Want to make a living from home? Well, becoming a transcriber could make you a decent income. But what does it involve and how much can you earn?
I am still looking for that golden opportunity that means I can work from home. I can imagine it now; it’s wet and dark outside and if I don’t fancy getting out of bed, so I don’t. And no longer do I have to spend half of my day stuck in traffic.
One option that appeared recently to me was transcribing. And being game for most things, I thought I would give it a go.
What is a transcriber?
My wife looked at me blankly when I explained I was giving transcribing a go, so let me explain.
Do you ever see the videos on Facebook which have the subtitles at the bottom? Well, many of those are written by transcribers. All you need to do is listen to some audio and then write down everything that’s said.
How to become a transcriber?
Not surprisingly, your first step is to find a transcribing company. There are plenty out there, but as always, make sure you check out reviews beforehand. For my (attempted) new career, I chose a company called Rev.
The dreaded T word. Like mystery shopping, transcribing isn’t for everyone. Because people will be relying on your written word, it’s important that you have a good grasp of the English language; not only spelling but grammar too.
Rev started off with a few simple spelling tests which steadily got harder. Then, just as I got to grips with that, they threw in some questions about sentence structure and grammar. It’s not my strong subject, but fortunately, there’s always Google to help. I’m not sure if that counts as cheating though…
Once that’s all over, you need to show them your transcribing skills. You’re given a 2 minute(ish) clip, which you need to transcribe. When you finish that, you click submit and hope for the best. Now, it’s just a matter of waiting to find out if you’ve passed or not.
Fortunately, within 2 hours, I was sent an email to say that I had been accepted as a transcriber. Which was just as well, otherwise this review would have been very short. And now was my chance to earn some money.
Transcribing provides plenty of opportunities to earn money. New jobs appear quite regularly, although you have to be quite quick to grab them. And transcribing means you can work from home and choose the hours that best suit you.
Complete 45 minutes of satisfactory transcribing with Rev and you move up a level and earn 25% more per audio minute. Another bonus of working with Rev is the regular pay. Every Monday you are paid for your previous week’s work.
Unlike a lot of the other money making ideas I look at, this one needs you to have a particular set of skills. Yes, you can look at Google if you don’t know how to spell a certain word, but you can’t keep checking. If you did, it would take you ages to transcribe. It also helps if you are a good listener and a quick typer. Both of which, I’m not.
So, how much does a transcriber get paid? This depends a lot on you. The quicker you are, the more you earn.
The majority of jobs pay around $0.50 per minute (just under 40 pence). So, a competent transcriber could earn around £24 per hour. However, I really struggled and earned far closer to £8 per hour. With practice, I’m sure I could pass the £10 per hour mark, but I don’t think I could go much further.
Will I continue transcribing?
I won’t be carrying on my career as a transcriber. When I look at ways to earn extra money, I look at 2 main factors;
- Is it enjoyable?
- Can I earn with little effort?
Transcribing requires a lot of concentration, so you really need to put aside a decent amount of time if you want to get through a video. As I have 3 children and a full-time job, it’s very difficult to do.
Plus, it’s not something I find particularly enjoyable. In fact, in can get very boring.
But, with all that said, transcribing is a viable way to make some decent earnings, especially for those with more patience than me.
Or take a look at How to make money on the side.