4 Transcription Training Courses to Jump Start Your Business


Transcription training courses often make the difference between a smooth launch of your new side hustle or a frustrating one. To help you make extra money, the best courses offer hands-on practice to prepare you for all the variables that come with converting recorded audio and video to text documents.

Some courses offer a high-level overview, while others provide a comprehensive startup guide and proven techniques for building your skills and getting clients. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make a choice. 


We compared the pros and cons of four top-notch transcription training course options to help you find the one that’s right for you. All of them are focused on getting you the right skillset because in the long run, that is what gets you paid. 

1. Transcribe Anywhere

Transcribe Anywhere (TA) provides comprehensive training covering all aspects of transcription jobs via video modules. You can learn at your own pace and convenience from Janet Shaughnessy, a professional with over 10 years experience as a transcriptionist and training course teacher.

TA targets beginner students, even including typing drills to build your speed before moving to hands-on transcription practice. Intermediate transcriptionists can also benefit from marketing advice, access to their job board, and by getting certified.


TA doesn’t sugar coat things; they tell you up front transcription requires hard work, concentration and training. But they teach you step-by-step how to turn audio or video into the proper text format, how to use popular transcription software, and how to set up your business.

Additional course content includes:

  • Several diverse dictation practice assignments

  • How to find higher-paying jobs

  • Access to a transcription-specific WordPress theme (after completing the exam)

  • Industry-specific marketing tips

  • Guidance on buying transcription equipment


Free Option: TA offers a free workshop as well as a free video course tour 

  • Exam and certificate of completion to build your resume
  • Course approval by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT)

  • Real-world practice on files with multiple speakers or foreign accents rather than just perfect audio
  • Lifetime access to community support and course content 
  • Takes two to six months to complete the course but you can go faster if you have more time to invest
  • No refunds

2. TCI

Transcription Certification Institute (TCI) offers a comprehensive curriculum covering transcription techniques, editing skills, and industry best practices. To help you get immediate experience and boost your confidence, they connect students to optional unpaid internships after you finish the course.  


Their multimedia lessons teach typing speed and accuracy, how to deal with multiple speakers, and how to level-up your Microsoft Word skills. They recommend completing the course in 21 to 90 days, but you can take as long as you want, especially if you’re new to typing jobs.

TCI is geared toward beginners seeking professional transcription training and certification, but trained transcriptionists can also benefit from access to assessments and practice exercises.

Additional course content includes:

  • Tips from companies who hire transcriptionists
  • Common formatting requirements
  • Punctuation and grammar training
  • Understanding and complying with privacy rules


  • $499 for general transcription course
  • Payment plan available

Free Option: Free transcription program preview (once you complete their quiz to see if transcription is a good career choice for you)

  • Certification for your resume
  • Guaranteed internship (if you achieve at least an 80% course score)

  • Access to TCI job board
  • Large selection of practice files and assessments available
  • Refund available if you request it before completing lesson 4
  • Internships aren’t paid (although the company is required to provide a letter of completion and be a reference)
  • Course is not approved by AAERT
  • Not as thorough as TA

3. Udemy

Udemy is a training website for learners with a staggering 80,000+ courses to choose from, including hundreds on transcription. These courses cater to a wide variety of skill levels, so everyone from a newbie to an expert can find a short class with video, text, and slideshow lessons.

Experienced instructors teach the courses and share the practical skills and market knowledge that have helped them succeed in general and legal transcription. Top-ranked courses include titles like “Master the Expander: The #1 Tool for Transcription!” and “Easiest Side Hustle: Passive Income from Transcription.” 

Udemy’s transcription training courses work well for students who want to explore different niches before diving into the time and money commitment of a comprehensive course.

Additional course options include:

  • Skill building courses on typing, document formatting, closed captioning, and more with complexity from beginner to advanced
  • Business building courses that teach how to launch a transcriptionist career
  • Hands-on transcription practice courses 
  • Tips for working from home as a transcriptionist
  • Related skill-builders like courses on punctuation and grammar 


  • Course prices vary from $20 to $100 but often go on sale

Free Option: A handful of free transcription courses are available, but for serious training, make the investment in a paid course.

