19 Best Online Transcription Jobs for Beginners To Make Money

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Do you have great attention to detail? Can you type fast and accurately? If so, check out the best online transcription jobs.

Side view of woman using a laptop at table working on a transcription job.

Thinking about becoming a transcriptionist?

I don’t blame you.

Like its cousin proofreading, transcription is fast becoming one of the best typing jobs to make money from the comfort of home.

The best part? There are so many online transcription jobs for beginners which require no previous experience and no qualifications to start.

To make your life easier, I’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of only the best and most legit websites for online transcription jobs.

What You Need to Become a Good Transcriptionist

Though you do not need any experience to work as a transcriptionist, to succeed in the industry, you will need the appropriate skills.

First and foremost, this means the ability to type both quickly and accurately. For beginners, a typing speed of 65 words per minute is adequate, but you’ll want to shoot for 75-90 wpm.

It also means strong English language skills, as well as powerful concentration skills, and excellent time management.

Additionally, while you do not need lots of expensive equipment or transcription software beyond a high-speed internet connection and a word processor like Microsoft Word, there are two things you will want to consider acquiring, which will make the job easier and more lucrative.

The first is a foot pedal, which will allow you to stop, start, fast forward, and rewind an audio recording using your feet. The second is a headset, which will allow you to focus on a recording and block out all other distractions.

Want to know more about what you need to be a good transcriptionist? Check out my complete guide on How to Become a Transcriptionist with No Experience.

19 Best Online Transcription Jobs for Beginners

If you have the appropriate skills, you can begin to work as a transcriptionist right away.

Below are the 19 best websites to make this happen! All are free to join, all have work available, and all pay reliably.

Plus, most of them offer ways to earn more money as you gain experience.

Pro Tip: Many of the best transcription jobs are listed with their pay per audio hour. This is not the hourly rate but rather the rate paid to transcribe one hour of audio. An audio hour might take a beginner up to eight hours to transcribe, and someone more experienced up to four hours.

1. TranscribeMe

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $15-$22 per audio hour
Payment method: PayPal

TranscribeMe is one of the most well-known platforms for online transcription jobs for beginners out there. To get started, all you have to do is pass a basic English exam.

From there, TranscribeMe will provide you with short, 2–4-minute audio or video files to be transcribed directly within the platform. As you finish one, another appears, and you are free to do as many or as few as you like. Payments for completed work are made once a week through PayPal.

The pay is not spectacular for those just starting out – only about $15-$22 per audio hour – but TranscribeMe does provide opportunities to work on specialty projects which earn higher rates as you gain experience.

On top of that, they offer numerous free resources to help you improve your skills, meaning beginners can, in effect, train to be a transcriptionist before seeking higher pay.

2. Transcription Hub

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $0.75 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal

Working with Transcription Hub means you will be transcribing for luminaries like The New York Times, Walmart, the US Army, and universities like Harvard and Stanford.

To start working here, you will first have to complete an evaluation, from which you will earn a rating – either Gold, Silver, or Bronze. Make sure to do as well as you can on this evaluation; the rating you earn will directly impact which online jobs are available to you and how much you earn.

In fact, Transcription Hub does not have a fixed rate of pay for its transcription jobs. Instead, you will be paid based on your rating, as well as how quickly and efficiently you do the work.

For most, the average pay is about $0.75 per audio minute or $45 per audio hour. Payments are made twice every month through PayPal.

3. Rev

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $0.30-$1.10 per audio minute
Payment method: PayPal

Rev is one of the best places for independent contractors to find online transcription jobs, and in fact, they currently provide work to over 72,000 freelance transcriptionists.

They explicitly specify that you do not need “prior experience or special qualifications” to get a job.  All you need to do is pass a quiz and complete a quick sample transcription, and you will be ready to go! Note that the sample transcription must be completed following Rev’s styling rules. Don’t worry, though, they provide you with a style guide.

From there, you will find hundreds of transcription jobs to choose from; simply make your own schedule and do as many or as few as you’d like.

Rev’s pay is respectable for beginners – with jobs ranging from $0.30 to $1.10 per audio minute – and you will be paid via PayPal every Monday for files transcribed the previous week.

4. CastingWords

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $0.08-$1.00 per audio minute
Payment method: PayPal

The best part about CastingWords is that while their base pay is nothing special, they make it easy to earn extra money on every job, even for beginners.

First, their transcription jobs are bonus-based – the better you do, the more you get paid! For example, if your work receives the highest grade possible, you will receive three times the base pay. On top of that, earning good grades on your work will raise your badge level, which will allow you to access higher-paying jobs.

