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7 Best Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners (Only Ones Worth Your Time)

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Best Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission for purchases made through these links. Please read my full disclosure for more info.

There’s a lot of talk about transcription being one of the best ways to work online, especially if you’re looking for something that doesn’t require much experience and has a ton of flexibility.

In this post you’re going to learn which are the best online transcription jobs for beginners.  In other words, which companies are the only ones worth your time.

You’ll also learn:

  • Why these are the best transcription companies to work for.
  • How to learn transcription easily.
  • How much you can make doing transcription with each of these companies.
  • How long it takes to transcribe 1 hour of audio.

So if you’re ready to see which is the best company to work for and how to get started doing transcription, you’ll appreciate this post.

How much you can make doing transcription


How I Determined The Best Transcription Companies To Work For (as a beginner)

I’m not the best typist.

I only have a laptop and an inexpensive headset.

I can only work a few hours a week.

However, I’ve been doing online transcription – on and off – since 2017.

When I sat down to figure out the best companies for newbies, I knew my little bit of experience would definitely help. I found the basics were the same from one company to another:

  • You need to be able to type
  • You need good listening skills
  • You need a good headset (I use this one.)
  • You need a new-ish computer
  • You need to follow the company’s transcription style EXACTLY as they tell you

Besides the basics, here are the 3 main points I looked at to determine the best transcription companies to work for…as a beginner.  I was a little surprised at some of the information I found:

#1  How easy is it to get started ?

When I looked into how easy it is to get started, all the companies were similar: You apply, take a few online typing and grammar tests, wait to hear back, then start working.

#2  How much do they REALLY pay ?

I wanted to know how much you could make doing online transcription because on the surface it appears you can rake in anywhere from $12.00 to $20.00 an hour. The reality ? That $12.00 – $20.00 will take you a lot more than an hour to earn, resulting in $4.00 to $9.00 an hour.

#3  Do they actually take beginners ?  As in no, to little, experience ?

A lot of (other) blogs talk about entry-level transcription jobs but the companies they cite want people who have experience.  My goal is to list companies that actually take beginners…people who don’t have any transcription experience to begin with.

Which brings me to this…

How To Learn Transcription Easily

Starting out cold WILL NOT get you a job in transcription. Even though this post is about transcription jobs for beginners, you still need to know some basics. Like sentence structure, grammar, and your typing speed.

You’ll have to pass a skills test with whichever company you go with.

Yep.  Even with these entry-level companies, they want to be sure you have the chops.

They want to see if:

  • Your typing is up to snuff.
  • You have a good ear and can listen well.
  • You know your way around a simple audio file.
  • You have a strong grasp of the English language

There are a few things you want to do before you apply for one of the entry-level transcription companies I list later on.

First, hop on over to and take a sample typing test.

Then, scurry on over to Exam English and check out your grammar and vocabulary prowess.

After that, do a few of these practice transcription tests.

Lastly, check out one of the best – and most affordable – online transcription for beginners training courses:  Learn Beginning To Advanced Transcription Skills.

I promise, you’ll be glad you did because there’s more to becoming a transcriptionist that just knowing how to type.

I need to be honest here: That course I just mentioned ?  Yes, it’s a good one and gets you over the beginner hump.  But if you really want to get in on making decent money doing online transcription, you need even better training.  So this is the course I recommend because it covers everything.


CHECK OUT MY OTHER POST: How to do transcription from home and go from beginner to expert: Check it out here.

All righty now.  Let’s see how much you can make doing transcription.

How Much Can You Make As A Transcriber ?

The short answer: A beginner transcriptionist can realistically make anywhere from $3.00 an hour to $9.00 an hour.  An experienced transcriptionist can make considerably more – even over $20.00 an hour.

Now you’re probably wondering if doing online transcription is worth it.  So I wrote a post calculating how much you can really make as a transcriptionist.  In it you’ll see that it is worth it.

And don’t worry.  You can quickly go from inexperienced to pro..  In fact, here’s my post that shows you how to become a transcriptionist and start making a lot more money.

How Long Does It Take To Transcribe 1 Hour Of Audio ?

For an experienced transcriber, it can take up to 4 hours to transcribe one hour of audio.  For a beginner, it can take up to 6 hours.

