Freelance Transcription for Rev

Rev is a company I’ve come across a few times on the forums that regularly hires freelance transcribers and also translators. They are based out of San Francisco, CA, and it appears that they are open to hiring freelancers worldwide. It looks like the transcription you do for them is general, not medical.

Do you need experience?

They specifically state they are looking for skilled transcribers. However, the application page doesn’t ask how much experience you have and instead just requests you provide two transcription samples. If you can do well on your samples, you may have a shot at getting in regardless of how much experience you have.

How much does Rev pay?

They pay between .40 and .65 per audio minute. There is potential for bonuses if your quality is good, which is probably why the rates listed vary. If you’re not familiar with transcription and how it works, remember that transcribing one minute of audio could actually take several minutes depending on it’s complexity. The pay rate Rev advertises for freelancers does appear to be very low and makes me think that this may just be an extra money thing or “filler” work between other jobs. It’s possibly a way to get your feet wet in transcription if you don’t have a lot of experience. However, someone at WAHM stated that she can go pretty fast and is able to average $10 an hour at Rev.

If you actually are a very skilled transcriptionist, you can probably get hired by other companies that pay more than this.

When and how does Rev pay?

Rev pays weekly, every Monday, with Paypal. This is definitely a plus. It’s nice to have access to side jobs that always pay weekly so you can depend on at least a little money coming in regularly.

What is the schedule?

The schedule is another good thing about Rev — there isn’t one. It appears you are free to log in and work whenever you want, choosing from whatever jobs happen to be available to transcribe at a given time.

How does the application process work?

You  have to fill out some basic information — name, address, and so forth — and then transcribe two transcription samples for them. One is a single speaker recording and the other is a multi-speaker recording. They do provide you with their style guide and word template before you start. Then just submit and wait to hear back.

Warning – There is a chance you could go through the entire application process — submitting the samples and everything — only to find out Rev is not hiring. A reader let me know that this happened to her. Apparently they leave their “Jobs” page up as though they are hiring all the time even when they are not. The app process is fairly time consuming. Just wanted to warn you all!

How long does it take to hear back?

This will always vary, but there have been some people on the WAHM forum saying they heard back within just a few days. It does look like they will email you to let you know one way or the other, so if they didn’t accept you, you won’t just be left hanging and wondering if you got in or not. If you don’t get in, you can take their test again in six months.

Keep in mind they are not always hiring. It looks like they always have their application page in place regardless of whether or not they are actively seeking out transcribers. If they aren’t hiring right now, you’ll probably get an email letting you know this after you submit your samples.

Feedback on Rev?

The feedback on Rev indicates that they pay reliably, which is important. Even though the pay is lower than what you might get working for other companies, they offer weekly pay and you could potentially get in with little/no experience.

Since this review was posted, many people have taken the time to detail their experiences applying to and working for Rev in the comments below, so feel free to read through them if you’re curious about how things have gone for others.

Where do you sign up?

You can go here to apply for the transcription position at Rev. Please leave a comment if you want to share any extra info about this company.

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  1. lindsay says

    I have never tried transcription work though I think I can do this. Thank you for the info. $0.65 per minute is actually a fortune for some people especially those living outside US

  2. says

    It’s actually $0.65 per audio minute, which takes longer to transcribe. For inexperienced transcribers, about 10 times longer or more. Experienced transcribers expect to trans in a 1:4-1:6 ratio. Standard rate is $1/audio minute.

  3. says

    Guess I heard about this too late. When I tried to apply, the web site started to load a form, then showed:
    Sorry, but this form is no longer accepting submissions.”
    Oh well, at least they did not waste my time applying when not hiring.

  4. Pat Pine says

    My granddaughter has completed her communications studies @UCSB…she has completed quite a few internships and is and I believe she may do very well in the transcription field until she finds her place in the communications field. How do I explain just what transcribing is, and are there classes for this field?

  5. Valerie Hartman says

    I am a former transcriber for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. I applied to work for Rev, submitted the transcription test, and was… rejected with no reason. I must say I am a native French speaker, bu my native American husband helped me (he is an English major). So basically, my conclusion is that if you are “over qualified” they won’t recruit you. I’ve read similar comments on Facebook from other qualified people. Some websites like this one may have the work, but will not want to pay too high.

