At Last! this Hot Topic has been much-requested and I've been "too busy" to put my thoughts together. Since I've jump-started my brain upon returning to work last week, I'm going to compile data here.
Since I started working from home 10 years ago, I have been asked on a frequent basis, "How can _I_ work from home doing your job?"
HOW TO GET CERTIFIED:
The simple How-To answer is here! Most companies do not train their own employees anymore; they want someone with a certificate or experience, or both. The company _I_ recommend for certification is Career Step (www.homecareerinfo.com/0518). My sisters have both completed their program, and one is employed full-time, with very good earnings. (My other sister has just taken the final exam, and I'll be updating her status in "Comments.")
People ask me if it's worth the investment. I truly believe it is. I'm sure my sisters would agree with me!
HOW TO APPLY FOR A JOB:
After becoming certified, you'll need to apply to companies for a job. Career Step will help with that process, too! I'm employed by MedQuist (http://www.medquist.com/transcriptionists/), and my sister works for another company. Both of them give us bonuses for referring you, so please contact us before applying so we can get credit for you! (contact info. available at my Career Step page, www.homecareerinfo.com/0518)
IS THIS THE JOB FOR YOU?
Working from home isn't for everyone. It can be tedious, frustrating, and lonely. However, if you knew my personality, you'd NEVER think _I_ could do this! So you really can't tell who will be successful, and who will just get by, working from home. You do have to be disciplined to earn income, so I would caution you not to decide to do this without giving it some careful thought.
This job requires you to listen and type at the same time, while operating a foot pedal. You also have to have good grammar skills, to be able to spell, and to be able to learn words with Latin and Greek roots. You will get doctors with heavy accents and you will need to be able to figure out what they are saying - practice helps a lot with this!
There are many rewards to working from home, too! Your schedule is flexible, you don't have to shower before work, you don't spend money and time commuting, you can eat lunch less expensively at home, your kids can be around (depending on their personality and demands) while you work - or they can be at daycare, if that's a big benefit to you! And companies now offer benefits to us, which is a more recent development. I've really enjoyed the years I've put in, both from home and in the office.
If you have questions or comments, please post them! I welcome your input!