TranscribeMe - A Work-At-Home Transcription Job for Just About Anyone
As a work-at-home professional, finding a job that is legit and pays you for your hard work can be exceedingly tough. There are literally thousands of companies out there, and not all of them are genuine or honest. Some are out there just to scam you and deprive you of your honest earnings. It is, therefore, imperative that you do your due diligence on a company before committing your time and effort to it.
Fortunately, for work-at-home professionals, there are companies that are genuine and honest and that do pay their employees on time every time. TranscribeMe is a great example. TranscribeMe is headquartered in Berkeley, California, and has thousands of customers around the world. They've been in existence since 2011. I wouldn't vouch for them if I didn't have any personal experience working for them, and yes, I have and do work for them at present.
Apart from being a writer, I also work as a transcriptionist, and TranscribeMe is, by far, the best company I've worked for. Apart from transcription services such as their innovative First Draft Transcription service that offers customers fast and affordable transcripts, they also provide closed captioning and translation services to their clients. However, since my experience with them is limited to the transcription domain, I would focus on that in this article.
What is Transcription?
For the uninitiated, let's start off learning what transcription is all about. Transcription is the process of converting an audio file into written text. As a transcriptionist, your job is to hear a chunk of audio and convert it to text by typing out accurately what you hear. That's about it. The recorded audio dictations may cover a wide variety of topics and subjects and may contain a single speaker or multiple speakers. As long as you have good typing skills, can accurately comprehend what the dictator is saying, and can adhere to client-specific style and format guidelines, you should be able to do well as a transcriptionist.
The Experience / Skills You Need at TranscribeMe
As stated above, apart from good typing skills and being able to comprehend accurately what the dictator is dictating, you should have a strong command of the English language and basic grammatical rules. You would also encounter various English accents and would need to be able to recognize them accurately.
Is TranscribeMe Open to Non-US Workers?
Yes. TranscribeMe hires transcribers from anywhere in the world.
TranscribeMe - Equipment Needed!
All you need is a computer with reliable Internet connectivity and have the Google Chrome browser installed. If you need to control the audio with a foot pedal, you would, of course, need one. You would also need a good set of headphones to hear the audio.
TranscribeMe And Why I love Working for Them
As a transcriptionist, I have worked with a lot of transcription companies, but the reasons I love working for TranscribeMe are:
- Flexibility: As a work-at-home mom, it isn't always easy to commit to a schedule and work as you would in an office-based setting. There are kids around and family as well, so you often find yourself being interrupted and needing to take a break. TranscribeMe does not have huge expectations. They require you to complete just 50 jobs in a month - of course, you can do as much as you want if you so choose - which is very achievable. The jobs aren't too long either and range anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes per job on an average.
- Short Jobs: As stated in the previous point, the jobs are quite short at the transcription stage. I especially like the shorter jobs because they are faster to process and less stressful (in case you get a tough audio recording). Most of the audios have decent to good quality and you can process multiple jobs in any case to reach the 50 jobs per month target.
- Easy User Interface: Unlike some of the other transcription companies I've worked for, TranscribeMe offers an easy, intuitive interface. As a transcriptionist, you aren't expected to put in timestamps or format the text in any complicated way. The only thing you'd need to do is to type the text accurately and follow the style recommendations that is conveniently displayed on the right-hand pane of your workspace.
- Great Community: As a transcriptionist, you generally find yourself quite secluded and isolated within the greater company network. Most companies I've worked for didn't have any sort of network to help employees communicate with one another. TranscribeMe is different. They utilize the social networking service Yammer that connects all their employees and helps employees stay up-to-date and current on any changes that are happening. It's also a very useful place for newbies (and others) to ask questions from more experienced team members.
- Helpful Staff: Apart from a great community, they also have a great set of shift leads and team managers who are very willing to help you out and guide you along. They are respectful, give you space, and are very easy to approach.
- Growth Prospects: One of the things I love about TranscribeMe is the scope for growth. You may start off as a transcriptionist, but you can progress to Quality Assurance (QA) or Reviewer based on the quality of your work. Progressing to these levels gives you the opportunity to enhance your pay and also ensure constant work switching roles as and when you require.
- Reliable Payments: TranscribeMe pays on time every Thursday once your earnings reach $20. I've been with them for about 5 years now and have never had any problems getting paid.
As a transcriptionist with TranscribeMe, you can earn $20 per audio hour for general transcription; although, some projects pay higher and the pay could go up to $25 per audio hour for some of these. You need to take specific exams to access these higher-paying jobs. It's important that you build a good track record in terms of quality for the first 50 jobs that you do to help you gain access to these special projects.
That apart, transcribers that provide good quality can gain access to "Single-Step Sessions" or SSS. These are dictations that are transcribed and edited by the transcriber and pay higher. Generally, the transcriber only transcribes and the editing part is done by the QA, but if your quality is deemed to be very good, you may be given access to these Single-Step Sessions and compensated for both the transcription and editing parts of the process. The rates for these range from $40-50 per audio hour based on the client and projects involved.
If you are promoted as a Reviewer, you would be reviewing files done by QAs, which means the files would have been edited once and you would be going over them one final time for accuracy before they are submitted to the client. The rate for this work would be at $20 per audio hour.
The Joining Process
Unlike other transcription companies that sometimes take weeks to probably months to reply or notify you, TranscribeMe notifies you promptly, usually within the same day or the next day. All you have to do is register and take their Transcriber Training Program. Post that, if you are successful, account activation is fast. You would be notified via e-mail and you can start working post that.
Tips - Post Joining TranscribeMe
- Ensure that you are on Yammer - that's the social networking site that TranscribeMe uses. If you haven't already been invited, ask to be invited. It's a veritable treasure trove of information, and you'd be missing out on lots if you are not there.
- Ensure that you read through the TranscribeMe General Style Guide. However, do note that certain jobs may have specific styles/formats that may override the style/format listed in the Style Guide. Every job opens up with a window pane to the right-hand side that lists the style requirements for that particular job. Do ensure your read and follow this.
- You may get the "All work assigned" message. If so, do post on Yammer to ensure that it is genuinely the case for all workers and not just you. It may just be that your settings need to be set right for you to access jobs, especially when starting out.
- Check your feedbacks and note the changes made by the QA. You may access them by going to My Account - My Work History and then clicking on the "View" tab. If you find that you have followed the style guide accurately and the QA has unfairly changed something, you can appeal if the job has been rejected.
- Post joining, do a search on Yammer for newbie tips as the search word. There are several useful posts on there for newbies, which you would find extremely useful.
I've found TranscribeMe to be a great work-at-home opportunity for just about anyone. The skill sets required are not daunting and the flexibility offered is an added bonus. You can work part-time as well, in which case it can be a great source of supplemental income. The best thing, of course, is that they are legit and pay regularly and on time. So if you are looking for a work-at-home opportunity that pays and that doesn't have restrictive qualification requirements, then this may be the opportunity for you.
As stated in the article, I presently work for TranscribeMe as a transcriber/QA/Reviewer, and my views are based on my actual work experience with them over the past 5 years. I am not affiliated with TranscribeMe management in any way, and I have not received any monetary benefits/incentives for this article. This review is intended to help others who may be looking for information about TranscribeMe or work-at-home opportunities in general.