Working as a transcriptionist is a great way to make money from home and benefit from a flexible schedule. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a full-time job or just a few hours per week that will give you some extra money, transcribing can be a good option.
This article will help you to find the best transcription jobs. There are a lot of different companies and websites that will pay for transcription work, and hopefully this list will help you to find the right opportunity for you.
Most transcription jobs will allow you to work as an independent contractor. Typically, you’ll be able to have control over the days and hours that you work, and how much you work. Some companies will have minimums or specific requirements that you’ll need to meet.
We’ll start the article by looking at the best opportunities. Later in the article, you’ll also find companies that provide the best transcription jobs for beginners.
→ Be sure to see the article How to Become a Transcriptionist
According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a work-from-home transcriptionist in the US is $58,218. That’s not bad for an extremely flexible career with no commute!
However, making a decent wage as a beginner can be challenging. There are a lot of companies out there that allow anyone to sign up and work as a transcriptionist (you may need to pass a typing test first), however, some of these jobs pay very low wages. Earning a certification can help to open up more opportunities for you, and later in this article you’ll find some information about earning a certification.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: For a very limited time you can get free access to modules 1 and 2 of the General Transcription course from Transcribe Anywhere, plus access to a private Facebook Group for students. Transcribe Anywhere provides the best training available if you want to work as a transcriptionist, so this is an amazing offer. There are a total of 13 lessons included in modules 1 and 2, and you don’t need to enter any credit card info (offer expires March 30, 2020).
Companies and Websites Providing the Best Transcription Jobs
Before you get started, make sure that you have the right transcription equipment.
SpeakWrite is one of the best transcription companies to work for, but you’ll need a little bit of experience. They have a well-established customer base that includes legal, government, law enforcement, and private sector clients.
As a transcriptionist for SpeakWrite, you’ll be paid $0.005 – $0.006 per word. Average earners make $300+ per month with top earners exceeding $3,000 per month. Payments are made twice per month by direct deposit or check.
In order to work for SpeakWrite, applicants must pass a test with a minimum of 60 words per minute with at least 90% accuracy. You will also need at least one year of transcription experience, and you must pass a background check.
Once you’re approved you will choose your own shifts and then work will be assigned to you during your shifts. You’ll need to schedule at least 15 working hours per month.
1-888-Type-It-Up is another reputable company, and you can work for 1-888-Type-It-Up even if you live outside of the U.S.
One of the reasons to consider working for 1-888-Type-It-Up is the possibility to earn higher pay. They pay transcriptionists $30 – $180 per audio hour. They aim to pay at least $60 per audio hour ($1 per audio minute) and higher when possible. Rates vary depending on what the client is willing to pay. You will be paid twice per month by PayPal.
In order to get started, you will need to pass a test by transcribing a short audio file. Speed is not a part of the test. They don’t have a minimum words-per-minute requirement. They are only concerned with your accuracy.
One of the downsides is that you will need to pay a $35 application fee. On the bright side, they acknowledge that the application fee reduces the number of applicants, so you’ll have less competition.
Speechpad is another good company to work for. You can earn $0.25 – $2.50 per audio minute (or $15 to $150 per audio hour). Payments are made twice per week by PayPal.
It’s free to sign up, and before you can start working you’ll need to pass a transcription and a grammar test. As a worker, you’ll have a rating, and the rating impacts what jobs you will be eligible for. Increase your rating to open up more opportunities. There are also possibilities to quality for rush jobs and captioning jobs that can bring higher pay.
There is no minimum that you need to work, and you’ll be able to choose the specific jobs that you want to take.
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TranscribeMe is one of the more popular options, and getting started is pretty easy. After you fill out the form you’ll need to pass a test in order to be able to start working for TranscribeMe. The test is fairly simple, and TranscribeMe does not require previous experience.
When you are working for TranscribeMe you will be transcribing short audio clips (usually 2-4 minutes long) from a variety of different industries. Pay ranges from $15 to $22 per audio hour. The average transcriptionist earns $250 per month, with top earners making up to $2,200 per month. You’ll be paid by PayPal weekly.
There is no cost to apply with TranscribeMe.
Daily Transcription claims to pay higher rates than other companies, starting at $0.75 – $0.85 per audio minute. Their top transcriptionists make $250 – $950 per week (which is a really wide range). Payments are made weekly by check.
As part of the application process, you’ll need to pass a skills assessment test, as well as a transcription test. They do not require transcription experience, but you must be able to type at least 50 words per minute.
