In its basic form, transcription is essentially just typing out the spoken word on to the page. Moreover, anyone who is capable of reading and writing can take part.
What is transcription?
There are two main styles of transcription, these are verbatim and non-verbatim (also referred to as clean verbatim). The verbatim method is to include every single word that you here including all the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’.
If the speaker decides to talk slang in place of proper wording the you will have to comply with that instead. Non-verbatim transcription is to refine it more and only include enough to get the gist of what is being said.
Who can take part?
Transcribing can be done by folks from all over the world. I you speak multiple languages then this is a huge benefit as you can access high-paying jobs that other people can’t do.
How qualified do I need to be?
After you sign up to most of these companies you will need to do a qualification transcription assignment. To clarify, this usually involves spelling and grammar tests too. You will need to pass for them to accept you and allow you do the most basic jobs. This is so that they know that you are skilled enough to do the work.
Who will pay me to do this?
Top sites include:
How much will I get paid?
Transcribers will make in the range of $0.20-$2.50 per audio minute or $12-$150 per audio hour. The very best transcribers have been known to make well over $2000 dollars in a month. It’s very possible for you to attain that amount too if you work at it.
Longer audio files will obviously pay more than the shorter ones. The full verbatim jobs are likely to pay more as there is more to type because you have to include every last bit of filler and utterance.
Your compensation should also increase if there are any other problems with the audio like disturbance or unclear voices.
How fast will I need to type?
You will need to be able to type a minimum of 70 words per minute in order to make it worth your while. If you are a slow typist then you will get less work done in an hour which ultimately means your earnings will suffer because of it. There are sites out there that allow you to check your typing speed if you’re unsure.
Which other kinds of work can I do?
Transcribing isn’t the only thing you can do on theses websites, you can also take part in QA testing, grading, checking audio quality, approval and editing.
You have to be on your toes as some audio files are assigned as ‘rush jobs’ which means that they have a much tighter time limit on them than most other jobs. The client obviously needs them to be processed quickly so only accept these assignment if you are sure that you are capable of doing them in good time.
Where can I do this?
Transcription can be done from any location just as long as you have a laptop and internet access. It’s best to choose a quiet setting so that you can give your full concentration with few distractions.
Which devices can I use?
You can use multiple devices to complete a job as long as you are logged into the same account. This is useful if your laptop breaks down or any similar problems.
What happens after I finish a job?
It will take a few days at the most for reviewers to get around to looking at your completed transcript and giving it a status. This will either mean that it’s fine and you will get paid or it’s not good enough and you will have to try again.
On the other hand, if you aren’t successful on your second attempt then they will pass it on to somebody else.
Most of the time your work will be given one final edit by an experienced transcriber before it is sent through for good. This is just to give a little extra polish and to correct anything that you might have missed.
How much time do I have to complete a job?
If you accept a job then most sites will allow you to take a break, close it down and then return to it later on. Be warned that you only get a short span of hours to fully complete a job so don’t leave it for too long.
If you commit a little effort and hone your skills then hopefully you will eventually reach the point where you can shave even more time off. In time, you could find yourself completing jobs in 2 or 3 times the length of the file like most experts.
What happens if I make a major mistake?
If you make a glaring error after you submit like entering the wrong text or something like that then you need to contact the site right away so that you can let them know about it.
Why am I struggling to find work?
You may struggle to find jobs as a newbie because your reputation will be so low that you will be under-qualified to do the vast majority of assignments.
What exactly will I be listening to?
You could be typing out meetings, hearings, interviews, conferences, discussions, presentations, focus groups, phone calls, memos, voicemail messages, letters, podcasts, court proceedings/hearings, speeches, lectures, captioning, scoping, call auditing etc.
There is a good chance that the audio file that you are working on will just be a short snippet of a larger overall conversation. There a hints that clue you in on this such as the first and last sentences of the job being cut off or starting/ending abruptly.
Why is there a demand for this?
So many companies and brands need transcription services for the majority of their audio and video content so there will always be a demand for aspiring transcribers like you.
Does this work get boring?
The work itself does not sound that interesting from an outsider’s perspective but I can assure you that it can be.
During my time as a transcriber I have come across interviews with champion dog sled racers and even people with severe mental health problems. On the contrary, it can be anything but dull and you can learn a lot about the subject that you are working on.
How will I receive the audio?
You can either stream or download the audio file although some sites only give you the one option. Both methods have their pros and cons however you may want to download if you have a slow internet connection as buffering can be a problem.
Any other advice?
I have posted some more tips in order to help you save time in my 69 fabulous transcription tricks that will vastly improve your work & increase your earnings in no time article.
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