This may surprise you because all you’re really doing is listening to someone talking and typing out what they say.

But there’s more to it.

Transcribing an hour of audio is much different than listening to an hour of audio.

You’ll have some obstacles, like these:

  • poor sound quality of the file
  • hard to understand accent and dialect of the speaker
  • not understanding words
  • having to play back the file

All those things add to the time it takes to do transcription.

And, you’ll always have to proofread your transcription before turning it in.

OK, now on to the best entry-level transcription companies you can work for.

Transcription Jobs For Beginners:  Best Companies To Work For


Rating: BEST   Rev pays $0.40 cents to $0.60 cents per audio minute, which comes to $24.00 to $36.00 an audio hour. For an experienced transcriber, let’s assume it will take 4 hours to complete 1 audio hour. That’s $6.00 to $9.00 an hour. A brand new, inexperienced transcriber may earn $4.00 to $6.00 an hour.

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.

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.


Go Transcript

Rating: SECOND PLACE   They claim to pay up to $0.60 cents an audio minute, with top earners making up to $1,215 per month. Sounds good, but what is the pay for the average person ?  If you can type 60 words a minute that would come to a pay rate of $36.00 an hour, right ?  Woohoo !

But that’s if the audio minutes are perfect. And if you have plenty of files to work on. And if you are a perfect typist with a perfect ear for all spoken accents.

Figuring in the transcription calculation I came up with earlier, it could take a beginner 6 actual hours to do one audio hour. So, a $0.60 cent audio minute translates to a 36 dollar audio hour. Which takes 6 real hours to transcribe. That’s a pay of $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.

You can apply for a job with Go Transcript here.



Rating: THIRD PLACE  They pay $5.00 to $20.00 an audio hour, which – according to Scribie – is broken down into 6-minute files.  The pay, therefore, comes out to .50 cents to $2.00 for each 6-minute file.

To calculate how much you can make in a working hour, we figure it will take ten 6-minute files to equal one audio hour.  If each 6-minute file takes 30 minutes to complete, that’s 5 actual work hours to make up 1 audio hour.  So, your earning will come to $1.00 to $4.00 per actual working hour.

Pretty pathetic as far as pay goes.


…Scribie has a few ‘extras’, like these:

  • They give out a monthly $5.00 bonus for every 3 audio hours you complete.
  • 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 Scribie here.


Casting Words

Rating: TIED FOR THIRD The pay is all over the place because Casting Words is more of a platform for businesses to request transcription services. Each job pays differently, depending on a number of factors not limited to the type of transcription job you do and your level of experience. The average pay rate seems to be about $0.75 cents per audio minute.

That said, there is the possibility you can earn $7.50 an hour (.75 per audio minute x 60 minutes in an hour / 6 hours to complete an hour = $7.50). Keep in mind, though, most of the audio files are short and sweet, only a few minutes long, so the pay might be only a few dollars an hour. The pay will be closer to $5.00 an hour, accounting for the type of job, the level and grade Casting Words gives you, and the amount of work available

You can apply for a job with Casting Words here.


Headphones for transcription jobs


AccuTran Global

Rating: FOURTH PLACE  They pay $0.004 to $0.0055 per word and $0.40 per audio minute for projects with longer turnaround times. Basically, for the super-simple, super-quick files, you are paid one cent for every four-and-a-half words up to just over one cent for every two words.

For the “larger” files, the ones with longer turnaround times, we need to do some assuming, Accounting for pausing to play back an audio file, let’s assume you can transcribe 30 words a minute (you normally type 60 words per minute). That would equal an earning of $.12 cents a minute, or $7.20 an hour. Now, if you add in some proofreading time, let’s assume it takes twice as long to actually transcribe the words in an audio minute. That would come to $3.60 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.


Transcribe Me

Rating: LOW PLACE !!! $0.33 cents per audio minute; up to $20.00 per audio hour. Same time considerations, an experienced transcriber can earn up to $5.00 an hour and a brand new transcriber might earn just over $3.00 an hour.

Just like all the others, 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 !  They pay weekly via Paypal. On the downside, there is a waiting list.

You can apply for a job with Transcribe Me here.



