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It was a few years ago when I was wondering what I was going to do with my time as I raised my son since at the time I was not employed.
But apart from the time issue, I also wanted to contribute to the income of our home. I delved into the internet and discovered transcription jobs. What I really wanted was a simple typing job but those seemed next to impossible to find.
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What I discovered though, was that transcription was much more interesting. By the way, transcription is the conversion of audio or video to text. You simply listen to an audio or video file and then type out the contents.
I also realized that good listening, research, comprehension and typing skills were needed if I was going to succeed in this industry.
So in this blog post, I want us to talk a little bit more about this popular work from home job and where you can find online transcription jobs for beginners. This article will be good for experienced transcribers as well.
Tools Needed for Online Transcription Jobs
There a couple of tools that every transcriber needs to become more effective. The first tool is a computer or a laptop. I prefer a laptop because if I get tired of sitting in one location in my house, I can move with the laptop to a different area.
Secondly, every transcriber needs a good pair of headphones.
Headphones are much better than earphones because headphones cover your whole ear, helping to block out background noise.
Please do not rely on your computer or laptop speakers. They will not help you in delivering an accurate transcript at all.
Luckily, many headphones are reasonably priced so acquiring them will not be a challenge.
An ergonomic chair is another crucial tool for transcribers as it provides your neck and back with the support needed. Transcribing files takes time and therefore comfort is key.
Other tools that come in handy are Express Scribe, DFX audio and others mentioned in this article.
Now that we have covered those main things, let’s take a look at where you can find LEGIT transcription jobs.
Need transcription training before applying for these companies? Get this Free 7-Lesson Transcription Mini Course from Janet Shaugnessy! Janet has been a professional transcriptionist for more than a decade. Her free e-course will teach you the ins and outs of general transcription.
Where To Find Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners
Rev states on their website that you need to have strong English skills, a computer, and a dependable internet connection if you want to join their team.
Rev transcribers deal mostly with general transcription – typing out interviews, sermons, podcasts and more. The company hires beginners and experienced transcribers from all around the world. However, there is an assessment test that you will need to pass first.
Rev has a style guide that you will need to follow. The style guide has different requirements on how you will format the transcripts.
Payment is done weekly via PayPal. The minimum pay is around $245 per month and the top monthly income is $1495. Of course, you can make less or more than this depending on how much time you invest.
3PlayMedia transcribers earn between $10 and $30 per hour. Before you can begin working for 3PlayMedia you will need to pass a proficiency test. You should also be able to type at least 75 wpm.
They need their transcribers to have excellent English skills and good research skills.
If you are skilled in Excel, that’s a bonus.
Related: 3PlayMedia review.
Want to top up your transcription income? Join the sites below and make some quick cash!
Vindale Research: Share your unique opinion and get paid for it! Product Developers are willing to pay reviewers between $5 and $75 per completed survey.
Nielsen Mobile App: This app pays you $50 every year just for keeping it installed on your mobile device!
Swagbucks: A rewards site that pays you to play games, do surveys and watch videos. Get $10 for FREE when you sign up!
OneOpinion: A survey site that pays its members between $1-5 per survey. One of the best paying!
PineCone Research: Earn $3 per survey. Get a chance to do product testing as well!
Speechpad is a company that provides translation and transcription services.
To start working for Speechpad, you will have to take an assessment test (grammar and audio test). You are required to score 94 points and above to be accepted. You will also need to fill a confidentiality form.
The good thing about Speechpad is that if you pick a challenging/unclear file, you can return it and pick another file. You will not be penalized for that.
You can also become a reviewer and check/correct other transcribers files. To become a reviewer, you need to have transcribed 1,000 minutes and have maintained a rating of atleast 98.
Beginner transcribers are paid $15 per audio hour. Payments are paid every Friday via Paypal. Check out this Speechpad review.
Daily Transcription provides transcription services to corporate, legal, entertainment and academic institutions.
They pay between $0.75 to $0.85 per audio minute. They state that their top transcriber earns between $250-950 per month.
Daily Transcription (see review) requires near perfection from its transcribers, therefore, you must pay attention to detail. You also need to keep up with their tight deadlines.
In terms of tools, in addition to the ones that I mentioned in the tools section, they recommend that you get an Infinity USB Foot Pedal.