To sign up, all you need to do is provide some basic information and pass a short transcription test.

Note, you can work for CastingWords from any country which accepts the PayPal Mass Payment system.

However, in the United States, CastingWords is unavailable in California, New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.

5. GoTranscript

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $0.60 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal or Payoneer

Founded in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2005, GoTranscript has become one of the largest transcription companies in the world. It’s true; while some companies brag about five or ten million minutes transcribed, GoTranscript has transcribed nearly 150 million minutes – almost 275 years! – for over 20,000 customers.

Because of their size and reach, GoTranscript hires transcriptionists from all around the world. And in fact, it allows you to work as a transcriber in over 60 languages. If you speak multiple different languages, GoTranscript may be the perfect platform for you.

To apply, you will have to take a test. Once accepted, you will have a pretty much unlimited cache of remote transcription jobs from which to choose.

As GoTranscript says, “We get new transcribing jobs every day. You’ll always have something to work on.”

You can receive weekly payments via both PayPal and Payoneer for all work completed.

6. Speechpad

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $0.25-$2.50 per audio minute
Payment method: PayPal

Many transcriptionists who start working with Speechpad have the same experience – you sign up, pass their basic transcription and grammar tests, then open their Job Board to peruse available work, only to find that many of the jobs pay very little, and those which pay more, you need to be qualified for.

Don’t stress! Speechpad actually provides totally free qualification tests, which you can take at any time. You can even go into a job you’d like to do and click ‘Get Qualified’ directly within the posting to take the required test.

In other words, by taking as many free qualification tests as possible, you can start making more money right away!

How much more money? Well, entry-level jobs on Speechpad usually pay somewhere around $15 per audio hour, while jobs you need to qualify for can go up to $150 per audio hour!

7. CrowdSurf

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $0.15-$0.30 per audio minute
Payment method: PayPal or direct deposit

CrowdSurf is the transcription company where you get paid to transcribe by the second. Seriously. Their audio clips range from 5-30 seconds, and you get paid on an ongoing basis through PayPal or direct deposit to your bank account.

Admittedly, the pay is low – often under $10 per audio hour for beginners. However, because the audio clips you will be transcribing are so short, CrowdSurf may be the perfect place to make a little extra cash if you have a few free minutes throughout the day, much like online survey sites.

Plus, you have the opportunity to increase your pay rate by producing high-quality work. This will increase your Quality Control score and earn you access to high-priority jobs with higher payouts.

To start, all you have to do is complete a brief assessment, which usually takes between 3-5 days to process.

8. Scribie

Transcription Level: Beginner
Pay Rate: $5-$20 per audio hour
Payment Method: PayPal

Scribie employs a 100% remote workforce of over 40,000 transcribers around the world.

Why are they so popular amongst transcribers? The answer may be how easy they make the transcription process.

Their secret is that they use AI to create automated transcripts of audio files. Rather than starting from scratch, transcribers go over the automated transcripts, which are 60%-90% accurate, and check for mistakes.

And if you perform well as a transcriber, you can be promoted to Reviewer, Proofreader, and Quality Check.

This means you can earn your way further down the line in the editing process and make your job even easier while making more money.

Their interactive sliding scale estimates your earnings based on the hours you want to put in and your experience level.

Payments for completed work are made once a day through PayPal.

9. AccuTran Global

Transcription Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Pay Rate: $0.004-$0.0055 per word
Payment Method: PayPal or check

Unlike some of the other platforms on this list, AccuTran Global does not pay by audio minute or audio hour, but by the number of words transcribed. If you are someone who can transcribe at high speeds, this might be the platform for you.

If you can transcribe 60 words per minute, you would be making approximately $15 per hour with their entry-level rate of $0.004 per word. Transcribe at 90 wpm, and you would be earning over $20 per hour.

Even better, AccuTran Global pays a 20% bonus for more difficult audio and further bonuses for high-quality work, meaning you could make even more! You will receive payments on the 15th of every month through PayPal or via check.

To apply, simply go to their website and see what openings are currently available, then email your resume to their RT Manager.

10. Quicktate/iDictate

Transcription Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Pay Rate: $0.0025 per word for Quicktate; $0.005 per word for iDictate
Payment Method: PayPal

Quicktate and iDictate are affiliated transcription platforms under the same parent company. The difference between the two is that Quicktate deals with audio files shorter than five minutes, while iDictate handles everything longer than five minutes.

To apply, first fill out their form telling them about yourself. You will need to provide three references, though these references do not have to be from the transcription industry. Then, take their test. Pass this test, and you will become qualified to accept jobs on Quicktate.