Rating: YIKES !!!   According to Quicktate, the rate of pay is $0.0025 per word. That’s one cent for every four words for the simple, quick, and short files.

To figure out how much you might make per hour, let’s do some quick math. Assuming you can type 60 words per minute that would come to $0.15 cents a minute (60 x .0025 = .15).  Hmmm…not bad, considering that would translate to $9.00 an hour.

Not so fast…

Audio files are far from perfect. And you will not be transcribing in solid chunks of hours. In fact, you might be lucky to get in a whole hour a day.

So the reality with Quicktate is, your earnings will probably be around $1.00 an 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).

Here’s something to consider, straight from QuickTate’s sign-up FAQ page: “After you pass the Quiz and the typing test, we will run a background check on you. You agree to pay the $20 cost of the background check…”

You can apply for a job with QuickTate here.


Neil R. Gross

Rating: 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 couple 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.



Rating: WATCH IT !  They charge a non-refundable entrance exam fee from $39.00 to $99.00 depending on how quickly you want your application processed.  I want to put this one on this list because it is one of the highest payer, even though they recently lowered their rates.

According to 1-800-Typeitup:

Our full pay scale ranges from $0.50 per audio minute ($30 per audio hour) to $3 per audio minute ($180 per audio hour).

Ok, remember how I explained how it could take 4 working hours to complete one audio hour ?  Taking that reality into consideration, you will not be paid $30.00  to $180.00 an hour.  You will be paid $7.50 to $45.00 an hour.

Yes, 1-800-Typeitup is one of the better payers but there’s still the 10.00 application fee.

You can check out 1-800Typeitup here.

Learn transcription easily


Ready To Start Making Money Today?

Now that you have a good idea of what you can expect to earn with beginner-level transcription companies, and you still want to give it a try, 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.

Feel free to leave a comment below if and when you start a new job doing online transcription.


Transcription Jobs For Beginners and What You're Really Paid


Thank you for sharing !

Author: Kat Lewis

Kat Lewis is the person behind The Wary Worker, the blog that shows you how to work from home and live life in the meantime. Kat is a former Accounting Specialist turned Human Resource Generalist who found her niche in the work-at-home world. With an analytical background, Kat looks at every opportunity with a skeptical eye so she can bring the truth to anyone wanting to work from home.

26 thoughts on “7 Best Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners (Only Ones Worth Your Time)

  1. If 1-800-typeitup pays $.60 to $3.00 per audio minute, that’s up to $180 per audio hour, not up to $30 per audio hour.

    1. Right…UP TO $180.00 an AUDIO HOUR, with 4 hours consideration to complete that one audio hour, which comes to $45.00 an hour payment. This rate is on the extremely high end and not all their files pay that much. Still, 1-800-Typeitup is one of the better payers but they do charge an entrance exam fee of $39.00 to $99.00, depending on how quickly you want your application processed.

  2. Thank you for this article, well written!! The only problem I have is that some of the companies you mention state that there is 2 months plus for processing your application and that “only 14% of applicants receive work”!!! When I see transcription work (?) that has disgusting spelling, grammar and words that are clearly guessed upon on some site, I seriously question where applicants are chosen from!! Any how that is my experience!!

    1. Hi Belle,
      I know what you mean ! I would assume the best are chosen, especially with a lengthy application processing time. That said, a lot of transcription is to be done verbatim, which would explain some to the grammar issues. The spelling…well, the company should crack down if they want to retain their customers.

  3. Very helpful but I need a company that does not use paypal for payment. My country does not support paypal. Any options?

  4. WOW ! Lisa: had a bad experience, did ya ? Instead of being on the nasty side, why not provide a little help to us job seekers? Like, what companies are you talking about when you say “There are plenty of companies out there that will hire beginners at a reasonable, NON-insulting pay rate…”

    Personally, I like working with REV and GMR. Sure, the pay is not as much as if you were a sole proprietor doing this for a living, with all the training and such, but I make around $7.85 an hour. Yes, too low to live off as is, because I do it less than 14 hours a week, but I work around my baby’s schedule and I don’t have to go anywhere to do it nor do I have to find clients on my own. So, weighing the options, this is the best job for me.

