One of my favorite ways to work online is to do transcription. I don’t have to talk to people. I don’t have to pretend I know stuff. I don’t have to glue my butt in my chair and crank out ‘whatever’. And because there are several companies that hire beginners, all I really have to do is listen and type.
Which is good because that’s about all I can do.
True. Just about anyone can make money doing online transcription, as long as you have the basics like a laptop, decent typing skills and can listen to audio files.
There’s one problem with this line of work, though. Sorting through a bunch of companies trying to find the best paying transcription jobs can suck !
That’s why we did it for you. We took a hard look at several places where you can make money doing transcription and sorted them by highest payers.
Let’s back up a sec. What is an audio file, you ask ? It’s the backbone of transcription. You listen to a file and type out what you hear. Don’t worry, I’ll explain it in greater detail later.
I hope you read through this entire post because after I list the companies – in order of best paying to worst – I have some valuable, tried-and-true information that will get you better paying jobs and possibly a full-time income doing transcription from home.
Now, Let’s Get To The Reason For This Post:
What Are The Best Paying Transcription Jobs ?
Best $0.40 cents to $0.60 cents per audio minute; $24.00 to $36.00 an audio hour. Which, if it takes a couple hours to do a file, you can expect to make $12.00 to $18.00 an hour.
You’ll need to pass a skills test before getting work with Rev, but don’t worry, the tests aren’t too hard. And if you don’t pass the test you can re-take it 45 days later. After a while, when you get more experience, you can apply to be a captioner or a translator. These positions earn a few pennies more per minute of work. Rev pays every Monday via Paypall and claim the average earners make $245.00 a month.
You can apply for a job with Rev here.
SECOND PLACE $0.33 cents per audio minute; up to $20.00 per audio hour. Considering an audio hour could take 2 hours to transcribe, you may earn up to $10.00 an hour.
Just like Rev, you’ll have to pass a skills test. But, If you fail, you have to wait 6 months before re-trying. Once you pass the test, though, you’re in! And with a pay of $20.00 per audio hour, this is one of the better paying online transcription companies. Better yet, they pay weekly via Paypal. On the downside, there is a waiting list.
You can apply for a job with Transcribe Me here.
THIRD PLACE They pay $5.00 to $20.00 an audio hour and give a monthly $5.00 bonus for every 3 audio hours you complete. Considering each audio file can take up to 2 hours to complete, you can expect to earn $2.50 to $10.00 an hour.
This is a very popular company for beginners because it’s easy to get promoted from being a transcriber to a reviewer – and possibly making twice the money. You can pick and choose the audio files you want to work on but be sure you complete the transcription within the two hour turn around time.
You can apply for a job with Scribbie here.
AVERAGE PLACE They pay $0.004 to $0.0055 per word and $0.40 per audio minute for projects with longer turnaround times. Assuming you can transcribe 60 words a minute, that would equal an earning of $.24 cents a minute, or $14.40 an hour. Assuming it takes twice as long to actually transcribe the words that would come to $7.20 an hour. For the higher paying audio files – the ones that have longer turn around times, you may earn up to $12.00 an hour.
AccuTran Global is a Canadian based company that hires work-from-home transcriptionists in the US and Canada. At first glance, their pay seems extremely low but it is on par with most companies that hire beginners. Your earnings will be deposited into your bank account on or before the 15th of each month.
You can apply for a job with Accutran Global here.
LOW PLACE You might make $6.00 an audio hour. Here’s my reasoning: My typing speed is about 60 words per minute. At a pay rate of .01 cent for every four words, that’s .15 cents a minute. Which is $9.00 an hour…IF I have a perfect audio file AND I make no mistakes and IF I actually transcribe for an hour. Accounting for the reality that comes with doing transcription, I ‘questimate’ I would make closer to $6.00 an audio hour.
Once you pass the skills test, you can start making .01 cent for every four words transcribed. Although not the best payer, the audio files are short and simple – mainly voicemail messages. After a while, under good standings, you may be promoted to iDictate, QuickTate’s sister company. With the promotion comes twice the pay. Which is weekly via Paypal (for both Quick Take and iDictate).
You can apply for a job with QuickTate here.
TIED FOR LOW PLACE $0.60 cents an audio minute, $3.00 to $6.00 per audio file, the potential to make up to $6.00 an hour.
To see if you’ve got the chops, for your skills test this company intentionally gives you an audio file that contains non-native English speakers. And, because they say a lot of their files are like that, you can expect to have a lot of somewhat difficult files to transcribe. They pay up to .60 cents per audio minute with the average monthly earning being $150.00. Although I cannot yet confirm this, I have read that the audio files are either 5 or 10 audio minutes long. This translates into $3.00 or $6.00 earning per file. And, assuming the majority of your files are on the difficult side, it can take you at least an hour to complete a 10 minute file.