  6. Paige says

    I just received a rejection letter for this one. I’m a native English speaker, grad student, and have transcription experience, so I’m not quite sure what they are looking for.

  7. Sky Callen says

    It is actually very difficult to get on with this company. They do reject you for no reason at all. Also it takes a lot longer, then just transcribing, because you have to add the caption to the video, then review the video to make sure that that the captions sync up with the video correctly. So as a result, you are watching the video multiple times, which takes time depending on the length of the video.

  8. Kevin Velasco says

    I spent over 8 hours going through the application process only to be rejected before the final application step. Complete waste of time. Stay away.

  9. Penny says

    Hey, I just found your website and read this article. Just wanted to let you know that I got a response back fro m and they said that they will be sending me an email with all the hiring details, account setup info,etc… in about 3 months. They do send you a copy of their style guide so you can download it and read it. Also they will be doing another test of about 60 mins to help work on my training. So I will start out as a Rookie but then when i get going and get better i can be promoted to Revver status and start earning 25% more they say. Hopefully, I will hear back in about 3 months or so.
    but they have NOT asked for any money to start working for them or anything. That is a plus in their favor.

    • Leelah says

      I also got a reply back from about sending me all the necessary information in about 5 weeks. Have you heard back from yet? I’m worried it may not be legit….even though this blog post says it could be.

      • Sam says

        Hey. Likewise. I’ve been waiting since early June – first got an email saying they’ll be bringing me on-board in 5 weeks, and then received another one saying it has been extended to an additional 3 weeks, because of the holidays and low work-flow. Are your 5 weeks over, Leelah? Have you heard back yet?

  10. Sharon says

    I applied and transcribed an audio. I also attached my resume, but my extensive experience is mostly as a legal secretary and real estate broker. I briefly trained as a medical transcriptionist but was not certified. I applied over the weekend and got a rejection email today, which stated:

    “Thank you for applying for the transcriptionist position with Rev. We have rigorous minimum standards and unfortunately your application did not meet those.

    Please do not contact Rev regarding this decision, as we are unable to further elaborate on our reasons.

    Again, thank you for your interest in working with Rev. You may re-apply in six months.”

    I doubt I’ll reapply because I don’t think I have enough transcription experience, even though I’m pretty confident I answered all the questions correctly and transcribed the audio correctly. Good luck.

    • Beckie says

      I didn’t even get that response. Mine basically said “You did a good job, but we’re looking for people who adhere more to our guidelines.” Nothing about what I missed, or anything like that, even though I used the guidelines and video, more so the guideline, as it says if anything is different between the video and guideline, to use the guideline. I never got the one I submitted commented on or anything other than the “thank you but” email. All I can figure is the timestamps may have been off, because I went back and made sure the transcription was correct.

  11. Crystal says

    Hi Everyone! I read this forum in June before applying for REV and then again just now after having worked for them since August 1, 2014.

    The application process went a little something like this.

    1. You fill out the application.
    2. They email you the style guide and a extensive “how to” video.
    3. They give you a test run video which they ask you to caption.
    They review it. If you pass, they’ll give you another that’s a bit more
    challenging and a bit longer. They review it. If you pass, they’ll give you
    one more. Each video is reviewed and commented on for your benefit.
    If you pass all three, they welcome you into the company.

    I can tell you that I have no past experience with transcribing or captioning.
    This isn’t a job where you need past experience or a mastesr degree.
    You just need to be very good at typing what you hear and you must follow their guidelines.

    I feel that the guidelines style guide packet is what makes people who get rejected stumble in their application process. There are so many nuances to how Rev wants their work done, which makes sense because they desire high quality. Unfortunately, I’m sure many people just sort of skim the guidelines and start captioning. This would be a bad decision if you want to get hired.

    This isn’t a full time job. I read a comment above that stated they knew someone who was able to make $10/hr. I actually don’t even know how that is possible. Minimum wage is hard enough to obtain. When I started, I was slower and was probably only pumping out work for $3/hr. But in just a couple weeks I’ve probably moved that up to $4.50. So, you do get better. I hope that I can get up to $10/hr doing this. That would be awesome.

