If you're exploring the idea of working from home, you might have heard about transcription jobs. Transcription jobs are a great place to start your work from home journey because they typically require little to no experience and pay better than other at-home earning opportunities. However, many people do not know what transcription is or how to get started. We've laid out the following guide to help you learn what transcription is, how to get started, and some of our favorite online transcription job opportunities.
What Is Transcription?
Transcription is a business service that converts spoken words to written or electronic text. People and companies need voice recordings converted to text and will often pay third-party resources to transcribe voice-to-text rather than doing it in-house. Common industries that use transcription services are the medical field, legal industry, and other businesses.
What Is the Transcription Process?
Before you sign up for a transcription gig, it is important to understand how the whole process works.
The first thing you'll do is choose a website to list your services on. We have listed several of our favorite transcription service websites below for your convenience. When deciding what website to use, pay attention to the different requirements. For example, some will need you to have experience in the medical industry or medical transcription. Some websites advertise any transcription job, while others recruit people with specific backgrounds. You'll sign up for the service of your choice and apply for posted positions. Some jobs are one-off gigs, but other companies may try to hire you for ongoing work. Knowing what kind of work you want to do before you start is essential.
Supplies You'll Need
You will need to have a few specific tools to work effectively from home. The first is to ensure you have a consistent Wi-Fi connection. You should also ensure you have a quality headset and a quiet workspace. You may also want to purchase a foot pedal. This tool will help you increase productivity by stopping and starting your audio without taking your hands off the keyboard. Physically, you must ensure you can type quickly and correctly. You should also be prepared to sit for several hours at a time.
Set Your Hours
Once you're set with your supplies and know what kind of work you'll do, you can start applying for gigs and earning money. You can set your hours whenever you'd like and ensure you leave ample time to finish the jobs you apply for.
How To Improve Your Transcription Skills
If you have all the above requirements in your arsenal, you're ready for one of these online transcription jobs for beginners and can now start applying. To practice the skills before starting, you can visit various free websites to help you.
These sites will give you a good feel for what is required and improve your speed and efficiency to be ready to find an online transcription job.
- The Chicago Manual of Style Workouts: With over twenty exercises ranging in topics from the problematic comma to numbers and hyphens, these worksheets are hidden gems. Make sure you take advantage of the free practice!
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Purdue offers an excellent resource for extra grammar practice. You will find worksheets on various topics you can print out and practice as much as you want.
- Transcribe Anywhere: Offers a FREE Mini-Course with expert tips and advice for transcription newbies. Enroll in their Free 7-lesson mini-course to learn more about transcription, the demand for transcriptionists, the skills involved, and whether or not it's a good career choice for you.
- Transcription Skills Course On Udemy: If you want to enter the transcription business, this course is perfect for beginners. You'll learn how to use text expanders and shortcuts that will increase your productivity in no time!
How Much Can I Earn Doing Transcription?
Each transcription website has a slightly different pay structure. Typically, transcribers are paid per audio hour. Most companies' starting pay is around $10 per hour. However, individuals with specialized skills, such as medical background, are paid more per hour. You can increase your hourly rate as you gain more experience with transcribing. Many people can earn a full-time income by doing transcription work.
Best Online Transcription Jobs for Beginners
1. Accutran Global
Accutran Global offers transcription jobs for beginners. The work at Accutran is fast-paced and requires you to pass a skills test to get started.
They pay around $0.005 per word for basic audio and $0.0066 per word for more difficult audio, and payment is made on the 15th of each month. Work is available to citizens of the US and Canada.
Appenscribe does hire newbies, but you need to obtain some form of training to be successful on this platform. The number of projects you receive will be directly related to your quality of work.
You can earn around $10 per audio hour, according to the forums on the Appenscribe website. You can sign up here.
One of the older resources for transcribers, having been around since 1989, Tigerfish offers online transcription jobs for beginners.
You must complete around three five-minute tests (taking an average of twenty minutes) before being hired. They typically pay 3 to 4 cents for every line transcribed.
4. Daily Transcription
As the name implies, this resource submits transcriptions on the same day. So, work here tends to be done at a faster rate. There is no fixed amount of work available, and you can't rely on just this site to stay busy.
They offer different transcription services, including legal, entertainment, and financial, and they always need transcribers. You must submit a resume and pass a test before you can transcribe for them.
5. Transcribe Me
Transcribe Me offers online transcription jobs for beginners as they do not require much to get started. To get in, you take a short, easy test that is graded automatically, and if you pass, you work right away.
Don't worry about failing; you can always retake the test after 24 hours. They pay $20 per audio hour.
This site is perfect for freelancers as it offers the most flexibility. Although the pay is relatively low at $10 per audio hour, Scribie also offers a $10 bonus for doing more than three audio hours every month.
Rev is an established company that offers online transcription jobs for beginners, although their skills test can be difficult to pass. According to the site, some remote transcription jobs pay over $200 monthly.
Quicktate is one of the most respected companies offering beginners transcription jobs. The pay ranges from 1/4 to 1/2 cent per word transcribed. Quicktate requires a background check before hiring you; this costs $15.
Bam offers entertainment transcription services, legal, corporate, finance, research, and general transcription services. You are considered a contractor when you pass the skills test.
GMR Transcription: GMR is one of the preferred sites to work for because it scored high among the review sites. The pay is $7 to $10 per hour. The pay rate will depend on turnaround time, the number of speakers per file, and the audio quality.
Another thing to remember is a probation period, where you must transcribe at least two hours of audio before getting paid. You also must do at least four hours of audio per month to keep working with GMR.
10. Crowd Surf
CrowdSurf is a community of freelance transcriptionists who create captions for deaf and second-language viewers. You will find short transcription tasks here, and they pay instantly.
