Best Side Hustles: Become a Transcriptionist

With inflation costs affecting the price of everything, the demand for business services is up, and so is the need for many to take on a side hustle. For those inclined, they can combine the two by offering a business service as a side hustle. This side hustle is well-suited for students, teachers, or anyone looking for a part-time or full-time gig. One trend is transcription services—which primarily consists of turning voice recordings into written format.

Working as a transcriptionist can be the ideal situation for many as it requires experience or expertise, remote working conditions, flexible schedules, stress-free work, and other perks. Additionally, it can be a good skill builder as this form of writing can help a person improve their typing speed and English skills.

How To Do It

Samantha Odo, Toronto, Canada, now the Chief Operating Officer and sales rep at real estate firm Precondo started off her side hustle of working as a transcriptionist in college. Her goal was to improve her research process, and she found that to be successful as a transcriptionist.

Odo says it requires very little training, and she learned almost everything on the internet.

“A few clients did provide me with guidelines on what they exactly wanted, but the majority of the applause goes to YouTube videos and Google, which helped me learn how to be a transcriptionist.”

Job search website Indeed shares 12 skills needed for transcription services and how to develop them. These skills include active listening, time management, multitasking, attention to detail, research, and comprehension.

Odo worked on her own, and she had to find her own clients. In terms of finding clients, she relied on finding them online.

“Thanks to the internet, finding clients became easy, she says. “I joined a few communities where PR agencies and similar industries wanted transcriptionists to have a better record of their work.”

Online Transcription Resources

Those who want to start out but don't want to find their own clients should consider working for one or more of the established online transcription sites. Indeed profiles some of the top online transcription companies which allow freelancers and part-timers to find places to earn income.

These include TranscribeMeSpeechpadDailyTranscript, and CastingWords. It also offers advice on equipment, optional certifications, and finding legitimate jobs online.

One of the largest transcription services in the United States is GMR Transcription, an online platform that connects companies and businesses needing either transcription, translation, proofreading, or editing services.

Getting the right equipment is also essential in becoming a transcriptionist. According to their website, GMR states all needed is a computer with high-speed Internet, Microsoft Office, a good foot pedal, and pair of quality headphones.

Experience is helpful but not required, but a transcription test is required to work for them. There are no fees to take their test or registration fees to work with them.

Beth Worthy, President at GMR, shared the following in an article on tips for working with her company on LinkedIn.

“You do not need any prior experience to join our team,” she shared. “If you have a keen listening ear and an excellent understanding of the English language, you are a good candidate for a transcription job.”

According to Worthy, while no extensive experience in transcription is needed, anyone considering becoming one should utilize the following tips: work to improve your typing skills and learn about transcription services.

Once undertaking transcription work, Indeed shares that it's essential to be accurate, meet deadlines, and advertise online and on social media for those seeking new clients on their own.

Income Details

As far as payment, Odo shares that her payments were on a project basis rather than a monthly basis, noting that her clients used to pay anywhere between $15 and $25 for each research transcription. Doing three to four transcriptions per month helped her earn around $70-$100. Odo states that the standard payment for services ranges from $8 to $21 per hour.

GMR's website shares on the Careers page that most of their transcriptionists/translators earn between $1000 to $3000 per month, depending on their skills and the type of work they take.

They explain that those who take on more challenging assignments or those with fast turnaround times will earn more. In addition, those with more experience will start making more as well.


Odo notes that she still recommends the side hustle transcription to many people.

“If you're looking to learn the skill of accuracy and precision, this side hustle is a great one to start with,” she shares. “On top of it, you get to decide on your clients, which gives you freedom.”

She does say that one downside can be finding clients can sometimes be difficult—something evident with most side hustles. She says one of the best ways to combat that is to keep up the excellent work and keep the clients happy in the hopes that they will refer new clients and business in return.

While Odo worked as a transcriptionist several years ago, she still sees value in it today. “If anyone is thinking of taking it as a freelance or side hustle, they won't regret it,” she notes. “It teaches you how to conduct better research, improve your accuracy, and be specific about the how and why of your work.

People may not think of transcription services when considering side hustles to undertake for extra income. However, they could be ideal for anyone looking to have a mobile business.

Nomads traveling the world could undertake transcription services to help fund their adventures. It's as simple as having a computer or Tablet and access to the internet. Put those typing skills to work and get the hustle on.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.

You can follow her travel adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.