  • Great for sampling transcription specialties like legal transcription versus general
  • Huge selection of courses

  • Short course duration – usually 1 to 2 hours
  • Affordable
  • No ongoing community support
  • Courses are not approved by AAERT
  • Could be more expensive than TA or TCI if you take several courses

4. Skillshare

Like Udemy, Skillshare offers a variety of courses taught by industry professionals. Their transcription training courses are presented in video format, allowing you to learn by watching real-time demonstrations.

To take Skillshare courses, you buy a membership and then gain access to their entire catalog. Skillshare has several online transcription courses including “Step by Step Transcription from Home” and “Learn How to Transcribe” that rank highest among members.

For budding entrepreneurs who want an overview transcription as an online side job, Skillshare courses give you the basics. You can take advantage of community engagement with fellow learners and instructors through discussions and feedback. 

Additional course options include:

  • Niche options like closed-caption training and using Upwork to get transcription jobs
  • Hands-on transcription practice courses
  • Related skill-builders like courses on improving your typing speed


  • $165 for annual subscription

Free Option: Your first month of membership is free so you can take as many courses as you have time for during that month.

  • Access to thousands of courses
  • Full month of free access
  • No feedback or scoring on your work
  • No certification or AAERT approval
  • No lifetime access to course content unless you maintain your membership

What Skills Do Transcriptionists Need?

Transcription isn’t just about listening and typing – you need a specific set of skills to excel, including a good grasp of the English language, grammar, and punctuation. You’ll often be dealing with imperfect audio and colloquial speech, so understanding context and being able to interpret meaning is a big part of the job. 

Also, speed and accuracy in typing are fundamental. The faster and more accurately you can type, the more work you can get done. Don’t worry if you’re not there at first — you can definitely learn these skills, either from the comprehensive courses or in bite-sized training from the learner platforms. 

More than anything, patience and concentration play a key role. Some files can be long and complex, so you’ll need to be able to maintain focus. But since you can do this work from anywhere and set your own schedule, you can set up your workspace in a way that helps you concentrate.

What Equipment Do Transcriptionists Need?

When it comes to gearing up for your transcription journey, you’ll need a computer and a solid internet connection. It’s worth investing in a good pair of headphones to help you catch every last word, even if the audio quality isn’t the best. 

Also, consider using a transcription pedal. It’s not a must, but it can help you control the audio playback without shifting your hands away from the keyboard, saving you time and effort. Lastly, using a transcription software that supports foot pedal integration and includes features like text expanders, customizable hotkeys, and automatic timestamps will be a great help. 

Final Word on Best Transcription Training Courses for 2023

Whether you’re a beginner or you’re ready to take your skills up a notch, you can save yourself time and frustration by investing in a transcription training course. Consider your budget, learning preferences, and available free time when deciding where to start.

Transcribe Anywhere, TCI Institute, Udemy, and Skillshare all offer unique advantages, so choose the one that aligns best with your needs. Success in transcription starts with understanding what it is and how to do it, and with so many free options that explain that, you can get going today.


Can I become a transcriptionist without any prior experience?


Yes. While prior experience can be an advantage, it’s not a requirement. Many transcription courses are tailored to beginners, teaching you everything you need from scratch. However, you must be willing to put in time and effort to learn and practice.

How much can I earn as a transcriptionist?


About $15 to $30 an hour for general transcription, but as you improve the complexity of the work you take on, your speed, and accuracy, you can earn more. You can also learn specialized transcription skills like closed captioning or legal transcription to boost your income.

Is transcription a good side hustle?


Yes! You can set your own hours and work from home or anywhere you can concentrate. It doesn’t require a degree or prior experience, but training can help you close the skill gap if you aren’t already a typing rock star.

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