Whether you’re pursuing a new career path or trying to find a way to earn more money, the digital world has plenty of opportunities to offer. All you need is decent typing skills, good focus, and a laptop – and this can help you earn money online.
How? By doing online transcribing, of course.
Transcribing can be a very useful skill when it comes to making money online. Luckily, you don’t have to be an expert to start thriving in this career or earn some pocket money on the side. Everyone starts as a beginner and today, there are opportunities for all who are interested.
What Is Transcribing?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary puts it simply: ‘to make a written copy of something.
Transcribing is a job that includes listening to audio and writing down what people are saying. To complete such a task, you need a distraction-free environment, utmost focus, advanced typing skills (especially if the transcription is done in real-time), as well as a good grasp of the language you are listening to. If you’re only a beginner, it’s best to take ready audio tasks that allow you to go back when you miss something.
What do you need to do transcribing?
For starters, you need the following:
· Above-average command of the language
· Proactive listening skills (and good headphones)
· Comprehension skills – you need to understand what you’re listening to
· Great typing skills
· Research skills to get some background for specialized projects.
In terms of equipment, you can use a simple, good laptop, and nice headphones. One amazing perk available to transcribers today is that they can also use help from software solutions like HappyScribe. How does this work, you might ask?
HappyScribe helps you convert audio to text automatically. It basically takes most of the work away, handles it for you, and sends it back. This can eliminate hours of hard work for you, listening to hours of audio and trying to figure out what people say. Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that everything is accurate once you get the product but, with such tools, transcribing is made a thousand times easier.
Is transcription an easy job?
You’re probably thinking: everyone who has a computer can do this, so why aren’t they? The truth is, transcribing is not as easy as it sounds.
Let’s take a look at why this is not as simple as it sounds:
· Not all audio files are of the same quality. Some people talk more clearly, while others may rush or make mistakes. Not to mention, you’ll have to listen to people with different dialects and accents. This is why high command of the language is key to being a good transcriber. Very often, transcribing is used as a learning tool for mastering a foreign language.
· Since transcribing is often repetitive, especially when the audio is not optimal to listen to, it can be dull after a while. You’d have to listen to the same things over and over again to catch everything and make sure that your transcription is accurate. If you aren’t a persistent person and basically, a perfectionist, this might not be the perfect job for you.
These two things are the main challenges that come with the job but generally, this is a highly rewarding career. It allows you to learn a lot by listening, strengthens some key skills you can use in life, and offers you a great deal of flexibility. Many people choose to do this freelance, which gives them all the flexibility they need in life.
How much does it pay?
There’s no rule when it comes to transcribing quotes and the range is wide considering that many people do this. Let’s take a look at some numbers:
· PayScale sets the median salary at $15.22 per hour. According to this source, advanced transcriptionists will earn around $25 to $30 per hour i.e. $1,500 monthly if they only work 2.5 hours per day for 24 days.
· BLS sets the median transcriptionist salary at $35.270 yearly or around $16.96 per hour in 2020.
As a beginner, you’ll probably earn less than the median salary but as you progress, you can expect your skills as well as your earnings to grow. Of course, it also depends on who you work for and how many hours you’re willing to dedicate to this.
But above it all, your earnings in this career will depend on your skills. That’s something that’s improved with practice, but it also requires a bit of effort to get you started.
Luckily, there are many transcription courses, exercises, and even tests you could take to improve your proficiency in this field. Here are some amazing options for you:
· Check out some free learning resources on sites like Udemy, TCI, and TranscribeAnywhere
Where to start – best jobs for newbie transcribers
Let’s get started with some jobs that are ideal for beginners. These are not high-paying per se, but they are an amazing starting point.
You don’t need the experience to qualify to work on this site. If you’re successful, you can expect to be paid around $15 per audio hour. TranscribeMe is one of the most popular options for newbies who want to make this their full-time career in the future and earn some extra cash at the moment. According to this company, transcriptionists here earn between $250 and $2,200 monthly depending on their qualifications and success.
All projects on this site are divided into short clips of around a minute or two, which makes them simpler to transcribe. To start working there, you need to take an exam. This exam features multiple-choice questions taken from a style guide available on the site. You also need to transcribe three 4-minute audio clips. The company usually gets back to applicants within 12 business days.
If you’re US-based and need some hands-on practice in the field, GMR Transcription is open to everyone interested. It doesn’t require any experience and pays little – $0.70 to $1.25 per audio minute, but the chances of you getting accepted are quite high.
There’s a simple test to pass on this site, but before you get paid for work, you need to transcribe 2 hours’ worth of audio. Every month, you need to meet a quota of a minimum of 4 audio hours to keep working on the site.
Paid weekly via Payoneer or PayPal, aspiring transcriptionists can get a lot of practice on this site. The salary goes around $0.6 per audio minute and the site doesn’t require a lot to get you accepted. You can work on this site regardless of your location, and their turnaround is reasonable – 6 hours for a 10-minute audio file. Before you take their test, better read the guidelines to see what they’re expecting.
If you pick this source, keep in mind that it can take up to 2 months to get a reply for your application.
Rev is highly popular when it comes to transcribing freelancers. It has over 60,000 freelancers at this point, as well as over 100,000 global clients including giants like Facebook and Amazon. You don’t need the experience to work on this site and, once accepted, you’ll get a chance to pick from hundreds of projects daily. The expected pay on this site goes up to $1.10 per audio minute.
As for the test, it’s a transcription of an audio clip to check your competency, combined with some multiple-choice questions based on the guidelines.
Have some experience? Here are some sites for you!
If you already have some experience with transcribing, you might want to check out the following sites:
With the chance to claim some bonuses in addition to payments, SpeakWrite is very popular among Canadians and US residents (these are the two accepted countries at this point). To work on this site, you need at least 1-year of experience.
SpeakWrite’s customer base is largely made up of government, law enforcement, and legal clients. So, it could help if you also have a background in law, but this is not a prerequisite. In addition to 1-year experience, you also need to have a minimum typing speed of 60wpm on the test, with at least 90% accuracy. To stay employed, you must work at least 15 hours every month.
6. 3Play Media
3PlayMedia pays really well – up to $30 per working hour, but they don’t have a bulk of work. Qualifications required to work here include a typing speed of at least 75 words per minute, and only US residents are accepted.
This website works rather differently compared to others. You don’t just get the audio, but you also get computer-generated transcriptions. Your job is to ensure that the transcription is good.
Transcribing is not for everyone, but if you’re good at it, you can easily turn this into a full-time, high-paying job with a bit of effort and some experience. There’s nothing bad in giving it a shot if you have good typing skills and a laptop. Good luck!