Are you looking for transcription jobs you can do from home? It can feel somewhat intimidating, as so many roles need you to have experience or qualifications to even get started.
But as work-from-home jobs go, transcription jobs are perfect. That’s because you don’t need any qualifications to get started, just some good typing skills and a willingness to work.
Plus, all you need is your laptop or PC to start working. There are no start-up costs to pay, so you can start making money almost right away.
Some people like to do transcribing as a side hustle, to make a little extra cash on top of their main job. Others have been able to make it a full career and make good money doing so.
If you want a job that you can do from home, then transcribing may be just the thing for you. However, it can be somewhat overwhelming when you first get started.
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Transcription jobs FAQ
Here’s everything you need to know about transcribing and the kind of jobs you can do from the comfort of your home.
How transcription jobs work
So, if you take on a transcription job, what will the process entail?
When you get a contract, you’ll be sent audio or video files that need to be transcribed into text files. You’ll usually get the files through email or messaging services on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.
You’ll need to play the file on your computer, and you should find that there are programs automatically on there that can play them for you. As they play, you’ll type out what’s being said.
Once you’re finished typing it all up, you’ll send the text file back to the client. Once they’ve reviewed the work, they will send payment; it’s as easy as that.
Of course, there are other details that you need to be aware of, and we’ll go into those details later on. The bare basics are quite simple, though, so you may well be able to get into transcribing.
What Do You Need To Become A Transcriber?
Now that you know how transcribing works, you need to know if you have what’s needed to get into the industry. Is it something you can do?
As mentioned before, you will need a laptop or PC that you can work from. You’ll also need a quiet place to work from, so you can concentrate on your work.
It’s also a good idea to get a set of headphones, so you can really hear what’s being said in the audio files you’re working with.
It’s also useful to have access to reliable, high-speed internet. If you can rely on your connection, it’ll be a lot easier to keep that work coming in.
While you can use the basic file players on your PC, you can also invest in transcription software. Something like Express Scribe will allow you to use hotkeys, so you can easily stop and rewind audio as you work. There is a free trial of Express Scribe, so you can give it a go and see if it’s something you like.
Another option is a foot pedal. These allow you to pause audio with your foot rather than your fingers, making transcribing a lot quicker.
As transcribers are paid by the minute transcribed, the quicker you can be, the better. If you feel that transcribing is for you, then a foot pedal will be a worthwhile investment.
What about skills? If you’re working on general transcription, then you just need the ability to type quickly and accurately.
The recommended typing speed is around 60 words + per minute. You can easily test yourself online and see whether you can reach those speeds.
You’ll also need the ability to sit for long periods of time by yourself. If you’re someone who loves working on their own and just getting things done, then you’re going to love this job.
You’ll need to be able to pay attention to details and follow directions. In addition, you’ll find different clients have different needs, so you need to transcribe to their specifications.
Some good research skills are helpful, too, as you may need to look up words and spellings from time to time.
As you can see, this looks like a lot, but you’ll have the bulk of what you need already. If you have a PC and a place to work in your home, you can get started.
3 types of transcribing jobs you can do from home
Ok, so you have everything you need to start transcribing. What kind of transcribing jobs can you do from home?
There are actually three different styles of transcription, all with their own requirements.
This is the kind of transcription you can do right away, without a formal qualification. You’ll be asked to transcribe things like YouTube videos, podcasts, minutes from meetings, and so on.
With these roles, you’ll be asked to transcribe documents in the medical field. Again, these could be meeting minutes, or they could be things like letters to patients or case notes.
This is another specialized field of transcription work. You’ll need to have some knowledge of the legal field so that you can take on jobs here.
How to get qualified to become a transcriptionist
As you can see, general transcription doesn’t need many qualifications, but you will need some for legal and medical transcribing jobs.
If you want to get into medical transcription, you’ll need to become ADHI-approved. Then, you can go to places like CareerStep to get training and gain higher-paying roles.
You will also need some specialist training to get into legal transcription. You can get this from places like Transcribe Anywhere, which also offers training in general transcription.
It’s tempting to skip the training and jump right into general transcription. But, without qualifications, you’ll get your foot in the door and start working your way up.
