A transcription job is one of the easiest first steps to starting work from home as a freelancer or independent contractor. The reason is, it is one of the few online jobs which often require no previous experience whatsoever.
Even though, if you are just starting to work from home as a transcriber, your pay may not turn out to be as much as you had expected, once you gain experience, you can begin earning higher income from home by doing transcription work online.
Since starting any new type of work, including the transcription job, can be pretty confusing and sometimes overwhelming, here is a guide that will hopefully help you get prepared and started in this line of work.
What is transcription?
A transcription job will include you having to transcribe audio or video files into written word. This is done via specialized software, and in some cases, hardware allowing you to listen to, pause, return, and fast forward the audio on your computer.
Once you are done typing what is being said on the recording, you will have to send the text back to your client or employer in the form of a text file.
There are various types of transcription jobs, some of the most common ones being – general, medical, and legal.
Obviously, the more experience and expertise you have in these specialized fields, the better the transcription jobs you can land, and make more money.
Here are some of the basics you need to know for how to become a transcriptionist from home.
What are the requirements for transcription jobs?
While some transcription jobs are more specific and require some special skills or equipment, for the majority of the online transcription jobs, you will need to have a good knowledge of the language in question and be able to type fast at 60 or more words per minute.
For some transcription jobs in the field of law or medicine, you will probably be required to have completed special training or to have experience working in the medical or legal field.
There are some companies and programs online which offer training for online medical or legal transcription, which you can join.
You will also need a properly working computer, a reliable internet connection, a headset or headphones to listen to the audio, and a keyboard or foot pedal.
Most online clients and employers require that you install specialized software, such as Express Scribe.
It allows for easy listening and working with audio files via hotkeys on the keyboard or via a foot pedal.
A foot pedal is a piece of hardware which will allow you to stop, pause, play and rewind or forward the audio you are transcribing via your foot, instead of having to stop typing to do it manually via your keyboard.
After all, most transcribers jobs are paid per minute completed, so the more audio you can transcribe per hour – the more money you can make working from home as a transcriber.
Keep in mind that you should have flawless spelling, a good understanding of the words you hear, as well as have the capability of looking up the spelling or definition of some words while working.
Overall, you will need to be able to follow the directions of your client, as well as have good attention to detail.
Are transcription jobs flexible?
How long and when you need to work if you take up transcription from home often depends on you yourself. In most cases, the working hours are pretty flexible, and it will be up to you to decide when and for how long you want to work.
On the other hand, others may not be as flexible and may require you to work at a specific shift or log on for certain periods of time.
Typically, shifts will change every six months, but make sure that you specify the type of job you are looking for if you prefer to work in shifts and in specific hours.
The more flexible companies and clients may give you bigger freedom when it comes to the working hours, but they may not be as reliable to provide you with the volumes of work you expect in order to make the money you want to earn.
Some companies provide their transcribers with a job as well as a deadline, and it doesn’t matter when you actually work, as long as you are able to meet the set deadline.
The last option is usually the most common type among freelance transcriptionists.
Training for transcription jobs
While general transcription often requires only minimal training regarding the use of the specialized software, as well as using a foot pedal, if you want to earn more money by working as an online transcriber in the legal or medical fields, you may need some previous experience or specialized training.
For legal transcription, it will help to have previous experience or education in the field.
For medical transcription, most companies and clients will require an AHDI (Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity) approved certificate of sorts.
Naturally, the specialized legal or medical transcription jobs usually pay more than the general ones.
While some general transcribing pays very little, if you are willing to invest time and money in improving your skills, you may be able to find jobs that pay well for general transcribing services as well.
You can find online courses, tuition assistance, and can even seek help for landing jobs after completing one of the available transcription courses.
You can also find online courses and eBook tutorials written by experienced transcriptionists online too.
Where to find online transcription jobs for working from home
With the ever-growing popularity of video content, podcasts, and other audio content, it comes to no surprise that there is a growing demand for transcription work.
Many companies, business owners, lawyers, doctors, writers, bloggers, and other customers and online services are in constant need of transcriptions.
Here are some of the most popular transcription websites where you can find jobs to do from home. Some are for newbies and others a suited for more experienced transcriptionists:
This is an online transcription, translation, editing, and proofreading service where you can land a job as a work from home transcriber no matter whether you have previous experience and training or not.
The website will pay you about 0.70 to 1.25 dollars per minute of transcribing.
