Transcription: What it is and how to make money from it

By becoming a transcriber, you may work from home as a typist who types papers based on audio recordings. You get to choose your working hours and how long you want to work while making a substantial amount of money. Who will say no to that? 

The ability to work whenever you choose, day or night, is one of the best aspects of becoming a transcriber. This implies that you can adjust to your timetable as you like. You may make money before kids get up in the morning after they go to bed at night, or at any time in between. As long as you can set aside a little time during the day, you can make money transcribing no matter the engagements you have during the day. 

If you’re interested in making money from home transcribing, then read on as I’ll highlight all you need to know in this article. 

What is transcription?

Transcription is the process of converting spoken words to a written format. It may be an audio or video recording, all you have to do is listen carefully and type what you hear. 

Transcription has become integral in many sectors, as there is a great need to preserve files in written form. Since many sectors including medical, legal, academic and so on, require transcription, there are subcategories in transcription to choose from. General transcribing, medical transcription, and legal transcription are all career options.

There are two categories of transcribing work. They include: 

  1. Verbatim

Verbatim transcription includes transcribing every text, including “umms, ahhs,” and laughs. 

  1. Non-verbatim

Non-verbatim transcription requires transcribing the pertinent material and making a few minor grammatical adjustments. 

How much do transcribers earn?

A lot of people will say they are in their career path due to the passion they have or the joy they derive from it. However, no one will stick to a career no matter how fulfilling it is if they can not make a living from it. We all need to eat, drink and cater to our basic needs, don’t we? 

So before deciding to become a transcriber, it is important to consider whether you can make money from it and how much exactly you have the potential to make. 

Pay rates for transcriptionists differ from company to company. Some charge by the minute or hour for audio or video, while others charge by the word. 

However, it is important to note that being paid per audio minute or hour is not the same as being paid per minute or hour. You need more than one minute to transcribe a file of one minute, but you get paid for the minute of recording you transcribe, not the actual time you take to transcribe. On average, it takes about 4 minutes to transcribe one minute of audio recording. 

So if a transcription company pays you a certain amount per minute, it doesn’t mean that you’ll earn that amount every minute but after transcribing a minute of audio file. This implies that you have extensive influence over your revenue. The quicker you can transcribe a media minute or audio hour the more proficient you become at transcribing. And it can result in you earning more money. 

As a seasoned transcriptionist, you may often earn between $15 and $25 per hour, whether you specialize in legal, general, or medical transcription. A transcriptionist who is just starting could make much less money. 

You may advance in the industry and take on more profitable transcribing assignments with some work and experience. The highest monthly earnings from the best transcribing jobs may be able to replace your day job.

Where can I learn transcription?

Without taking a course, you may undoubtedly get employment as a transcriptionist. Several businesses employ inexperienced beginning transcriptionists. 

However, people who enrol in top-notch transcribing classes will have a significant advantage when applying for higher-paying positions.

Before you even get your first job, the Transcribe Anywhere course (or a similarly excellent course) will educate you on how to be a professional transcriptionist.

Although there are many online transcribing jobs available, the best and highest-paid ones go to typists who are experts in their fields, so it may be worth your while to invest in transcription courses.

While the duration of each course varies, the Transcribe Anywhere course typically lasts between two and four months. Because you may complete the course at your speed, there is some variation in the time required. 

Companies that employ rookie transcriptionists

Many organizations employ novice transcriptionists. There are requirements for certain transcribing jobs. Before hiring you, several organizations in the transcribing sector need you to undergo assessments. 

Keep in mind that the majority of transcription firms use independent contractors for their transcriptionists. That implies that you will be in charge of maintaining a record of your earnings and outgoings.

Additionally, independent contractors are in charge of paying their taxes. For this reason, you’ll need to be sure to save some money from each paycheck. 

Some of the top companies that hire transcriptionists include Rev, GMR Transcription, Daily Transcription, GoTranscript, etc. 

How to succeed as a transcriptionist

The truth of the matter is, that you are not guaranteed easy money just because you are a transcriber, but you can earn easy money as a transcriber. There are several tips that if you incorporate into your journey to becoming a transcriber, would make you among the top in the field, which I will highlight below. These tips could very well be the difference between earning peanuts and making a living with transcription. 

1. Enrol in a good transcription course

Transcription courses could be expensive, but it is very worth it. With good transcription courses, you don’t have to go through all the hassles of being a rookie transcriptionist. They will teach you all the ropes, and some courses can give you information on how to attract high-paying jobs. 

2. Improve your typing speed

With transcription, the amount you earn depends on how you are since most companies pay by audio minute or hour. If you are a fast enough typist, you can transcribe faster than average and earn more money as a result. 

3. Aim for 100% accuracy

A great emphasis is laid on accuracy in transcription. The more accurate your work is, the higher your level as a transcriptionist. On the other hand, if you consistently submit work riddled with errors, it will bring down your level or even get you terminated. 

4. Use good equipment

A lot of people take for granted the amount of good a quality headset and foot pedal can do. If you want to earn a significant amount of money from transcribing, you must have all the required equipment. They will make your work much faster, and earn you more money as a result. 

5. Be reliable and consistent

Every company loves a good employee, and transcription companies are no exception. Not only will you get plus points with the company you are working for, but clients will much rather work with you. 

6. Choose a niche

Anyone can become a general transcriptionist by learning the basics and implementing them. But if you want to stand out from the crowd and earn more, you may need to specialize. Profitable niches include legal and medical transcription. On average, you can earn more as a legal or medical transcriptionist than a general transcriptionist. However, you may need to learn more difficult terminologies and undergo more specialised training to make it in these niches. 


It is feasible to work as a transcriptionist from home. But if you enrol in a good training program, you’ll make more money and become an expert faster. 

As you acquire expertise, you could be able to make $100 or more per day at work as a transcriptionist.

You may make more money with every week of experience, depending on your accuracy and word-per-minute typing speed as well as how well you can transcribe the media file. 

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Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa

Habibat Musa is a content writer with She writes predominantly on topics related to education, career and business. She is an English language major with keen interest in career growth and development.

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