identification is required.
  • Language. You need a highly developed understanding of English grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax. You need to understand how grammar and punctuation can convey or change a speaker's intended meaning. Active listening while typing and the ability to contextualise are important skills.
  • Management. As you will effectively be running your own business, you need to be able to manage your time appropriately so that you are able to meet deadlines and balance competing priorities. You will be responsible for your productivity and invoicing.  You will take pride and ownership in your work, always striving to produce transcripts of the highest quality possible.
  • Communication. You need to be an open and honest communicator. In particular you need to be able to communicate with us in relation to your work, particularly about your ability to meet deadlines. You need to be online via Skype during your working hours (instant messaging only, no video).
  • Computer literacy. You need to be able to touch type at a minimum speed of 60 wpm with an accuracy of 97% for medical and 70 wpm for research positions. You must be a confident user of information technology (we can only provide limited support). This means you need to possess intermediate to advanced Microsoft Word skills. You also need to be confident in downloading, installing and setting up new software on your computer and keeping your antivirus and operating systems up to date.
  • Attention to detail. You must possess the ability to ensure that consistency is generated throughout a document.
  • Work autonomously. Even though we provide support, you must be able to comprehend and follow instructions that are given to you. You must have the ability to take the initiative when searching for information.
  • Other skills. A tertiary degree will be looked upon favourably. Excellent general knowledge, being widely read and keeping up to date with current issues will assist you in becoming a highly successful contractor.

In addition to all of the above, you need to genuinely enjoy typing. We are passionate about providing high quality, on-time transcripts which not only satisfy but delight our clients, and we are looking for contractors who will share this passion.