There are 3 basic parts to a transcription support service program: the transcriber, the equipment and software, and a trained site service coordinator.
1) The TypeWell Transcriber
There are 4 sources of transcribers:
- Recruit and put your own through the transcribing course;
- Contract with TypeWell to recruit and train one for you, through the train-to-hire program;
- Hire an already-trained transcriber (as an independent contractor or employee); or
- Contract with an agency that provides trained transcribers.
Recruiting and educating your own transcriber:
For information about recruiting a person to become a transcriber, see the student requirements and recruiting pages. TypeWell transcribing is learned through a fully remote distance-learning course.
The pay rate for a beginning transcriber has traditionally been similar to that received by a beginning interpreter in a given geographic area. In our experience, this has averaged around $15 to $40 per hour, depending on the cost of living and level of experience, with hourly rates as high as $50 per hour in areas of high demand. Lower hourly salaries often include benefits.
Experienced transcribers are valuable service providers whom employers do not want to lose to other jobs. Adequate pay and good working conditions help to promote job satisfaction and job retention.
Contracting with an already-trained TypeWell transcriber:
If you are interested in contracting with an agency or freelancer, please consult our list of questions to ask when contracting with a remote provider. To find out if there are qualified individuals (freelance transcribers) in your area, please contact us so we can search our internal database. You can also find agencies and individual freelancers by visiting the online directories maintained by our nonprofit professional organization: Association of Transcribers & Speech-to-text Providers (ATSP).
Be sure to verify that all job candidates have successfully completed the TypeWell transcribing course. Only individuals who have successfully completed a TypeWell transcribing course can use TypeWell software to provide communication access services to consumers.
How do I know if a transcriber is qualified?
2) Equipment and software
The equipment needed to provide TypeWell support services includes at least one notebook computer (for the transcriber), a display device for the student or staff to read the transcription (usually a second computer), and some way to connect the transcriber's computer and the student's display. We recommend the use of a steno-table and roller bag, too. TypeWell's unique software includes all the program capabilities needed for providing transcription services: the abbreviation system, a word processor, and TypeWell software to link the two computers.
3) A trained site service coordinator
The smooth running of any support service program requires a coordinator who is knowledgeable about the specific services provided, knows the students or other consumers who will use the service, and is responsible for scheduling and supporting the transcribers. Interpreter supervisors, support service coordinators, special education teachers, and resource room teachers generally make excellent site service coordinators.
The coordinator is usually responsible for:
- Mentoring the transcriber, especially during the first month or so of in-class transcribing to support the transition of skills from the transcribing course to the actual provision of communication access services. We offer Skill Consultations if remote mentoring is needed.
- Supporting good ergonomic practices, including the purchase of appropriate equipment (such as the portable table and roller bag).
- Ensuring good scheduling practices. A transcriber should not type for more than an hour without some rest, nor more than 3 or 4 hours in a single day. Back-to-back classes should be avoided when possible. Most high school classes have natural typing breaks, such as when the students read silently or do seat work. College classes are often more intense, and rest breaks must be worked in, often creatively. Teaming is often the best alternative.
- Arranging for adequate editing and note distribution time and equipment, such as a school email account or printer.
- Acting as a liaison between the transcriber and the classroom instructors, the student(s) or the parents as needed, to ensure smooth delivery of service.
- Supporting the transcriber as needed, to build job satisfaction