    That being said, I am so grateful to work at Rev as my husband is the bread winner and I’m taking care of the household. It’s extra cash. Plus, many of the videos are just fun to caption. I’ve captioned a movie and music videos. But I’ve also captioned conference speakers whose topics range from medical to recreational. I’ve learned a lot and really enjoy it.

    I hope the above information helps in your decision of whether to join Rev or not. I say go for it if you have the time. It’s fun.

  12. Kathryn says

    I just replied to, and was rejected because I did not meet their standards. I did not transcribe video, just audio. I was not a fan of their application process. When applying to other companies, I have been given a fairly full style guide up front before beginning the exam. With, they just tell you that you will need 60 minutes to complete their test (though it took me two hours). There was a stupid simple grammar part, a writing sample (three paragraphs), and the transcription part.

    The REALLY frustrating part about was the skimpy summary of their style guide they give to applicants. They don’t give it to you till after you’ve started the application. It’s about 18 pages, BUT those pages are just a slide show, so there’s very little detail on each page. I read the style guide with a fine-tooth comb, and still was unsure of how they want us to deal with run-on sentences and cross-talk. So as I was transcribing the audio, I had the sinking feeling that I was *maybe* cleaning the audio up a bit too much, but wasn’t really sure what they wanted.

    I will say I am a relative newbie, and they only accept about ten percent of applicants. I wasn’t too surprised with the rejection. And since people ARE getting hired by Rev (despite the meager style guide), I suppose I can’t complain I was actually handicapped by the lack of style details. Everyone goes through the same process. I may apply again in six months, and take more of a verbatim approach. Still, I’d rather have a more thorough style guide and be really sure of what they want; otherwise, I just feel like I’m guessing at what they want.

    • Etamni says

      I applied to Rev last week. I was looking to do video transcriptions. I was given an audio transcribing test (challenging but doable) but wasn’t offered a video transcription test. Today, I found an e-mail that was identical to what Sharon posted above (on Jul 21, 2014), which is disappointing. It’s too bad as this looked promising.

      I’m especially disappointed that they don’t provide any feedback regarding why a particular application is rejected. Who’s going to apply again in six months when there’s no way to know where improvements are needed?

  13. Jessie says

    I’ve been with for a few weeks now. I started as a rookie level where others rate your work. If your scores are too low, you could be let go. I’ve moved up a level and now get 25% more per audio minute.

    I also have to say i have very little transcription experience but found their forums helpful.

  14. Lisa says

    I was recently accepted and just thought that I’d give a little info on it.

    Once you accept a job you are given a specific amount of time to complete it. So I believe that the amount of time it takes you to do the transcription also affects if you are accepted. For example one of the people above stated it took them 2 hours when Rev said it would take 60 minutes. I finished in about 45-50 minutes. If you are taking double the amount of time they estimate to do the test I think that could possibly keep you from even being in the running.

  15. says

    I agree with Paige above; I’m a grad student, transcription experience, etc. Not sure what they’re looking for… oh well! I also agree with the person above who said she wondered if she was cleaning up the audio too much; my current transcription wants very clean audio so I’m sure that played a part in it (although obviously I read the style guide and followed it as best I could).

    It makes me wonder if it’s the best idea to require such a strict style-guide adherence before one is even hired. While I see the reasons, I also don’t know of any other industry in which you essentially do all the company’s training *before* you get hired. Seems likely to waste a lot of time all around, but again… oh well.

  16. Christine Andjoe says

    I got hired on at Rev and became disillusioned with them very quickly. The pay is well below industry average. The quality control/editing process is very subjective. Their editos seem to just make up new standards at their discretion so that they can give your work a lower grade. You can be marked down for ridiculous things which lowers your metrics, thereby preventing you from moving up to the Rookie level which is still low pay. I have two other contracts that demand accurate work. One of them demands 98% accuracy and I have done well there. I longer do any work for Rev. My other two contracts pay between .75 and $1.00 per audio minute. My advice is to practice as much as you can and apply at loads of different companies until you find a good fit. Rev is awful.

