Top Transcription Companies: 2023 Guide for Beginners

Use this guide to determine the top transcription companies for making money from home.

Transcription is a work-at-home option if you’re looking to make some extra cash. While this job does have a learning curve, it might be right for you if you like to type and are looking for a job that you can do on your own time and involves limited customer interaction.

The top transcription companies make it possible to earn from home on your own time. While you can generally make the most cash working on your own as a freelancer (which means you find your own clients), finding work through one of these transcription companies is a good way to get regular work. And, it can help you get experience if you are a beginner.

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woman typing on laptop for the top transcription companies

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Top Transcription Companies

If you’d like to give transcription a try, get started with these top transcription companies. You’ll find a breakdown of each one to help you decide whether or not these are worth your time.

1) TranscribeMe

  • Pay: $15 to $22 per audio hour. Top monthly earnings are $2,200, but average monthly earnings are $250
  • Payment method: PayPal
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? Yes
  • Prior experience needed? No

TranscribeMe offers a flexible work environment, so this is a good company if you’re looking for something you can just do in your spare time. Work primarily consists of short, 2-4 minute clips. The company also promotes from within, rewarding transcribers for good work. If you have experience in legal or medical transcription you can advance to their Special Teams and complete higher-paying projects.

Reviewers on Glassdoor give TranscribeMe a 3.7-star rating with over 319 reviews. Here are some of the positive reviews you’ll find of the site:

Lots of opportunity to learn…

“Great PT work for SAHM”

Easy work

Great flexibility, self-managed, ideal for a digital nomad

On the flip side, you’ll also see negative feedback, including things like:

“Not enough jobs for everyone”

“Constantly waiting for work”

Based on these comments, it looks like a common complaint is that there is not enough work available. If you want to work with TranscribeMe, it might be a good idea to sign up to several other transcription companies as well just to increase the chances that you’ll always have some kind of work available.

2) GoTranscript

  • Pay: Up to $.60 per audio or video minute
  • Payment method: PayPal and Payoneer
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? Yes
  • Prior experience needed? No

GoTranscript has one of the best-looking websites for transcribers who want to work from home, and they clearly put a lot of time and effort into making things easy and informative.

GoTranscript has its own platform and software to transcribe. They offer their workers support 24/7, with support staff located around the globe.

GoTranscript gets a 3.4/5 star rating on Indeed. Reviewers like that there is plenty of work available, but others are disappointed in the low pay.

If you want to learn more about working at GoTranscript, this video includes a lot of helpful information:

3) Quicktate

  • Pay: $.0025 cents per word ($.01 for every 4 words)
  • Payment method: PayPal
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? Yes
  • Prior experience needed? Yes

Quicktate hires independent contractors to transcribe things like voicemail messages, phone calls, legal files, medical files, conference calls, letters, and memos. Work assignments range from short, 2-3 minute calls to longer speeches that could last hours.

They do prefer experienced and professional transcriptionists and they will not hire anyone who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. You must also pay $20 for a background check before they allow you to begin work.

Quicktate also has a sister company called iDictate. If you are an especially good transcriber, you could qualify to transcribe for them and earn a higher income.

4) Tigerfish

  • Pay: Averages around $8 to $12 per hour
  • Payment method: Unclear
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? No
  • Prior experience needed? No
  • Other notes: Must use a Windows-based computer, as Macs are not compatible with the software

Tigerfish is a solid transcription company with many years in the business.

Getting hired with this company might be more difficult than the others, as they do say that they get many applications and not everyone is hired. You will also need to purchase special transcription software and a foot pedal in order to work.

Still, Tigerfish boasts that many of their transcribers have been with the company for over a decade, which may attest to the lasting power of this job.

Surprisingly, I was unable to find any genuine user reviews or testimonials for this company. This isn’t to say that the company isn’t legitimate (and often no negative reviews is a good thing).

5) Scribie

  • Pay: $5 to $25 per audio hour, with the possibility of a monthly bonus
  • Payment method: PayPal
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? Yes, but must live in a country that supports PayPal
  • Prior experience needed? No

Scribie is a good option for beginning transcribers.

The transcription audio files will be in English, but some will have accents like British, European, African, Australian, Indian, or mixed. Transcription files will be 6 minutes or shorter. While you can only claim one assignment at a time, there is no limit to the number of files you can submit in a day.

Scribie does not have an especially high rating, and that seems to be because their pay is low for the amount of work you have to put in. On Indeed, they pull in a 3.1/5 rating. Positive feedback around the web includes:

I’m honestly very impressed! As a brand new transcriber, so far my working experience with Scribie has been great.

I love the flexibility and being able to choose which audios I am comfortable with and confident in doing.

