Transcription is a popular work-from-home job for those seeking a flexible schedule. When contracting with most companies online, you will be able to pick up and complete audio files as you see fit. This makes it a great fit for those with small children or a day job who need to work “after hours.” It's also great for those who want to be in charge of their income. Transcription is typically production-based pay. The more work you complete – quickly and accurately, of course – the more money you can make.
The next company in our agent interview series is Rev.com. This company happily hires beginner transcribers without much experience. They offer a flexible schedule and you can work when you want.
Heidi has been transcribing for the company for 9 months. She's sharing her Rev.com review and then we will hear more about the Rev application process.
Why did you choose to work from home?
It fits my lifestyle. It's great to have the freedom to deal with everything life throws at us. I also work part-time outside the home, but my home is my comfort zone so anything I can do from here is a winner for me.
What made you apply to Rev.com?
I found a list of work-from-home companies. I thought the idea of transcription would be right up my alley. I've always been a word and grammar nerd. I'm the one who finds typos in magazines, books, and newspapers. If there's a typo somewhere, I'll find it. I'm also a relatively fast and accurate typist. Transcription seemed like it might be a good fit.
I read some good reviews about Rev and decided to give them a try. I'm very glad I did.
How long have you been with the company?
I've been working with Rev for 9 months.
How has this position allowed you to meet your personal needs/goals?
For me, it's twofold. Obviously, the money, but what really keeps me coming back is how satisfied I feel when I know I've done a good job. That's my personal need that Rev really serves. I have found something I am very good at, and I get paid to do it. Win/win.
What challenges do you face in this position?
Probably the biggest challenge for me is working with the distractions that come with being at home. My husband is retired, so he is here at home all the time. I work in our main living area, which is probably not the best choice but it is the most comfortable place for me to work. He does try to be quiet … most of the time.
I do sometimes find it difficult to make myself work. It takes self-discipline to work at home. It's definitely easier to just get up and do something else when you're working at home. When you're out working somewhere, you don't have that temptation. So I guess the short answer is it's a challenge to stay on task.
But the upside? I can work with at least one dog in my chair with me, and my kitchen is open 24/7.
What's your typical week like?
I work outside the home as a caregiver on the weekends. That frees me up to work at Rev during the week, which is when there is the most work available. Weekends at Rev can be very quiet and it's not always easy to find jobs to transcribe. The busiest days are usually Tuesday through Friday. Those days there is normally a pretty good selection of work to choose from. But there are definitely slow periods. Holidays are very quiet. This summer seems like there are weekdays as well that are slow, but if I want to work, I can almost always find something.
I am a morning person, so I normally get an early start and transcribe throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. It really depends on how much or how little I feel like doing on any given day.
We get paid every Monday for the work done the prior Sunday through Saturday. We are paid through PayPal. I've never had an issue with the payments, it's always been reliable and accurate.
Are there any fees involved in working with Rev.com?
No fees. All you need is a good internet connection, a monitor, and a keyboard. I use a laptop and I recently invested in a good keyboard so I can work in a more comfortable position.
I also purchased a sound enhancement program that lets me adjust levels using an equalizer, That's been a great help on some of the lower quality audio. The only other expense I've had was I bought headphones (those make a huge difference, it's really difficult to hear what you need to hear without headphones or earbuds). But all of those expenses were optional, not required.
We are considered independent contractors, so there are no taxes or anything withheld. We are responsible for all of that on our end. The good news is I can deduct the cost of the keyboard, sound enhancer, and headphones as business expenses.
There's no secret to the application process, it's pretty up front.
The best tip I can give is to be realistic about your abilities. If you can't type, and/or aren't a detail-oriented perfectionist type person, this probably isn't the best job for you.
The biggest eye-opener for me was finding out that typing is only part of this work. Most people think you type what you hear. How hard can that be? Well, as with most things, it's not that simple. There is research to be done on anything you aren't familiar with, such as terminology, company names, etc. You have to be able to proofread well. You have to have a strong understanding of grammar and a decent vocabulary. Being a stickler for detail is a real asset, and Google quickly becomes your best friend. For me, it's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. When you get all the pieces and fit them together right, you've got a quality transcription for the customer.
Expect a pretty steep learning curve in the beginning. There is a Style Guide we have to follow, which is pretty strict, and it's up to us to figure out how to apply it properly and that takes a little getting used to. The forum is incredibly helpful; it's probably the single best tool there in terms of getting help and finding information.
Let me also say that, realistically, this is not a real huge moneymaker. There is never a guarantee there will be work, so you can't really rely on being able to work whenever you want to, however much you want to. I know some people really rely on the money they make at Rev, and the lack of available work can be a problem in terms of regular, reliable income. Keep in mind too, as I mentioned earlier, this is on-the-books income, so we do have to pay the income tax we owe. That cuts into the earnings a bit.
It takes learning how to be fast and putting in a lot of hours while maintaining a high degree of accuracy in order to earn doing this. It's not really realistic for most people to expect to earn a living wage doing this job, but you can definitely supplement your income. By how much is pretty much up to you.
The Rev Application Process
The following information has been provided to us by a company representative.
What's the application process like?
The application is meant to give the freelancer a taste of what working for Rev is like. After a test on grammar and English writing conventions, we give each applicant a short guide on best practices while transcribing audio. Finally, we provide a sample audio file to transcribe using our custom built Rev Transcription Editor, which helps them format their transcript and includes built in spelling and grammar check.
How long do you keep resumes on file?
We do not collect resumes during the application, only name and email. We will keep these records so that people can re-apply after a 45 day period.
What timeframe can be expected from acceptance to first paycheck?
We pay via PayPal every Monday. Once you are accepted with Rev there is a basic tutorial that takes about 30 minutes to complete. As soon as you complete the tutorial you can claim your first real transcription job and start making money. Most Revvers get paid on their very first Monday!
Is this a good job for someone needing a flexible schedule and/or still working a full-time job?
Both! Once a freelancer joins Rev, they have access to our job marketplace, which is just a constantly updating list of audio files that need transcription. You can work as little or as often as you would like.
If you need to take a vacation, great! Your account will be waiting for you when you return. We also have freelancers that will work for 8 hours or more a day. Unlike most full-time jobs though, you can work the hours that suit you. Take a 5-hour lunch break, or sleep in until 11 am.
There are some time requirements though, once you have claimed a job from the Rev marketplace there is a deadline that you must meet. This is to ensure that the customer receives their transcript without any delay.
Can you give us an average hourly pay or average pay range?
As with most skills, there is a learning curve. Learning how to use our tools to save time and selecting the right job for you can have a large impact on pay. That being said, fast typists typically earn between $8 – $15 per hour. Slower typists tend to earn less. However, every transcriptionist that continues with Rev does improve and increases their average hourly pay as they complete more transcriptions.
Any tips for applying?
Take your time and reread our provided Applicant Style Guide if you are uncertain about any conventions. There are no tricks but we do look for careful and diligent applicants.
Are you ready to apply? Click here.