Currently, there are job openings for general transcription, for Spanish translators or transcription, as well as for certified translators.
You can apply online and will need to pass an audio test in order to get recruited.
The topics you can expect to be included are business, academic, legal, and others.
This company is hiring contract transcribers, voice writers, and real-time stenographers.
The requirements are for an ability to type a minimum of 60 wpm, to have good English language skills, and to have experience in the field of work.
You can expect to get paid about 0.005 dollars per word.
You can work on flexible hours, but you do need to apply online and take a transcription test before being approved as a transcriptionist.
You can find numerous transcription job offers on the Flexjobs board. There are listings for transcriptionists in English, Spanish, legal, medical, insurance and other fields.
The pay depends on the customer and is up to your skills and experience.
This website offers various transcription and data entry jobs for independent contractors.
The company requires that you have excellent spelling and punctuation, fast and accurate typing skills, and in some cases, previous experience in the field.
You will need to apply online and take on online quiz. Quicktate will also perform a background check on you for a fee of $20. No candidates with convictions of misdemeanors or felonies on their records will be allowed.
Once you are approved, you can land jobs, including transcribing voice messages, voicemail, legal or medical files, phone calls, conference calls and others.
Rev offers home-based jobs for transcribers, for captioners as we as for foreign language subtitles.. It accepts both newbies and experienced transcriptionists from any country in the world.
The requirements are good knowledge of the English language, and the ability to follow directions.
You will need to pass an online grammar test and submit a transcript sample in order to be approved.
The minimal pay per month is about $245. The hours are flexible. The range of pay for transcribing audio or video is $0.24 to $0.90 per audio or video minute.
As a captioner at Rev, you can make from $0.45 to $0.75 per minute. You will need to sign up on the website, which is easy and straightforward.
This online transcribing company accepts applications from beginners and experienced transcribers both.
It hires citizens or legal residents of the USA only.
You will need to pass a test in order to get hired.
Once you are approved, you will be given a steady volume of tasks and jobs to complete but on your own hours.
The expected pay is about $0.005 per word.
This online service offers good pay starting at $15-22 per hour of transcribed audio. The average monthly earning is about $250, but it can reach $2,200 per month as well.
It will provide you with a steady stream of work all year round.
You will need to pass a transcribing test to get hired.
TranscribeMe hires beginners as well as experienced transcriptionists.
Pacific Transcription is currently hiring home-based contractors for research transcription for people with previous experience, minimum typing speed of 70 wpm, who will have to perform a minimum of 16 hours of typing per week, 12 of which outside of office hours.
There are also open positions for trained medical transcriptionists with at least 5 years of experience in a minimum of four specialties. The medical transcriptionists are expected to work for 15 to 20 hours per week.
Another position at Pacific transcription is for minute taking, which requires note-taking abilities, proficiency in Microsoft Word and meticulous attention to detail.
You can easily apply online for any of these positions.
If you are making your first steps in the transcription business, you may try out this company.
It has a simple application process and hires beginners.
You need to apply online and take two quizzes for accuracy before being recruited.
The pay is about $0.005 per word, and the working hours are flexible.
You can get a job here, no matter where you happen to live, if you can meet the requirements and pass the tests.
This online company offers freelance transcribing, editing, and other small jobs online.
Registering for the website is easy, and the pay is about $0.08 to $1 per minute of audio. The work hours and workload are flexible and depend on you.
All you will need to do is register and apply for the job of your choice. You will also need to pass a transcription test and read through the company’s Style Guide.
This transcription company hires people who live in the US, or are US residents.
It offers transcription jobs for the entertainment industry.
Registering for the website is straightforward, and you will need to pass a test for your English skills, grammar, and accuracy before being given work.
The basic requirements include having a good computer, high-speed internet, headphones and a foot pedal.
This company handles transcription work mainly in the entertainment industry.
If you are proficient in written and spoken English, have good communication skills, and are able to understand the different English language accents, such as Australian, American, British or Indian, you can apply for a transcriber job at Scribie.
The pay is around $10 per hour.
You don’t need to have previous experience, but you will need to pass a test before being hired at Scribie.
This company accepts applications by the novice as well as by experienced transcriptionists.
It offers flexible assignments, weekly payment starting at $0.70-0.85 per minute of audio.
The company offers additional feedback, training, and coaching.
It claims that the transcriptionists working for Daily Transcription make from $250 up to $950 per week on average.