It is not a requirement; just a recommendation.
Scribie is an online transcription site that has many budding transcribers signing up. The pay is less an ideal – they pay $5 per audio hour but if you want to stick your foot in the transcription door, then you can try this site.
Like many of these transcription sites, you will need to pass a six-minute assessment test.
They hire worldwide and pay anytime via PayPal. Here’s a review.
Allegis provides transcription services for the insurance and legal industries.
They appear to have plenty of work so you can be assured of a good workflow.
They hire US-based transcribers only. You need to have a computer/laptop, along with headphones and a high-speed internet connection.
Tigerfish is one of the oldest transcription companies around, having been founded in 1989. They have plenty of different files for you to transcribe (focus groups, documentaries, law enforcement files, interviews).
If you are a quick typist with a good pair of ears and good English skills, then you and Tigerfish will make a good fit. They only hire U.S. citizens.
They require that you have high-speed internet access and a Windows-based computer not a Mac.
You also need to provide a telephone number where Tigerfish can reach you.
Before Tigerfish hires you, you will need to take THREE 5-minute tests. They state on their site that these tests take about 20 minutes each to complete.
8. Accutran Global
Accutran Global hires U.S transcribers who type out medical, financial and legal related audio files. They also have press conferences, interviews, focus groups and other files that need transcription.
At this time they are not hiring until June 15, 2019.
They have low seasons and high seasons so there are times when work will be scarce.
To work for Accutran Global, you MUST be able to type 70 wpm. This is their minimum requirement.
Pay is between $0.004 to $0.0055 per word and payment is done by the 15th of every month.
It appears that their deadlines are quite strict so if you don’t have much time to spare, this company may not be a good fit.
9. Casting Words
Casting Words is a transcription company founded in 2005 and one that is beginner-friendly.
You can find transcription work via their site – Casting Words Workshop.
Their pay rate is between $0.85 to a dollar per audio minute.
Pay depends also on the level you have reached and what grade you have earned.
Starting out with Casting Words is as simple as giving your basic information. Then, you may or may not do a test.
It appears that some applicants will be asked to do one and others will not be required to do so.
If you do take the test, you will hear back from Casting Words immediately, though it can take up to two weeks.
If you do not pass the test, you can retake the test after a week. However, not all applicants can retake the test.
Depending on why your assessment test was rejected, Casting Words may not allow you to retake it.
Payment is done via PayPal and get this, Casting Words take care of the PayPal fees so you get the full amount you earned. Cool huh?
Please note that your PayPal account must be verified.
Casting Words also have a grading system which is as follows:-
9 / A = Great work! Exactly what Casting Words needed.
8 / B = Good job. The transcript can be edited to create a great transcript.
7 / C = Average but can be worked on.
5-6 / D = Acceptable though Casting Words will have to invest a lot of time to improve the document.
0-4 / F = Bad. It would cost Casting Words significantly more to improve the transcript than to have it redone. The document will be rejected.
TranscribeMe is a popular transcription site that is a favorite for many beginners.
Earnings start from $15 per audio hour all the way to $22. Their highest- earning transcriber takes home $2,200 per month.
Medical and legal transcriptionists are paid higher.
One of the major pros of working at TranscribeMe is they have career advancement opportunities. If you develop your skills, TranscribeMe rewards you.
For example, if you are currently transcribing American accent audios, you can add Aussie or British audio files as well and thus have a chance to earn more.
You can also become a reviewer and check/correct other transcribers transcripts.
I had mentioned before that TranscribeMe is a favorite among newbies. One of the reasons for this is because their audio files are really short – 1 to 2 minutes long.
Once you are done transcribing one audio file, the system automatically opens another window with another file for you to transcribe. It is really interesting work!
Please note that you will need to take an assessment test before you can start transcribing for TranscribeMe. Be sure to follow their style guide.
Payment is done via Paypal for all work done the previous week.
Related: Become a transcriber at TranscribeMe
Crowdsurf offers short transcription jobs. You first need to sign up on WorkMarket before you can access jobs on Crowdsurf.
When you start transcribing at Crowdsurf, you start out at Level 1. After you have completed 100 tasks, you will be eligible for a promotion, therefore ensure that you submit high-quality work consistently.
