Rev is a popular transcription service. According to their website, they've partnered with quite a few big name companies over the years – Disney, The New York Times, and Viacom are listed, along with several others. Rev relies on work at home freelancers to handle most of their day-to-day workload, and they hire new people regularly. Today, we've put together a Rev review explaining how you can work at home for them!
Working for Rev
The jobs listed for freelancers at Rev are: transcription, captioning, subtitling, and translating.
From what I've been able to learn, all the positions are fairly similar. The basic work rhythm is to log in, claim an audio file from a pool of available tasks, and transcribe it.
Obviously, with a job like translation, there would be a few additional elements involved, and there are probably notation rules (or something along those lines) that differentiates captioning from ordinary transcription, but all the tasks seem to be roughly the same kind of process, at least in a general sense.
Once you claim a file, you have an hour to change your mind and throw it back into the pool. After that, you're committed to finishing it, which is an important thing to keep in mind because, based on worker comments I found during my research, it might be better to give up on orders that seem too difficult.
Rev apparently has fairly strict policies when it comes to quality control, and you'll need to do a good job every time you transcribe something. Otherwise, you might not keep your job for very long.
Related: FREE 5-day general transcription mini e-course – learn what you can earn and what it takes to start!
How much money can you earn?
Rev pays weekly via Paypal, which is one of the company's better features. Salaries will vary depending on your level of skill and which sort of job you're hired to do.
According to the website, transcriptionists make about $245 a month on average, and subtitlers make approximately $958 per month. They don't list the pay rates for captioners or translators. So this is probably something to consider for extra money rather than giving up your day job to do it.
For comparison, I also looked at the Rev salary information on Glassdoor.com, just to see how it matches up with the claims on the website. The Glassdoor data was a little more specific and gave me a better sense for how it all works.
Apparently, transcriptionists make about $9 an hour, and captioners make anywhere from $3 to $8 per hour. Again, not very much.
I spent a little time reading through user comments and was able to determine that the actual pay rate for transcription is apparently $0.50 for each minute of audio transcribed, which sounds really good at first glance. But it can take a lot longer than you might realize to transcribe a minute of audio, especially if you're dealing with difficult accents or several people talking at once. There's often a lot of rewinding and listening to the same little snippet, again and again, to figure out what's going on.
So basically, it comes down to skill. Some people are really, really good at transcription, and they'll get a lot more money per hour than people who aren't thanks to their speed and comfort level. It's the sort of thing you'll have to practice for a while, and see how you can improve.
Who can apply?
It doesn't look like there are any requirements at all for transcribers and captioners, other than having a good grasp of English. They'll make you pass a test during the application process, but you don't need any experience. It sounds like they're pretty quick to hire people and at least give them a chance, which is good.
Translators and subtitlers will need some ability to speak multiple languages, obviously, and the application form reflects that. But even there (unless I'm missing something) it doesn't sound like you'll need a college education to get hired. You just need to know two languages well enough to do professional quality translation. The form has a question about your past experience, but there is no mention of an actual requirement.
How does scheduling work?
Rev transcription is a very flexible job. You can work as many (or as few) hours as you want, whenever you want, provided there is work available to do. There's no minimum work requirement.
I used Glassdoor to find opinions on Rev from former employees.
At first glance, I thought the reviews looked great, but when it comes to feedback, Rev is kind of a tale of two companies. On the one hand, you have the opinions of people who actually work on-site at the official headquarters. Those folks seem to love their jobs, and give consistently high scores, which is why Rev's overall rating on Glassdoor is 4.5.
With freelancers, on the other hand, it's a whole different kettle of fish. If you filter out the noise, and just look at reviews with the word “transcriber” in them, for example, the score goes all the way down to 2.5.
The reasons for the lower scores are pretty extensive. The biggest complaints seem to be low pay and a high level of difficulty for a lot of the files available to transcribe. A number of workers talked about having to deal with heavily accented English and trying to make sense of conversations involving three or four people talking over each other. Some transcribers felt like the company should pay more for files that were obviously much more difficult to deal with.
Another frequent complaint was the company's heavy-handed, unforgiving management style. Several reviewers talked about getting let go for very small mistakes, and often without receiving a warning of any kind or getting an opportunity to improve their performance.
Fortunately, the feedback wasn't all bad. There were also quite a few positive aspects mentioned, even from people who had an overall negative feeling about the job. Most transcribers seem to love getting paid on a weekly basis, as well as the freedom to work whatever hours suit them.
Overall, you'll have to weigh the pros and cons for yourself and decide whether or not this job matches your work-style. Despite all the problems, I can definitely see why this might be a good gig for certain people. If you're looking for a transcription company that pays weekly and will keep you fairly busy, then this might be for you, as long as you can tolerate the lower salary and stay out of trouble with management.
How do I get started?
If work-at-home transcription is a field you'd like to explore, and Rev seems like the sort of company you could do well with, go here to read more about the positions available, and put in your application. Good luck!
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.
And if an e-course isn't your cup of tea, give this short e-book a read instead:
- Jumpstart Your General Transcription Career – the most informative transcription eBook you'll find, written by transcriptionist and fellow work at home blogger Lisa Mills.
Good luck in however you choose to approach transcription. It can be a great way to earn an income from home!