You will need to apply online and take a skill test in order to be approved.
Only US and Canadian residents can apply.
Bam! Transcription offers general transcription, translation, copywriting, proofreading, and copy editing jobs related to the entertainment industry.
The LA-based company currently offers general transcription jobs in the spheres of finance, academics, real estate, environment, public relations, politics, church and others.
If you are approved, you can expect to have to transcribe podcasts, webcasts, conference calls, discussions, meetings, training, sermons, investigations and others.
This is another company that is suitable for novices in general transcription.
Birchcreek Communications offers work from home jobs that pay from $0.40 to $1.75 per audio minute, depending on the accuracy of the job done.
You will need a computer, an internet connection and headphones to perform this job.
You don’t need to have any experience, but you still will need to apply for the job online and take a preliminary test.
Verbal Ink is a division of Ubiqus and offers work for English language transcriptionists as well as foreign language transcriptionists and translators too.
Applying for the job is via e-mail, and the requirements for the job can be found here.
You will need to send Verbal Ink your cover letter and resume.
A strong command of English, an understanding of the different accents, as well as computer skills, are a must.
This web-based transcription and translation company hires both novices as well as experienced transcriptionists.
The pay is around $0.60 per audio minute. The work hours are flexible, but you will be expected to complete the transcribing of each 10-minute audio within 10 hours of the assignment.
Applying for the job is easy and is done online. You will need to take a test in order to be approved and hired.
You have to have good English skills.
This online transcription company hires people from all over the globe. Applying for a job as a transcriber is pretty straightforward. You need to download the teat, take it, upload your results, and wait for a response within the next 48 hours.
The work is flexible, and Focus Forward pays $0.40 per audio minute.
The jobs you can expect to be assigned include transcribing focus groups, TV logging, and others.
SpeakWrite offers jobs for general and legal transcriptionists.
It hires people from the USA and Canada only.
The minimal requirements include a typing speed of 60 wpm, 90% accuracy, and proficiency in English spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
The company is looking for home-based transcriptionists with experience in the spheres of general and legal transcription – 5 years for legal and 1 year for general.
You will need to have a computer, a foot pedal, headphones, and be proficient in Microsoft Word.
The expected pay is $0.005 per word.
The company hires full time, as well as independent at home transcriptionists.
Only US citizens or people who live or work in the USA will be accepted.
The minimal requirements are a new computer with 200GB RAM memory, Windows 10, Microsoft Word 2010 or higher, a fast internet connection, and English as a native language.
The company also offers positions for foreign language translators.
All applications are accepted only via e-mail.
Allegis is a company that specializes in transcription services for the legal and insurance spheres.
The applicants need to have a minimum typing speed of 75 wpm, accuracy and spelling skills and will have to go through a training process.
It offers job positions for home-based transcriptionists and promises to provide the approved ones with a steady workflow. The applicants can be US citizens or residents only.
The requirements for applying include having a good computer with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, a fast internet connection, Microsoft Word 2013 or newer, and a foot pedal, as well as installed antivirus software. You can read all the technical requirements for applying here.
Net Transcripts offers home-based transcription positions for various law enforcement projects, including legal, police and insurance transcription.
The candidates for the job should have previous experience in transcription in the sphere, as well as a minimum typing speed of 75 wpm. A foot pedal is also required.
All candidates will be assessed, and background checked before being hired.
This online transcription service company offers work for home-based transcriptionists and secretaries.
You need to be proficient in English grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as have your own hardware and software required for the job, including an Infinity foot pedal
The company hires experienced as well as novice general and legal transcribers.
Way With Words hires home-based, freelance transcribers from all around the world.
The pay is between $0.45 and $1.73 per audio minute based on the specific project and the time for completion.
The jobs include ones for newbies and experienced general, legal and medical transcriptionists.
You will need to sign up and apply online on their website in order to get considered for a home-based transcriber job.
Hollywood Transcriptions hire transcribers who type at least 65 wpm, have their own computers, an internet connection, and a digital foot pedal and transcription software.
Naturally, you need to be fluent in English and have good spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.
To apply for a job as a home-based transcriber, you will have to fill out the online form or send your resume to the e-mail provided.
This online transcription company offers transcription work for people based in the USA or US residents.
The jobs include transcribing interviews, market researches, and others.
There are minimal requirement skills for your accuracy and typing speed.
You can apply for work as an independent transcriptionist for Same Day Transcriptions at the company’s website.
