INSIDE: TranscribeMe is often the perfect solution for people who want to start a side hustle. It's an easy way to break into the world of transcription. This review will help you decide if it's right for you!
Do you want to break into the transcription industry, but you don’t even know that a foot pedal is? TranscribeMe could be a great place for you to start!
If you want to break into the transcription industry, but you don't even know what a foot pedal is, TranscribeMe could be a great place to start!
This transcription company lets you work from home, is completely open to newcomers and is a good place to improve your skills on the job. There are minimal equipment requirements, and you don't have to buy any transcription software.
Kick back with a cup of coffee and read our comprehensive overview of this job opportunity. Then decide if this is your path to a transcription career – or if it just sounds like a great way to make some extra cash.
Transcription is a straightforward side hustle: You listen to an audio file and type what you hear being said.
Straightforward is not the same as simple, however. You'll be listening to speakers of all stripes, from those with heavy accents and those who mutter to those who enunciate clearly. You'll have to deal with cross talk, poor audio quality, look up terms and listen to the same audio again and again.
But it's also rewarding work. Your transcriptions may provide captions or make research easier for a person who's hard of hearing or may even be used in legal cases or for medical purposes. (Note that being a legal or medical transcriptionist generally involves specialized training.)
When you work with TranscribeMe, you'll log in to its WorkHub, which you must have Google Chrome to access. Then you'll have the opportunity to claim any available TranscribeMe jobs.
Pick up an audio file, transcribe it and submit it, all through the hub. Files tend to be brief, from 10 seconds to one minute each.
TranscribeMe prides itself on crowdsourcing these transcriptions, so the audio submitted to the company is diced into small pieces and assigned to many transcriptionists, who work simultaneously.
After all the pieces are completed, the quality assurance department puts the files together. That's the stage when time stamps and speakers' names are added, so you only need to focus on what's said in your audio file, not who's saying it.
A quality assurance person will review your work and make corrections as necessary, and you'll get paid for accepted work. (If your work requires a lot of corrections, it may be rejected. Please refer to the current Transcriber Handbook for procedures and minimums.)
TranscribeMe Job Requirements
TranscribeMe is perfect for the entry-level transcriber!
The requirements are extremely basic for the industry:
- You must have a high school diploma.
- You must be fluent in English.
- You should also have an impeccable grasp of English grammar and punctuation rules.
- It helps to have a good ear as well: You'll do great if you can easily distinguish between speakers and filter out background noise while listening.
- As far as technical requirements go, you must have a home computer with reliable, high-speed internet access.
- The site does recommend that you have headphones for listening to the audio. Headphones make transcribing much easier by improving your listening environment.
- Experienced transcriptionists have commented that a foot pedal is a great tool as well. It allows you to control playback of the audio file with your foot, so you never have to take your fingers off the keyboard.
How Much Does TranscribeMe Pay?
TranscribeMe issues payments through PayPal once a week. Payments are in U.S. dollars, and you can request a payout once your account reaches $20.
Note that PayPal is the only payment method at this time, and TranscribeMe is unable to pay you for your work in any other way.
TranscribeMe's base pay rate is $15 per audio hour. (Rates can change at any time. Please refer to the company's website for up-to-date details.)
The key words here are “audio hour” – you'll make $15 for each full hour's worth of audio that you transcribe. That means the more quickly and accurately you can transcribe – the more efficient you are – the more money you'll make!
The standard professional rate of transcription accepted by the industry allows four minutes to transcribe one minute of audio. At that rate, you'll spend four hours transcribing 60 minutes of audio and earn less than $4 per hour at TranscribeMe's pay rate. This is really low pay.
That being said, many people appreciate the opportunity to see if a transcription job is a good fit for them before trying to start a transcription business of their own.
There are opportunities to earn a higher rate as you gain experience. Once you're a regular transcriber with TranscribeMe, you can apply to be added to their special teams.
Depending on the project and pool, jobs can pay qualified transcribers $22 to $60 per audio hour. Special projects can pay up to $100 per audio hour.
You'll find that there are chances to advance within the company, and you could move up to quality assurance and beyond.
Most of the reviews for TranscribeMe on Glassdoor are positive, lauding the flexibility of the work schedule and the welcoming, supportive community of transcribers in the forums.
The flexible schedule refers to the policy that you can work as much or as little as you want – you literally set your own hours to log in and be available for transcription.
The forums put you in touch with an entire community's experience, and TranscribeMe is cited as a great place to pick up tips for growing your skills as a transcriptionist.
The drawbacks are what you'd expect:
- You're not guaranteed work, and it's first come, first served.
- No work may be available when you sign on.
- Several reviewers on Glassdoor mention what they believe is a low wage for the amount of work you put in, while others point out that, as you become more efficient, your hourly wage increases.
As mentioned earlier, an experienced transcriptionist will get the opportunity to advance to special teams or even become part of QA, with the pay rate increased accordingly. People who've worked with special teams say they haven't experienced a lack of steady work once they leveled up.
The TranscribeMe Exam
You must pass a TranscribeMe test to be eligible to work for the company. You'll be provided access to the company's style guide to study before you attempt the test.
You'll be tested on TranscribeMe-specific style questions in addition to your command of English grammar and punctuation, so it's incredibly important to actually study the guide.
When you're ready to get started, you can complete the test through the portal. For the first part, you'll be asked to make the correct choice in multiple-choice questions or to type in the correct response. That section is followed by two audio files that you must transcribe.
You have two chances to pass the exam. If you don't pass, there's a 30-day waiting period before you can try again.
Not sure that TranscribeMe is the right opportunity for you? Here are a few other job sites you may want to learn more about:
- Rev.com is a similarly paying transcription service that welcomes entry-level transcribers. It offers opportunities in captioning, subtitling and translating. It also pays weekly via PayPal and offers regular feedback and coaching to help you grow.
- Casting Words likewise welcomes new transcribers. It pays on a graded scale – anywhere from 8.5 cents to $1 per audio minute for average work, with better payment for higher-graded work. The company lets you take its transcription test as many times as you need to pass.
- CrowdSurf also offers very short files for transcription, making it a great choice when you only have a bit of time to transcribe here and there. You'll have to sign up on WorkMarket to get started.
While TranscribeMe may not provide full-time pay, it's a stepping-stone. If you have no experience in the transcription world, this is an easy way to try it out – for pay – to see if you want to pursue being a professional transcriptionist.