Here’s the Crowdsurf work process.
You will be transcribing 15-35 second video files – verbatim. Once you have completed the task, it will be reviewed and assigned a score. Note that if you submit poorly transcribed files too many times, you may lose your account.
Payment comes through Crowdsurf and deposited into your Work Market account.
Payment is based on the volume and accuracy of your work. The more tasks you complete the more you can earn.
Gotranscript (see review) is an online transcription company that hires worldwide. And luckily, you don’t need to have any experience to transcribe for them.
To become one of their transcribers, you need to register on their site, take a test based on their style guide and an audio test that is a little under three minutes.
If you pass the test, the Gotranscript team will get back to you in two weeks time.
Gotranscript pays around $0.60 per audio minute. Their top transcriber earns $1300 per month.
Like in other transcription companies, your GoTranscript account will be closed if you submit low-quality transcripts.
Focus Forward hires transcribers from all over the world.
You choose the amount of work you want to take plus the company has a scheduling tool that makes it easy for you to share your availability.
Focus Forward’s pay rate is $0.40 per audio minute. You also get the opportunity to work on higher-paying assignments.
To get started with Focus Forward, you need to:-
- Download their instructions and their transcription program.
- Download the audio file test that is 10 minutes long.
- Transcribe it.
- Fill out the application form and upload your test.
Expect to hear back from Focus Forward within 48 hours.
14. GMR Transcription
GMR Transcription has plenty of transcription jobs available.
If you can speak Spanish or French fluently, you have the opportunity to do transcription or translation jobs in those languages.
Once you submit the transcripts you have worked on, the work will be graded and feedback will be provided. This goes a long way in helping you gain more experience and submit more accurate transcripts.
In terms of tools, you need to have a PC, a foot pedal, headphones and high-speed internet.
No experience is required but you do have to pass an assessment test. You will need to transcribe a 2-hour long audio test.
If you pass the test, GMR will contact you within two weeks. If you do not hear from them within that time frame, it is likely that you did not pass their assessment test.
They state on their site that their workers earn between $1K-$3K dollars monthly.
The amount you earn also depends on how much work you take and if you are willing to transcribe more challenging files.
These may be files that have a tight deadline or ones that are not the best quality.
Those kinds of files typically pay more in most transcription companies.
GMR does not disclose how much they pay per audio minute or per audio hour. Their pay rates are based on number of speakers in the audio file, the turnaround time and the quality of audio.
Quicktate is looking for transcribers who:-
- can spell and punctuate accurately.
- know how to follow instructions keenly.
- can listen and accurately type out what they hear.
- have their own equipment and requisite tools.
- are honest and reliable.
As a Quicktate transcriber, you will be typing out voicemail messages, medical files, phone call recordings, legal files, conference calls and more.
Their audio files aren’t long – between 2-3 minutes but there are a few that are longer.
Before you begin working for Quicktate, you will have to take a test to ensure you understand their style guide.
However, you have to pay $20 as a background check.
16. Verbal Ink
Verbal Ink is a company that prides itself in paying ‘living wage’.
They are always interested in hiring transcriptionists but you will have to pass a test before that. Word on the street is that the Verbal Ink test is HARD!
Before you can take the test though, you’ll need to attach your resume in MS Word or PDF format.
Please note that resumes without cover letters will not be considered.
Once they receive your docs, they will get in touch with you after a short while and inform you of the next step to take.
Verbit, according to their site “use smart AI technology to disrupt transcription and captioning with automation and speed.”
Transcribers log into the Verbit platform and choose the files they want to work on. Files are not assigned to you, therefore, you can return files that you feel are a bit challenging.
The platform also provides tools to make transcription work easier such as Dictionary, Spell Check, a research tool, speed control and more.
All transcription jobs are reviewed to ensure high quality is maintained. Any job that you do will be graded by reviewers and you will be provided with feedback.
Getting started with Verbit is as easy as filling out the registration form and taking an assessment test. Once you have done the test, you will receive an email letting you know whether you have passed or failed.
If you do pass, you can then begin working.
Payment is done via PayPal every second Monday.
This was the first online transcription company that I worked for when I began my transcription career.
