10 Best Transcription Jobs for Beginners

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If you’re looking for work you can do at home, either as a primary occupation or as an income supplement, transcription may be the right career for you. We’ve prepared this list of the 10 best transcription jobs for beginners to help you get started.

Getting a high paying transcription job is competitive. Think about it like this: you’re selling the company on a major investment in you, so you need to do everything you can to get an edge. Investing a little money to have a professional resume writing service polish up your resume can be the edge you need. Check out our guide to the best resume writing services to get started today.

If you’re ready to find a transcription job, we recommend ZipRecruiter! ZipRecruiter makes applying for jobs easy. Additionally, ZipRecruiter is free for job seekers!

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What is a Transcriptionist?

A transcriptionist is someone who provides a type-written version of audio or video recordings, essentially translating those media into written form. The most common examples are medical and legal transcribers, who will provide typewritten copy of podcasts or videos dictated by medical and legal professionals.

Most commonly, the recorded media is provided to the transcriptionist, who will perform the work from his or her own home. Unless you are hired as a salaried employee, you will be working as an independent contractor being paid on an hourly (or by the audio minute) basis for your work.

10 Best Places to Find Transcription Jobs

 1.  ZipRecruiter

Average Pay Rate: Varies by individual site

Payment Method: Varies by individual site

Job Requirements: Varies by individual site

We're putting ZipRecruiter at the top of the list because it’s a job board that includes listings from more than 100 of the largest job boards in the industry. That means it will provide you with the largest number of potential transcription jobs, all on one platform. For more information, check out our ZipRecruiter review.

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2.  TranscribeMe

Average Pay Rate: $15 to $22 per audio hour

Payment Method: PayPal

Job Requirements: Must pass an English Entrance Exam

What we like about TranscribeMe is that they accept candidates at all experience levels. No training is required to join. But they do offer resources to help you learn and improve your skills as a transcriber.

3.  CastingWords

Average Pay Rate: 8.5 cents to $1+ per audio minute

Payment Method: PayPal MassPay (CastingWords pays the PayPal fee)

Job Requirements: You may be required to take a transcription test

CastingWords hires transcribers as freelancers, which means you can work at home, work as much as you want, and schedule your own hours and frequency. Pay is based on a grading system that ranges from 5 to 9. The higher the grade, the higher the pay (a grade of less than 5 is not paid).

4.  Rev

Average Pay Rate: $245 average monthly earnings

Payment Method: PayPal

Job Requirements: You will be required to take a grammar quiz and submit a transcription sample

Rev pays transcriptionists on a weekly basis. You can work as much or as little as you want, and on your own schedule. You can also choose the type of work you want, such as lectures, interviews, and podcasts.

5.  Speechpad

Average Pay Rate: $0.25 to $1.00 per audio minute

Payment Method: PayPal

Job Requirements: You’ll be required to provide a review job

Speechpad may also pay bonuses if your work is highly rated by customers. You’ll typically get a bonus if the customer rates the job as a “5 out of 5”. Pay is twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

6.  Tigerfish

Average Pay Rate: Not disclosed

Payment Method: PayPal

Job Requirements: Must become familiar with the Tigerfish Transcription Style Guide, then take a test using an audio file

Tigerfish is a bit more strict than the other sites. You must use a Windows-based computer and have a copy of Express Scribe transcription software (fortunately, it’s a free download).

7.  Daily Transcription

Average Pay Rate: Starting at $0.75 to $0.85 per audio minute

Payment Method: Weekly, by check

Job Requirements: Skills assessment test + 50 words per minute typing speed, but training provided

Daily Transcription pays at the upper end of the scale for the transcription space, but you will need to meet strict work deadlines and be highly detailed. You’ll also be required to download Express Scribe to participate.

8.  Crowdsurf

Average Pay Rate: $2 to $15 per hour, with an average of $7 per hour

Payment Method: PayPal or direct deposit

Job Requirements: Must pass their assessment

Crowdsurf specializes in creating video captions for the deaf, hard of hearing, and second language viewers. They also pay on a daily basis. They offer short transcription tasks, which are available at any time, giving you the ability to work on your own schedule.

9.  Way With Words

Average Pay Rate: $0.45 to $1.73 per audio minute

Payment Method: PayPal, paid monthly

Job Requirements: Assessment in English, listening, research, typing accuracy, following formats and meeting deadlines

Way With Words is one of the older transcription services, having been launched in 2002. They offer international audio and text services. Experience is not required to participate.

10. Scribbie

Average Pay Rate: $5 to $20 per audio hour

Payment Method: PayPal

Job Requirements: Test process to be certified as a transcriber

Scribbie provides opportunities as a transcriber, but also offers the potential to be promoted to reviewer, proofreader, or quality control if you perform well. You can choose your own assignments and be paid once each day.

If you’re an employer looking to hire a transcriptionist, or any professional, check out our list of the Best Free Job Posting Sites.

How to Succeed As An Online Transcriptionist

Here are some strategies to help you best succeed in the transcription field:

  1. Have a computer with high-speed Internet access.
  2. Be familiar with common word processing software, like MS Word and Google Docs.
  3. Be willing to take low paying jobs to start; you can build your business and your income as you gain experience.
  4. To earn higher income, get any necessary certifications. This can include medical or legal certifications, which primarily will familiarize you with terminology in each field.
  5. Improve your typing skills, including both speed and accuracy.
  6. Always check your work – accuracy is a critical part of the job.
  7. Be consistent in meeting deadlines.
  8. Have a dedicated workspace where you can be most productive.
  9. Block out time for your transcription work.
  10. Make use of spell check, and software, like Grammarly, to improve your accuracy.
  11. Develop a strategy to add new clients on a regular basis.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I get a transcription job with no experience?

There are some job sites that do post transcriptionist jobs for candidates with no experience. Examples include TranscribeMe and Daily Transcription. Be sure to concentrate on those jobs that specifically indicate no experience required, and appear to be less challenging. As you acquire experience, you’ll be able to move up the pay scale.

How much do beginner transcribers make?

According to Payscale, the pay range for transcribers is $10 to $26 per hour, with an average of $17 per hour. As a beginner, you should expect to be paid around $10 an hour. But you may want to be open to accepting less as you concentrate on building experience that will increase your pay later.

Are transcription jobs easy?

There’s no single answer to this question since the definition of “easy” is different for each person. But transcription jobs do give you the ability to work from home, and many do accept candidates with little or no experience.

What is the highest paying transcriptionist job?

The transcriptionist jobs with the highest pay are for those with the most technical requirements. At the top of the list is a court reporter, who can earn as much as $87 per hour. Next is a legal assistant at up to $35 per hour, then legal secretaries and legal word processors, at up to $32 per hour each.

The Bottom Line

Transcriptionist jobs are some of the most flexible work arrangements in the job market. If you’re a reasonably good typist, with keen attention to detail, and a willingness to dedicate the time and effort, transcription can be the perfect way to earn extra income or even to build a whole new career.

Find your transcriptionist job on ZipRecruiter today!