Focus Forward is a company that I see advertising a lot for home-based transcription workers. This is the same company that also does market research surveys (and in fact you can sign up with Focus Forward if you like participating in research and would be interested in answering surveys from them). They have been in business for a long time (since 2003 so almost 10 years) and currently have over 400 U.S. based transcriptionists working for them.
Focus Forward handles many different types of transcription, including medical and business.
How much does Focus Forward pay?
The company hires both English language and Spanish language transcribers. Currently the English language transcribers earn $10 per 15 minutes of sound while the Spanish language transcribers earn far more at $37.50 per 15 minutes of sound. Some jobs may occasionally come with little bonuses attached.
The rate for English language transcription works out to $40 an audio hour. The industry standard for experienced transcribers is closer to $60 an audio hour, so the pay here is a little on the lower side unless you can do the Spanish language transcription.
Payments are sent out twice a month in the middle and end of each month via either mailed check or direct deposit. There is no option for Paypal here.
Related: FREE 5-day general transcription mini e-course – learn what you can earn and what it takes to start!
Do you need experience to do the work?
Focus Forward does prefer to hire people with transcription experience. However, you can try their test online and have a shot at getting in even with no experience. You do not have to upload a resume here, so your test is your one shot at getting in. You unfortunately cannot retake the test if you fail it.
Does Focus Forward hire people outside the U.S.?
No, you must be U.S. based to work for Focus Forward.
Is this an employee or IC position?
If hired, you work as an independent contractor for Focus Forward.
What is the schedule? Is there consistent work?
Focus Forward requires that you commit to doing at least four hours of sound per week. You are supposed to let them know your schedule with their scheduling tool so they can send you files when they have them. As is the case with most independent contractor jobs, there is no guarantee of steady work so you can probably expect there to be times when there isn't much to do and also times when there is plenty.
As always, have some other work at home job on the backburner if you're hired here just in case you need something else to go to when work is scant.
When you receive files, you are usually given about 24 hours time to complete them. Most files are around an hour long.
What are the technical requirements?
You will need the Express Scribe software to do the work and also a high-speed internet connection. Having Microsoft Word installed on your computer is also a requirement.
What is the feedback on Focus Forward?
I am seeing a lot of positive reports on this company. The people in charge are apparently responsive to questions and concerns and are nice to work with. I have seen a few people complain that the pay, at $40 an audio hour, is not nearly enough, but then others seem to be content with that rate.
How can you apply?
Are you serious about pursuing a career in transcription?
If you don't know a lot about transcribing from home and are very curious about doing this as your career, here are the resources and further reading we have vetted and recommend for you!
- Transcription Foundations – a free 7-lesson mini-course that teaches you all about general transcription, how much you can earn, where to find work, and more.
- Legal Transcription – another free mini-course that explains exactly what it takes to get into legal transcription
- Jumpstart Your General Transcription Career – the most informative transcription eBook you'll find, at just $5.99, written by transcriptionist and fellow work at home blogger Lisa Mills.
- CareerStep – the course many aspiring medical transcribers take for training. Payment plans available, plus financial assistance for military spouses.
- All About General Transcription
- All About Medical Transcription
- A BIG list of 100 other companies that regularly hire work at home transcribers
Good luck in however you choose to approach transcription. It can be a great way to earn an income from home!