Career Tips

How To Get Into Freelance Transcription Jobs

With the current economic status, a lot of people find it necessary to find extra ways to earn money. Some even choose to begin a new, much more fulfilling career. One way to ease some people’s financial challenges is by getting into and taking a chance at freelance transcription jobs.


For some, freelance transcription jobs may not exist. But in reality, especially in the work from home industry, transcription is one of the most popular work from home jobs. In fact, it can be profitable – with the right client, experience, and skills.


Getting into transcribing can be quite a challenge in the beginning especially with the fact that many companies require a particular number of words per minute to be considered for the job. But just like anything else in the world, with regular practice, eventually, you will be able to master the craft and earn as much as you can.




Just before we proceed on the steps on how to be a freelance transcriber, and knowing where to find a transcription gig, let us first and foremost, discuss what transcription is all about.


Transcription refers to the process of listening and converting a recorded file (either audio or video) into a written document. Basically, a transcriptionist job is to listen to a file and type down everything that is spoken or said in the file.


The written document is usually used for future reference or for proper documentation purposes.


There are three types of transcription jobs. They are General Transcription, Medical Transcription, and Legal Transcription.


General Transcription refers to converting any file that is not legal or medical-related. Mostly, these are corporate or company meetings, lectures, or speeches. Meanwhile, medical transcription refers to transcribing medical recordings usually coming from medical professionals like doctors and nurses. As with legal transcription, it usually refers to recordings from legal proceedings.


Among the three types of transcription jobs, if you want to earn more, you should go for medical transcription. However, for you to be able to land in a medical transcription job, you must first acquire a medical transcription certification program, which usually takes for a couple of months. After, you must take and pass the certification exam. Once done, only then can you start working as a medical transcriptionist.


Legal transcription, on the other hand, requires knowledge on legal terms. Unlike medical transcription, it does not require any certification. Same goes for general transcription – anyone is welcome to get into this regardless of educational and professional background as long as you meet the requirements for the job.


Starting Out


For someone who is new in this industry, a guide on how to get into freelance transcription jobs will help a lot. Thus, we came up with a simple step-by-step guide on how to be a work from home transcriptionist.


  1. Work on your typing skills.


The key towards succeeding in the transcription industry is to have a high typing speed. The faster you type, the better. That means more opportunities for you.


Listening and typing skills are two of the most important skills you should have when getting into transcription. You can never land in a transcription job when you type slowly.


Generally speaking, people have typing skills. Thus, it should not be quite a challenge. However, some companies are very strict. They have a specific required number of words per minute (usually at 60wmp).


Apart from speed, companies also look into you accuracy level. You know, while the ability to type fast is mandatory, you must also ensure that you transcribe accurately. Otherwise, your speed will not make sense.


Now, to be able to hone your typing skills, you may look into various free online typing tests and practice sessions. One example is We suggest you allot a particular time in a day that is for typing practice. We bet you, with regular practice, you will eventually master the art of transcribing, and be qualified for freelance transcription jobs.


  1. Look for a working space that is free from distraction.


Transcription is a serious matter. In order to be able to transcribe accurately, and earn more, you must designate a space where you can work on your tasks. Ideally, it must be a space or area at home that is free from distraction. While having a separate room as your home office is the best option, choosing an area with minimal to no distraction at all is nevertheless acceptable.


Note that as a transcriptionist, you will be working for long hours transcribing a file, which also means sitting down in front of the computer for a long time. Thus, it would be best if you ensure that you have a comfortable space – including your table and chair.


In addition, a good quality headset with a noise cancellation feature would also be very helpful to keep distractions at a very minimal level.


  1. Download/Install all necessary programs on your work computer.


Whether you are using a laptop or desktop computer, make sure that you have downloaded or installed all necessary transcription programs and software.


First, make sure you have a laptop or desktop computer with an operating system that is compatible to Microsoft Word. Second, while having Microsoft World is okay, installing Microsoft Office Suite would be ideal.


In addition, you will also need a media player so you would be able to listen to the audio or video files. Thus, make sure you have Windows Media Player or VLC on your computer. If you find yourself working on freelance transcription jobs for a very long time, we suggest you invest in some transcription equipment like the Infinity pedal, which lets you take control of the playback with your feet. Thus, making your hands free from anything else but typing. Also, you may consider buying a DSS player as well.


Now, once you are done installing the programs, make sure you practice using these programs and be proficient in using them. For instance, be proficient in using Microsoft Word. Learn the different formatting functions as well as keyboard shortcuts. Trust us, knowing these will make our transcription job so much easier. It will also help you complete your projects faster than usual.


  1. Setup a PayPal account.


Here’s the thing – most companies or clients pay via PayPal. It’s very rare to find a client that pays through a different channel or through depositing directly to your bank account. Having a PayPal account is also very convenient.


You do not have to worry about feed as signing up with PayPal is absolutely free of any charges. To be able to set up a PayPal account, you will need an active email address, a bank account, address, and of course, a mobile number.


Apart from receiving money, you can also use PayPal in sending invoices to your clients. Transferring from PayPal to your bank may take some time though. Also, some banks charge processing fees.


We have a suggestion though to avoid charges. We suggest you get a PayPal Prepaid MasterCard or the PayPal Debit Card.  Once you have any of these, all you have to do is link them up to your account. By doing so, you no longer need to transfer your money from PayPal to a bank account. Instead, you can now start spending your hard earned money.


  1. Update your resume.


Regardless if you will sign up on job listing sites that offer freelance transcription jobs or not, you will still need your resume. Some if not most clients usually ask for a copy of your resume. Thus, make sure to always keep an updated one handy.


If you are new to transcription, we suggest you highlight on your skills instead of work experience (because it won’t matter).