Daily Transcription works a little bit differently than some other companies. You’ll sign up for slots on their schedule, and you’ll be assigned work based on that schedule. Like other companies, they do not guarantee a specific amount of work will be available.
You’ll be transcribing audio files from the entertainment, corporate, and legal industries, as well as some academic institutions.
Tigerfish has been around for a long time (since 1989) and they are a well-known company in the industry.
If you work for Tigerfish, your projects will include all types of audio files like interviews, police interrogations, and documentary film footage.
There is an application process that involves transcribing 15 minutes of sample audio files. You’ll also need the free version of Express Scribe software.
Tigerfish pays $0.03 – $0.04 per line transcribed.
Casting Words hires freelancers from the U.S., Canada, and a long list of other countries. Signing up is easy. Some applicants will be required to take a transcription test, but others may not need to take the test.
Once you’re approved you will be able to see available jobs in the dashboard, and you can take as much or as little work as you want.
By working for Casting Words you will be paid $0.085 to over $1 per audio minute. Pay varies based on a few factors like the type of job, the level you’ve reached, and the grade that you receive for the work. The higher the grade for accuracy, the more you’ll be paid. Payments are made once per week by PayPal.
GMR Transcription offers positions for general transcription, as well as for general transcription with a medical background.
No experience is necessary for the general transcription position and you will be transcribing a variety of topics like academic, business, legal, and more.
For the position with a medical background, you will be transcribing interviews about medical conditions. This position comes with daily, consistent work, but you will be expected to complete work on a regular basis.
9. 3Play Media
To work for 3Play Media you will need to be located in the U.S., and you’ll need to be able to type at least 75 words per minute.
3Play Media pays based on the project, but they suggest the equivalent is about $10 – $30 per hour, depending on your efficiency.
You’ll be able to choose which projects you accept and how much you work.
The companies listed in the next section are all reputable companies that provide transcription work opportunities, but they do not publically provide the rates that they pay.
CrowdSurf offers transcription work related to captioning videos. They are short tasks that you can do at your own convenience.
To sign up you’ll need to create a profile and take an assessment. No experience is required there is no mandatory typing speed.
Athreon has been in business since 1988 and offers medical and general transcription work (for those based in North America). The non-medical transcription involves police, legal, media, and business transcription.
In order to qualify, you will either need to be a graduate of a training program or have two years of relevant working experience.
One of the benefits of working for Athreon is that you should get a steadier flow of work that may not be available with some other companies. However, they do require transcriptionists to work 5 days per week and complete at least 500 lines per day.
Athreon pays weekly by PayPal.
Ubiqus hires transcriptionists based in the U.S. In general, they require 1-5 years experience, but they will consider current transcription students.
You will be paid per word, but Ubiqus does not publicly list the rates that they pay. Opportunities are available for legal, medical, and general transcription.
13. Verbal Ink
Verbal Ink is a division of Ubiqus. They hire transcriptionists, but there is not a lot of detail about the job on their website. But they do provide instructions for applicants.
Babbletype hires transcriptionists, but you will need to be a native English speaker. They pay weekly by PayPal and workers can sign up for the assignments that they want each day. Your work schedule is totally up to you. Babbletype does not provide details about pay rates, but you can apply through their website.
Voxtab offers many different types of transcription services including legal, medical, academic, business, sermons, videos, podcasts, and more. They don’t provide many details about the opportunity to work for them, but you can apply and submit a resume through their website.
16. AccuTran Global
AccuTran Global is another reputable company that hires transcriptionists. Currently, there is not a lot of information about the job on their site, but it does say that a new hiring process will be coming soon.
Transcriptions ‘N Translations provides transcription services with a focus on the entertainment industry. Their website does not include very much information about working for them, but there is a form to submit an application.
BAM! Transcription is a California-based company that provides general transcription and also serves the entertainment industry. Their website does not provide information about working for them, but there is a contact form that you can use.
Alice Darling offers audio and video transcription services. They hire transcriptionists as needed. The requirements include the ability to type 75 words-per-minute and experience with transcription and word processing.
Legal Transcription: Theory & Practice™ This course includes 14 full-length training modules that cover everything you need to know in order to start working and making money with legal transcription work (including where to find work).
Online Transcription Jobs for Beginners
If you’re just getting started, here are some other websites and companies that are options for beginners.
GoTranscript hires workers from all around the world, and no transcription experience is needed. You will need to pass a test to get started, but if you fail the test you can try again in a few days. There is no word-per-minute typing speed requirement.
You can earn up to $0.60 per audio minute for both audio and video files. Payments are made weekly via PayPal. Average earners make $150 per month with top earners bringing in $1,215 per month.