Aberdeen Broadcast Services hires home-based transcribers, as well as broadcast close captioners.
You can land a job transcribing or close captioning live broadcasts or recordings.
The requirements include excellent English spelling, punctuation and grammar skills, and a computer, reliable, fast internet, headphones, a foot pedal and other hardware and software.
The payment for transcription is $1 per audio minute on average. Depending on the position and job, you can expect to make $12 to $15 per hour.
M*Modal is part of 3M’s Healthcare Information System Division.
It hires certified and experienced medical transcribers.
The payment is per line, and you can apply for the job online or by contacting the HR department via the contact form or phone.
3 Play Media is periodically hiring transcribers in English and Spanish languages. Currently, there are open positions for home-based English and Spanish transcript editors.
The minimal requirements are for computer and language proficiency, Internet research skills, experience with Microsoft Excel, and others.
The payment is project-based and on average, is about $10 to $30 per hour.
BabbleType is hiring home-based transcriptionists, translators, and editors.
If you are interested in working as an English language transcriptionist at the company, you will need to watch the video provided to find out what the requirements are, and how to apply.
The company offers independent contracting and will pay for the work completed. The jobs can include general or medical transcribing.
BabbleType is picky about its transcribers, but it offers training, feedback, and fair payment, as well as a steady workload for the ones approved.
Cambridge Transcriptions is hiring on and off-site transcribers. The positions available are for legal transcriptionists and corporate transcriptionists.
The legal transcriptionists must have an excellent grasp of English grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and experience in transcribing administrative hearings, depositions and arbitrations
If you want to apply for the corporate transcriptionist job, you will need to have experience in transcribing audio and video recordings of lectures, proceedings, interviews, conference calls, webcasts, and so on.
You can apply by sending your cover letter, a resume, and samples of your work via e-mail.
Castingwords offers home-based jobs to independent contractors who live in any of the supported countries by the service.
You will need to be at least 18 years old and be ready to receive the specified payment type.
The company doesn’t place any limits on the amount of work you can do for them, so you will decide how many hours and how much you want to work and thus earn money.
The average pay is between $0.085 and $1 per audio minute, but it also depends on your skills and performance.
You can join the CrowdSurf platform no matter where you live. You will need to sign up and apply for the job, and the team will assess your application within 24 hours.
The requirements for the job are fluency in speaking, writing and reading English, a reliable internet connection, a computer, typing skills, listening skills, proofreading skills, and if preferred noise-canceling headphones.
There are no special technical requirements or experience required to land this freelance transcription job.
The online transcription company is currently hiring only legal transcriber applications. The minimal requirements are a minimum of 3 years of experience in law firms, professional references, extensive knowledge of legal terminology, a minimum typing speed of 85 wpm, and availability during regular working hours.
Also, the company requires that you have a computer with a headset and foot pedal, as well as installed transcription software. You also need to have Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Corel WordPerfect installed.
Only US residents and citizens can apply for this position.
In order to apply for a job as a home-based transcriptionist and typist for E-Typists, you need to have a Windows computer with MS Office, Express Scribe, and WordPerfect installed, as well as noise-canceling headphones, an infinity wav foot pedal, a high-speed internet connection and a smartphone.
You should be fluent in English, and be able to understand rapid speaking, even with background noise, and in different accents.
People with at least 3 years of experience in a law office are preferred.
You also need to be an excellent typist with great spelling, punctuation, and grammar skills to work as a home typist and transcriber at this company.
If you sign up for SpeedPad, you can earn between $0.25 to $2.50 for transcribing per audio minute, or between $2 and $5 per minute for translations.
The application process is pretty simple, and you can choose the jobs you want based on the industry, time, and others.
This platform allows for flexible work hours and can help you gain the experience you will need to land higher paid jobs as a transcriptionist later on.
Transcription Divas do not require any extensive previous experience, so it is a suitable service for newbies in the freelance transcribing business.
The minimal pay per audio minute is $0.84, the highest is $2.98 per audio minute, and on average, the pay for remote transcribing services is $1.99 per audio minute.
To apply to become a “Transcript Diva,” you need to fill out the online form and add your resume.
Ubiquis offers remote-jobs for freelance contractors for English transcription jobs. The requirements include – being a native English speaker based in the USA, with 1-5 years of experience in proofreading, editing, etc.
