What is the different between a typist and a transcriptionist?

The difference between a typist and a transcriptionist

Audio Transcription Transcription Typing

What is the difference between a typist and transcriptionist?

Posted By Cathy Bennett

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We often get asked what is the difference between a typist and transcriptionist, after all both roles essentially involve typing. Our answer can often be lengthy. Before we explore the differences, we think it might be best to share what they have in common.

Both typists and transcriptionists require excellent grammar, spelling and of course typing skills.

The Role of a Typist

A skilled typist can produce typed documents with speed and accuracy. When we say speed, we do mean speed as the average words per minute (WPM) for a skilled typist is 65 to 75 WPM, while the average person can type about 30 to 40 WPM.

A typist will often have other duties included within the role including: filing, photocopying, answering phones and other administrative tasks.

The Role of a Transcriptionist

Transcriptionists produce an accurate, written record of audio recordings.

Most transcriptionists use a foot pedal to pause, rewind or fast forward the audio file they are working on to match their typing speed.

You will also find that many transcriptionists will specialise in a particular field. For example: legal, medical and academic transcription.

Transcription is far more complicated than copy typing because it involves:

  1. Accents and dialects – It can be sometimes incredibly difficult to understand some speakers on audio files. There can often be many languages which is why transcribers are often multilingual.
  2. Audio Quality – The quality of the recording will also affect the difficulty of the task. Low quality equipment for the recording can affect the sound quality as can background noise, making it hard for the transcriber to understand hear the recording clearly.
  3. Number of Speakers – If there are multiple speakers the job of the Transcriptionist is going to become harder, as you need to be able to accurately identify each speaker.

Fingertips Typing Services offers clients both services and has a highly skilled team on hand to fulfil your needs.

For a quote or to find out more: info@fingertipstyping.co.uk

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