Transcription is basically listening to audio files and typing the words into a word processing program. There are generally four types of transcription services:

  1. General – personal conversations, college lectures
  2. Medical – patient notes
  3. Legal – court hearings, depositions
  4. Business – meetings

It is much easier to start as a General Transcriptionist as Medical, Legal, and Business Transcriptionists may require either work or academic experience in the field. Patience is necessary to work as a transcriptionist as some audio files are difficult to understand. Transcription jobs are posted at a fixed rate per audio hour to be transcribed. You will not be paid this rate as an hour of recorded audio can take upwards of three hours for beginners to transcribe.

You will need a reliable internet connection to download audio files and most Transcriptionists use Express Scribe Transcription Software. It is described as a foot-pedal-controlled, digital transcription audio player and it is available as a free download. Necessary additional tools are a foot-pedal and a headset.

Both Express Scribe and Stenospeed have files you can use to practice your transcription skills. You can also gain some experience from jobs posted on the micro-jobs sites.


Best Transcription Courses Online


Transcribe AnywhereFinally: a truly all-inclusive online education system for general transcription. General Transcription: Theory & Practice™ is the first all-inclusive, multimedia education system for general transcription. Transcription isn’t for everyone. It’s not the easy job the scammers make it out to be. To make real money doing this — money that’s actually worth your time spent — you need training. General Transcription: Theory & Practice includes everything you need to not just learn about transcription, but how to become an excellent transcriptionist — one that actually gets hired. Transcribe Anywhere is one of the online transcription schools that is approved by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers.




Transcription Certification InstituteThe Transcription Certification Institute was launched in November 2008. It was started by a group with over 15 years of experience as transcriptionists, proofreaders, and transcription company ownership. Each partner had its own realm of experience. The company owner felt the need for trained transcriptionists. The transcriptionist and proof-reader wanted someone to guide them through the initial stages and give them relevant experience. Together, the concept blossomed. With all of this experience under our belts, it is our intent to provide you with the experience you need in order to become a great general transcriptionist. All lessons and quizzes are available online and can be completed in any part of the US. We will teach you to become a transcriptionist by providing you with online training in order to give you the experience you need for a very low fee of $399. We cover areas such as MS Word, grammar, punctuation, spelling, typing speed, and privacy guidelines.


Udemy: Many people want to earn money from home, but they don’t know how to get started. How to Become a Transcriptionist teaches you how to start your transcription career as a subcontractor for transcription companies, giving you the opportunity to work from home on a part-time or full-time basis. This course will go over the skills you’ll need to become a professional, what companies are looking for, and how to recognize the type of companies you want to work with.




Ashworth College: Our quick and affordable Medical Transcription training will give you the skills you need in as few as 4 months. Learn basic medical procedures, terminology, disorders, and treatments. Listen to realistic, audio-taped notes of actual patient cases. The program includes the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS)certification exam and Exam Guide, at no extra cost. Prepare for a respected career in doctors’ and dentists’ offices, clinics, hospitals, transcription services, or enjoy flexible hours in a home-based business! Ashworth’s career-oriented medical transcription courses help you get ahead.


Best Transcription Job Sites


Transcribe Me: We offer the opportunity to be a part of our unique community at one of the best transcription companies and create lasting connections with professionals all over the world. All you need is a computer, a reliable Internet connection, and the ability to transcribe audio and video in any of the languages that we support. We are highly acclaimed by leading ‘work from home’ authorities for our intuitive platform, regular payouts, and steady work stream. We have the industry’s best rates, with earnings starting at $15-$22 per audio hour and top monthly earnings at $2,200 (average monthly earnings are $250). Transcriptionists with specialized backgrounds in Medical & Legal are paid a higher rate. We believe in promotion from within. Our transcriptionists enjoy their work and have career advancement opportunities. Gain insight into various industries and boost your resume for any job market. Develop your skills, and grow into higher paying projects and positions. We’re a leading work from home employer thanks to our intuitive platform, regular payouts and steady work stream. Joining doesn’t cost a penny – all you need to get started is reliable Internet and a computer! An informative online training program will introduce the Transcriptionist Portal and will take you through the Style Guide. After you have taken an exam to prove accuracy with transcribing audio and following style guidelines, you’ll be given short chunks of audio to transcribe, and you can begin earning and monetizing your downtime! We pay regularly and securely via PayPal. Keep track of earnings in real time and know exactly how much has been accumulated. Request payment at any time and receive money in $USD via PayPal for all the work completed on a weekly basis.



SpeakWriteSpeakWrite is an online transcription company that serves over 65,000 legal, government, law enforcement, and other private sector clients. SpeakWrite independent typist contractors enjoy the flexibility of working from home, setting their own hours, balancing work and family demands and make great money too. Applicants must pass a typing test with a minimum speed of 60 words per minute with 90% accuracy for your application to be considered. You must be a legal resident of the US or Canada to apply. We do not contract with off-shore typists. You must be fluent in English and possess a strong working knowledge of English grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You must be proficient in Microsoft Word 2007 or newer, including advanced formatting features. You must possess excellent listening skills and be comfortable working independently. Due to the sensitive nature of our work, all typists must CLEAR Federal, State, and Local background checks. Background checks are performed on all company personnel and independent contractors and are conducted by a 3rd-party vendor at our expense. If you successfully complete the evaluation and testing process, you will be asked to submit a Waiver allowing us to proceed with the checks. Credit and driving histories will not be checked. SpeakWrite will not see the results, nor will the results ever be shared.

