Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Katie
10 best transcription courses online to jumpstart your career (free and paid).
If you’re considering moving into the world of transcription, improving your skills by taking a relevant course is the way to get ahead.
To get started, read How to Become a General Transcriptionist: Step by Step Guide for Beginners and then read the rest of this post to find a suitable course that’ll teach you the basics.
While you can find transcription work without taking any courses, in my experience, you have a better chance of securing paid work if you have some idea of what you’re doing.
Entry-level transcription companies won’t ask for this, but you’ll have to pass a test to work with them.
Tailored courses show you what is required from a transcriptionist and how to pass these tests with flying colours.
To help, I’ve put this article together detailing the best free and paid transcription courses online.
Best Transcription Courses Online to Jumpstart Your Career
Now, let’s take a look at the best transcription courses online.
I’ve divided them into ‘free’ and ‘paid’ sections for your convenience.
If you don’t have any money to invest right away, start with free courses and take a paid course when you’re ready to advance your career.
Free Transcription Courses
This is a free, general transcription training course, taught by Janet Shaughnessy, the course instructor founder of Transcribe Anywhere.
It includes a 7-lesson mini-course to teach the basics of transcription.
It’s perfect for people who are interested in a transcription career but are not sure yet if it’s right for them.
In the free lessons you’ll learn:
- What transcription actually is
- Who uses transcriptionists
- Insider truths about transcription
- Decide if the work is right for you
- Transcriptionist earning potential
- Recommended list of equipment
- How to find high paid online transcription jobs
Sign up for the Free Transcription Mini Course Here.
If you enjoy this free training, you can move on to take the Transcribe Anywhere transcriptionist certification courses which are detailed further down in this article. These include a general transcription course and a legal transcription course.
Number two on the list of best transcription courses online, this class is hosted on Skillshare where you can sign up for the first month free.
Taught by Nitay L, a professional proofreader and translator, you’ll learn everything about captioning and transcription.
You basically get two courses in one and access to all future updates at no extra cost.
When finished, you can complete a class project to practice your skills. Course content includes:
- The general process of transcription
- How to use free and paid editing tools
- How to remove background noises
- Keyboard shortcuts and English auto-correct software
- 5 practice activities
- How to find regular transcription work
- The basics of captioning
Sign up for the free Transcription and Captioning Masterclass here.
This is another top transcription class you can access for free on Skillshare.
Over 800 students have taken this comprehensive course taught by Amanda Fichter (a professional transcriptionist for 17 years). It’s perfect to get started as a beginner general transcriptionist.
The course aims to build your skills, so at the end, you’re ready to turn your knowledge into a full-time, transcriptionist career.
Inside you’ll learn:
- What transcription actually is
- How to set up your home office for success
- Details on the equipment needed
- Training in several transcription styles
- Practice your skills with audio files provided
- Where to locate high paying transcription work
Sign up for the free Step by Step Transcription from Home class here.
The final free class worth taking a look at on Skillshare is The Complete Guide to Transcription taught by Khaqan Chaudry.
Having worked in the industry for over four years, Khaqan has helped hundreds of students start their careers transcribing.
Perfect for beginners, this class includes tons of practice files so you can learn by doing.
By the end of the course, you’ll have a solid understanding of the business and how to start your own career.
- Learn to use the best transcription software
- Understand the entire transcription process
- How to weed out potential scam companies
- How to create a transcriptionist resume that gets you clients?
- Exact steps to pass transcriptionist exams with ease
- Perfect your skills to transcribe and type with accuracy
Sign up for the free Complete Guide to Transcription class here.
Paid Transcription Courses
This is an in-depth course, that teaches you all the necessary skills to become an independent contractor general transcriptionist.
Taught by Janet Shaughnessy who’s been in the industry for over 10 years, the course was designed to be the only resource you need to become a truly excellent transcriptionist.
Content includes a mix of dynamic video content, plenty of practice, tutorials, marketing how-to’s and a supportive community along the way.
Ideal for those willing to work hard and learn before they earn.
Course content includes:
- Where to get the best deals on equipment
- How to use text expanders and shortcut keys
- Transcription style guide and downloadable templates
- Tutorial videos on software, time coding and more
- How and where to find high-paying work
- How to build and market your transcription business
- How to set up a transcription website
- Seven levels of practice dictations for hands-on experience
- Lifetime access to all course materials and updates
Level: Good for beginners and intermediates needing help to push their career forwards.
Learn more about General Transcription: Theory and Practice here.
This is an all-inclusive education system for legal transcription, also taught by Janet Shaughnessy.
Inside, you’ll learn everything you need to know about becoming a legal transcriber.
Legal transcriptionists are in demand and it’s extremely well paid, due to the fact that work can’t be done by just anyone. Only trained legal transcriptionists with advanced study can take on this work and enjoy the increased income.
The course is right for any beginner or general transcriptionist looking for the next step up in their career. The study material includes:
- 14 full-length training modules
- Typing drills for speed and accuracy
- How to use text expanders and shortcut keys
- Legal transcription style guide and downloadable templates
- Over 100 pages of legal terminology
- Screencast tutorial videos on transcription software
- Definitions and descriptions of types of legal processes and law
- How to market yourself and find high-paying work
- How to set up a legal transcription website
- Ten levels of practice dictations
- Lifetime access to updates and the support forum
Price: $897. You also have the option of bundling the General Transcription and Legal Transcription courses together for $1297.
Level: Ideal for beginners or those with experience wanting to take their career to the next level and earn more money.
