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If you’re considering online transcription jobs as your next side gig, it is essential to look for a legit platform. So, here we’ll delve into SpeakWrite to help you decide if it is a good choice for you.
A Brief Overview
The task of transcription involves listening to audio files and typing what you hear. This could be anything from dictation notes to legal or medical transcription to transcription of podcast audio. The challenge is that you may be listening to speakers who mumble, have different accents, or fail to enunciate.
Transcription work can be highly rewarding. You could be helping the hard of hearing with captions one day and aiding researchers the next.
How SpeakWrite Works
SpeakWrite is an audio-to-text service provider for both general businesses and legal professionals. The company was founded by a commercial litigator with over 30 years of experience. The founder, Richard Jackson, ran a law practice with over 50 people, and he was inspired to establish SpeakWrite to meet the challenges of producing legal documentation.
What makes SpeakWrite a little different from other transcription platforms is that it offers clients numerous ways to submit dictation. They can use the traditional methods of recorded tapes, email, web uploads, or use the free SpeakWrite app and toll-free dictation line.
Once the client has submitted the audio recording, you’ll get to work. You can set your schedule each week to choose specific hours and days you want to work. During your designated shift, you simply log in and receive your transcription assignments.
Bear in mind that SpeakWrite operates 24 hours a day and expects a fast turnaround on any projects assigned to you. So, if you cannot work a shift or have an issue with an assignment, you are required to notify the team immediately.
The Job Requirements:
Since SpeakWrite has a focus on legal transcription, it is more suited to those with some transcription experience. The requirements for general transcriptionists on the platform include:
- A typing speed of at least 60 words per minute.
- 90% typing accuracy.
- At least one year of word processing and transcription experience.
- Available for at least four hours per week.
- Legal resident of the USA or Canada (however, SpeakWrite cannot accept applications from residents of California due to law AB-5).
If you are interested in legal transcription, the requirements are a little more stringent. You need to have at least a year of work experience within a law firm during the past five years. This should include word processing and legal transcription experience.
There are also some equipment requirements. This includes a Windows-based PC with Windows 2007 or newer and Internet Explorer version 8.0 or higher. You also need a Windows media player, earphones, and soundcard to listen to the audio and a foot pedal to operate audio playback. Please see our article on transcription equipment for more details on what you’ll need.
How Much Can You Earn?
SpeakWrite offers transcriptionists a rate of $0.005 per word. In simple terms, this means that you will earn $5 per 1,000 words. With an average speaking speed of 125 words per minute, 1,000 words of uninterrupted audio works out to approximately six or seven minutes of audio. Some shifts also offer a 10% bonus.
The company claims that its transcriptionists earn an average of $450 per month, while its top earners are making $3,400 per month.
Payments are made twice per month via check or direct deposit. SpeakWrite does not use PayPal or other types of payment services, so you don’t need to worry about paying a commission on your earnings.
There are a number of similar platforms that offer flexible transcription work, and SpeakWrite is one of the best. However, your income will be limited with any of these platforms. If you want to increase your earning potential, working as a freelance transcriptionist could be a better option for you. The free mini course from Transcribe Anywhere will help you to get started.
SpeakWrite has been established for over twenty years, and it has garnered a solid reputation within the industry. The company has a 3.1 out of 5 rating on Indeed, with many positive reviews as well as some negative reviews.
SpeakWrite has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Despite its extensive file history, the BBB has no complaints lodged against SpeakWrite.
This confirms that SpeakWrite is a legit platform that is worthy of consideration for anyone with sufficient transcription experience.
Since you may be privy to confidential data, SpeakWrite does have a comprehensive application process. To start the application, you need to click on the website link and enter your basic information. This will allow you to create a login for the site, so you can access the other stages of the application.
You will then need to pass a typing speed and accuracy test. This is a short exercise, so SpeakWrite can validate your speed and accuracy. You need to achieve a minimum of 60 words per minute speed and 90% accuracy to advance to the next stage.
Upon successfully completing the test, you will be asked to review a confidentiality agreement and sign the document. You will also need to provide further details about your work history and confirm your availability.
Once SpeakWrite approves your work history, you will have access to training quizzes and videos. You will need to complete a few exercises, so you can get up to speed on the company’s formatting policies and how the SpeakWrite system works.
The final application step is to download the SpeakWrite software and complete some training jobs. This will allow you to practice using the software before you accept live jobs. The SpeakWrite team will evaluate your transcription jobs to ensure you adhere to the policies and procedures.
The Potential Drawbacks
No company is perfect, so you need to be aware of any potential drawbacks before making a final decision. The potential drawbacks of SpeakWrite include:
- Not for Newbies: You need to demonstrate a minimum of one year of professional transcription experience. SpeakWrite will verify your work history, so if you don’t have experience, your application won’t be accepted.
- PC Only: The SpeakWrite software is only compatible with Windows PCs. So, if you use a Mac or tablet, you are out of luck.
- Limited Shifts: While you can specify your availability, you will only have access to more shifts once you have more experience using the platform. This coupled with the low base rate means that you will struggle to make a full-time income, at least initially.
Transcription can be a great work from home job, and SpeakWrite is certainly a legit platform to consider. While it is not available to complete newbies, once you have gained at least a year of experience, it is worth applying.
Although SpeakWrite has an extensive application process, if you’re patient and take each step at a time, you should find it simple to qualify, providing you meet the specified requirements. The entire process can be long-winded. You will have thirty days from application approval to complete the evaluation process. But, this allows you to work at your own pace. If you are actively working, it is possible to complete the evaluation in a matter of days.
If you’re interested in transcription work, SpeakWrite is certainly one of the better options. However, your income on these types of platforms will be limited. If you want to significantly increase your income potential, offer transcription services on a freelance basis gives you a chance to earn much more money for your time. We recommend checking out the free course from Transcribe Anywhere to learn more about how to maximize your income and work from home.