Make Money From Home Transcribing for Rev: The Pros and Cons

Updated on June 7, 2018
Kent Adams profile image

Nicholas is a student at Georgetown University. He is interested in international relations, global health, history, and literature.

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What is Rev?

Rev.com is a website that employs freelance transcriptionists, video captioners, and translators. Customers can submit audio that they want to be written up, a video that they want to be captioned, or a document that they want to be translated. The freelancers can see available jobs and claim them, and then they must complete them by a deadline.

How do you get hired by Rev?

You can apply to work as an independent contractor for Rev on their website. When you apply, you either apply to be a translator, an audio transcriptionist, or a video captioner. Translators must submit an actual application, and transcriptionists and captioners must pass tests before they can begin. These tests make sure you can complete example jobs accurately and by following the company's provided style guide.

Note: You can work for Rev in just one of these roles or all three!

There are three levels of Rev contractor: Rookie, Revver, and Revver+. Once you finish training files and keep your grades on your first files up, you'll be promoted to Revver. You need to transcribe 1,200 minutes of audio to be promoted to Revver+. As a Revver+ you get first pick at jobs and can apply to be a grader of other transcriptionists' files.

An example of claimable jobs in the queue. Note: You can see how many people unclaimed a project and why.
An example of claimable jobs in the queue. Note: You can see how many people unclaimed a project and why.

So how much do you get paid?

The pay at Rev definitely leaves something to be desired. Unfortunately, I always make less than the minimum wage, however, some people say in the forum that they can make minimum wage by typing quickly and by using text expanders (e.g. typing "btw" turns into "by the way"). For example, a 30 minute file might take me about three hours and pay 50 cents per audio minute, meaning I take home $15. That's $5 an hour. Of course, I take many breaks while working on a file and I am not very disciplined in how fast I work.

Here is an example of Rev earnings. Also, proof that you can take weeks off if you want!
Here is an example of Rev earnings. Also, proof that you can take weeks off if you want!

Pro and Con List

Pros:

  • Working from home
  • Getting to choose which files you do (especially as Revver+)
  • The community of workers (help is available in the forum)
  • Not necessarily having a boss
  • Paychecks come every Monday via Paypal
  • When you do your taxes you can write off your computer, headphones, etc. as equipment
  • You learn a skill that exercises your brain

Cons:

  • Low pay for work that can give you a headache and hurt your hands
  • Taxes are not taken out, so you will pay them when you report your income to the IRS
  • Often very little work on the weekends
  • A lot of the audio is poor quality, especially as speech-to-text technology improves

Source

So why bother working for Rev if the pay is so low?

I think that Rev is a good fit for people who need to or want to work from home, and do not necessarily need to live off of the pay. This opportunity is especially important for people with disabilities or other circumstances that prevent them from working a conventional job. Stay at home moms or college students, like myself, may find that the work is good for filling free time in a productive way.


How can I make more money as a transcriptionist?

You may want to check out other companies similar to Rev so that you have a larger queue of jobs to pick from. TranscribeMe, QuickTate, and Tigerfish are some other well-known work from home transcription sites.

To transcribe faster, work on your typing speed and use a lot of text expanders. The quickest transcriptionists will never type more than 5 keys for each word. Investing in a high-quality pair of headphones may help with difficult audio.

With enough practice or if you decide to get certified in medical or legal transcription, you can freelance without working under one of these companies. Many transcriptionists use websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr to find clients.

Have you or will you try working from home as a transcriptionist/captioner?

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    • profile image

      Karen Shroka 

      2 months ago

      I have been with Rev for three years. Yes, the pay is not the greatest, but you do not have travel, clothing, food expenses that you would have with an outside job.

      Rev does not supply 1099s

      The writer of the article states that some people have been let go unfairly. I don't know where he got this notion, other that gossip in the Forum.

      Re penalized for turning in a project past the deadline, Rev gives more than ample time to complete any project, I type less that 40 WPM due to arthritis, and I can still finish a project and have an hour or more of the allowed time left.

      Since so much of our work comes from businesses, there is bound to be less work on weekends and American holidays. night owls can catch a lot of work from Australia, as Rev is never shut down. We have worker from all over the world.

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