For legal transcribers, the minimal experience is 1-5 years as a legal employee or training, and for medical transcribers, the requirement is 1-5 years of experience in the field or certificates from passed training.
What are the skills required for transcription work?
When you read the job descriptions of the various online transcribing companies and job offers, the typical requirements include proficiency in English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and the ability to understand spoken English in different accents.
Another common requirement is the ability to follow directions, to have a certain minimal typing speed per minute, a high accuracy of typing, and the ability to meet deadlines.
When working on your resume, make sure you include these skills, as well as those which the specific company has listed as a requirement.
When the job listing is for a transcription job in the medical or legal field, you will have to prove that you have the skillset and experience to understand the terminology.
You should specify your skills in typing, your previous experience in transcribing, editing, proofreading, or others.
Also, mention your ability to understand and process voice and recorded audio.
Overall, you should make it clear in your resume or cover letter that you are ready to work, train and accept feedback, as well as do your best to meet the requirements for the job specified.
Most companies will ask you to complete a test or quiz or send samples of your previous work too.
What kind of experience is required?
The most essential abilities you should stress upon, include your ability to understand and transcribe audio content from different sources, quickly and accurately.
For this, you will need fast typing skills, accuracy, good spelling and punctuation skills, and the hardware and software required for performing the job.
Attention to detail and listening skills are essential for being an excellent transcriber.
It will help if you can easily understand what is being said, even if the person or people speaking are talking in a specific dialect or with an accent. Also, you will be a preferred applicant, if you are capable of transcribing difficult audio with a lot of background noise, or of people who are hard to understand.
Of course, you will need to show proficiency in another language, if you are applying for a transcription job in a foreign language too.
If you have worked in the legal field, or medical field, you should list this experience in your resume too, when applying for a job as a medical or legal transcriber.
If you have certificates for completed training, add it to your application form too.
Some companies require professional references from previous clients and employers.
Even if you are a novice in the field of transcribing, you can still start with minimal experience, by taking up more straightforward jobs, and building up the skillset you will need for the future.
How to make sure that the transcription job is the real deal?
Unfortunately, just like with any other online and home-based job offer, some offers for transcription work can be scams, and it is likely that you may not get paid properly or at all for your work.
Here are some of the signs that the offer may be a scam:
- The offer sounds too good to be true. If someone is offering you a large sum of money for a simple job, or unrealistic terms for the working hours, it is highly likely that it could be a scam.
- The customer or company requires too much personal info. As with all online ventures, you should always be cautious when giving out your personal data, especially before you have even landed a job. Do not hand out information like your social security number, bank information, or other when applying for a job.
- If you are required to pay money to land a job. In most cases, when the company requires that you pay a certain sum of money before being considered for a job as a transcriber, it is very likely that you could be a victim of a scam. Keep in mind that some serious companies do require a preliminary background check before they hire you, and this may require that you pay a fee for this check. Then again, make sure that the company is reputable before agreeing to pay.
- The company hasn’t provided any contact information. Legitimate transcription companies will provide details, contact information, and information about the company.
How becoming a transcriber can help you move on to higher-paid work from home?
Becoming a home-based transcriber can help you polish your skills, expand your experience, and help you learn to work remotely as a contract employee.
Working from home may sound easy, but it does require that you have a good work discipline, including the ability to meet deadlines, performing the jobs properly, and communicating with your clients and employers in a proper and timely manner.
A transcriber position is an excellent stepping stone for people with minimal experience in working from home.
Once you start gaining experience and expanding your client’s list, you can move on to finding better-paid transcription or related jobs that you can complete from home.
If you like working as a transcriber, you can invest in some good online courses for improving your skills, or for getting a certificate required for higher paid jobs as a legal or medical transcriber.
If you are good at your job as a freelance transcriber, you may be able to find customers of your own and request higher pay for your work too.
Other remote jobs related to online transcription include proofreading and editing. These are jobs for which there is a growing demand.
So, if you have a keen eye for detail, and find proofreading a rewarding type of work, you can start earning some pretty good income from landing higher-paid proofreading jobs online.
Remember, that rarely do people who are just starting off as independent contractors and freelancers begin making huge sums of money.
It is essential to start small and be realistic in order not to be frustrated at first.
Once you become more experienced and start gaining more confidence, you will see how much faster and accurate you will become with your transcribing. This will lead to the ability to find better-paid jobs and even your own customers with whom you can negotiate an individual pay which fits your skills and expectations.