If you do particularly well on the test, you will have the chance to qualify for iDictate.

You’ll definitely want to try to qualify for iDictate, as their pay rate is twice as high as Quicktate.

Once you are in, you will have to complete a background check in order to begin working, which comes with a $20 fee.

11. Ditto Transcripts

Transcription Level: Intermediate
Pay Rate: $0.80-$1.10 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal or direct deposit

Earlier this year, Denver-based Transcription Outsourcing LLC changed its name to Ditto Transcripts in order to better reflect the “personal touch” the company has become famous for.

Certainly, this personal touch is evident on their website, where they remind us that “Brontosauruses were once the largest creatures on Earth. Look how they turned out,” and assert, “machines should wash underwear or make toast, nothing more.”

They are more than just quirkiness, though. For transcriptionists, they are an opportunity to earn between $0.80 and $1.10 per audio minute, or even more, based on the complexity of the work. In fact, Ditto advertises that they pay up to $5 per audio minute for some high-priority jobs or those with fast turnaround times.

To apply, you need to pass an initiation test, then wait for them to contact you if they think you are a good fit.

12. 3Play Media

Transcription Level: Intermediate
Pay Rate: Unknown
Payment Method: Direct deposit or check

Ok, so let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way. Nowhere on their website does 3Play Media reveal how much they pay their transcriptionists.

Yes, they catch the eye by asserting that they pay “three to four times more than other transcription services.” Yet, former employees on sites like Indeed state that their pay was more like $15-$20 per work hour. Not bad, but probably not “three to four times more” than you can make elsewhere.

With all of this mystery, why bother trying to work with 3Play Media?

The answer is that it is the perfect platform to try if you are finding online transcription jobs to be overly difficult because of poor audio quality. At 3Play Media, the quality of the audio you will be transcribing is “unmatched,” removing at least one potential hurdle to completing jobs and getting paid.

13. GMR Transcription

Transcription Level: Intermediate to Expert
Pay Rate: $0.75-$1.25 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal or direct deposit

In operation since 2004, GMR Transcription provides services to an impressive list of clients – Amazon, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Chevron … I could go on.

But maybe my favorite thing about the company is that they are certified as a women and minority-owned business, meaning they’re more than 51% owned, operated, and managed by women and traditionally underrepresented minority groups.

You do not explicitly require experience to work for GMR Transcription. However, you must pass a strict transcription test. ‘Strict’ being the operative word – the company asserts that “most people passing our tests have years of experience or have been certified in general transcription.”

They don’t officially disclose pay rates until you’re hired. But according to former employees, transcriptionists earn $0.75-$1.25 per audio minute. Plus, GMR Transcription advertises that their transcriptionists typically earn between $1,000 and $3,000 per month, with an opportunity to earn even more with experience!

14. Transcription Panda

Transcription Level: Intermediate to Expert
Pay Rate: $0.77 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal or Upwork

According to TechRadar, Transcription Panda is the transcription platform that “gives other services a black eye.”

Hilarious panda puns aside, the company has been growing steadily, increasing their customer base and the number of freelance transcriptionists they employ every quarter since they were first established in 2016.

For transcriptionists, the application process is one of high standards. First, you will have to provide some personal information, then complete a comprehensive transcription test.

Afterwards, they may or may not contact you – don’t feel too bad if they don’t; they don’t follow up with everyone who applies.

Although it may be more difficult to get a job as a transcriptionist here, the opportunity to work for one of the prominent up-and-comers in the industry could make it worth it.

15. Way with Words

Transcription Level: Intermediate to Expert
Pay Rate: $0.45-$1.73 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal

One thing I like about Way With Words is they are not afraid of who they are. As they put it, “Some people think you have to be slightly crazy to transcribe, but we like crazy!”

Does this sound like you? Well then why not apply!?

Way With Words asserts that “previous transcription experience is not essential” to being accepted as a transcriptionist with their company. However, everyone they hire for both freelance and full-time work is meticulously vetted through a painstaking application process.

If you are accepted, you will be personally trained by a member of their recruitment team; if you aren’t an expert at the start, you will become one quickly.

Currently, Way With Words is looking for English-speaking transcribers from the United States, Canada, the UK, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

16. Babbletype

Transcription Level: Intermediate to Expert
Pay Rate: $0.40-$0.80 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal

If Way With Words is the transcription platform that embraces “crazy,” then Babbletype is something of the opposite. In their words, they “strive to be boring,” aiming for “consistency, dependability, and reliability above all else.”

Hey, whatever works; they have been an industry leader for more than 20 years.

