Are you exploring working from home as a transcriptionist? If so, you’re probably asking yourself, “How much can general transcriptionists earn? Is it really worth my time? Is transcription a scam?”
I know that those were some of my biggest questions when I was starting out. So I researched how the industry works and what I could expect to earn.
I set a goal to earn $15-$25/hour within the first few months. And I hit my goal. Soon I was earning over $1,000/month working part-time from home as a transcriptionist.
The truth is that earning money as a transcriptionist isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It took time, training, and improving my skills to get to a point where I was making $15-$25/hr.
Here are a few things that helped me earn $15-$25/hour as a general transcriptionist.
Set Your Earnings Goal
One of the first things to ask yourself if you’re interested in transcription is how much you can expect to earn and how you’ll get there. If you want to earn $30/hour right away, you’re going to be disappointed. At first, you might be earning only $10/hour while you build your skills.
The general transcription industry is different than working at a brick-and-mortar store. If you’re working for a store, your paycheck is based on how many hours you worked. General transcriptionists are usually paid a set rate for each hour of audio transcribed. So you get the same amount of money no matter if it takes you three or six hours to transcribe the file.
If you have an audio file that’s 1 hour long and you get paid $60 for it, how much did you make per hour?
That depends on how fast you are, also known as your turnaround time. If it takes you three hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio, you’re making $20/hour. If it takes you four hours, you’re making $15/hour. This is all before taxes and any expenses.
If your goal is to earn $1,200/month then do the math. You need to earn $300/week or $60 per business work day. So if you can do one $60-minute file a business day that is priced at $60 and you transcribe it in 3-4 hours, you’ll make your goal of earning $1,200 a month part-time.
Stay Away from the Biggest Earnings Killer
Many transcriptionists struggle with earning enough money transcribing. That’s because they get stuck working for what are known as transcription mills. These are companies that pay so little that by the end, you’re making less than minimum wage. And you owe payroll taxes on top of that!
You may start with one of these companies while building your transcription resume. But move on as soon as you can.
I recommend staying away from companies that pay less than $40 an audio hour. I’ve found the time just isn’t worth it and you would be better off with a different job.
Learn How to Increase Your Earnings
Once you have your earnings goal, you’re ready to get started. If you don’t have prior experience, read my guide on becoming a transcriptionist. Once you feel ready, it’s time to look for companies to work for.
You want to find transcription companies that pay well. The well-paying companies are very picky with who they hire because they want the best transcripts with very little errors. The trick is building your skills so you can apply to these companies and pass their test.
Once you’ve landed your first transcription job, focus on improving your skills and productivity. If you can transcribe an audio file in three hours instead of four, you’ve just saved yourself some time and increased your hourly rate.
As you continue to improve your skills, keep looking for better-paying companies to apply to.
Want to Start Earning Money Transcribing?
If you want to learn how to start your transcription career, join my Transcription Skills Udemy course. For less than $10, you’ll learn how to use transcription software and practice with real audio files.