Transcription For Newbies

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in Non-Phone, Transcription, Typing & Clerical

Transcription for Newbies

General transcription is something you can do to earn money from home that you do not always have to have experience or an education in, although learning to do the work fast and efficiently will likely take some time because it’s not as easy as most people think it will be at first. In case you’re not familiar with it, transcription basically involves listening to an audio file and typing out what you hear. Here are a handful of companies I know about that will hire people with no previous experience to do general transcription:

Quicktate

Quicktate is one of the most popular newbie transcription sites. Pay ranges from 1/4 to 1/2 cent per word transcribed and pay is via Paypal twice a month. You have to take a test when you sign up and if you do well you should hear back eventually. I took the test earlier this year and only heard back about a month ago. I do not know if this is because they didn’t need anyone at the time I applied or what. Regardless, just keep in mind it might take them a little while to get back in touch with you on your application. The great thing about Quicktate is you can log on and off and work whenever it’s convenient for you. Work is not always consistent — sometimes they have it and sometimes they don’t, so definitely don’t depend on it to pay all your bills.

Go here to apply.

Scribie

Scribie, which used to be known by the name of Call Graph, is another good site for new transcriptionists. Pay is $10 per audio hour and this should not be confused with pay per hour. It could take you a while to get one hour of audio transcribed — especially if you’re new to transcription. But the more practiced you get, the more speed you can build up, so you may want to give it some time before just giving up immediately on it. When you apply, you’ll have to take a transcription test before you’re “in.” Scribie pays via Paypal and you only need $1 in your account to cash out, which makes me think this is a good go-to site when you need some extra cash in a pinch.

Go here to apply to Scribie. 

TranscribeMe

This is a newer site that seems very promising so far. They pay $30 an audio hour and signing up is easy. Take a short exam that gets graded automatically (the exam is easy) and if you pass with good enough accuracy, you are in the system and can start transcribing. You only do very short eight to ten second audio files, and they pay every Thursday with Paypal.

Appenscribe

Appenscribe is based out of Australia, but they do hire Americans and people worldwide to do transcription work for them. Pay is a few cents for each line transcribed, and pay is through Paypal every few weeks. You will need to take a test when you register. Appenscribe asks for at least 10 hours of work from you per week, although from what I understand they do not always have work available to do. From the research I’ve done and the comments I’ve gotten on the post I wrote a few months ago on Appenscribe, most people have pretty good things to say about this place.

Go here to apply to Appenscribe. Please keep in mind this link won’t open up unless you’re using Firefox.

AccuTran Global

AccuTran Global is a legit transcription company that will hire beginners, although you do have to take a skills test first. You work based on a schedule that they provide for you after you tell them when you’re available on a weekly basis. Most of the work involves transcribing financial conference calls. They pay $0.005/word for beginning transcribers on basic audio and up to $0.0066/word for difficult or foreign audio done by senior transcribers. Pay is monthly via check or wire transfer.

Learn more about applying here. 

Tigerfish

Tigerfish is another well-known transcription company that will also hire beginners, and they have been around for a long time. This is not one I have reviewed but Miranda at Work at Home Adventures has written a very thorough review here of this company if you want to read more about them. They pay 3 to 4 cents per line transcribed and you do have to download and transcribe some audio files for them before you can be considered, which will involve downloading the Express Scribe software (free).

You can go here to apply at Tigerfish.

A few other places worthy of mention for finding transcription work for newbies are Amazon mTurk, Odesk, and Elance. Please keep in mind that finding transcription work on these sites is not a guarantee and the rate you’ll be working for will vary depending on the client.

Don’t feel ready to apply to one of these companies yet? Amazon MTurk offers a great way to “practice” transcription without having to actually apply to a specific company. If you have an account, you can try some easy transcription HITs on there just to get a feel for how it works. SpeechInk, Redwood, Casting Words, and Claritrans are three requesters on MTurk that often put transcription HITs up. Keep in mind that some of these requesters will ask that you either take a short, easy test before attempting their work or will ask that you request a qualification from them.

Interested in more companies that hire beginners for transcription? I have several other listings in my directory.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jade Sitjar October 27, 2011 at 8:10 am

Thanks man… I will graduate from medical transcription academy tomorrow. I need employers to get me starting. Your blog post about this websites will help me find a suitable income for my profession.

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2 Anna January 5, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Good luck Jade! I hope you were able to find something!

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3 Michael April 4, 2012 at 4:11 am

Do any of these sites pay through Moneybooker?

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4 Jennifer Kremer September 6, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I want to add that Speechpad (aka SpeechInk) also hires newbies for general transcription work and right now we looking for 80 new transcribers.

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5 Anna September 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Thank you! Are you guys through Mturk? Or are you hiring directly now?

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6 Jalucia January 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

They seem to only work through Mturk. Mturk is not a reliable place to work for. They still owe me money. Their tasks are very low paying. And many people have been kicked off the site for no apparent reason. And communication is horrible. (Do a search.) I wish that this company would forgo the middle man and take on people directly.

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7 Amy Marre November 16, 2012 at 2:39 am

Hi, Anna,

I saw Speechpad’s comment, and although I don’t believe they hire other than through MTurk, I do know that CastingWords has plans that have been indefinitely in the works to do this. But “indefinitely” means just that—they don’t have any particular target date to launch it.

However, considering how easy it is to start working for most MTurk transcription requesters and how fast the payments through MTurk are (I get mine in my bank account the next day, with no fees ever), I would think that anyone in the US would rather work for any of the MTurk requesters through MTurk, rather than outside. (I say “in the US” because as of sometime in July, they were no longer accepting registrations from non-US workers.)

Since I’m here, I also thought I’d mention something about transcription payrates on MTurk. For example, based on rates that you mention for Scribie or TranscribeMe, the upper ranges of pay for MTurk transcription shops definitely beat those, sometimes by double, triple, or more. So although MTurk does have a lot of low-paying work, I think transcription there is a rare bright spot. I highly recommend it! The opportunities and good pay are definitely there when you make a point of looking, although it does help to know where to look.

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8 Anna November 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

Thank you Amy! This is good to know.

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9 Jenine November 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Hey Anna,
It’s been about a year since I visited this post on Transcription. Fortunately, I’m starting to get the hang of transcription a little bit more so than before. I’ve transcribed a couple things off YouTube (a documentary and a radio show program clip). So far, I seem to be getting a grasp for the words a little bit better since I brought that microphone headset from Target.

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