Maybe you’re scared that you can’t earn a good income doing transcription or that you don’t have enough experience to get hired.
I understand. When I first started researching becoming a transcriptionist, I asked myself many of these questions. I learned that transcription could be a great fit for me as a stay at home mom due to its flexibility and income potential.
Over the years I earned thousands of dollars transcribing from home while staying home with my kids. I’m so glad I dug deeper into debunking many of these myths about working from home as a transcriptionist so that I could be a transcriptionist.
I even created a Udemy course about how to become a transcriptionist.
Myth #1 Working from home as a transcriptionist is a scam
People sometimes put the phrase “work from home” with “scam.” A scam is when someone takes advantage of someone else by promising quick high, returns for little or no work – in exchange for money. Victims of scams are often desperate for money or inexperienced.
Legitimate transcription jobs from reputable companies aren’t a scam. Fortune 500 companies, colleges, small businesses, and media companies need people to transcribe their interviews, forums, focus groups, etc. into easy to read transcripts. So they hire transcription companies with experienced transcriptionists to do so.
Transcription isn’t easy work, and you won’t get rich quickly. You can, however, earn a decent wage and have a very flexible schedule. To earn a good income, you need to be professional, a quick and accurate typist and pay attention to details like grammar and punctuation.
There are some uncouth transcription companies and clients who take advantage of those new to the field. I recommend researching any company you’re applying to or any new client you’re taking on. A good place to start is to look for online reviews for that company or ask around on transcription forums or Facebook groups.
Be wary if you see any of the following red flags from companies:
- They sound too good to be true and pay well over the industry average.
- They offer to train or mentor you for a fee
- Their practice tests are over an hour. They might just be trying to get free work.
- Their websites or emails have poor English and grammar
Myth #2 I need expensive training and accredidation
One advantage of general transcription over medical or legal transcription is that you don’t need any special training or accreditation.
General transcription companies hire you based on your resume and cover letter, previous experience, and how well you perform on their practice audio test. And private clients don’t ask for accreditation.
There are many courses online teaching you how to be a transcriptionist. The truth is that you can find most of the information you need on working from home as a transcriptionist for free online through transcription Facebook groups and forums. Start with our beginner’s guide to becoming a transcriptionist.
Paid courses put everything in one place so that you’re not spending time hunting for information. They often give you a roadmap that shows how to get started along with practice exercises.
While some courses are hundreds of dollars, others like my How To Become a Transcription Course are less than $20.
Not sure if a course is worth the money? Learn the type of courses you should invest in.
Myth #3 It’s expensive to start out
In my opinion, you can make anything expensive.
One summer I detassled corn to earn money. There was an older kid there who had spent last season’s paycheck on expensive clothing and gear. He said that it made him more efficient. In my opinion, he was just spending money on things that didn’t add enough value to justify the cost.
Starting out in transcription or any other business can be like that. You can start out small and upgrade as you earn money, or you can go all in when you’re still not sure if it’s right for you. Can you guess which camp I’m in?
Starting out as a transcriptionist doesn’t take a lot of money. The only thing I invested in when I was learning about transcription was a cheap pair of headphones. I used a free version of Express Scribe audio player and waited to buy a foot pedal until I had a job.
After I was earning a decent income, I saw that I could improve my productivity and increase my income by upgrading to better tools. So I bought better headphones and productivity software.
I highly recommend bootstrapping any transcription expenses until you’re earning money to invest back into your business.
Myth #4 I won’t get hired if I don’t have any transcription experience
Many transcription companies want to hire transcriptionists with experience. However, there are some beginning transcription companies who hire beginners like:
If you’re a beginner, I recommend doing the following to increase your chances of getting hired:
- Practice transcribing before applying to companies
- Organize your resume so that you highlight previous secretarial or word processing experience
- Do one or two smaller transcription jobs before applying to companies
Myth #5 I can’t earn a good income as a transcriptionist
Companies like MTurk or other low-paying transcription companies have given transcription a bad name. It’s true that on these platforms it’s a race to the bottom and hard to earn any decent income.
Earning a decent income through transcription is possible. You need to focus on improving your transcription skills so that well-paying companies and clients will hire you.
I routinely earned $15-$25/hour working as a general transcriptionist for a company. I could have earned even more if I had specialized in legal transcription or brought on my own clients.
My expenses when I worked from home were lower because I didn’t have commuting costs, a professional wardrobe or childcare costs.
The key to making a good income as a transcriptionist is to have a few different companies or clients that you’re working for so that if work becomes slower at one company, you have others to fall back on.
Want to learn more about working from home as a transcriptionist?
If you’re interested in starting a transcription career, join my Udemy course How to Become a Transcriptionist. You’ll learn:
- How to transcribe a basic audio file
- The best way to gain transcription experience
- How to build a resume tailored to transcription companies
- How to get a well-paying transcription job
Are there any other transcription myths you want to dispell? Let me know in the comments below.