Best Online Transcription Jobs for Beginners

Updated on December 31, 2019
Abhi Gaur profile image

A part-time freelance writer who is trying different ways to earn money online.

What Are Online Transcription Jobs?

Online transcription simply means listening to an audio or a video file and typing what you hear according to certain guidelines. The transcription websites will usually teach you how to do this kind of work if you have no idea what it entails.

Online transcription work is not particularly hard and doesn't require a degree. You just need to pick up on things quickly and be accurate. I admit that it is not the easiest job that you can do online or the most rewarding, but it can find a place in your sources of income for sure.

In this article, I will share some of the best online transcription jobs for beginners in my opinion. I am not going to arrange the websites in any particular order, so you can try the ones at the bottom of this article as well.

Note: I won't sugarcoat anything in this article. I'll only share my honest opinion about the websites. I haven't used any of these websites yet, so my opinion is based purely on my research.

Important Things That You Must Know About Online Transcription Jobs

  1. First of all, transcribing doesn't pay well in most cases. The average person doesn't have the required typing speed or the skill to do these jobs really fast. You also have to worry about your accuracy because a website will kick you out if you are inaccurate most of the time. In short, it is an uphill battle that you will struggle to win.
  2. You will run into issues with editors in some cases. The editors will not always rate you fairly always. Editors are human, and sometimes they make mistakes. Some editors are simply too inexperienced to be editors. I know it is unfair, but disputing an editor's rating will not help in all cases. Unless it is clearly unfair, I don't recommend disputing a rating.

One alternative to transcription jobs that I can suggest to you is Search Engine Evaluation, which can be difficult. However, it can be more rewarding than online transcription jobs.

Requirements for Doing Online Transcription Work

Following are some of the general requirements that you need to meet to do online transcription job.

  1. Native Level of English: Most websites are really serious about having a high level of familiarity with the English language, even if you don't live in a English-speaking country. They are not wrong because you need to be able to understand the language deeply to be able to transcribe properly.
  2. Computer and Internet Access: A good computer and a strong internet network is required. In some cases, you will need to buy a software and a foot pedal to work.
  3. Good Typing Speed: Typing speed matters a lot here. A decent typing speed will allow you to earn more by typing quickly.
  4. Pass the Skill Test: Any good website will want you to go through a test to ensure that you have what it takes. Don't worry, they will provide you the guidelines that you need to follow. I recommend taking as long as it is necessary to understand the guidelines because you might have to wait a while before you can retake the test.
  5. Listening Abilities: You need to be able to understand different accents and make out words that are spoken in a disturbing environment. This job will test your listening abilities a lot.

1. Rev

Rev has been around since the year 2010, and it is clearly one of the most reputable transcription websites available online. They offer plenty of work and pay well if you are really good. The catch is that they are picky about who they hire. Even people who are experienced find it difficult to get accepted by this website. The good news is that it is possible to retake the test if you fail.

The average pay is in the range of $0.40 to $0.60 per audio minute.

Your pay will depend on how well you do. There are high-paying jobs that are harder to do. Maybe, you can earn more by doing the low-paying jobs if you do them quickly. You should experiment a little bit to see what works and what doesn't.

Rev has issues such as low-quality audio files and low pay. They are also very strict and don't tolerate mistakes. You do have the option of listening to some of the audio file before working on it, so it is not that big of an issue. However, you cannot do anything about the strict grading, and you will just have to follow their guidelines.

As a beginner, I think that you should certainly give them a try, but there is no reason to get discouraged if they don't hire you.

2. GoTranscript

GoTranscript hires people from all over the world and offers a decent way to make a part-time income. They pay up to $0.60 per audio or video minute, which is not bad.

Let us do some math. If it takes you 3 minutes to transcribe one minute of audio or video, then you will transcribe 20 minutes of audio or video in an hour. In this case, your hourly rate will be $12.

It takes time to be quick enough to transcribe one minute of audio or video in just 3 minutes. You can surely go faster once you become more experienced. They pay their editors more than the transcribers. The average income of transcribers is only $150 per month. Most of the complaints are about the low pay.

A lot of reviews mention that the website is a good place to get started if you have no experience. You just need to maintain a high score and ensure that you don't mess up transcription jobs consistently.

3. CastingWords

CastingWords is a transcription website that is not liked that much by the transcribers because of the low pay, especially in the beginning. They don't ask everyone to take a test, but you do have to read their style guide to ensure that you work according to their guidelines.

I like how they pay the transcribers as they pay you based on your grade. If you do really well, then they will pay you much more than those who don't.

Grade 0-4 - rejected and you are not paid
Grade 5 - the base pay amount
Grade 6 - 1.5 times the base pay amount
Graded 7 - 2.0 times the base pay amount
Grade 8 - 2.5 times the base pay amount
Grade 9 - 3.0 times the base pay amount

You can earn anywhere in the range of 8.5 cents to little more than a dollar per audio minute. Unfortunately, this means that you will not earn a decent amount if you are not able to work accurately. In fact, you will earn much lower on this website when compared to other websites if you are not able to transcribe accurately.

4. Speechpad

Speechpad provides transcriptions and captions at different prices. This means that you can earn different amounts depending on your experience. If you are experienced, then you will earn a lot more than someone who is just starting out.

They pay as high as $2.50 per minute, which is pretty good. This is better than a lot of transcription websites.

In theory, you could advance pretty quickly and even get to $2.50 per minute. It will surely be difficult in the beginning as they don't have a lot of low pay jobs at times. Once you prove your worth, this website will prove to be one of the best transcription websites for you.

