Have you always dreamed of working from home? Wearing sweatpants (or no pants) all day? Snuggling with your pet (or double dipping as a part-time sitter on Rover) while getting paid? Transcription could be your answer.
Don’t expect to start off making hundreds of dollars a day, but many transcription-based companies hire beginners, and that’s where you can get your start!
It’s the perfect side hustle that you can do without leaving your couch, and isn’t that the dream?
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What is Transcription?
In the simplest of terms, transcription is listening to an audio file and typing what you hear. It’s creating subtitles, documents, or reports. And it requires patience, typing skills, and a good understanding of grammar and spelling. General transcription could require you to transcribe business meetings, interviews, lectures, or a variety of other conversations.
Medical or legal transcription usually pays more, but the transcriber will require background knowledge in those fields.
If you still feel lost, try this free transcription course.
Should You Apply?
Even though this work is simple, it requires a lot of patience and a good ear.
One minute of audio can take up to 10 minutes to transcribe, depending on your experience. You will have to listen to the same parts multiple times, so if repetition drives you crazy, this might not be for you. It can also be tedious but typists get better with practice. After some time at the job, it becomes like second nature and your work time will speed up a lot.
The best part about general transcription jobs, however, is the flexibility.
You can work at any time, anywhere. This also means you can take time off when you need it. Working from home means you can double dip into other side hustles too and make a solid full-time income. Being a transcriptionist comes with a lot of flexibility which is great, especially if your first job is being the mommy brigade.
How Much Does Transcription Pay?
This varies company to company, but general transcription averages anywhere from $10-$20 per audio hour.
More experienced transcribers, or ones with a medical/legal background, have reported making upwards of $50 per hour.
Just remember that 1 audio hour may take a pure beginner up to 5 hours to transcribe. The more practice you have in doing this type of work, the more money you will make.
Transcribing Firms for Beginners
Here are 30 companies that accept beginners with no
- AccuTran– Prefers applicants with experience, but will hire if the applicant passes a skills test. Open to the US and Canada. Pay is a monthly check or wire transfer. Best for people who can do the work right away because AccuTran expects claimed work done as soon as possible.
- Rev– Accepts beginners and offers freelance video captioning work. $245 average monthly earnings. Requires applicants to pass a test and practice subtitle work. It also uses their own transcription editor software, so you do not have to download anything special to your computer.
- Appenscribe– The company is based out of Australia but open to worldwide applicants. This means that if you speak multiple languages, more jobs will be available to you. Payments are made twice a month!
- 3Play Media– Rather than transcribing, this job is editing transcription that has already been done. If hired, you will need to download their software and have a reliable, high-speed computer. Pays $10-$30 per hour. You have to pass an English proficiency test before you can begin.
- Bam! Transcription– Has clients such as HBO, Warner Brothers, ABC, and FOX. If interested, you must contact them for an application.
- Verbal Ink– Hires for general transcription, proofreading, editing, and translation. Accepts U.S. based applicants only. They state they are looking for transcribers who pay attention to detail, are good listeners, accurate at typing, and can follow their style guide.
- Casting Words– Pay varies depending on what files you are transcribing but offers bonuses for high-quality work. It also lets you listen to the audio file first before you agree to the job. You can request a payout as soon as you have $1 in your account.
- Ubiqus-Offers a variety of jobs for transcription, but you must type at least 70 wpm, be a US resident, and native English speaker.
- Daily Transcription– This service specializes in legal, academic, entertainment, and corporate transcription. You can choose to work full or part-time for them, but they ask for their employees to be “on call” for surprise assignments.
- Crowdsurf– For this one, you need to set up an Amazon mTurk account. The site offers thousands of jobs for transcribing and captioning.
- Transcribe Team– Hires newbies but offers low pay. .45 to.65 cents per audio minute. The files you work with will vary greatly day to day, offering you new experiences.
- GMR Transcription– Hires beginners out of the United States and Canada for a range of topics like business, academic, and legal.
- Transcribe Me– To be accepted, you need to apply and then take an exam. If you fail the exam, you may take it again. Pays transcribers per audio hour weekly, and uses a method that claims to cut transcription time by ⅓. The pay rate starts at $20 per audio hour.
- QuickTate– Must take a test before you are hired. If hired, you will be transcribing voicemails, memos, letters, legal files, medical files, conference calls, and other audio files. The bummer is you have to pay $15 to apply.
- T’NT Transcriptions & Translations– Like most of the others, you must pass a skills test first. Specializes in transcription,
translation,closed captioning, and subtitles. Works with big clients like the Discovery Channel.
- RNK Transcription– Prefers entertainment/legal transcription experience, but it’s not necessary to apply. There is a skills test you will have to pass before you can begin working. You will need to submit an email with your resume attached to be considered.
- Tigerfish– Open to United States residents only, and you must pass a test to be hired. You must also download their free software to perform the transcription work. It’s a legit company, offering a wide variety of jobs.
