Learn what it takes to do transcription work and get started with these top transcription companies.
Transcription is a work from home job that doesn’t often get the love it deserves. That’s just too bad because remote transcription is definitely a good option for a mom (or anyone) who wants to work from home.
If you’re a fast typer, very attentive to details, and want to stay home with your kids, transcription work might be the job for you!
In this guide, you’ll learn where you can find free transcription training, what transcription equipment you’ll need, and where to find remote transcription jobs so that you can start making money with this work from home opportunity.
I’m going to take a closer look at what these remote transcription jobs entail and why they might (or might not) be a good fit for you.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
What is Transcription?
Transcription work involves listening to audio and typing what you hear.
Simply put, transcription is the practice of taking audio or video files and turning them into a text document. It’s used by many people in many different industries and is the type of job that’s perfect for work-at-home moms.
You’ll often hear transcription services described as either medical transcription, legal transcription, or general transcription. Medical transcription and legal transcription are both specialized forms of work relating only to that field.
If you work in legal transcription, you need to be trained in legal terminology and practices. The same is true for medical transcription. Both of these forms of transcription require specialized training.
While I can’t recommend medical transcription right now (read more below), legal transcription is still very needed.
Legal transcriptionists often make more money than general transcriptionists, due to the specialized nature of the work.
Is Transcription Still Relevant Today?
Many industries still utilize transcribers to turn audio files into written documents.
There is one exception to this – medical transcriptionists may find that field of work narrowing.
Due to privacy laws and the development of specialized medical software, many doctors and medical practices are making the switch to voice-to-text software.
On the other hand, legal transcription is a booming field. Lawyers, law firms, legal departments, and government agencies all rely heavily on legal transcriptionists to provide regular services.
These aren’t the only types of businesses that utilize transcription service. Further below I’ll discuss even more career fields that rely on transcription workers for regular services.
What Kind of Money Can I Make with Remote Transcription Work?
According to the pros at Transcribe Anywhere, the average annual income for a general transcriptionist is $45,000, and the average for a legal transcriptionist is $60,000.
The great thing about working for yourself though is that there is no limit to how much you can make. If you work from home and run your own transcribing business, your earning potential is unlimited.
Note that many transcription companies pay per audio hour, which is not the same as a regular hour.
It may take anywhere from two to five hours to transcribe one audio hour of work.
It all depends on your skill level, typing speed, and the quality of the audio you’re transcribing. Transcription is like anything else though. It takes practice.
While you may be slow at first, daily transcription work will only sharpen your skills and make you faster. This comes with the potential to increase your earning capability over time.
What are the Benefits of Remote Transcription Jobs?
Transcription work comes with all the benefits of working from home. You have the freedom to work when you’re able and the flexibility to take jobs that fit around your schedule.
Not to mention, the other benefits that come with working from home – you get to be around your kids more often, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of a commute, and you get to be your own boss.
Downsides of Transcription for a Work at Home Mom
While transcription is flexible in that you can usually pick up work when you’re able to do it, it’s not for everyone.
In order to be a successful transcriptionist, you need to be able to work at a time when you’ll have zero distractions.
Listening to the audio while typing out words without making any errors is not the kind of job you can do if your kids are running around or even if they’re nearby watching TV.
This isn’t true for every work-from-home job (as a writer, I’m often typing away in the same room as my kids), but it is true for transcribing. Just something to keep in mind.
What Skills Do I Need for Transcription Work?
In order to work as a transcriptionist, you need to be an excellent typer and pay close attention to detail.
You also need to have patience and be able to sit for long periods of time.
What Kind of Transcription Equipment is Necessary?
You don’t need a ton of things to get started with transcription from home, but there are a few key elements that extend beyond a computer and internet connection.
Here are some of the suggested items you’ll need to succeed with transcription work:
- Express Scribe Pro: This is the most popular transcription software out there, and it makes your job so much easier.
- Foot Pedal: Some versions of Express Scribe Pro come with a foot pedal, but if yours doesn’t you’ll want to buy it separately. The foot pedal allows you to pause and play the dictation quickly and easily, so you don’t waste any time as you’re transcribing.
- Headset: The headset is important so that you can hear the audio as clearly as possible.
- Comfortable Office Chair: This isn’t strictly necessary, but it absolutely helps. Your comfort is key when it comes to success with transcription. This isn’t the kind of job you can do while slouching on the couch.
- The Chicago Manual of Style: You absolutely do not want to hand in work that is riddled with errors. This book helps ensure you make no mistakes.
