Looking for a good-paying job that lets you work from home? Check out the best transcription jobs online for beginners.
In this article, you’ll learn all about the companies that offer online transcription jobs.
Just as importantly, what kind of work they offer, how much you can get paid, and what skills and qualifications you need to become a transcriptionist.
If that sounds good to you, let’s get started.
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What is a Transcriptionist / Transcriber?
A transcriptionist listens to voice recordings and documents them into written form. Today, most transcription work is typed or inputted into digital forms like transcription software or word processors. This makes it easy to retrieve or send.
Due to its nature, transcribing audio takes a lot of time and patients. You’ll not only need to listen to the entire recording but will likely need to repeat a few portions in order to get all the details. Because the job entails converting spoken word, accuracy is just as important. This ensures that what’s in the document is exactly what was said in the recordings.
In most cases, transcription work will require training. This is especially true for specialized fields like medicine and law, which are two of the industries which use transcriptionists the most.
How Much Can You Earn with Transcription Jobs?
You can make between $20 to $50 per hour as an online transcriptionist working from home. This makes it a very lucrative part-time or full-time job if you put enough time into it.
Like all freelance work, the key is being able to find consistent work and build up your experience. That’s because as a beginner, you’ll be earning the lower range of that pay scale. As you gain more clients and know-how, you’ll be able up your hourly rate.
What Skills & Tools Do You Need?
In this section, you’ll learn about the different things you need to become a successful transcriptionist. We’ll split these requirements into two different categories, skills you need and the tools/equipment to get the job done.
Skills You Need to Become a Good Transcriptionist
Fast Typing Speed
Since you’ll be inputting the audio files into digital form, typing speed is essential. The faster you can type, the more work you’ll be able to do. This also directly translates to being able to earn more money since most companies will either pay by the word or per minute of audio (see below). Thus, being a fast typist allows you to double or even triple your earnings compared to someone who types slowly.
In general, having a typing speed between 60-75 words per minute is required. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself spending too much time per task to make transcription worth your while.
If you can get to 80 to 100 WPM, then you’ll likely get more work as your employers will quickly notice your abilities. Thus will allow you to complete time-sensitive work.
In addition to being a fast typist, you need to be accurate. Otherwise, you’ll either submit work that’s full of errors or you’ll be spending a lot of time correct typing errors.
In general, you want to achieve a 98% accuracy rate. This is key as it will allow you to become very efficient with finishing your projects.
It’s also worth noting that many firms will ask you to do a transcription test when you apply to them. Thus, having lots of inaccuracies will quickly jeopardize your chances of getting accepted.
Attention to Detail
Because listening and typing are the two main things you’ll be doing as a transcriptionist, attention to detail is a good quality to have if you want to be successful.
This allows you to get all the words as they are and make sure that there’s nothing lost in the conversion from audio into a written document.
Since you’ll be listening to audio files, having good hearing is essential. That’s because you can’t control what kind of audio quality you get. In some cases, the recordings aren’t high quality. Other times, it can be difficult to hear as some people tend to mumble when they talk.
As a transcriptionist, you’ll find yourself listing to over an hour or audio minutes per time. This can easily extend to twice the time if you consider all the moments you need to rewind and replay certain portions.
Thus, patience is a key element if you want to be able to keep doing transcription work day in and day out.
Fluent in the Language of the Recording
In most cases, the files you’ll be asked to work with will be in English. However, there are many cases where your transcription work can come in any language.
So the more languages you’re fluent in, the more work opportunities you can land. This increases your earning potential. Also, it allows you to specialize in certain languages.
If you’re serious about doing transcription work, then getting the right software is a must. You’ll be able to find both free and paid transcription software online. These are available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.
If you’re just starting out, going with free options is a good choice, at least until you’ve gotten some experience under your belt. This allows you to save on cash as paid transcription software costs between $50 to $100 each.
A good pair of headsets will allow you to work quietly without bothering people around you. It is also a good way to ensure that the contents of the audio files are for your ears only and not heard by the people around you.
if you live alone and plan to work from home, then you may not need the headsets. Although I’ve found that headsets allow you to hear soft-spoken words easier compared to speakers.
Foot pedals are a specialized piece of equipment that you can get if you’re serious about being a professional transcriptionist. That’s because having a foot pedal allows you to easily play, stop, pause, fast forward, or rewind the audio using your foot.
This beats having to stop, rewind, and fast forward the audio files over and over by hand.
Word processing software like Microsoft Word allows you to type and edit documents as needed. This also lets you easily format and organize it according to the style your clients want.
