Speechpad Review - Closeup of Hands Typing

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Whether you’re an experienced transcription specialist, or you’re exploring new options in the world of remote online work, you’ve probably come across the plethora of sites offering freelancers the opportunity to connect with potential clients and take on typing jobs. This Speechpad review will help you to decide if it is a platform that you should be using.

Remote transcription work allows contractors to set their own working hours and schedule, choose their own jobs, and earn some extra cash. Some freelancers claim to earn enough through online typing jobs that they are able to quit their full-time work.

But how realistic is this? Are typing jobs a legitimate way of earning substantial amounts of money? The short answer is yes, it is possible, but you will need to gain plenty of experience and a good level of skill before reaching that point.

The most important thing to consider before embarking on this type of work is the site or platform you choose to find your work through. Some transcription sites are notorious for paying their contractors incredibly low rates, well below the hourly minimum.

Here we will look at Speechpad and whether this site could be a good option for you, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned transcription specialist.

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Speechpad Review: About the Company

SpeechPad is a company that specializes in providing clients with high-quality, quick, and cheap transcription services. They offer both human and software-based transcription and have a substantial client base.

Their clients include Netflix, Amazon, and L’Oreal, so it seems that they are a well-respected, established company within this field.

The company was founded in 2008 and its headquarters are based in California. They work with clients across the globe and pride themselves on their high-quality services and excellent worker support and opportunities.

As a Speechpad typist, you might find yourself transcribing a huge range of different file types including videos, insurance documents, speeches, meetings, or conferences.

Across their site, they claim that their contractors range from those with extensive experience to those just starting out in their transcription career. So, from the offset, it seems that Speechpad is open to taking on typists from all backgrounds.

The question is, how does Speechpad fare in terms of the opportunities available to their contractors, the rates of pay, and the accessibility of the application process? Let’s take a look…

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The Kind of Jobs Available

Speechpad claims that contractors are able to work when they choose, with no minimum hours required. This is great for those with other commitments or those looking to use typing as a second stream of income.

Contractors are able to pick their own jobs, rather than being allocated to certain jobs, as is the case with many other transcription platforms. This means you can find the niche that most interests you or the type of jobs you find work best for you and stick with these. Alternatively, it provides the opportunity to challenge yourself and try out new jobs.

The files awaiting transcription vary in length, content, and format, so it’s likely that there is something to suit everyone. Bear in mind though, that this also means the quality of these files is also likely to fluctuate. If you receive a file with bad audio quality, unclear speakers, or interruptions and disturbances, this can significantly impact the efficiency at which you may be able to complete the job.

At the beginning of your Speechpad career, you might find that fewer jobs are available to you than you had hoped. To start with, you will earn the basic qualification, meaning you have access to only the lowest tier of jobs. There tends to be a lot of competition for jobs at this level and generally, the rates of pay aren’t the best. This is definitely something to consider as it’s unclear how long it is likely to take or how many of these jobs you will need to complete before reaching the next tier.

Essentially, jobs are offered based on your Speechpad rating. The more jobs you complete successfully, the higher your rating. The higher your rating, the more high-quality, well-paid jobs will be available to you. If your rating drops too much, jobs will no longer be available to you, so the stakes are fairly high.

As well as transcription jobs, Speechpad also offers to review and captioning jobs. These are generally paid higher than the majority of transcription jobs, but again, you will need an extremely high rating and excellent levels of completion to reach these jobs. Something to aim for!

Please see some of our other reviews:

The Speechpad Application Process

To apply to become a Speechpad Transcription Specialist, you will need to fill out the online application form and complete Speechpad’s basic transcription test and a grammar test. You’ll need a good understanding of language and grammar to pass both tests. A high typing speed will also help you out in the transcription test, and a score lower than 94 will prevent you from qualifying for any jobs at all.

Previous experience is not necessary, although it might help you improve your rating more quickly and access higher-paid jobs.

The sign-up process is completely free and SpeechPad advises that the only equipment you will need are a computer or laptop and a good internet connection. This is pretty reasonable, considering a lot of transcription sites ask that their contractors download specific software which can be extremely costly.