  17. Beau Reznak says

    Although I enjoyed the style of work, I just had an absolutely awful experience working for Rev as a video captioner. My account was deactivated last night, despite the fact that I had exceeded their expected scores in all of their performance metrics. Between February 3rd and February 20th, I captioned 78 videos totaling 600 minutes. I am going to give a thorough overview of how the captioning division of their company works and explain why you should not bother to apply there unless they change the way that they operate. Keep in mind that my only experience with them was as a captioner, so I cannot say for certain what other divisions of their company are like, though I assume that they are similar.

    First of all, let me give a clear explanation of how their performance metrics work. Each time that you caption a video, an editor reviews it and gives you a grade on a 0-5 scale in each of three categories: accuracy, formatting, and alignment. Rev expects you to maintain at least a 4.4 average in each category. Some of the editors are very competent and will at least give you a reasonable explanation and some feedback on your work when giving out subpar grades. Others are just terrible, and I will get into that more below.

    In addition to their minimum requirements, Rev has standards for what they call “Revver+” accounts, which are awarded to captioners who meet certain requirements over a period of time. I’m not positive as to the full benefits of having a “Revver+” account, but they claim that it gives you additional captioning opportunities (I assume for higher pay) and the opportunity to take on more advanced positions with the Rev team (I assume this means duties such as editing, but I don’t know for sure). In order to be awarded a “Revver+” account, you need to maintain at least a 4.7 in accuracy and a 4.5 in both formatting and alignment. Additionally, you need to earn $750 per month and caption at least 300 minutes of video per month.

    Here is the ridiculous part. Below are my metrics for my brief time captioning with them. Again, I worked only between February 3rd and February 20th:

    Accuracy: 4.7
    Formatting: 4.5
    Alignment: 4.9
    Videos captioned: 78
    Minutes captioned: 600
    On-time submission: 99%

    So at the time that my account was deactivated, I was not only meeting Rev’s advertised expectations, I was also meeting the requirements for their Revver+ account. So why was my account deactivated? Here is the email that I suddenly received last night.

    “Hi Beau Reznak,

    Unfortunately, we can no longer keep your captions specific account open. This is due to your quality, performance and number of accuracy scores 3 or lower being below our acceptable average. Your captions account is being deactivated today. If you have any other account type with us, that will remain open. This decision is final. If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact us.

    Here are your performance metrics for February 1 to March 1.”

    Below that, they included a graphic showing all of my grades that I listed above, which looks laughable since they were all above Rev’s standards. This morning I responded with a respectful email requesting a more detailed explanation. I will post both that email and their response should I hear back.

    This deactivation of my account was also very sudden. In fact, the only thing that could count as a warning is an email that I received when I was only five days and 22 videos into my short captioning career.

    “Hi Beau Reznak,

    We are contacting you because the work you have done for us is below our standards in formatting and quality. We will need to see a substantial improvement in your future work in order to keep your account open. We have included your metrics below for your reference. Please consider this as a notification about the areas in which we need to see improvement. ”

    At the time, the only deficiency in my performance was a 4.3 in formatting, which I very quickly improved and never fell below the requirements for any of their metrics again. In fact, in the time since that email, my average improved by 0.2 in both accuracy and formatting and my alignment remained at a 4.9.

    This email left a bad taste in my mouth. In addition to the fact that it was worded in an unnecessarily threatening manner, the email was sent to a new worker, based on a very small sample size, because one of the metrics was a sliver below their requirements. However, once I improved my work, I wasn’t really worried since my metrics remained comfortably above their standards going forward. In fact, I intended to work for Rev for at least several months, if not longer.

    Although I think it is entirely reasonable, and even a good business practice, for Rev to require its contractors to stay above certain performance metrics, these metrics are enacted and applied illogically. First of all, the editing process is extremely subjective. Sometimes you will get a 4 for making a single mistake, other times you will still get a 5 despite making a couple of mistakes. Sometimes lower grades are given for factors largely out of your control. A few times I lost points for marking a word or phrase as “mumbling” despite the fact that I was dealing with an unclear speaker and had listened to the utterance several times in an attempt to decipher the speech. Some of the editors assume that if they can decipher the words, you should have been able to too, and will leave rude comments. I think that this is especially unreasonable, since every captioner struggles with unclear audio from time to time and sometimes it just takes a specific ear to decipher the speech. Most notably though, I completed one job in which I had points taken off because I followed a customer’s directions that conflicted with Rev’s style guide, despite the fact that Rev tells you to follow the customer directions when such a conflict occurs. I think that the editor just didn’t bother to read the customer’s directions.