Babbletype is very selective when hiring transcriptionists, requiring an extremely detailed application covering everything from your work history to “your life situation and goals.” Crucially though, they don’t focus on the experience of applicants but rather their skill level. You don’t need years of experience if you’ve got the ability.

If you get a job, you will need to transcribe a minimum of four hours of audio per week. However, it is worth noting for those looking for a more full-time gig that Babbletype does not always have steady work available – they go through busy and less busy periods.

17. SpeakWrite

Transcription Level: Intermediate to Expert
Pay Rate: $0.005 per word
Payment Method: Direct deposit or check

SpeakWrite was founded in 1997 by a man with 30 years of experience as a commercial litigator, and today specializes in transcription services for the legal, law enforcement, and protective services industries, including such clients as the FBI, the American Bar Association, and the California Police.

In other words, if your main concerns when looking for online transcription jobs are potential scams and unsavory actors, SpeakWrite may be the best choice for you.

To apply, you must have at least one year of transcription experience and will have to complete both a typing test and a few sample transcriptions.

If you get a job here, you will be able to work by choosing shifts, which are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Shifts can be signed up for up to two weeks in advance, and you must complete at least 15 hours per month.

18. Averbach Transcription

Transcription Level: Intermediate to Expert
Pay Rate: $1.00-$1.50 per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal

Averbach Transcription is a platform you will want to take a look at as you begin to gain experience in the transcription industry.

Their application process is relatively intense. You will have to transcribe a difficult five-minute audio file filled with heavy accents and poor audio quality, and you’ll have only 20 minutes to do it.

But if you pass, they offer competitive pay – they boast that their transcriptionists make $20-$30 per work hour – and provide the tools and training to improve efficiency and help you make even more money.

One downside of Averbach Transcription is that their website is very sparse, lacking information that many other platforms provide. However, concern over this sparsity can be somewhat assuaged by the fact that reviews of the company from both customers and transcriptionists are generally favorable.

In fact, Averbach Transcription currently enjoys a 4.5/5 “Excellent” rating on Trustpilot.

19. Pioneer Transcription Services

Transcription Level: Intermediate to Expert
Pay Rate: $1+ per audio minute
Payment Method: PayPal

It’s not just a clever name. In business since way back in 1990, Pioneer Transcription Services is truly a pioneer in the transcription game. In fact, they were one of the first companies to offer digital transcription, and today, they enjoy an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

While they do not list their pay rate on their website, according to former employees, transcriptionists will earn at least $1 per audio minute, and often even more than that.

Their application process is quite challenging, with a higher level of experience and competency expected.

First, you will have to fill out a detailed application form, including references if you have them. If they contact you back, you will then have to pass a detailed transcription test before being added to their list of subcontractors and gaining access to their available jobs.


How much do online transcribers make?

Transcribing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it is a great way to make extra money from the comfort of home.

When just starting out, you can expect to make somewhere between $10 and $20 per hour using the platforms on this list.

However, many platforms offer opportunities to gain access to higher-paying jobs and extra income as you gain experience – it is not unusual for skilled transcriptionists to make $30 per hour or more with a little experience.

How do I become an online transcriptionist?

These days, it is so simple to become an online transcriptionist, even if you have no experience.

Just pick one of the websites on this list and get started!

Depending on how long the application process takes on the platform you choose, you could make money transcribing in anything from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, even a couple of minutes in some cases.

What qualifications do you need to be a transcriptionist?

You do not need any qualifications to work as a general transcriptionist. That said, receiving some level of training or certification is never a bad idea.

Becoming a more qualified transcriptionist is a great way to enhance your capability and confidence and make you more appealing to platforms and potential customers.

If you’re serious about trying to make money as a transcriptionist, I would highly recommend starting with this TOTALLY FREE workshop from Transcribe Anywhere.

It’s time to get started!

There are so many online transcription jobs waiting for you out there; the only thing left to do is pick a platform from this list (or more than one) and get started!

Want to know more about becoming a freelance transcriptionist? Check out my definitive guide on How to Become a Transcriptionist with No Experience.

Or maybe you want to work with words in another way. Check out:

Either way, let me know how it’s going in the comments below. I respond to every single one!

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  1. Which website would you say is the best? The second best? There are so many to choose from it would be great if you could rank them – maybe in terms of the payout in a standardized way so we can better compare.

    1. It’s hard to say which one is best, as it depends a lot on you level of experience and qualifications. A great website for beginners might not suited for someone with a medical transcriptionist qualification and 5 years experience.

  2. Washington says:

    Hello, I adore your blog! I can totally relate to this as I work as a medical assistant for a full-service BPO company.