If you want to maximize your earnings right away, though, it’s work investing the cash in some training so that you can get the best-paying jobs.
Avoiding transcription job scams
This all sounds good on paper, but you are online. Sadly, there are going to be people out there who will try and scam you.
You shouldn’t let this put you off transcribing, though. There are many genuine businesses out there that need your skills, so don’t be afraid to reply to ads looking for transcribers.
However, when you’re checking out ads, you’ll want to look for signs that they may be scams. This will save you a lot of time, heartache, and money in the long run.
Here’s what you need to be looking for:
Asking for money upfront
Some people will ask you to pay them before you can start working for them. This is a very good sign that the job is a scam.
Once you hand over money, you won’t be sent any work. If you are, you won’t be paid for it.
99% of the time, if you’re asked to shell out cash, you should avoid the job. The only exception is for background checks.
Even then, ensure that you research the company and the people doing the check before handing over any money.
Looks too good to be true
Do the hours, pay, and work look way too good? If so, then it’s probably a scam.
Anything that’s offering things that look way too good to be true should be avoided to stay safe.
Too much info needed
Are the company asking for a lot of personal info right off the bat? Unfortunately, some scammers will ask for your details before they even give you the job details.
They’ll be doing this to get you to cough up details they can use in identity theft, so never hand anything like your social security number over when you apply to jobs, at least not until you know they’re genuine.
No contact details
Any good company will have at least some contact details on their site. That should include a physical address, as well as possibly a phone number or email address.
If you can’t find these, that’s a sign that the company is a scam and doesn’t want you to find them.
Where to find transcription jobs?
Does this all sound good so far? That’s good, as there’s plenty of places where you can find transcription work.
Here are some of the best places online to start looking and start making money:
If you’re totally new to transcribing, you’ll be welcome here. You’ll need to take a grammar quiz to sign up and submit a sample of your work to get started.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to start getting work on a flexible basis. You can work as much or as little as you want, so you can make it work around you.
This is another site where new transcribers can find lots of work. You’ll earn between $0.25 and $2.50 per minute, and you can choose the jobs you do.
Again, it’s very flexible here, perfect if you need some leeway on work hours.
To use this site, you need to be a US citizen or legal resident. You also need a Windows computer and high-speed internet.
However, once you’ve passed a transcription test you’re in, you can get started.
This is the service to apply to if you have at least one year’s experience in corporate or legal transcription.
They also ask that you have a good grasp of grammar and can follow instructions well.
Are you bilingual? Then you may be able to find good transcribing work here.
Candidates must have strong internet research skills and be able to type 45 words per minute.
This site is looking for transcribers for general, academic, legal, business, and more.
You don’t need prior experience to apply, and if you’re able to speak Spanish, there’s more work available to you.
This is a transcribing job for those with a little more experience. They’re looking for transcribers that can type more than 75 wpm and have a foot pedal.
They need transcribers for insurance, police, and legal jobs. If you have the experience, they could be right for you.
There’s no experience needed here; you just need to meet the company’s requirements before you can start working.
The average pay here is around $16 an hour.
This is another site where newbies are welcome. If you apply, though, you’ll need to understand heavy accents and be able to tell between different similar sounding voices.
You’ll also be required to have a strong command of the English language.
This site is another one where you’ll do best if you already have some experience. If you want to apply for legal transcription jobs, for example, you’ll need to have at least a year’s experience.
Applicants are also required to have a minimum typing speed of 60 wpm, with 90% accuracy. On top of this, you’ll need to be a legal resident of the US or Canada and have a foot pedal.
This company is looking for people who can transcribe voice mail messages, memos, letters, legal and medical files, and more.
You’ll need to have experience and be accurate to apply here.
To apply here, you need to be at least 18 and live in one of the supported countries on the site.
No experience is needed, and you can work a flexible schedule.
As you can see, transcription jobs can be an excellent way to make money and work from home. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started, and it can be highly rewarding.
Whether you want to transcribe as a side hustle or make it your full-time job, there are opportunities out there for you. Using this guide, you’ll be able to find them and get started.