You’ll need a high-speed internet connection to download audio files as well as upload the documents you’ve created. Additionally, because you’re dealing with clients’ documents and audio recordings, you want to make sure that the files are sent over the internet securely.
Different Kinds of Transcription Work
The most popular types of transcription work are those that are legal and medical in nature. If you specialize in then, you’ll likewise be able to earn more.
That said, both medical and legal transcription is more work and requires more training because of the terms and jargon.
In addition to legal and medical transcription, you will also get projects that fall under general transcription. These can fall under all sorts of categories. This makes it a better option if you’re just starting out or have little to no transcription experience.
Some examples of general transcription work include converting audio recordings of court hearings, college lectures, personal conversations, and business meetings.
In many cases, you’ll also see different kinds of transcription work. These include things like podcasts, interviews, dictations, reports, manuscripts, teleconferences, and phone conversations.
The good news is, there are a lot of different options available. So, if you don’t like doing the same thing over and over again, you can easily find other kinds of transcription work available.
Online Transcription Jobs: The Best Places to Find Them
Here are some of the best places to search for online transcription jobs. For each of the companies below, we’ll talk about what kind of work you can get, the pay you can expect, and what you’ll need to do to get accepted.
GMR Transcription is a good place to start if you’re a beginner because it offers jobs for all levels. It’s likewise a great option for experienced transcriptionists because it’s very consistent when it comes to work opportunities.
To join, you’ll need to fill out their application form then take an online transcription test. The result of the test will determine whether they accept you or not. It will also what they’ll base your salary on.
In general, you can expect to earn between $0.70 to $1.25 per audio minute. Do note that audio minutes are different from actual minutes of the day. So, your earnings will be based on the minutes of audio recording you’re able to transcribe.
With GMR Transcription, you’ll be able to work with jobs that involved general, legal, and medical transcription. It’s also worth noting that for some projects, you’ll need to commit to completing a certain number of audio minutes per day, for example doing at least 60 minutes daily.
Accutran Global is another company that offers transcription jobs. But, unlike GMR Transcription, you don’t get paid by the minute. Instead, you’ll be paid by the word. As a beginner, that rate stands at about $0.005 per word. They also require that you live in the U.S. and Canada to qualify for their jobs.
One thing worth noting with this firm is that you can’t dilly-dally here, as they want you to finish work as soon as possible. Thus, time flexibility is not a luxury you have. This feature also makes it a poor fit if you plan on taking care of the kids while working from home.
If you prefer shorter tasks, then TranscribeMe is a good option. Unlike some of the other transcription companies which give you longer tasks to complete, the workload from here sometimes lasts for just a few seconds.
This makes it a good fit if you prefer working on shorter bursts. Then, continuing on with the next task.
If you live outside the U.S. or Canada and don’t qualify for some of the firms on this list because of that, then consider Appenscribe.
Appenscribe is an Australian transcription firm that hires workers from around the world. Thus, it’s a good fit if you live outside the U.S. and Canada. And, it gives you more opportunities if you speak many languages.
To join, you will need to register with them. You will also need to pass two transcription tests before giving paid work. How much you earn will depend on the kind of work you get. So, it varies. But, as an estimate, you can expect about $0.005 per word.
Here, you’ll need some experience to get accepted for transcription jobs. And, accuracy and efficiency are essential as well. Thus, it’s key to practice your spelling and grammar to ensure that both are on point before you apply.
What’s nice about Quicktate is that you get different kinds of transcription work to do. These include medical and legal files. But, they also give you voicemail, conference calls, and other types of audio files to work with as well.
Tigerfish is another good option if you’re just starting out with transcription and don’t have any (or have little) experience. But, you do need to be a U.S. resident to qualify.
As with other transcription jobs, you’ll have to complete a test to be accepted. In this case, they’ll give you three 5-minute tests to pass before giving your paid projects. Ideally, you will want to be able to complete these tests within 20 minutes. Otherwise, transcription may not be worth it for you since you won’t make enough money for the time you spend doing the job.
Like Tigerfish, Scribie offers various kinds of transcription jobs including videos, interviews, and podcasts. You get paid between $6 to $10 an hour for doing the work.
As with the other companies on the list, you do need to apply for a job and take a test before you’re able to get paid work from them.
What’s great about Scribie is that you get to set your own schedule. However, speed is a must as the projects are given out on a first-come-first-served basis.
The list of companies above that offer transcription jobs online for beginners is perfect if you’re looking to get started in this career. They also work well if you already have experience as you’ll be able to get more work and get paid at higher rates.