Learn more about the Legal Transcription: Theory and Practice Course here.
This course is taught by Chelsea Flint and gives you over 1.5 hours of video content, 8 articles, 39 downloadable resources and 2 practice tests.
8,630 students have taken this course and moved on to fulfilling transcriptionist careers.
Inside the course, you’ll get valuable information on how to become an online transcriptionist and create professional transcripts fast.
The classes range from beginner to advanced skills, getting you ready to offer transcription services to your own clients.
Course content includes:
- Working with Express Scribe
- Transcribing, editing and proofing a transcription file
- Using correct spelling and grammar plus grammar guides
- 500-word list of text expanders to work with
- Cleaning up a hard-to-hear audio
- Advanced techniques such as timestamping and tracking speakers
- Productivity shortcuts is Word
Price: £59.99 (£13.99 sale)
Level: Ideal for complete beginners or people who are currently transcribing and want to learn advanced skills.
Learn more about the Transcription Skills – Learn Beginning to Advanced Skills here.
Taught by Shelmith Mwangi, this is one of the highest-rated transcription certification programs on Udemy.
Over 700 students have taken this course which includes 1.5 hours of video, 13 downloadable resources and assignments at the end to test your skills.
To get started, you’ll need a computer with an internet connection, a typing speed of over 35WPM, a good command of English grammar, headphones and the ability to pay attention to detail.
The course covers:
- Transcription tools required
- Transcription rules and speaker labels
- Tags, punctuation and grammar
- Types of transcripts, number rules, sentence building and timestamps
- How to complete an assignment correctly
Level: Ideal for beginners wanting to learn the right skills and get their first transcription clients.
Learn more about the Learn Online Transcription From Scratch course here.
This is an in-depth introduction to transcription for beginners, created by Krysty Underwood.
Krysty has been in the transcription and education industries for over 5 years and has published two books and numerous articles.
Over 600 students have taken this course and inside you get over two hours of video, one article, 14 downloadable resources and a certificate of completion.
To get started you need a good grasp of the English language, a typing speed of 60WPM, good listening skills and the ability to follow instructions.
Classes show you:
- The basics of transcription
- How to transcribe and edit a script
- The pros and cons of different types of transcription
- Details about general, medical and legal transcription
- Best tools and equipment needed for success
- How to get work, how to submit transcripts and how to get paid
Level: Beginners wanting to get started in the industry.
Learn more about the Work From Home Doing Transcription course here.
This course is taught by Cody Lee and has an average rating of 4.9 stars and positive feedback from over 799 students.
Medical transcriptionists are the highest-paid in the industry, so medical transcription training is well worth your time if you want to advance.
Inside you get 36 minutes of on-demand video, 2 articles, 9 downloadable resources and a certificate on completion.
You’ll learn the skills to become a high paid medical transcriptionist and get guided on where to find the best gigs.
Course content includes:
- Medical transcription explained
- Transcription services overview
- Skills and knowledge required
- Where to find the best supplies needed
- How to find employment
- Practice audio medical records to transcribe
Price: £44.99 (£13.99 sale)
Level: Anyone wanting to get into the lucrative field of medical transcription.
Learn more about the How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist course here.
How Much Do Transcriptionists Make?
How much you make as a transcriptionist depends on your experience.
Just like with any career, the more skills you have, the higher pay you get. Transcription pay depends on:
- How fast you can type
- How accurate your typing is
- The amount of work you complete
- The base rate you charge
As a beginner, pay is around $15 per hour as a general transcriptionist. But, as you gain experience, you can set up on freelancer platforms and increase your rate.
As you advance, you may take one of the courses mentioned above.
This increases your skills and makes you more valuable in the eyes of future employers.
What Does a Transcriptionist Do?
Transcription work involves listening to voice and audio recordings and converting them into written documents.
The transcriber must be a great listener and have the ability to type quickly and accurately.
Work may involve transcribing meetings, zoom calls, phone calls, videos, court hearings and medical content.
Further reading: 10 Essential Skills Needed to Be a Transcriptionist
Is It Hard to Be a Transcriptionist?
Transcription work can be challenging for beginners.
Some may find it difficult to keep up with the audio recordings and to type sometimes unknown or undecipherable words.
But with practice, transcribing becomes natural, allowing you to type faster and earn more money.
Further reading: Is General Transcription a Good Job?
What Industries Use Transcription Services?
Many industries use transcription services to transcribe their videos, meetings, podcasts, lectures and more.
- Lawyers, paralegals, court reporters
- Medical and healthcare professionals
- Video production and marketing firms
- Students and lecturers
- Keynote speakers and event coordinators
- Entrepreneurs and YouTube channel owners
- Video and audio podcasters
Where Can I Find Transcription Clients?
You can find high-paying transcription clients fast on freelancing platforms or through dedicated websites.
Some of the best to check out are:
Further reading: 21 Best Remote Transcription Jobs for Beginners in 2022
Final Thoughts on the Best Transcription Courses Online
Now you know the best transcription courses online. Which one will you take to jumpstart your transcriptionist career?
There are many options to get started for free and to advance with paid courses.
Which path you choose depends on your budget and how fast you want to progress.
Transcription is a great virtual career that shows no sign of slowing down. With the rise of video and podcast content online, the need for transcribers is only going to keep growing.
Secure your place in the industry and start learning transcription today.
10 Best Transcription Courses Online to Jumpstart Your Career (Free and Paid)
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.