There are a lot of different transcription jobs for beginners. Some companies offer amazing flexibility but low pay. Other companies have above average pay rates but with strict availability requirements.
Because each transcription opportunity is unique, what may work for one person won’t for another and vice versa.
So when you’re thinking about starting a work from home transcription career, it’s important to decide what is most important to you in a transcription opportunity as you gain experience.
1. Accutran Global
According to their website, they’re always interested in contracting with new transcribers. As I type this, they’d like to hear from US workers available to type between 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. EST. As part of the hiring process you need to answer a questionnaire and complete a three-minute sample test before you can get started.
As far as transcription jobs for beginners, this should be one to consider. Most of their files are on the shorter side and they pay bonuses for files that have foreign accents or are highly technical. Plus, a rate of pay of $0.005 per word for beginners translates to about $0.70 per audio minute or $42.00 per audio hour.
Remember, an audio hour and real hour are two very different things. But if you use the industry standard that it takes approximately four hours real time to type out an hour-long file, that offers a pay rate of about $10.50 per hour. Not stellar, I know, but considering that many companies will try to offer transcription jobs for beginners with a pay rate less than minimum wage, it’s certainly not bad.
Pros of Transcribing for Accutran Global
- Room for advancement and pay increases
- Software provided at no cost
- Fair beginning rate of pay
- Work scheduled based on availability
- No foot pedal required
Cons of Transcribing for Accutran Global
- Work varies with “peak” and “off-peak” seasons; work is not guaranteed at “off-peak” times
- Pay only once a month on the 15th via PayPal, check, or Bank of America Bill Pay
- Limited flexibility
- Must be transcribed in Word or have Mac software compatible with Word
- Must complete assigned work without interruption
Although Accutran Global prefers experienced transcribers, this is still very much an opportunity open to budding typists. If you can type a minimum of 70 words per minute and demonstrate an ability to fit into their mode of operation, you definitely have a shot of being accepted as a transcriber. With that being said, I don’t think this is the perfect beginner job for everyone.
If you’re looking for something flexible, this is not the opportunity for you. Given that Accutran Global expects that you accept work and return it within a time frame not to exceed six time its length, i.e., a five minute file needs to be returned within 30 minutes and a ten minute file would be due within an hour, etc., those who may have distractions or interruptions will find it difficult to meet these deadlines. In fact, their questionnaire that all potential typists must fill out states:
Our positions are not suitable for those with small children in their care.
The bottom line?
Accutran Global pays a fair rate of pay as far as transcription jobs for beginners goes and offers advancement opportunities, but given their lack of flexibility and seasonal availability of work it’s not suited to stay-at-home parents or individuals looking for concrete monthly income. However, if you have a four-hour block of time that is completely free of distractions, this would be a great opportunity to gain experience, make money, and possibly advance through the ranks.
TranscribeMe! is very much a beginner-friendly transcription company. They actually proclaim such on their website. This might be the perfect company to test the transcription waters, so to speak, as it has a super-easy sign-up process and user interface.
Pros of Transcribing for TranscribeMe!
- Request payout at any time via PayPal
- Super-flexible, work anytime you’d like as long as work is available
- No initial investment required
- Grow within the company
- User-friendly interface
Cons of Transcribing for TranscribeMe!
- Starting rate of $20.00 per audio hour
- Need to check Work Hub for available assignments
- Pay is reduced if work is rejected by editors
- Files are timed and if you exceed the time limit you lose the file and pay
- Files are small snippets of longer files, so audio may start mid-sentence or cut out mid-word
This type of work is all too common when it comes to transcription jobs for beginners: The pay rate is low, the files are short and the work is crowd sourced, meaning that it is uploaded to a pool and people claim it on a first-come-first-served basis.
The bottom line?
Might not be a good fit for those looking to earn serious money as a typist. However, given its easy sign-up and testing process and absolutely zero initial investment, it would be a good company to try your hand at transcription to see if it’s something you would enjoy doing on a more full-time basis.
Keep in mind, a $20.00 per audio hour pay rate translates to about $5.00 per actual hour if it takes you about four-times the length of files to transcribe it. But if you’re looking to gain experience and get a feel for transcription this would certainly be an easy site to do so.
