make money online as a transcriptionist, side hustle

How to earn money from transcription (Earn upto $10 per audio hour)

How to “Earn money online from transcription?”

Have you ever heard something & wished you could get a readable text of the audio file. Whenever I feel bored listening to any conversation for long I have this habit of playing along with words inside my head converting what is being said into a written form.

But, do you know that there are people who work professionally converting the audio files into written copies and get paid for the same.😮

Yes, we are talking about people who help to convert anything from an audio format / video format into text documents.

This sounds easy, isn’t it?

Well the ones whom we are talking about are known as Transcribers and today we are going to cover “How you can earn money online as transcribers as a side hustle in 2022”.

Who is a Transcriptionist?

Transcription simply means converting audio or video files into a written format (hard copy) which can be used later on for other purposes.

A person who performs the job of transcription is referred to as a Transcriptionist.

You may wonder why anyone would need a Transcriptionist in the first place.

Well the fact is Transcriptionists are required for several reasons.

Here’s a brief look upon the different types of Transcriptionists:

Types of Transcriptionists

Here are the different types of Transcriptionists who perform the work of transcription and get paid for it as well.

  1. General Services

A General Service transcriptionist helps to convert audio or video files of a blogger, YouTube content creator, podcaster etc who would need the services of a transcription.

This also covers services such as transcribing songs, interviews, webinars etc.

This is essential as it helps to document what is being said and this would be required for reference later on.

  1. Legal services

Transcriptionists are required primarily in the legal services.

A legal Transcriptionist helps to document the legal proceedings and important courtroom proceedings that can be referred back later on.

  1. Medical services –

Medical department does need the services of a Transcriptionist.

A medical Transcriptionist helps to transcribe audio files or any recordings of voices heard of a healthcare professional which would include physicians or even health care workers.

These are essential for reference later on which can be used for several purposes.

Let’s have a look at what skills you need as a Transcriptionist to make money online.

What are the skills necessary to become a Transcriptionist?

A Transcriptionist would need several skills to excel in this field.

Here’s a list of skills that one needs as a transcriptionist:

Skills necessary to become a Transcriptionist in 2022

1. Ability to listen carefully

One needs to have good listening skills to understand and interpret clearly what is being said.

This is really important as you will need to listen carefully to who is speaking and accordingly need to put forth the written record of what is being said.

If you want to earn money from transcription and earn well then you need to have this skill.

2. Command over the language of transcription

One needs to have a good command over the language of transcription being carried out.

A good command over the preferred language is necessary as you would need to transcribe for the correct grammar, punctuation, abbreviations etc while transcribing.

If you are good in French, you can transcribe in French, if you are good in Spanish, transcribe in Spanish, if you are good in German, transcribe in German.

Generally speaking, the English language carries more importance than any other language worldwide.

It is the third most popular language in terms of native speakers and thus most of the transcription work is carried out in English.

3. Typing speed and accuracy

The accuracy and speed of typing carries high importance when you are into the role of a Transcriptionist.

This is because you would need to hear and immediately convert the spoken words into written text.

Faster you are in writing out drafts for the spoken words, the better you perform as a Transcriptionist.

A good typing speed as a beginner is considered at around 60 words per minute.

4. Access to internet and availability of computer (laptop/desktop)

Access to the internet is mandatory to work as a Transcriptionist. 

Along with this you must have an availability of computers, i.e. a laptop or a desktop.

This is obvious as you will need to transcribe your required audio or video files and convert it into a written document.

5. Other necessary equipments 

Besides the things mentioned above, one needs following additional things as well, such as:

  1. Headphones (Preferably a USB plugged in over the ears)
  2. A good keyboard (preferably an Ergonomic keyboard for the fingers to minimize any sort of strain and issues with fingers)
  3. Google Docs (for speech to text conversion) & (for audio to text conversion)
  4. Foot pedal (Having a foot pedal helps as it helps to fasten up the audio or rewind it while transcribing the files)

These additional tools would be necessary to work as a Transcriptionist as they help to make the work of a transcription easier.

Besides these, you can even use Audacity to remove any sort of background noises and make the audio clear or even use Grammarly to remove any error in the sentences.

Okay we have a fair enough idea of what Transcription is all about. 

Let’s discuss what are the other things you would need to become a transcriptionist.

Here’s a few additional things that you can look out for to get into for getting into transcription:

1. Practice transcription from opportunities around you

You can simply record your conversation with anyone around you or even while watching anything like passive earnings online like YouTube, try your hands upon transcribing it then and there.

This will improve your precision and speed of performance as well.

2. Podcasts are another way to help transcribe files

If you prefer to listen to podcasts keep a note handy and start to transcribe it with what you get to hear from it.

The better you practice the higher would be your chances for success in the field.

Start to convert podcast audios and this can help you to earn money from transcription when you practice transcription better.

3. Take help from the community groups and other forums for finding work as a Transcriber

There are several forums which are providing job opportunities and work requirements for work as a Transcriber.

Join community groups and other social media forums which are discussing work requirements as a Transcriber.

4. Reach out to other content creators for work

If you reach out to other content creators such as YouTubers and podcast creators or even bloggers you may definitely land upon some sort of work as a Transcriber.