  1. Sign-up on job listing sites.


Later on, we will be sharing with you some of the most trusted sites that particularly offer freelance transcription jobs. We suggest you sign-up on your preferred site to make your work from home job search easier.


  1. Apply. Apply.


Once you are done with the first six items that means you are already up to start finding a freelance transcription job. Apply to as many companies as you want. The more applications you send, the greater your chances are in landing a work from home transcription job sooner.


Pay Rate


Generally, transcription is a well-paying work from home job. Apart from that, there are a lot of opportunities to earn money in this industry. To give you an idea, work from home freelance transcriptionist could earn around $15 per hour, while an advanced and more experienced one could earn between $25 and $30 per hour. With this kind of pay rate, you can easily earn as much as $1,500 monthly if let’s say you work 2.5 hours a day within 24 days.


In 2017, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics declared that the median annual salary of a transcriptionist was $35,250, which is about $16.95 per hour. Meanwhile, according to, the average salary rate of a transcriptionist is at $15.22 per hour.


If you come to think of it, that is already more than a reasonable amount of money considering that you do not work eight to nine hours a day. In fact, you get to enjoy the freedom of setting your own work schedule, and the freedom to choose how much load of work you are willing to do in a day.


Are you quite convinced about starting your freelance transcription career? Well, we wouldn’t be surprised if you do. There’s just too much this job has to offer anyway.


Freelance Transcription Jobs


Now that you already know the basic steps of getting into transcription jobs, let’s proceed to where exactly you are going to find the job. Below are some of the most well-known companies that offer freelance transcription Jobs.


  1. GMR Transcription


GMR Transcription offer freelance transcription jobs to all levels of proficiency. Whether you are new or experienced, you are welcome to join the team of transcribers at GMR. The work focuses mainly in converting general, legal, and medical audio recordings to written forms.


With GMR, the pay rate is based on the transcriber’s experience, which means if you are new, expect that your pay rate is a little lower. But the thing is, as you gain more experience, your pay rate increases as well. The company pays its freelance transcriptionists at around $0.7 to $1.25 per audio minute.


To qualify for the job, all you need to do is fill out the application form, which is available on their website, and take an online transcription test. Once selected for the job, the company will then decide how much your salary will be.


  1. Rev is very famous when it comes to online freelance transcription jobs. Rev offers unlimited earning opportunities. In fact, Rev is the online site that offers 24/7 credit to the network clients, which the company has gained over the years.


More than its clients, the company’s workers are even more satisfied with the way Rev handles things. The company is highly praised with how it allocated work to its pool of transcriptionists, and with their timely payments (which, by the way, is on a weekly basis).


Rev is probably one of the most sought after companies among transcriptionists. It’s like if you are working as a freelance transcriber, one of your goals or dreams is to work for Rev. If you want to know more about how to land a freelance transcription job with Rev, do check their site today.


  1. Quicktate


Quicktate offers a variety of transcription tasks from general audio files like conference calls, and voicemails, to more serious ones like legal and medical voice recordings.


While the company prefers hiring though with some background experience in transcription, newbies are still welcome to apply. To qualify, you must be very good at spelling and must have excellent grammatical skills.


  1. CastingWords


CastingWords offers not just freelance transcribing jobs, but translation works as well – which is quite evident in their company name. With CastingWords, you are assured of continuous workflow, as well as timely payments.


  1. Terescription


Terescription primarily deals with transcription tasks related to the entertainment industry like closed captions, as well as subtitles for television shows and movies.


Getting a transcription job with Terescription is possible bypassing the company’s test, which contains mainly of different tasks related to typing, grammar, and spelling. The tests will gauge your accuracy in these areas.


Apart from passing the application process, which includes the test, you should also ensure you meet the company’s technical requirements like a foot pedal, good quality internet, and high-speed internet connection.


  1. WeSribeIt


WeSribeIt specifically cater to medical transcription jobs – although they also offer tasks related to legal transcriptions. To qualify, candidates must have at least one year of medical transcription experience, must be able to meet the required 80 words per minute typing speed, and must be free from any criminal records. In addition, you must also be a resident of the United States.


  1. TranscribeMe


TranscribeMe is another popular transcription company. It is pretty much the same as other transcription companies except for the workflow. The company provides shorter audio files compared to other companies. The files usually take just a few seconds and as less a few seconds.


The only downside we see though is that once you are done with one task, you will have to wait for the next one. But if waiting for the next task is fine with you, this should not be a problem.


TranscribeMe pays out on a weekly basis through PayPal.


Scammer Alert


While there are a lot of legit companies that provides freelance transcription jobs out there, there are also bogus ones. Yes, as you probably know, the internet is not just a home for companies that provide opportunities, but also a home to scammers.


To ensure you do not fall into the trap of scammers, here are a few red flags to watch out for:


– When the job offer is too good to be true. Scammers usually give you everything that is ideal. Most of the time, the offer is too hard to resist. But be careful, because once you are in, you’ll most likely get trapped.


– When they do not provide you with company contact details. Legit transcription companies provide you with their contact information. However, when it’s bogus, they usually hide such information. So, when you look into their site and you see missing details especially contact information, take it as a cue that you might be dealing with a scammer.


– When they ask money prior to hiring you. This is probably the most obvious red flag that you are dealing with a scammer. Legit companies do not ask for money. Although some may require you to handle fee for background checks – this is very rare though.


Final Words


There are so many freelance transcription jobs out there. In fact, transcription is one of the most sought after work from home jobs. Whether you are a stay at home mom who wants to earn money while taking care of your kid or someone who wants to transition into working from home, for sure there is room for you in the transcription industry.


To end, getting into transcription is not as hard as you think as long as you are equipped with the right skills and qualifications.