Personally, I would recommend beginners to give this a shot for a short time frame, request their earnings via PayPal and move onto something that pays more per audio hour.
1-888-TYPE-IT-UP understands what the value of transcription work should be and this is reflected in their pay rates. According to their website, pay ranges between $36.00 per audio hour to a whopping $180.00 per audio hour. Again, thinking about the industry standard that it will take approximately four times the length of a file to transcribe it, you could possibly make $9.00 to $45.00 per hour. Even 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP is quick to admit that the $36.00 per audio hour rate is on the low side, but then again, it still far exceeds many other companies that offer transcription jobs for beginners.
Pros of Transcribing for 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP
- Better than most pay rates, $36.00 per audio hour is the LOWEST rate you’d receive
- Open to beginners who can pass their transcription test and meet their accuracy, formatting, and reliability standards
- Offers file-specific bonuses
- Pays twice a month (15th and last day of the month) via PayPal
- Values their transcriptionists and the work they provide
Cons of Transcribing for 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP
- Must have a foot pedal when starting out
- Can use the free version of Express Scribe but more work is given to those who purchase Express Scribe Pro
- Lengthy application process, test is emailed weeks after first receiving application
- Unique formatting for our transcripts that takes time to learn
- Does not offer second attempts if you fail the transcription test
Although experience is preferred, 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP is open to budding typists:
We completely understand the conundrum of needing experience to land a contract while needing to gain experience at the same time. After all, our first clients had to give us a chance too. As long as you can deliver good work and prove to be reliable while working from home, we are happy to work with you as one of our transcriptionists. Again, we prefer experience, but we do welcome new transcriptionists who can pass our test.
The bottom line?
This opportunity is worth the wait! Although it takes a couple of weeks to get emailed the transcription test after submitting an application, you’re unlikely to find any other transcription jobs for beginners that pays so well. Even their rock bottom rate of $36.00 per audio hour exceeds the highest rate of other companies when starting out–and keep in mind, their rates go as high as $180.00 per audio hour.
Take your time filling out the application and when you do receive your transcription test don’t rush. I know it’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you’re excited about an opportunity, but be sure to read and re-read the instructions, pay close attention to the style guide, and proof, proof, proof your final transcript before sending it in to be scored.
Remember, 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP is open to beginning typists, but only those who are reliable, accurate and can adhere to their strict style guides. So put your best foot forward with the test, even 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP reminds you:
Please be very careful reading the test instructions and taking your time with our short test. Although we receive hundreds of applications every week, most applicants fail our test as a result of not double checking their work.
If you pass, remember that a good headset and a foot pedal are both required in order to work for 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP. Although not necessary, more work is available for those who purchase Express Scribe Pro. You could purchase all these items separately or you can bundle a good headset, foot pedal, and Express Scribe Pro for around a hundred dollars.
These three companies are just a small sample of what you can expect to come across as far as transcription jobs for beginners goes. When you’re beginning your typing career, only you can decide what opportunities and qualities are most important to you in a transcription company.
For example, if you’re looking to supplement your income or are a stay-at-home parent, flexibility will likely be key. Remember to evaluate all the pros and cons of a particular company before jumping in. Once you gain experience, more opportunities will be available to you.
If you are truly interested in working from home as a typist, visit Transcribe Anywhere where you can learn how to start a lucrative transcription career — they even have a free mini course that shows you what it takes to be successful as a home-based typist!
Thank you for this information. I’ve been looking for another transcription company. I’ve been working for Castingwords for quite sometime now and I am not happy at all with how they treat their transcribers. Even if you researched all the needed info and followed their style guide but you missed just one punctuation, they’ll give you a low grade. If you complain about it, they will lower your Ppt score. They don’t like complaints. And, the pay is so low. It’s slave work.
Unfortunately, there are so many transcription companies that offer such low rates that it’s not possible to make a living wage. Aside from contracting with transcription companies, you should consider signing up for Upwork, Guru, or Freelancer. I often see transcription projects offered on these sites. It can take some time to become established, but once you do, you’ll be able to pick and choose which projects you work on and for a pay rate that you think is fair.