A foot pedal and headphones might assist you in completing work quickly and to a higher standard, but this isn’t necessarily the case so you might not find them to be essential, particularly if you’re just starting out and want to avoid high upfront costs.

Depending on the number of applicants they are currently processing or the current work demands, Speechpad might not be accepting new applications at any given time. If this is the case, simply sign up to their mailing list to be notified whenever applications have reopened.

How Much Does Speechpad Pay?

Here’s the big question: how well does Speechpad pay? Many transcription sites have been accused of taking advantage of contractors, paying extremely low rates for hours of work. So is this the case with Speechpad?

According to their website, transcription specialists are paid anywhere between $0.25 and $2.50 per audio minute, depending on the specific job. On average, it takes most typists around four minutes to transcribe one minute of audio. Obviously, this varies massively based on your level of skill and the specific job, but let’s see how this translates into hourly rates of pay.

At $0.25 per audio minute, you’re looking at around $3.75 per hour worked. On the other end of the scale, at $2.50 per audio minute, you could earn around $37.50 for an hour of work. Clearly, the variance is pretty huge. For beginner typists, the rates with SpeechPad aren’t great. They fall below most hourly minimum rates and are considerably lower than some other sites like SpeakWrite and Daily Transcription.

For experienced typists, however, the rates are excellent. If you’re able to work your way up through the ranks quickly and acquire a high rating, it’s possible to earn a substantial amount of money with SpeechPad. It just depends on whether you feel that it’s a good expenditure of your time to work your way through all of the extremely low-paid jobs first.

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Speechpad Pros and Cons

So let’s evaluate the overall pros and cons of working as a contracted transcription specialist through SpeechPad.

Pros

1. Potential to Earn Significant Amounts

The highest level of jobs offer excellent pay rates. $2.50 per audio minute is significantly higher than many of SpeechPad’s competitors are able to offer. For those able to reach the highest rating level, there is the opportunity to earn an excellent wage with SpeechPad.

2. Sign-up is Easy and Widely Accessible

The application process is quick and simple. You are required to complete some basic tests simply to evaluate your suitability for this kind of work, but the experience is not essential and you’re encouraged to learn through taking on lower-paid, less complex jobs to begin with.

3. Extensive and Varied Client Base

SpeechPad offers contractors the choice of a huge number of jobs from a range of high-profile clients. The work is varied, engaging, and consistent.

4. Great Worker Support Services

Unlike some other transcription platforms, Speechpad encourages contractors to contact them through email, telephone, or via their 24-hour live chat service. This means any issues or questions you have are answered and dealt with quickly.

5. No Up-Front Costs or Expensive Equipment Required

There’s no need to invest in extensive software or equipment prior to getting started with Speechpad. All you will need is a laptop or computer and a steady internet connection.

Cons

1. Pay Rates Start Out Very Low for Beginners

On the other end of the spectrum, pay for beginner typists with the lowest ratings is extremely low. It falls below the average hourly minimum and you’re very unlikely to make your riches with these jobs. It’s unclear how long it takes the average typist to qualify for the better-paid jobs, but definitely assess whether you are willing to put in the time to get there. If not, you might feel that the low pay to start with makes this an unworthy endeavor.

2. Rating System Makes it Harder to Access Well-Paid Jobs

Again, the rating system means that competition from other contractors is high and you’re limited to only a certain selection of jobs until you reach a higher rating.

Overall Review of Speechpad

All in all, Speechpad does seem like a great choice of online transcription platform. They offer interesting, high-quality jobs, a quick and easy sign-up process, and a service that is accessible to both beginners and experienced typists.

The only real downside to this Speechpad review is that their low pay rates offered to beginners. While there is the potential to earn much more over time, the minuscule starting rates are likely to be off-putting to many contractors.

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7.6
Working for SpeechPad
Pay7
Availability of Work6
Beginner-Friendly Requirements8
Reputation8
Flexibility9

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