    1. Thank you, Lisa, for your honest feedback but please keep in mind that these companies are legitimate and do pay. Reading through the post, one will see that I touched on the potential earnings under various conditions. One should be able to come to their own conclusion whether or not this work is for them. Like Sharon, I have done work with REV. I averaged $195 a month – just with this one company. I wrote this based on my personal experience with my time at REV, such as how long I guestimate it took to complete a file.

  5. THESE are the “best paying” transcription jobs you could find??? First of all, it takes AT LEAST FOUR HOURS for an experienced, fast-typing transcriptionist to transcribe one audio hour, NOT two, not including proofing. So, if a company is paying $10/audio hour, you will MAYBE make $2.50/hr. If you’re a beginner and type slowly, you’re looking at about $1.50/hr. That pay is insulting, beginner or not, and shouldn’t even be legal because it will NEVER reach minimum wage.
    There are plenty of companies out there that will hire beginners at a reasonable, NON-insulting pay rate. NO ONE should work for a transcription company that pays any less than .50/audio minute. I can’t believe you wrote a blog with so much misinformation and are encouraging people to work for insulting, slave-labor rates! Do some actual research and provide USEFUL TRUTHFUL information or change your title to “Worst Paying Transcription Jobs & Lies About How Much You Will Make!”

  6. GoTranscript files consist of ten minutes of audio each for $6.00. So this would make it $36 per audio hour…and then divide $36 by the number of hours it takes to transcribe.

    Still on my quest to find the most suitable and best paid transcription agency to work for…UK market as well.

    Useful article.

    Thank you,

    1. I also heard that GoTranscript has very low quality audios, almost impossible to decipher. Is that true? Any feedback would be appreciated @Emma

      1. Hi Alex.
        Yep, I can confirm a lot of their audio files are pretty difficult to transcribe. I feel like they intentionally give us hard files during the initial sign-up phase followed by quite a few hard ones throughout. Which is why typing is NOT the #1 skill required for transcription…it’s deciphering 🙂

  7. Thank you for this great article, it was an interesting reed 🙂 I had some experience doing transcription gigs on fiverr and few other small companies. Recently I tried the exams in most of the places you mentioned. My impression was that they are just taking advantage of people… in the sense that they make you familiarize yourself with so many guidelines, writing styles etc…then they ask you to transcribe anything between 6 and 18 min of audio – for absolutely no pay… At the end they have some software check your score and you fail even for the most minor little thing… I understand – of course there should be a test but why so long ? And why do they expect you to learn the guidelines back to front before hiring you… I assume that they want people to type in a certain format so that their system can evaluate it and this way they don’t need to pay an actual person to review the submissions manually… Long story short – those guys do whatever they can to avoid paying… and yes some are plainly using people to transcribe their files for free… It’s a shame…

    1. Thank you for your honest opinion, Eshter. Ya…I get what you’re saying, when I tested a few of them I felt the same way at first. Seemed like the lengthy test was actually work I was doing the work for free, but I did eventually get a gig with Rev.

  8. Thanx Tylor ur a life saver. I have applied to the same 3 as Kat did. Im studying for the grammar part now as I failed on a site before. It was real devastating to my ego buy now Im more pumped than ever becuase I brought my typing speed up to 55Wpm. Now I feel that I can finish a 30minute file in less than an hour.

    1. Hi Mike,
      It’s definitely possible, especially if the file is a decent one and you have some experience. Which company have you worked for?

  9. I highly suggest not working for Go Transcript. I as not paid for work done. I have been doing transcription for the past four years and have not been treat this poorly before. Their pay rate is far below the average pay rate for transcription falling around $.20 to .30 per minute for the worst audio imaginable. I received a few low ratings because the audio was indecipherable. This resulted in me being removed from the transcription team. I was fine with that because I did not want to continue working with them anyway.

    However, I went to request payment for the work I had completed while still on the team and received the reply, “I am sorry, but if you are removed from transcribers you can’t work for us anymore” from Peter Trebek (the CEO). I replied clarifying that I only wanted payment for the work completed that received high ratings while I was still working for them. He said, “That is not possible sorry” and then stopped replying to my messages.

    1. Tylor,
      That is terrible ! I really appreciate you sharing your experience as it will be helpful to other readers. Please let me know if you ever get paid.

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