- The Freelancer’s Bible: If there’s one book that I recommend every freelancer read, it’s this one. Author Sara Horowitz is the founder of the Freelancer’s Union, and in this book she shares everything you need to know about running your own freelance business.
How Do I Get Started?
One of the best, most thorough classes I’ve found out there is Transcribe Anywhere. You’ll learn complex things like time coding instructions, how to hone your grammar skills, and how to deal with situations involving bad audio.
If you want to learn more about transcribing or aren’t sure if this is the right job for you, Transcribe Anywhere also has an excellent Free Mini-Course designed for people just like you.
The Mini-Course will give you a taste for what this kind of work is really like, and help you determine if you want to continue pursuing transcription as a career.
Where Can I Find Transcription Jobs?
If you want to work as a transcriptionist, there are two different routes you can take: you can work as a freelancer and find clients yourself, or you can get a job with an online transcription company.
I always recommend working for yourself as a freelancer because you can command significantly higher rates this way.
Plus, you’ll have more control over your workload and experience the flexibility you need.
If you need help establishing your own freelance transcribing business the Transcribe Anywhere course is what you need.
If you don’t have a lot of experience transcribing and don’t want to take a course to get started, you can work at one of the online transcription companies. This can be a good way to get your feet wet and see if this kind of work is for you.
I’ll give you a fair warning here, though. Most of the time, these online transcription companies do not pay a lot. If you don’t have any past experience of training, this may not be a worthwhile work at home job for you.
Still, most of these companies do hire beginners, so this is a good way to make a little cash while getting some experience. If you want to go this route, check out the following companies:
When you work with Transcribe Me, you can work as much or as little as you want. This work is short chunks of 2-4 minute clips, rather than longer audio interviews. The pay averages at $15 to $22 per audio hour, but if you have experience in medical or legal transcription, you can make more.
Quicktate is a company known for hiring newbie transcriptionists. If you do get hired and do good work, you may get promoted to Quicktate’s sister company, iDictate, after a period of time.
If you pass a skills test, Rev is a good company, paying roughly $21 to $39 per audio hour. In addition to transcriptionists, Rev also hires captioners who need to watch videos and accurately type what is being said.
Tigerfish is a solid transcription company with many years in the business, but they do prefer that you use special transcription software and a foot pedal. The foot pedal helps you transcribe faster, so this could be used to your advantage.
The pay at Scribie is very low, but this is a good place to get experience if you are brand new to transcription. Like everything else, transcription requires practice. If you do it often, you will get better and your speeds will increase.
People Who Use Transcriptionists
The best way to make money as an online transcriptionist is to get certified and offer transcription as a freelancer. But what kind of clients would hire you?
The truth is, there are MANY organizations that rely heavily on transcription services. Your prospective clients could include the following:
Police departments and law enforcement agencies
Police transcription is a specialized type of transcription that could involve things like police reports, victim interviews, witness statements, investigations, accident reports, and wiretaps.
If you want to be successful with this level of transcription, you need to have a high level of accuracy and be knowledgeable about legal processes. Because the work is so specialized, if you can do this level of transcription you’ll find that there isn’t a lot of competition and you can command a high rate of pay.
Law firms and attorneys
There is a big market in legal transcription. Because legal professionals produce so much recorded material, this type of work isn’t going away anytime soon.
You do need to be trained as a legal transcriptionist to handle this level of work but again, with the specialization, you can command higher rates. Expect to transcribe things like interrogations, depositions, hearings, and general correspondence.
Claims adjusters and other insurance professionals who work on claims investigations use transcribers on a regular basis. In this field, you’d transcribe reports, victim and witness interviews, and other statements.
Banks, stock brokerages, credit card companies, and other financial institutions all rely on transcriptions services. Things like earnings calls, investor relations, seminars, financial reports, analyst interviews, and more all need to be regularly typed out.
Professors, teachers, and researchers at academic institutions all use transcriptionists to turn lectures, interviews, and discussions into written format. Sometimes higher-level graduate students also use transcriber services to type things like interviews.
Public speakers or personal development coaches may want transcribers to help them turn talks or speeches into written format.
These are just a few of the ways that your services can be useful as a transcriber! Transcription work is very much in demand, and work is available across all industries.
A Final Work About Remote Transcription Jobs
I truly believe that transcription is one of the best jobs for moms who want to work from home. If you want to pursue a career in transcription, you’ll need the right skills to get your career started on the right foot.
If you want to learn more about transcription and decide if this is the right work at home job for you, take the Transcribe Anywhere FREE 7-day mini-course.
This course will teach you much more about transcription and give you a much better idea of whether or not it’s the best idea for you. And since it’s FREE, you have absolutely nothing to lose.