They have a 99% accuracy guarantee, so you will need to be very accurate. I don't think that you can expect to be paid $2.50 per minute if you are not accurate. Overall, I am quite impressed by this website.

5. Scribie

Scribie focuses on lowest transcription rates, so you can't expect to earn a lot here. The payment varies from $0.5 to $2.00 for a 6 minute file. Compared to some of the websites mentioned here, it is not good enough.

You can also earn through their referral program. It pays 5% affiliate commission for each transcript order that is placed by a customer that you refer. You can earn 2.5% affiliate commission on the earnings of your referred transcribers.

I know that you are wondering why I have mentioned this website if it doesn't pay good. This website can still benefit those who want to learn about transcription. You can't make a career here, but you can learn the basics. So, this website can act as a stepping stone to making a career in transcription.

6. E-Typist

E-Typist claims to be the number one transcription company in the USA, and they have great reviews from those who have used their service. This means that you will not struggle to find work if you perform well.

They have really high requirements for transcriptionists like minimum 3 years of experience in legal transcription or experience working in law office setting.

The process of applying is simple as you can just send them your resume to apply. I don't think that you should waste your time if you don't meet their requirements. They don't really mention how much they pay, but you can expect to earn a decent amount depending on your speed. After looking at their rates, it is clear that they aren't the highest paying transcription website.

7. TigerFish

I am not a fan of the design of their website. It looks really old-fashioned to be honest. Maybe, it is this way because they have been around since the year 1989, which makes them one of the oldest transcription websites.

You have to read their 11 pages long style guide and then do three different transcriptions to prove that you are worthy of being a transcriptionist.

You will need to be a citizen of the US and meet other requirements like having a telephone number and Windows based computer.

You can do their test with Express Scribe, which is free to download. The issue is that you will need to buy Power Play for Windows Media if your application is approved. It will cost you $229, which can certainly dissuade some people from going for this opportunity.

They don't really explain how much they pay, which is another thing that I don't like other than the requirement to buy a transcribing software. According to various sources, they pay in the range of $5 to $10 per hour to beginners. Experienced people can earn as much as $15 per hour.

8. TranscribeMe

I am quite impressed by how their website looks and how they present themselves. Being a big name in the transcribing world, TranscribeMe offers great opportunities for growth and makes it easy to work by breaking down the transcription files into shorter files.

The requirements for working here are not anything extraordinary as you only need a stable internet connection and a computer. You don't have to pay them anything to get through the application process. You can try again if you fail to pass their exam for the first time. Note that you have limited attempts to crack the tests, so you need to do your homework after you fail before applying again.

They pay $15 per audio hour to the beginners. The exciting news is that you can earn as much as $50 per audio hour once you climb the ladder and prove yourself. Although, most people will be stuck earning around $250 per month.

This is, without a doubt, one of the best online transcription websites for beginners, but the problem is that they don't have work available all the time.

9. Verbal Ink

Verbal Ink is for people who live in the US only. You need to meet some general requirements and have a specialized transcription software and a foot pedal. They ask you to simply send them your resume if you are interested. I think that it would be challenging to get accepted by them, and you might need to take a detailed test before they are satisfied.

They don't mention how much they pay on their website. One review on Glassdoor mentions that they pay $0.85 per audio minute for most files. I don't know how accurate the $0.85 per audio minute pay rate is, but it is certainly higher than a lot of other websites mentioned here.

They might require you to work really fast as they deliver the work on the same day if the client asks for it. So this can be a stressful job for those people who want to take their time with the transcription.

10. Bam!

Bam! has been around for 20 years, and they still fail to provide much information on their website. You will have to email them for any openings, but it doesn't look like it will be hard to get hired. It is not clear how much they pay, but one user on Reddit mentioned that they paid him $0.75 per audio minute.

They are known for not compromising with quality, so you have to make sure that your transcription is as accurate as possible. Some jobs have to be completed within 24 hours, so you should take those when you are sure that you can do them within the time limit.

11. AccuTran Global

AccuTran Global has a solid reputation among the clients as well as the transcribers. It is mentioned on their website that they were going to hire US based transcribers from September 30, 2019. No update has been provided by the website since then. Maybe, they have filled their job positions, or they haven't gone through with it. Either way, it doesn't look like you will be able to join them at the time of writing this article.

They pay in the range of $0.004 to $0.0055 per word and $0.40 per audio minute for longer projects. You can earn around $15 per hour if your transcription speed is good.

12. Daily Transcription

Daily Transcription is a serious transcription website that offers transcribing jobs to people who are not only fluent in English but several other native languages. Their requirements are pretty basic like typing speed of 50 words per minute and the ability to meet deadlines.

Beginners are welcome, and they will provide you relevant training to help you perform the online transcription work. The bad news is that only people who reside in US, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, or South Africa can work as a Transcriptionist.

Their starting rates are $0.75 per audio minute to $0.85 per audio minute. They also mention that their top transcriptionists make anywhere from $250 to $950 per week.

Are Online Transcription Jobs Worth It?

After taking a look at the best online transcription jobs for beginners, we are left with the question, is it all worth it? The answer depends on where you live and what you want to do. If you are looking to earn money in your free time by doing boring and tricky work, then you can surely consider online transcription jobs. They won't pay you a lot, but you won't have to travel anywhere and be allowed to work whenever you want to.

In countries like the US, it would be very hard if not impossible to earn a full-time income by doing online transcription jobs. So you should look at other alternatives if you want to earn a full-time income.

I hope this article was helpful, and you can let me know if it was helpful by sharing it and commenting below.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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    © 2019 Kshitiz Gaur

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