11. Go Transcript
With Go Transcript, you can make up to $0.60 per audio or video minute of transcription! Plus, the monthly average earning is $150, with top earners making around $1215 monthly- so it's worth checking out if you're looking for extra cash.
12. 3 Play Media
Working for 3 Play Media gives you the freedom and flexibility to do what's best for your family. You can work from home, earn weekly paychecks, and create your own schedule!
The company requires excellent written communication skills, proficiency with internet research/referencing resources, and the ability to work independently. The average hourly rate ranges between $10-$30, depending on your transcription speed.
13. Transcription Wing
You need a solid comprehension of the English language, excellent listening skills, and an ability to navigate through some accented speakers to succeed with Transcription Wing.
With Transcription Wing, you can get paid up to $0.60/recorded minute for transcribing interviews, conference calls, podcasts, and more.
Transcription Job Postings for Specialists
If you already have some transcription experience and want to be paid accordingly, we recommend checking out the following companies.
Verbal Ink seeks people with a foot pedal and prefers individuals with experience. To apply, use their website to email in a resume and cover letter. They also require transcriptionists to take a test that is two 13-minute files to transcribe.
Ubiquis requires transcriptionists to have at least one year of experience and a foot pedal. They offer roles in three different positions – general, medical, and legal. If you can type at least 40 words per minute, you can earn about $14 per hour to begin and $16 per hour if you have medical background knowledge.
SpeakWrite requires not only that users have the experience, but they can type at least 60 words per minute, are residents of the US or Canada, and have a foot pedal. Their customer base is primarily legal, government, and law enforcement sector clients, so they actively pursue transcriptionists with a background in law. Transcriptionists must work at least 15 hours per month to stay employed by this service.
Should I Be a Transcriptionist?
If you think you have the skills to become a transcriptionist, you may want to consider the pros and cons of this employment.
There are plenty of reasons to apply to be a transcriptionist. Here are a few of our favorite things about this job:
- No experience needed. If you have not worked in transcribing before, then you can still be a transcriptionist. While you won't earn more than your industry peers right away, you can build experience, and after a year, you can take on jobs that require more experience.
- Freedom and flexibility. Most companies allow a day or more to complete an assignment. You can complete the task in your own time and typically work as much or as little as you like. This means you can take a break when you want to and work when it is convenient.
- Steady Pay. Most transcription companies will pay you for your hours every week, two weeks, or each month. This means you can look forward to a consistent paycheck if you work consistent hours.
- You get to work from home. With this job, you do not have to worry about commuting, traffic jams, or waking up late. Instead, you simply get your work done in the time allotted.
Transcription isn't for everyone. Here are a few things to be aware of:
- Upfront costs. If you do not have a foot pedal and a quality set of headphones, there might be some upfront costs associated with becoming a transcriptionist. However, these costs are typically very low, and you can recoup the costs after a few hours of work.
- Low hours. Not all jobs will allow you to work as much as you'd like. If you want to earn some extra cash with some extra money each month, this job might be perfect. However, if you were looking to be paid a full-time salary, you might not accomplish it by being a transcriptionist.
The Bottom Line
Transcription jobs are a great way to earn excellent hourly pay without leaving home. If you can type quickly and accurately, you can monetize this skill to make money fast. Shop around before choosing what transcription service you will work for.
Frequently Asked Questions for Transcription Jobs
How Do I Get a Transcription Job With No Experience?
There are several ways to land a transcription job with no experience.
One way is to first gain learning and experience in the industry by entering a training program for transcriptionists at a community college or university.
By taking classes, you'll learn all about transcribing equipment, methods, and formats and how to transcribe various audios that come your way. You'll also get direct experience transcribing audio files, which can help you better understand the skill.
Another option is to get entry-level transcription work with companies with training programs before getting experience. In some cases, you may even get paid for your learning in the industry.
You'll get direct experience transcribing audio files and pair them with coursework to improve your skills. Some companies will allow you to join their transcription training program after you've completed your first few assignments.
How Much Does a Beginner Transcriptionist Make?
The amount a beginner transcriptionist makes will depend on several factors, including their experience level and the company they work for.
Typically, beginners can earn around $3-$11 an hour.
While this may not sound like much, it's worth considering most transcription companies don't require any experience, meaning you could start making money the day you sign up. Moreover, your pay can increase considerably once you become an experienced transcriptionist.
Other factors that affect how much a beginner transcriptionist makes include:
- The length of the audio.
- The turnaround time for getting your work back.
- Using specialized software for transcription.
- Your skill level and how quickly you can type.
- A transcription company's reputation – the better it is, the more likely you will get paid well.
Which Transcription Company Is Best for Beginners?
If you have no experience in the transcription industry, it's best to start with transcription companies that offer entry-level work.
One good example is GMR Transcription, which had the best reviews among review sites. As a beginner transcriber, you can expect to earn around $7.00 to $10.00 per hour.
The upside of working at GMR is there's no set schedule, meaning you can choose your assignments. This way, you can take on transcription jobs when convenient and not worry about them piling up when you're busy doing other things.
How Do I Become an Online Transcriptionist?
The first step of becoming an online transcriptionist is deciding which type of company to go for. There are several types of transcription companies – such as medical transcription, legal transcription, bloggers, and podcasters.
Once you've decided on the types of transcription companies to go for, the next step is to practice. Start practicing your typing skills and apply to as many transcription companies as possible.
Some companies may have a separate transcription application, while others will ask you to submit an online resume so they can determine if you're suitable for the transcription jobs.
Once you establish yourself as a reliable transcriber, try moving to transcription companies that pay better. For example, many transcriptionists who excel in their work go for Transcription Outsourcing, LLC, or Allegis Transcription.
If you have the right skills, equipment, and attitude, transcription jobs can be a convenient and flexible way to earn money.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.