General transcription is something you can do to earn money from home that does not always require experience or an education to get started. However, 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 transcription companies for newbies that you can sign up with if you want to get started in transcription but need a way to get your foot in the door.
Some Things to Know Before You Begin Applying
- Work may not be steady, so spread yourself around and do work for more than just one company if it looks like you won’t have enough to stay busy.
- Companies that hire beginners often don’t pay as well as companies that required experience, so the money you earn may end up being just extra cash.
- The companies listed below will require you to take a skills test before they will accept you to do the work, just to gauge your ability to follow instructions and your typing speed.
#1 – Quicktate
Quicktate is one of the most popular newbie transcription sites, and also one of the most respected. 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. Also, Quicktate will do a background check on you prior to hiring you due to the sensitive nature of some of the files you may be transcribing. The cost for this is $15.
#2 – Scribie
Scribie, which used to be known by the name of Call Graph, is another option. However, they are also one of the lowest-paying companies on this list, offering only $10 per audio hour. 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 might be a good go-to site when you need some extra cash in a pinch.
#3 – TranscribeMe
Many of my readers use this site regularly (when there is work available). They pay $20 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 week with Paypal.
#4 – 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.
#5 – 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. They are open to the US and Canada.
#5 – Tigerfish
Tigerfish is another well-known transcription company that will consider hire beginners, and they have been around for a long time. 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).
#6 – Daily Transcription
This company claims to always be on the lookout for either skilled or novice transcribers. You can work full- or part-time for this company, and they prefer if you can be “on call” since assignments come and go. They are not able to guarantee you’ll have a set amount of work each week. They will want to see your resume and you do have to take a transcription test prior to being allowed to accept work.
#7 – 1-888-Type-It-Up
This company does not require past experience, but they prefer it. However, it says plainly on their FAQ page that they are willing to give anyone who can pass their transcription test a chance. They also claim they try to pay fairly and that most transcribers earn between $36 to $180 per audio hour. You will receive your pay twice monthly via Paypal.
#8 – Rev
Rev has fairly regular openings for work at home transcribers, and no past experience is required. They pay weekly via Paypal, and the rate is between $0.40 – $0.65 per audio minute. It may not be very easy to get accepted, or it could be they just don’t always need workers despite the fact their application page is always open because many of my readers have spent time applying and testing for this company only get rejected later.
A few other places worthy of mention for finding transcription work for newbies are Amazon mTurk, Upwork, 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.