They pay $40 per audio hour and you need to submit files within 24 hours.
19. Way With Words
Way With Words is an international audio to text services company that was launched in 2002.
The company hires experienced transcribers from all over the world to handle legal, general and medical transcription work.
They pay their transcribers between $0.45 – $1.73 per audio minute. The pay depends on what files you will be transcribing and the deadline to be met.
Their recruitment process is known to be very tough. To start working for Way With Words, you will need to:
- Fill out an online application.
- Take a language test.
- Take the first transcription test.
- Take a second transcription test.
- Provide security clearance/ID proof.
Please note that you will need to turn work around within 24 hours from time to time.
Transcribers are paid every month via PayPal.
Aberdeen occasionally hires work from home transcribers to transcribe video files.
The firm hires transcribers who:-
- have excellent English skills
- possess a foot pedal, computer, headphones and transcription software
- have knowledge of Christian terminology.
Aberdeen pays between $1 to $1.50 per audio minute.
To get started with Aberdeen, you’ll need to email them your resume. If they like what they see, you will take an assessment test after which you can begin transcribing video files for the platform.
Key Things To Know About Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners
- Transcribers are usually paid per audio minute or per audio hour. An audio hour is the length of an audio or video file. The industry standard is $60 per audio hour meaning you’ll be paid $60 to transcribe a 60-minute long file.
- Some transcription companies will send you a file to transcribe which will need to be submitted within a given time-frame, eg within 24 hours. The first company I worked for, Voxtab, was one such transcription company.
- Other transcription companies offer far more flexibility. You’ll simply log in and choose a file. You can even listen to a file beforehand to gauge the quality before you start working on it.
- You can also find transcription work via cold pitching. Here’s an article where I share all my tips.
How Do You Begin To Transcribe?
Ready to begin your transcription career? Let’s talk about the skills you need.
1) A Good Command of the English Language
Good English skills are a must for one to become a transcriptionist. For example, you need to differentiate between US and UK English. You need to distinguish which homophone to use where, for example:-
carat and carrot, your and you’re, fiscal and physical, stationary and stationery, brake and break, for and four, hear and here and many many more.
You’ve probably come across this sentence that highlights how important punctuation is. “Rachel Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog’ Eeew!
If you can correct that sentence, then you’re definitely transcriber material!
Dashes and other punctuation marks like quotation marks, colons and hyphens are very important in clearly identifying interruptions and other conversation markers.
A transcriber who has excellent grammar, punctuation and spelling skills will be able to submit a client-ready transcript or in other words, a document that is at least 98% accurate.
This will save the client much time as he won’t need to go back and edit the document.
2) Excellent Listening Skills
A good transcriber needs to have excellent hearing. You will be dealing with speakers who have difficult accents, speakers who will be talking over each other, speakers who have soft voices, audios recorded in noisy cafes and other hearing challenges.
But do not lose heart. Transcribers aren’t expected to be magicians. If you are totally unable to make out the word, you can enter your best guess and then mark it with a time stamp eg [00:10:20] or mark it as [unintelligible]
A good pair of headphones goes a long way in helping you hear correctly.
3) Good Research Skills
Research skills are important if you want to become a transcriber. You will come across many unfamiliar words and to deal with this challenge, you should look them up in Google.
For example, a speaker may say ‘demagogue’ and you are not sure how to spell it. You can simply look it up and find the correct spelling.
Another case may be a New Zealander talking about the challenges at his work place and then he talks about his city – Onewhero. The wise thing to do would be to double-check that spelling.
The same could be said of a scientific audio that would most certainly contain many difficult words.
So all in all, excellent research skills are important for the correct typing out of names, cities, companies, countries, diseases, medicines, etc.
4) A Good Typing Speed – 50/60 wpm
It takes me four hours to transcribe a 60-minute file. For newbies to transcription, it can take six or more hours. A good typing speed is therefore necessary.
If you want to know how fast you type, visit typingtest.com
5) Attention to Detail
A good transcriber must be a keen listener and pay attention to detail. Like we have said before, one has to be keen about punctuation marks.
One also has to be keen enough to note when the speakers laughs, when there are long pauses and where utterances like uh-huh or mmh are used.
Hope you enjoyed the article and all the best!