Rev is another one of the better-known companies for paying transcriptionists. Rev offers transcription for audio files and videos.
In order to get started with Rev you will need to pass their online test. Once you pass the test you will be able to claim work that is available. Payments will vary depending on what you are doing, but generally it varies from $0.40 – $0.75 per audio minute.
According to Rev, the average transcriptionist earns $245 per month, with top earners reaching $1,495. Payments are made once per week by PayPal.
With Quicktate you can transcribe letters, memos, voicemails, legal notes, medical reports, and other short audio files. All of the audio files with Quicktate will be less than 5 minutes in length. iDictate is for audio files longer than 5 minutes like lectures, sermons, conference calls, YouTube videos, and more.
Both are owned by the same company, and as a transcriber you can complete one application to work for both Quicktate and iDictate.
For the application, you’ll need 3 references (can’t be your family members) and you will need to complete a background check. They do not accept applicants with felony or misdemeanor convictions. There is a $20 fee for the background check.
The pay varies between $0.0025 and $0.005 per word, and payments are made by PayPal.
Scribie is known to be one of the lower-paying companies in the industry. By working for them you can earn $5 – $25 per audio hour. There are also small monthly bonuses available ($5 for every 3 hours completed). You can withdraw earnings to your PayPal account at any time.
You don’t need experience to get started, but you will need to pass a test. With Scribie, you’ll be working on short files, 10 minutes or less.
Scribie does not assign work to you. You’ll be able to preview the available jobs and decide which ones you want to take.
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Working as a Transcriptionist
How Fast Do You Have to Type to Be a Transcriptionist?
There is no definitive industry standard for a minimum typing speed. The requirements for speed and accuracy can vary from one company to another. In general, 70 words per minute is a good goal if you want to start transcribing. You will be able to get some work with a slower speed, but at 70 words per minute, you’ll be qualified for most of the opportunities that you come across.
Keep in mind that typing is a skill that can be learned relatively quickly with practice. Don’t be turned off if you can’t type 70 words per minute now, you can always increase your speed if you’re willing to practice.
What is the Best Transcription Company to Work for?
The answer to this question depends who you are asking. For entry-level transcription work, start with the companies at the top of the list in this article.
How Can I Make Good Money as a Transcriptionist?
Your pay will be based on your typing speed, so the faster (and more accurately) you can type, the more money you can make. Also, earning a certification can help to open up more job opportunities, and better-paying jobs. Transcribe Anywhere offers certification that you may find to be extremely helpful with increasing your earning potential.
How Long Does it Take You to Transcribe One Hour of Audio?
That depends on a lot of factors, including your typing speed, but the industry standard is 4 hours of typing for every 1 audio hour. However, that may be higher or lower depending on the details.
In addition to your own typing speed, another big factor involves the quality of the audio. If you have a clear recording and the speaker is speaking slowly, you may be able to do it much faster. Or if the audio quality is poor or if the speaker is talking very fast, it may take more time.
Can You Make a Living Transcribing?
Yes, you can. However, that doesn’t mean that anyone who attempts it will be able to make a full-time income. To have the best chance of earning an income you should consider certification, which will open up more job opportunities. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a work-from-home transcriptionist is $58,218 or $28 per hour. In order to reach that level, you’ll need to move beyond some of the low-paying gigs that anyone can sign up for.
How Much Do Entry-Level Transcriptionists Make?
Some of the online gigs that you can sign up for with no experience will pay less than minimum wage. You’ll be paid per audio minute in most cases, but if you calculate the amount that you actually make per hour of work, it may wind up being less than minimum wage. However, you can increase that amount by improving your typing speed and accuracy, gaining experience, getting certified (optional), and getting better work.
Is Working as a Transcriptionist a Flexible Job?
Yes, it is! One of the best things about working as a transcriptionist is the fact that you can work as much or as little as you want, and whenever you want. There are not many jobs that offer this level of flexibility.
Can I Do Transcription Work Part-Time?
Yes, you can. In fact, it’s probably more ideal for part-time work than it is for full-time work. All of the websites that allow you to sign up and start working will offer a great deal of flexibility, and you can definitely work part-time around your schedule from another job, family responsibilities, or whatever priorities you have.
Transcribe Anywhere offers comprehensive courses that will help you to get started with general transcription and legal transcription. These courses provide the best training available and can be completed at your own pace. They also offer a great free mini-course that you won’t want to miss. Transcribe Anywhere also offers transcription certification to its students.