I would recommend Elance but they’ve merged with Upwork and recently announced they will stop accepting new freelancers and will eventually move all their Elance freelancers over to Upwork. I’m not as familiar with Upwork, but there are some great opportunities to be had on these sites.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with Castingwords. It’s always helpful to hear about experiences from others (good or bad!).
I was curious if you have a list of online research companies, I googled this opportunity and didn’t get very far. I m interested in a entry level job, that don’t require phones or customer service(I have extremely bad customer service skills). Thanks
I forgot to mention that LAC often has virtual research positions available, too! You can learn more about the requirements here.
Hope this helps!
Over the years, there have been a number of research companies that have come and gone. The only one I know of at the moment that is currently active and hiring is Wonder. You can learn more about them here
If you enjoy research, you may want to consider Search Engine Evaluation projects too. Although it’s not research, you will be given tasks to perform and need a good attention to detail to be successful. iSoftStone, Zero Chaos, Appen, Leapforce, and Lionbridge are all reputable companies. You can learn more about them all here.
I’m not sure where you live, but often times you can work as a Court Researcher which requires you to visit local courthouses and pull certain information. You would be paid per piece of information you retrieve. Some companies that hire court researchers to work remotely include:
Advanced Background Check
Jelly Bean Services
Tax Sales List
Let me know if you’re looking for anything else. I’m here to help!
Hey, here’s another trancription company: https://gotranscript.com/transcription-jobs/r/4069
Jennifer Neal says
I see 1888typeitup claims most applicants fail the test due to them not proofreading their work. I recently filled out the application and was emailed the test immediately. They also sent their “style guide” in the same email, and it wasn’t thorough at all. They did not go into specifics on quite a few things, so I’m pretty sure that has something to do with so many failing.
Here’s another company hiring entry-level transcriptionists https://gotranscript.com/transcription-jobs/r/4069
Great article Ashlee I really enjoyed it. I think I am considering to try one of this companies to see if I like it and can do it.
Thanks again 😉
1-888-Type-it-up now requires a non-refundable $15 fee to apply. Thought you may want to add that to the cons.
Ashlee Anderson says
Thanks for letting me know! That’s not OK to ask for a $15 application fee. Companies do this in attempt to say they are weeding out the truly interested applicants from the “looky Lous.” I never, ever recommend having to pay money just to submit your application. Good looking out! 🙂
Courthouse research jobs are totally slave labor because I worked for Wolfgang Research for 4 long months and it was a complete rip off. No reimbursement for travel or training and the first few months are training. It is a horrible job. I lost money doing it.
Hi, I thought I’d update the information on 1-888typeitup for those interested. The application fee is now $35 and most applicants still fail the test. I’m a very experienced transcriber and without a time limit, it’s hard for me to see how can so many people fail to transcribe a 2min 15sec audio (clear conversation, no background noise-according to them). It seems to me that hefty application fee has become somewhat of a revenue for them, considering they state they have hundreds of applicants a week. I can’t find reviews of current/former employees online or anything. I really think the high pay is a bait for people to pay the application fee. Just my two cents.
Ashlee Anderson says
Thanks for the updated information. I’m sure all those reading this are happy to learn about the application fee and the failure rate of the exam!
Julie Diorio says
Now it costs 59.99 in 2020 for the test that 1-888-TYPE-IT-UP offers. Really? And, it’s non-refundable. Do you really think it’s worth taking a test that you are not sure if you are going to pass or not and the fee is non-refundable? I heard they do pay well, but not sure if it’s worth it to spend that money.
Ashlee Anderson says
You read that right — the current price is now $59.99 up from around $30 a couple of years back. Honestly, I’ve heard of many people who pay the fee and never hear anything back from 1-888-Type-It-Up. I understand their reasoning for the fee but don’t agree with it. Other companies get hundreds of thousands of applicants and don’t charge job seekers a single penny. Also, I don’t understand the sharp increase in the fee? If they want to weed out applicants by charging, a nominal fee would be just as effective but instead they continue to raise their price. My advice? Don’t pay it. There are too many other companies out there you can get in with that won’t charge you to apply 🙂