1-888-Type-It-Up: At 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP we know that transcription requires hard work and skill. Contrary to what other transcription companies will have you believe, transcription isn’t just something anyone can do. As such, we’re looking for the best and brightest. We have many talented transcriptionists on our current team, but we’re always looking for new talent too. The #1 most frequently asked question by applicants is, how much do you pay? Although our focus is on quality and accuracy, we understand the practicality of knowing whether our transcription work will be worth your while. Our transcriptionists make $30 to $180 per audio hour, and we strive to pay at least $1 to $2 per audio minute ($60 to $120 per audio hour) and higher when possible. Pay rates vary per assignment depending on how much clients are willing to pay. Please keep in mind that we cannot pay 100 percent of what our clients pay, as we do have to pay transcript editors and project managers as well as a number of fees associated with doing business. In addition, costs for search engine advertising are extremely high, ranging anywhere from $5 to $25 per click every time anyone, even a job seeker, clicks on an ad in Google, Bing or Yahoo. All that said, you should know that every day we are behind the scenes fighting for you all to make the wage you deserve despite our unethical competitors’ efforts to tear down the transcription industry. That’s why our transcription wage of $30 to $180 per audio hour far surpasses that of our competitors who only pay $10 to $24 per audio hour.



Casting Words: Transcribe, edit, and complete other short jobs online, at your own pace. Work as much or as little as you want, when you want. No fees – we pay you, you don’t pay us. Our workers are the (not-so) secret ingredient of! They do the transcribing, editing, QA and more. They can work from anywhere they have a computer and Internet access, and on their own time. No obligations! Pay varies widely based on a number of factors, including what type of job you do, what level you have reached, and what grade you earn. We have different categories of jobs, including grading, editing, and transcription. Within each category, jobs at different skill levels have different pay rates. Editing jobs and most transcription jobs are bonus-based, meaning that the better you do, the more you get paid.



Verbal Ink: Since 2003 we have been providing high quality, trusted transcription for thousands of clients worldwide. Whether you are a top tech company, small business, academic, researcher, or non-profit, we can customize our services to fit your needs. We guarantee your complete and total satisfaction. Our impeccable accuracy, affordability, and personalized customer service make us one of the top leaders in the transcription services industry. We’re always looking for highly skilled linguists to add to our growing team. offers a great opportunity to augment your income by transcribing audio files for us. The work involves listening to the audio files and typing it as accurately as possible. You just need to go through a test process and get certified as a transcriber. Once certified you will be paid for the files you transcribe on an audio hour basis. For each submission, your account will be credited with the appropriate dollar amount. Your earnings will accumulate and you can transfer it to your PayPal account anytime. From PayPal, the funds can be transferred to your bank account. There are no monthly commitments or minimum withdrawal limits. Payments are made once a day. If you are an experienced transcriber and have spare time, then can help you to fill that up. If you are starting your career as a transcriptionist then you can gain valuable experience and hone your skills on We have transcribed more than 3,115,775.60 minutes of audio since 2008 and have paid around $1,513,635.66 to our certified transcribers. Around 25,987 home-based freelancers from all around the world have successfully cleared our transcription test to date.


Daily TranscriptionDaily Transcription has been providing quality transcription and translation services for over a decade. Our history shows the thoroughness with which we work for our clients, accomplishing their needs. We have transcribed millions of hours of footage for thousands of clients.  In fact, you might say we have perfected the art of transcription and translation so much that our competitors have tried to copy our systems. What sets us apart is we don’t outsource overseas, we use real American transcribers and we pay a living wage. We don’t use bots or voice recognition software either. This enables us to have the top transcriptionists and translators in the country. We pride ourselves in providing the highest level of customer service to every client. Our goal is to provide you with excellent customer service and the highest level of quality – no matter how big or small the job. We carefully vet our transcribers and translators and we only retain about one percent of those who apply. All of our work is 98% accurate or better. Our qualified and diverse team of transcribers and translators have many backgrounds and experiences in various industries. This enables us to match the right person or people to the job. As a transcription freelancer at DT, you’ll be assigned work based on the amount time you sign up for on our scheduler. We’ll send you a notification via email when the audio/video files are ready for transcribing.  Your job will be transcribing the files you are assigned once logged in the assignment directory folder. The media content, style, subject, pay rate, and the due date will all be listed upfront so you can decide if it’s a good fit for you or not.



Allegis TranscriptionAllegis specializes in transcription for all types of businesses. Our work-from-home transcriptionists transcribe recorded audio interviews between our customers and their clients. We typically have a steady stream of orders — around 150,000 verbatim-style pages each month. If you’re looking for ongoing freelance transcription jobs and a great engaged team to be a part of, Allegis could be for you. As an independent contractor transcriptionist for Allegis, you can select your own jobs and work on your schedule. Plus, our responsive support team is focused on your success — and we’re here to help every step of the way. Independent contractors work from US-based locations of their choosing, utilizing their own computing system and high-speed internet connection.




Tammy Wunsch - Expat Writer
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