Legal, medical and general transcription all require typing and grammar skills. The methods used in medical transcription and legal transcription are similar but the content, terminology and industry formats are different.
In addition to the skills needed for any type of transcription, the legal and medical industries require specialized knowledge such as legal and medical terminology.
Legal transcriptionists need to understand legal terminology and use it correctly. Although no formal training is required to become a legal transcriptionist, specialized knowledge is needed. That’s why prior experience in the legal field, any knowledge of law, legal terminology and legal documents or specialized training will work in your favor to get legal transcription jobs. In addition to keyboarding speed and accuracy, some companies are looking for college or vocation degrees.
Medical transcription involves medical terms such as name of drugs, diseases, disorders and organ parts. When the transcriber makes mistakes, it may affect the health of the patient. Medical transcriptionists may have science and medically related degrees including nursing, psychology, physical therapy, pharmacy and biology. If you don’t have a medical background, you will typically have to take a specialized medical transcription course. Employers may screen applicants for their knowledge of medical terms through tests.
General transcription is easier to get into. You won’t typically encounter many medical or legal terms unless you are targeting medical, legal or insurance industries and some specialized academic fields. Topics will vary widely so you can’t learn any specialized terms unless you’re focusing on one particular industry. General knowledge and research skills will make the job of a general transcriptionist easier.
The main requirements for general transcription work are fast and accurate typing and good English and spelling skills. Because general transcription doesn’t require medical or legal terminology training or certification, it’s easier to get started in general transcription.