Many people are looking for people who can help to transcribe the files for them.

5. Build a website and let others know you are giving services as a Transcriber

People won’t consider you serious if you don’t have a blog or website of your own.

Be a professional and add your services as a Transcriber onto your website or blog.

Build a website and showcase some samples of your own by attaching some audio files being transcribed.

This will show others your portfolio and send a message you are serious in looking upon work as a Transcriber.

6. Take help of freelancing platforms

You can take help of freelancing platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork to find work as a Transcriber.

Let’s have a look at the following platforms to earn money online from transcription.

Add your gig (services offered) as a Transcriber onto these platforms and get clients to find work online as a Transcriber.

Besides above, other platforms specifically meant for getting work as a Transcriber would be:

PlatformsTest DifficultyPay RatesJob AvailabilityPayment ModeReach
ScribieModerate$0.08 – $0.16 / audio minuteHighPayPalAll over the world
QAWorldLow$0.10 / audio minuteLowPayPalAll over the world
RevCaptioningHigh$0.50 – $1 / audio minuteHighPayPalSelected countries such as Australia, India, Mexico etc
TranscribeMeHigh$0.25-$0.36 / audio minuteLowPayPalAll over the world
CrowdSurfWorkModerate$0.08-$0.20 / audio minuteModerateVariesAll over the world
Platforms to earn money online from transcription

1. Scribie

  • Scribie has a payout rate of around $0.08 – $0.16 per audio minute.
  • They generally pay around $5-$10 per audio hour.
  • Job availability is high and the payment method used is Paypal.
  • Test difficulty for approval is easy and this has a worldwide presence available.

2. QAWorld

  • QAWorld has a payout rate of around $0.10 per audio minute.
  • Job availability is low and the payment method used is Paypal.
  • Test difficulty for approval is easy and this has a worldwide presence available.

3. RevCaptioning

  • RevCaptioning has a payout rate of around $0.5-$1 per audio minute.
  • Job availability is moderate and the payment method used is Paypal.
  • Test difficulty for approval is high and this has a presence in selected countries only, i.e. Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States (excluding California).

4. TranscribeMe

  • TranscribeMe has a payout rate of around $0.25-$0.36 per audio minute.
  • Job availability is low and the payment method used is Paypal.
  • Test difficulty for approval is high and this has a worldwide presence available.

5. Crowdsurfwork

  • Crowdsurfwork has a payout rate of around $0.08-$0.20 per audio minute.
  • Job availability is moderate and the payment method used has different types available.
  • Test difficulty for approval is moderate and this has a worldwide presence available.

How much do Transcriptionists earn?

As per Payscale (figures may vary as on date), earning of a transcriptionist varies from $11.18 – $29.15 with the average hourly rate around $15.37. 

But typically as per industry standards, 

A beginner transcriber can earn somewhere between $3 – $6 per actual transcription work, but not audio hour as a beginner.

Now here comes 2 terms which must be understood before going ahead.

1. Audio Hour

This is the duration of the audio file which needs to be transcribed by a transcriber defined in hours.

Let’s say an audio file is 2 hours long & the pay rate is around $24 for the entire work. Thus, the pay rate here would be $12/audio hour or $0.20/audio minute.

Thus, here audio hour is 2 hours & the pay rate would be $12/audio hour.

Now, you would wonder why it is relevant in the context of earnings as a Transcriber.

Well, here’s why…

2. Working hour

This is actual time you spend upon transcription work, duration specified in hours.

Considering you take upon the above task & spend around 6 hours transcribing the audio file of 2 hours duration, your actual working pay rate would become $4/hour.

This is what your actual earnings would be, i.e. $4/hour.

You may think you can transcribe an hour long audio file in 1 hour as well. But, that’s not the case. 

Usually, it takes 3-4 times the duration if you have got some experience transcribing earlier and even upto 6 hours if you are a complete beginner.

This means for an hour long audio file, you would need around 4-5 hours of actual working time.

Some of the things which usually hinders the speed and efficiency of the transcription are:

  • Transcription audio file quality used.
  • Speed and accuracy of the transcription
  • Tools and equipments used for the task of transcription
  • Proofreading the content time and again to ensure better quality of the work.

This means you can make a good amount of money if you work with consistency & discipline.

It has never been this easy to earn money from transcription.

Here are a few key takeaways from what we have discussed so far from this post.

Key Takeaways

Following are the key takeaways from what we discussed upon so far on “How to earn money online from transcription”:

  1. Transcription simply means converting audio or video files into a written format (hard copy).
  2. 3 types of transcription services are offered by transcriptionists generally which are general services, legal services and medical services.
  3. Transcriptionists require basic skills such as the ability to listen carefully, command over the language of transcription, typing speed and accuracy of transcription, access to the internet and availability of computers etc.
  4. Several platforms offer the job of transcription such as Scribie, QAWorld, RevCaptioning, TranscribeMe, Crowdsurfwork etc.
  5. Transcriptionists are generally paid around $15.37 / actual hour worked. This is different for experienced transcriptionists and different for beginner transcriptionists as well.

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