Scribie– Again, you must take a test when applying. Hires transcribers worldwide. Offers $5-$25 per audio hour, plus a monthly $5-$10 bonus when 3 hours are completed.
- Birch Creek Communications– Rate of pay depends on the job,
worktime, and work quality. Pay ranges from .40/audio minute to $1.75.
- Kendall Creek Communications– This is the same as Birch Creek Communications but for legal transcription.
- Babble Type– This company hires all experience levels and is open to countries worldwide.
- Terescription– This company focuses solely on the entertainment industry. To be hired, you will need to perform a sample transcription.
- 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP– You must be a US resident and fill out a questionnaire to be considered. When they are looking to hire, you will be contacted to take a short transcription test. You also have to pay a $10.00 fee when you apply, which is annoying, but they need to pay an employer to go over the 100s of applications they get each week.
- Go Transcript- Applicants must have impeccable English skills, and the company hires globally. There’s a support team, and you get regular feedback to help improve your work.
- Hollywood Transcriptions– This company has clients in the academic, entertainment, corporate, and legal fields, so any background that you may have in those fields is a plus. You must be able to type 65 words per minute.
- SpeechPad– Offers flexible, general transcription jobs. Your typing speed only needs to be 40 words per minute, so it’s great for beginners.
- Transcribe– Options for transcribing and being a transcription editor are available. Must pass transcription assessment, have great English skills, and be a US resident to get approved.
- Transcript Divas– Although they don’t require prior experience, they expect high-quality work and quick work times. The content is mostly in the legal, market research, academic, and entertainment fields.
- TSI Transcription– Having multilingual abilities is a plus, but not necessary. This company requires you to type 70 words per minute and complete an application through Craig’s List.
- Neal R. Gross– Established for more than 40 years, this company does court reporting and various transcription jobs. You must be able to type 60 words per minute, be fluent in English, be able to work a minimum of 30 hours per week and be able to transcribe at least 5 hours of audio each week. If you are ready to dive in, this one’s for you.
The following companies hire experienced transcribers:
- Written Communications– Prefers applicants with at least three years of experience. You will be expected to submit a resume with references.
- A & P Transcription– They are always looking for new, experienced transcriptionists to add to their team. An application can be found on their website.
- eScribers- As one of the largest legal transcription companies in the country, they are always looking for new transcribers and proofreaders. They pay weekly.
- Accuscribe– Work remotely for this company with many credentials. Email your resume and cover letter to apply.
- Outsec– This company is based out of the UK, and they ask for 2 years experience.
- Voxtab– Hires freelancers in many countries, including the United States.
- Word Wizards- They are looking for transcribers for a variety of transcription content, including audio and video.
- Transcription Experts- To apply you need to have at least 2 years of transcription experience. Open to US residents only.
- We Scribe It– This is a good option if you have just started transcribing in the last year. It requires applicants to have at least 6 months experience within the past 2 years.
- Same Day Transcription-Only hires professional transcribers. If you work for them, you will be transcribing some federal work.
- Take 1– This is a UK based company that hires globally. Mostly entertainment related transcription.
- TASK Transcription– You must have three years of experience, and you must be able to dedicate a minimum of four hours per day, 5 days a week. You also must be a US resident.
- SpeakWrite – Currently hiring experienced general and legal transcriptionists to work from home.
- Transcription Outsourcing– Currently hiring transcriptionists for law enforcement transcription, medical transcription, financial transcription, legal and general transcription.
- Preferred Transcriptions– One year experience is required for general transcription. Also hiring for legal and medical transcription.
Tips for Transcribers
1. Get a solid computer.
This should be obvious, but make sure you have a reliable computer with high-speed internet. There is nothing worse than trying to transcribe something while your connection buffers.
2. Get the right software and equipment.
As a beginner, you may not need much, but as you advance in your transcription career, headsets and foot pedals may be needed to maximize your performance.
3. Follow instructions.
The client probably sent notes or requests with their files, so make sure to read through those first so you don’t end up having to re-do work.
Seasoned transcribers know that sometimes it’s really difficult to make out what the audio is saying. Try submitting a few internet searches based on the content to see what it could possibly be saying. Sometimes this takes more creativity than others, but it’s better to try and be wrong than to not attempt it at all.
5. Sample the Audio.
If allowed, try listening to the audio file before committing to the job. The easiest jobs are going to be the most enjoyable and rewarding for you.
Don’t do all of this work just to submit it with grammar or spelling errors. Look over your final product once or twice to catch those issues.
7. Get cozy.
Especially if you’re first starting out, these jobs aren’t going to go super quick. Make your workspace as inviting and comfortable as you can.
General Rules When Transcribing:
- Don’t omit anything from your transcription unless instructed to.
- If you can’t make out part of the audio, write _ _ _ _ _.
- Label laughter, applause, and music.
- Unfinished sentences or pauses, which happen all the time in natural conversation, should be identified with an ellipses(…).
- Numbers one-nine should be spelled out.
- Start a new paragraph every time there is a new speaker.
- Utterances (like, you know, um, uh, etc.) should be omitted unless told otherwise.
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