    In addition to the inconsistent grading, Rev seems to be champing at the bit to find any reason to get rid of its captioners. As my experience shows, meeting their advertized performance requirements isn’t enough to keep your job safe. They also give you no leeway for any sort of adjustment period when you are first starting out, and any downswing in performance can lead to your dismissal, however brief. I get the impression that even a veteran captioner with a successful performance history could be let go just because of a brief downswing in their grades.

    In summation, Rev provides its contractors with zero loyalty, especially for a company that has such a time consuming application process. Even if you meet their advertized performance metrics, they are still willing to deactivate your account at any time for any reason that they come up with. Their software and workplace setup actually aren’t bad. In fact, if they ever fixed their grading system, Rev would be a decent company to work for. However, at the moment it is so screwed up that nobody should consider applying there. If you still choose to apply, tread carefully. Being a conscientious worker isn’t going to give you any job security. You’re better off applying somewhere where your efforts will be more greatly appreciated and where feedback on your work is more meaningful.

  18. TayTay1213 says

    I just applied to Rev and I am hoping to get on despite the horror stories. I am also just applying like crazy to other companies. I have done a lot of wah doing different things and I can say for the most part that all companies out there are looking to pay less and hire in mass numbers. Unless you are highly educated and recommended, starting out is always so difficult and it seems so unfair sometimes to do so much work for so little. I am desperate and just looking to practice and gain some experience but thank you all for the feedback. I feel like I am not going into this blind.

  19. Tasha says

    I filled out the initial application. Then I was contacted by a recruiter. I then had a series (3 exactly) videos to caption. In all, it took me OVER 6 HOURS. I took meticulous care and followed the instructions extremely closely, researching anything I did not understand (ex. I had to caption a business video and the name of the company was extremely difficult to understand, I researched them as well as other business terms I was not familiar with). I was contacted about a week after I finished the final video letting me know that I would not be hired. It was an incredible waste of my time. I have a bachelor’s degree and several years experience working as an administrative assistant. I have never in my life had such a long job application process, just to be dismissed. Upon further investigation, one of my friends that works for the company said they had a hiring freeze the same time I was in the application process. I do not know if that hinder my getting hired but regardless, I would never waste my time with this company.

    • says

      Personally I don’t think they are hiring anyone right now. I applied the same week as you and got rejected as well. I actually have a friend who is a captioner for REV and they sent me the 3 test videos, with the feedback from REV itself on what they expected, so I knew EXACTLY how to do the test videos yet still was not accepted. :shrugs:

  20. Lashun says

    Wow! I really wanted to get my foot wet with this company, as I have never worked as a captioner or transcriptionist before. I thought this would be a great start for me. You know, get the experience and move on to bigger and better companies…

    As bad as I want to do this type of work, I just don’t have time to waste. Having second thoughts…very disappointing.

    Any suggestions for other companies to work for doing the same type of work??…

  21. Amanda says

    Disappointing, but I agree with the other posters who’ve been rejected without reason–it seems ridiculous!

    I have an advanced degree, have transcribed in the past, and I spent the time needed to study the style guide and meticulously caption the test video. Within an hour I received the email that my work didn’t meet their minimum standards (with no further explanation). I highly doubt that was the case. I assume they’re just randomly selecting a tiny percentage of applicants or not currently hiring.

    If they aren’t hiring at all, they should state that. Don’t waste your precious time on this! I spent a good two hours on the application.

    • says

      Funny thing is that they are so swamped with videos right now that they are offering a .25 cents bonus per minute, yet the recruiters are rejecting new applicants who have aced their test videos?? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If you ask me, I think the recruiters have their own agenda that REV corporate is not aware of. Not sure what it is but something seems odd.

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