You can apply for a job with Go Transcript here.
YIKES! $10.00 an audio hour = potential for $5.00 an hour.
Because you can pick and choose the transcription jobs you want to do, the amount you get paid can be all over the place. They pay per audio minute as well as per task. And because of this, it’s hard to track down exactly how much you can expect to be paid. A recent glassdoor.com review of Casting Words stated the pay is about $10.00 an audio hour for the beginner transcriber. And, as we know, an audio hour can mean two hours of actual work. They pay weekly, every Friday, once you have accumulated at least $1.00. When you sign up, you will have to complete a short transcription test so you may want to take a look at their Style Guide.
You can apply for a job with Casting Words here.
HONORABLE MENTION I did a lot of research on this company but could not come across any reliable sources indicating the rate of pay. So, assuming they are in line with the rest, consider this job one of those that will bring in a few hundred a month.
A good place to get some verbatim court reporting and transcription experience under your belt. According to their website:
If you type over 60 words per minute and need to work from home, you may be what we’re looking for in a legal transcriber. No transcription experience necessary, but you must be willing and able to work on overnight delivery. Timeliness is a must, as are excellent English language skills. Please apply only if you can transcribe at least 5 hours of audio per week.
You can apply for a job with Neil R. Gross here.
WATCH IT ! They charge a non-refundable application fee of $10.00 I want to put this one on this list because is is the highest payer as of this date, at $0.60 cents to $3.00 per audio minute ($36.00 to $180.00 per audio hour). But there’s still the fee.
You can check out 1-800Typeitup here.
The Transcription Learning Curve For Beginners
So now you know there are plenty of companies where you can do transcription from home. But did you know you more than likely will have to pass a skills test?
But don’t let those tiny little words scare you. Even if the company takes on beginners, they want to be sure you have the chops: Is your typing up to snuff? Have a good ear for the English language? Know your way around a simple audio file?
Practice Makes Perfect
In the case of Rev, I know from personal experience that the application process starts with a quick little typing test. followed with a 10 minute grammar test, where you select the right answer to a series of questions and statements, and ending with you doing a sample transcription.
All very simple. Sorta. Unless you’re me. And your typing sucks.
So if you want to be sure you have the chops, hop on over to TypingTest.com and take a sample typing test. Then scurry on over to Exam English and check out your grammar and vocabulary prowess. I promise, you’ll be glad you did.
You May Need More Than One
Once you pass the skills test, you can start working. For beginners, transcription is a great way to make money at home, but if you only work for one company you won’t make a full-time income. And the work may be sparse at times. So, what I recommend, is signing up with a few of these companies and working as much as you can.
Pro Tip: When I first started out, I worked for Rev, Scribbie, and AccuTran and pulled in about 650.00 a month. My busy life only let me I work about 10 hours a week and because I used three companies there always seemed to be plenty of work to do.
Audio Files Are The Backbone Of Transcription
You listen to a file and type-up what you heard. It’s an easy job, but it can be repetitive – sometimes you have to re-play an audio file because you didn’t understand what was said. Poor quality, unclear dialog, broken English and thick accents all contribute to replaying audio files, which adds more time to the overall transcription process. But the longer you do it, the better you get.
Audio Hour vs. Work Hour And How You Are Paid
When trying to figure how much you will make by the hour, you need to to a little bit of math.
Audio hour = the length of the audio file – or culmination of audio files – that make up an hour of someone talking.
Work hour = the length of time it takes to transcribe an audio hour.
Audio hour is not the same as work hour. It can take more time to transcribe an audio file than the actual length of the file. In my experience, often twice the time.
Yeah, I know. A bit confusing.
Let’s say an audio file is 30 minutes long. That’s 30 minutes of someone talking. And the pay is .40 cents an audio minute. That’s potentially $12.00 for this 30 minute file.
So you might think to yourself “if I do one file an hour, that’s $12.00 an hour ! Woohoo! “ Not so fast. As a beginner, it could take you an hour to complete the transcription for this 30 minute file. So you spend 1 hour working but get paid the rate for the 30 minute file…$12.00. That 30 minute file equals $6.00 an hour.
And because each company pays differently, how much you are paid is a tough question to answer. But I will tell you this: every company I have come across pays by the audio minute (or rounded up by the audio hour) – not the working hour.
Ready To Start Making Money Today?
Now that you have a good idea of the best paying transcription companies, go ahead and fill out the applications and take the tests. Start making money today – even if it starts out as just a little extra cash. In no time it could turn into a full-time career.