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If you’re thinking about trying out transcription as a side hustle, you need to ensure that you choose a legit platform. Here we’ll explore TranscribeMe to help you to determine if it is the best option for you.
Looking for more options? Don’t miss our list of the best transcription jobs.
Brief Overview of Transcription
Transcription involves listening to an audio file and simply typing what you hear. However, you’ll listen to speakers with different accents, those who mutter, and those who don’t clearly enunciate.
Fortunately, transcription can also be highly rewarding. You may be providing captions or be making research easier for the hard-of-hearing.
How TranscribeMe Works
Once you join TranscribeMe, you can log into the WorkHub and have an opportunity to claim any available jobs. You need to have Google Chrome to access the WorkHub, but you can browse the jobs and then pick up an audio file. You can then transcribe and submit through the hub. The TranscribeMe files are typically quite brief, varying from 10 seconds to a minute each.
TranscribeMe works on a crowdsourcing basis, so audio submitted for transcription to the company is divided into smaller pieces and assigned to multiple transcriptionists who can work simultaneously.
Once all the transcription pieces are completed, the TranscribeMe team puts the files together. The work is reviewed, and any necessary corrections are made. If a lot of corrections are needed, your work may be rejected. However, assuming there are minimal errors, you’ll get paid for your accepted work.
The Job Requirements
TranscribeMe is ideal for entry-level transcribers as there are only very basic job requirements. These include:
- A high school diploma
- Fluent in English
- Good grasp of grammar and punctuation
- Good ear and concentration skills
There are also some recommended pieces of transcription equipment. You should have a computer with a high speed and reliable internet connection, and headphones. Good quality headphones will make it easier to filter out the background noise as you’re listening to the audio files.
If you begin to take your transcription work very seriously, you will want to invest in a foot pedal. This will allow you to use your foot to control the playback of your audio file, so you don’t need to take your fingers off the keys.
How Much Can You Earn?
TranscribeMe has a base pay rate of $15 per audio hour, but this may be subject to change. The important detail to note is that the pay is per audio hour. So, you’ll make $15 for every full hour of audio you transcribe, regardless of how long it takes you to transcribe this. This makes it important to work quickly and accurately. The more efficiently you can work, the more money you can make.
There may be opportunities to earn a higher rate after you gain experience. Regular transcribers on TranscribeMe can apply to be added to a special team. These tend to have specialized projects that attract a higher rate of pay.
Depending on the project, you could earn $22 to $60 per audio hour. There are even some projects that pay as much as $100 per audio hour.
The company issues payments for its transcriptionists via PayPal. Payments are made once a week in US dollars. You can request payment once your earnings reach $20.
TranscribeMe has a mostly positive reputation within the industry. It has a 3.3 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot with many favorable reviews. The company has a reputation for offering flexibility and providing support for its transcribers.
The flexibility refers to TranscribeMe’s policy of being able to work as little or as much as you want. You can literally set your own hours, logging in and accepting transcription jobs when you’re available to work.
TranscribeMe also has a forum, where you can interact with others in the community. You can pick up tips to grow your skills and have queries or concerns addressed by more experienced transcriptionists.
Before you can begin working for TranscribeMe, you need to determine your eligibility. There is a test you will need to take. But, you will have access to a style guide, which you can study before you attempt to take the test.
The test involves specific style questions for the TranscribeMe platform. There are also questions relating to grammar and punctuation. Therefore, it is very important that you read through and study the guide before attempting the test.
When you are ready to get started, you can attempt the test through the TranscribeMe portal. There is a series of multiple-choice questions, then a section with two audio files that need to be transcribed.
There are two chances for you to pass this exam. If you fail, there is a 30-day waiting period before you can take a retest. So, if you don’t pass the first time, be sure to get back to the study guide to reinforce any weak areas where you struggled.
The Potential Drawbacks
No platform is perfect, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before you make a decision. The possible downsides of TranscribeMe include:
- No Guarantees: Work is available on a first-come, first-served basis. So, there are no guarantees of work. Some days, you may be available to work and find there are no jobs on the portal. You may need to log in multiple times to wait for files that you can claim a job.
- Low Rates for Beginners: With a base rate of $15 per audio hour, as a beginner, you’re likely to have a very low hourly rate. If it takes you five minutes to transcribe each minute of audio, this will work out as an hourly rate of just $3. Obviously, as you gain more experience and can work more efficiently, this will increase. Additionally, you may gain access to higher-paying jobs. However, this initial low rate may be a little disappointed for newbies.
If you’re new to the transcription world, TranscribeMe is a great company to help you to understand the role and enjoy a base rate of pay. This company offers the flexibility to work when you want, and you don’t need prior experience. It’s definitely not the highest-paying opportunity, but TranscribeMe is open to beginner transcriptionists, so lower rates are understandable.
To get started, you only need a computer, a reliable internet connection, and some headphones. While you need to pass a test to qualify, TranscribeMe does provide a guide to help you prepare for the exam. You can also have a second chance if you don’t pass the test the first time around.
TranscribeMe also provides great support and feedback. There is a forum where you can chat with other transcriptionists and get advice to improve your skills. With consistent work and a good accuracy rate, there is also the potential for advancement and higher-paying work.
So, TranscribeMe could be a good gateway into a profitable side gig or even a new career as a transcriptionist.