6) GMR Transcription

  • Pay: averages $1000 to $3000 per month
  • Payment method: Direct deposit
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? Unsure
  • Prior experience needed? No

GMR Transcription offers good-paying transcription work for both beginner and experienced transcribers. If you’re certified, you’ll receive higher-paying work (learn more about the best certification course here). They advertise that the average pay for transcribers ranges from $1000 to $3000 per month, however, they will not disclose actual pay rates until you are hired.

If you are hired, there is a probation period of two full hours worth of audio work which you must perform for free before receiving paid work.

After browsing Glassdoor, I found that GMR Transcription had some of the highest ratings for any transcription company I’ve seen, with a 4.6/5 rating. Common reviews said:

Steady work

Better pay than most transcription companies

Flexible work

7) SpeakWrite

  • Pay: $.005 per word, with the potential for a bonus. Average pay is $450 per month
  • Payment method: Direct deposit or check
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? Only open to those in the U.S. (outside of California) and Canada
  • Prior experience needed? Yes
  • Other notes: Must use a Windows-based computer, as Macs are not compatible with the software

SpeakWrite prefers to hire people who are highly proficient in both typing and the English language. If you have a background in word processing and you easily know your way around Microsoft, that’s also a plus. You must have prior transcription experience in order to work for this company.

SpeakWrite offers three types of transcription, including general transcription, legal transcription, and Spanish/English transcription. You can set your own schedule, but you must be available to work at least 4 hours per week.

SpeakWrite receives a 3.3/5 rating on Glassdoor. Positive reviewers say things like:

Flexible hours

Great to be able to work from home

In contrast, there are negative reviews, too. Some top negative reviews include:

High Expectations for low pay

Working for such little pay stinks

If you’re a fast transcriptionist, you may love working for SpeakWrite, but it does seem like slower transcribers might find the work too difficult for such little compensation.

8) Daily Transcription

  • Pay: Starts at $.75 to $.85 per audio minute
  • Payment method: Weekly pay, unclear on the method
  • Open to people outside the U.S.? Open to people in the U.S. and Canada
  • Prior experience needed? No

Daily Transcription is unlike some of the other transcription companies in that they send you work to do based on the availability you tell them you’ll have. This is different from other platforms, which have you log in and claim work from a pool of available jobs.

While you don’t need to have prior transcription experience, you do need to be able to type at least 50 wpm. If you get hired, they will offer you training and guidance along the way.

Where to Find Transcription Jobs

When you work a transcription job, you can choose to find either your own freelance clients or work for one of the top transcription companies.

There are pros and cons to both. You can definitely make more money as a freelancer, but you do have to find your own clients. On the other hand, these top transcription companies usually have ready work available, but the competition to land jobs is steep, and they’re often pretty low-paying for the amount of work you have to put in.

Still, if you’re confident in your ability to transcribe quickly and you’re just looking to make some extra money (as opposed to a full-time income), these transcription jobs may be perfect for you.

Understanding Transcription Payment

As you can see, there’s no clear answer as to which transcription company pays the best. Some pay per word, while others pay per audio hour, which can make figuring out actual rates very confusing. Just take note of the specifications when you’re calculating a pay rate to determine whether or not it’s worth your time.

Another very important distinction is to note is that a pay rate per audio hour is different than per hour. Instead, it means that they will pay for the length of the audio file rather than the amount of time it takes you to transcribe.

It will almost always take you much longer to transcribe than the length of the audio file, so you pay rate will be lower than the advertised audio hour rate.

It’s impossible to say whether or not a certain company is worth it based on the pay, because it all depends on how fast you can transcribe. Speedy typers will often find transcription worth it, but it can be painfully low pay for someone who is just not quick in their transcription.

How Can I Get a Job at One of These Top Transcription Companies?

Each transcription company has its own application process. Expect to have to read and thoroughly study a guide provided to you by the company. Some transcription companies will have their own nuances, like punctuation rules and dialect directions they expect you to follow, so studying these guidelines carefully is an important part of the onboarding process.

In most cases, you’ll then have to take a test and demonstrate your transcription skills before you’re hired as an independent contractor.

Where Can I Learn Transcription? 

Many of these companies have guidelines to follow, but there is definitely a learning curve when it comes to the task of actual transcription.

In most cases, this is really a case where practice makes perfect. It will undoubtedly be slow-going at first, but the more you do it the more you’ll get the hang of it.

Many experienced transcribers and even some of these transcription companies recommend the use of a foot pedal like this one. A foot pedal enables you to quickly start and stop the audio with just the tap of your foot. While it may not seem like much, it actually saves you a lot of time when you don’t have to stop the audio and back up using the keyboard.

If you want a transcription training program that offers step-by-step guidance and lots of practice, I highly recommend Transcribe Anywhere. Developed by a woman who is herself a six-figure transcriptionist, Transcribe Anywhere is the most comprehensive transcription course out there.

Check out Transcribe Anywhere Here

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