Transcription Jobs at Home - Medical, Legal, and More!

Can you type? This work may be perfect for you. Find opportunities easily on sites like Fiverr, mTurk, TranscribeMe and others!


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What could be easier than listening to a recording and writing what you hear? From writing out interviews to subtitling video to turning corporate meetings into text, there's a huge demand for transcription services. The work is easy to break into and easy to do from home. You will need typing skills, but no college degree is usually required. You can do it on your schedule and have as much or as little work as you want. So what are you waiting for? Get transcribing!

What Do You Need?

It's relatively easy to get started, but there are a few things you need to before you begin your career in online transcription:

Excellent English listening skills. Depending on the kind of work you're doing, the audio you're transcribing might be of bad quality or the speakers may have heavy accents. In both cases, having decent headphones help a lot. A quiet workspace where it's easy to focus is also a big help.

Good typing speed. Most work will pay in "audio hours." That means the length of the file you're transcribing, not your hours worked. The faster you type, the faster you earn. Most services want you to have a typing speed of at least 60 words per minute, which is fast but not crazy. You can take a test to see what your typing speed is. If it's under 60 wpm, that doesn't mean you can't get online transcription work - just that you might want to practice your typing first. Also, keep in mind that typing quickly for extended periods of time can be hard on your wrists: setting up an ergonomic home office isn't expensive, and will make transcribing a lot more comfortable.

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Patience for the details. Do you like to make things perfect? Can you be patient until you've got something exactly right? If you gave a positive answer, you should be looking at transcription services as a career option. The job takes a certain amount of patience, and you'll often have to listen to audio several times to get it all exactly right. Perfectionists will be happy with this job.

Reliable accuracy, grammar, and good command of English. Most websites will want you to take a test to get started transcribing for them, which will usually be a short audio file you have to transcribe. The tests aren't typically hard; they're just there to make sure you're precise, have proper grammar, and understand English well.

Where Do I Find Work?

One attractive feature about online transcription is that it's easy to do as much or as little as you want. If you're looking for a full-time remote job, you can find that. If you just want to make a few bucks between going to classes and picking up the kids, small individual jobs are easy to find too.

The Easy Way to Start

Let's start with the best places to find those small, one-off gigs to make a few bucks and get your feet wet.

Fiverr.com - Fiverr offers all kinds of work, but there are plenty of transcription jobs there. The deal with Fiverr is that most jobs are $5. If you want to try out transcribing and aren't trying to make serious money, this can be a great way to do it. Just search for transcribing work, and bid on the jobs you find.

mTurk.com - mTurk is a service run by Amazon that hosts "micro-jobs," which are just what you'd expect. Several prominent transcription companies, like Crowdsurf and CastingWords, use mTurk to get things done. The great part about mTurk? No commitment, no tests, and only as much work as you want. Just browse available jobs for transcription work and go from there. If you're a native speaker of English and can work quickly and reliably, you're almost sure to get transcription work on mTurk.

TranscribeMe.com - TranscribeMe is a little more involved than Fiverr or mTurk, but is still pretty casual. You do have to take a test to get started, but once you're accepted, TranscribeMe works by giving you only ten seconds of audio at a time. You can get lots of these small tasks, or stick to just bits and pieces. Their motto is "Monetize your downtime," and that's a good way to think of it. If you're thinking about transitioning from bit-work to part-time work, TranscribeMe is a great, flexible option.

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More Involved Transcription

The options above are great for making extra money - but if you've tried them, find that you like the work, and want to explore turning it into a full-time or part-time job, you may need to move onward and upward. Here are some big companies that specialize in transcription work and are always looking for employees.

AccuTranGlobal.com - AccuTran has applicants take a questionnaire and test to get started. They expect some dedication: you'll have to be available for certain chunks of time every day and be ready to meet tight deadlines, but you can still work on flexible terms. You don't need any specialized knowledge to get started, but they mostly transcribe financial reports, so bonus points if you're familiar with that terminology. They also like to move productive workers up into better-paid editing and proofreading work, so there's room to grow with good performance.

TigerFish.com - TigerFish looks for employees who can commit to certain hours and a certain number of hours each week. You can commit to very few hours each week, but it's still more of a job than a piecework situation. You apply by taking a test, but the test is a little more involved than some other sites'. They don't specifically require experience but do like you to have it - so you're more likely to enjoy it if you've already had some work in the field.

Verbalink.com - Verbalink wants you to send them a resume, so this one is for transcriptionists with a little prior experience. What you get for that, though, is a professional company where you'll be able to get steady work. Verbalink also offers editing, proofreading, and translation services, so if you have skills in any of those areas, you might find some more work, too.

Transcription is easy to get started in, and there's room to grow. You can work quickly and flexibly from home, do as much or as little work as you like, and have options for different kinds of employment. So whether you're looking for a full-time remote job or just a way to make a little extra money, transcribing may be the thing for you.

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