This isn’t a review of TranscribeMe per se. A quick search through the Earn That Buck forum will show you lots of info about transcribing — including opinions on TranscribeMe. Needless to say, TranscribeMe is pretty legit. I have personally gotten some pretty good gigs through the site. But the entire process of earning money by transcribing, and finding actual work through the site might be daunting to some people (I know it was to me).
To help you get started, this article will run you through the entire process of becoming a transcriber and finding work on TranscribeMe. Ready? Let’s do this!
What Does a Transcriptionist Actually Do?
“Audio Transcriptionist” is one of those professions that I used to hear a lot about, without knowing what it actually is. A transcriber does just that — transcribe audio recordings. As an audio transcriber, you will listen to voice recordings and write down the words being spoken. Your actual output will be a Word document — although more and more clients are requesting Google Docs (which I actually prefer).
These recordings come from a variety of sources. The most common transcribing jobs I got were from journalists who had conducted interviews, and needed me to produce a written transcription of the interview. Teachers and academics also
Finding Transcribing Work
Unless you have built a network of clients, you will have to look at online platforms for jobs – and TranscribeMe is one of the better sources for transcribing jobs on the internet. There, you will be able to find available work. The site is a great way to test the waters. Are you build for this type of work? You’ll never know until you try a few transcribing jobs, right? As far as I’m concerned, this is a low- to no-risk gig.
When you land a job, give it your best. When people are happy with your work, there’s a big chance they’ll go straight to you instead of putting out an and. And that means more work and possibly better pay. So try to build a network as part of your job-seeking strategy.
Earning Potential on TranscribeMe
The going pay rate on TranscribeMe is $15 per audio hour. The rates on the site can change without prior notice, so make sure you check the site for updated payment rates. “Per audio hour” means the length of the audio file. A one-hour recording will pay you $15. A two-hour one will earn you $30, and so on. Note that this rate does not refer to the amount of time you put in, just the length of the recording. It could take you several hours or an entire day to transcribe one audio hour, but you will get paid the same rate. That said, the industry pace is usually 4 minutes for transcribing a minute of audio. Try to stick to that pace, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a transcribing pro.
The actual amount of money you will earn through TranscribeMe will depend, of course, on the amount of time and effort you exert. With transcribing, you will get what you put in.
What are the Skills of an Audio Transcriber?
To be a good transcriptionist, you will need to have a good grasp of both written and verbal language. It also helps to be able to figure out inaudible words via context clues. Being able to type fast is another essential skill a transcriptionist needs to have.
The Entrance Exam
Transcribing audio recordings does not require special courses or training (unless you’re looking to transcribe medical or legal recordings - more on that later). That said, transcribing isn’t exactly a no-brainer task like answering surveys, watching videos, or clicking links for a few cents.
Transcribing audio recordings will earn you good money — and that’s why TranscribeMe is particular about the quality of its applicants. To ensure that you and other applicants have got what it takes, TranscribeMe has an exam. This exam comes in two parts: first, there’s a multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blanks test. This test is relatively easy — all you have to do is provide the correct response and answer. After this, you move on to the second test. And for the second test, you will be given two audio files which you will have to transcribe to within a certain standard level. I don’t know if the files change from time to time, but the ones I got were pretty challenging to transcribe. On one file, the person making the recording — a chemist doing research — spoke like he had a mouthful of marbles. It was tough, but I think TranscribeMe gave that file to properly test me. While not all speakers in the recordings you get will speak that badly, you should be prepared to encounter those types of speakers. And that’s what this test prepares you for.
It may seem pretty daunting, but remember, this is no mindless work. You need to be good enough to do this. To quote a shady character from Better Call Saul: “You want next-level pay? You've got to do next-level work.” But if you fail your exam, don’t worry. You can always retake it after six months.
Additional Training and Certification
As mentioned a while ago, your earnings through TranscribeMe will be pretty modest. But the main advantage of going through the site is that you will be able to build your own network. And when you go directly to clients, you will be able to charge more. Case in point: if you find lawyers and doctors who need transcribers. Transcribing legal and medical audio can earn you big bucks – there’s just one catch. Since these recordings are highly technical, clients will usually require transcribers who have completed the necessary training to handle these types of jobs. You can look online for legit training courses.
It might seem like a hassle having to go through this sort of training, but it’ll be worth it. I believe transcribing can earn you decent money, but the way to do so is to work towards handling legal and medical jobs.