Be to check our list of the best transcription jobs to see how this opportunity stacks up compared to the others.
Flexibility, freedom, and control are the three main incentives people cite for why they choose to work remotely.
The flexibility and freedom that comes along with working from your own home or anywhere else that you choose is a great perk of this kind of work. In this TranscribeMe review, you’ll learn about a flexible platform you can use.
Additionally, the ability to choose your own working hours and the jobs that you take on gives you control over your life and your schedule. It’s easy to fit remote work in around other commitments, whether that’s another job, childcare, daily household chores, or anything else that takes up your time.
Transcription jobs are extremely compatible with remote working and provide a unique opportunity for both beginners and experienced typists to capitalize on their skills without the need to sit in a crowded office every day or embark on a long commute.
Here we will look at TranscribeMe, a well-known company offering freelancers the chance to find transcription work online.
Although platforms like TranscribeMe do offer online transcription work, you can make significantly more money by working as a freelancer. Take the 7-lesson Free Mini-Course from Transcribe Anywhere to learn how to maximize your income.
TranscribeMe Review: About the Company
TranscribeMe is one of the most popular online transcription platforms out there. It’s one of the top-rated sites and has been recommended by a host of organizations.
Founded in 2011 by Greg Feerer and Alexei Dunayev, TranscribeMe is based in San Francisco and accepts contractors and clients from countries all over the globe. They work with companies such as Oracle, Harvard University and Pandora.
TranscribeMe refers to their platform as a community, suggesting that as a contractor you will become part of a supportive and helpful network. Whether or not this is actually the case is up for debate.
Many previous TranscribeMe contractors report being unable to contact customer helplines throughout their time working with TranscribeMe and cite this as their main reason for leaving the platform.
Through their contractors, TranscribeMe offers transcription services for market research, medical, consultancy, and technology documents, so the work is varied and engaging.
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Opportunities Available with TranscribeMe
After signing up with TranscribeMe and successfully completing the application process, you will have access to their work hub, through which you can access and claim any available transcription jobs.
The jobs tend to involve the transcription of short clips, usually no longer than one minute each. Most documents are split up by the TranscribeMe team and then completed through crowdsourcing, meaning different sections are completed by different contractors. They do this to speed up turn-around times for the clients.
The documents might contain audio from meetings, speeches, seminars, or any other origin. The quality of the recordings varies greatly and this can hugely impact the speed at which you’re able to carry out the job, potentially eating into your earning time.
As well as transcription work, TranscribeMe also provides translation services that tend to pay slightly higher, so if you’re bilingual these might be a nice additional earner.
For beginners, TranscribeMe offers an extensive training guide. Prior to applying for a role with TranscribeMe, you will receive two documents detailing the basic information you will need before getting started. The study guide will walk you through the requirements of the job and TranscribeMe’s specific preferences in terms of layout, punctuation, and the overall format of your work.
Because each audio file is crowdsourced, every contractor must adhere to the specific guidelines put in place by TranscribeMe to ensure that once the documents are attached together, they run cohesively and with one continuous format.
This could be frustrating for those with transcription experience, as you may have adopted a different approach to your work. For beginners, however, the comprehensive guide provides a great foundation of knowledge through which you can develop your skills.
How Much Does TranscribeMe Pay?
On their website, TranscribeMe claims to offer some of the highest rates of pay available to transcription contractors.
Earnings start between $15 and $22 per audio hour, this translates to around $3.75 to $5.50 per hour. This is by no means the highest pay rate available with sites of this kind, however, these rates are standard of the most basic, entry-level transcription jobs.
Average monthly earnings with TranscribeMe are around $250. At $5.50 per hour, this amounts to around 45.5 hours of work over the month.
So the pay rates aren’t great, in most states this is considerably less than the minimum hourly wage. The pay is likely to increase, however, as you gain experience and are able to complete jobs quicker and with more efficiency. But to start with, you’re looking at a lot of work without much reward.
The issue with TranscribeMe is that it is very difficult to consistently find well-paid jobs. Because the site is so popular, there is a lot of competition from other contractors. The crowdsourcing format also means that you need to take on a lot of jobs in order to earn a decent amount. If the jobs aren’t available, this isn’t possible.
While the pay rates with TranscribeMe aren’t the worst out there, they’re certainly not the best. Sites like SpeechPad and Averbach appear to offer higher rates and more consistent work.
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The Application Process
As with most online transcription platforms, you will be required to sit an exam prior to being accepted as a TranscribeMe contractor. The good news is that the exam comes along with an extensive set of guidelines that provide you with all the knowledge you will need to pass.
A good level of knowledge regarding language and grammar is obviously required, but the study guide also gives information regarding how TranscribeMe wants you to format your work as well as other tips. There’s also a YouTube video designed to help you throughout this process.
So TranscribeMe is open to both beginners and those with more experience in transcription.
Prior to taking the exam, you will need to fill out an application form online. After you’ve completed all the necessary steps, you’ll have to wait up to twelve days to receive the outcome of your exam. If you pass, you’re free to access the online work hub. If you fail, however, you do have the option to retake each part until you have passed. If you fail the test twice in a row, you’ll need to wait thirty days before you’re able to retake for a third time.
In terms of applicant requirements, you’ll need to be 18 years old or over, have access to a computer or laptop and a stable internet connection, and TranscribeMe suggests that good quality headphones will make the transcription process easier. You don’t need to buy any specialist equipment or download any specific software.
TranscribeMe Pros and Cons
After considering the basics, how are the pros and cons weighing up? Does TranscribeMe look like a good option for you and your remote working goals?
1. Great Supportive Documents Available To Applicants
The guidance documents and YouTube videos are great additions to TranscribeMe’s service. Meaning the platform is accessible to experienced typists and beginners with little to no previous experience. The documents are lengthy, but they’re extremely comprehensive and make passing the entrance exam much easier.
2. No Specialist Equipment Required
You’re not required to undertake any initial costs or invest in any expensive specialist equipment or software. Provided you have access to a computer and the internet, you’re good to go.
3. Extensive List of Partnered Clients
TranscribeMe works with a range of well-regarded companies and clients. This provides some peace of mind to prospective contractors regarding the legitimacy of TranscribeMe as a company and their level of competence.
1. Relatively Low Rates of Pay
The rates of pay with TranscribeMe aren’t great. This is a common theme with online transcription platforms, but there are plenty of companies who have overcome these hurdles and are now offering fair rates, well above the hourly minimum wage. With TranscribeMe, rates fluctuate depending on the job and your level of expertise, but for those just starting out the rates start well below that of many of their competitor companies.
2. Customer Service is Poorly Reviewed
Almost all online TranscribeMe reviews make reference to the lack of support available to contractors. TranscribeMe staff are available to be contacted via telephone, email or live chat, but many typists recall not receiving responses or struggling to get through to the help team.
3. Work is Not Guaranteed or Consistent
In this line of work, jobs are never guaranteed, however, this seems to be even more evident with TranscribeMe. The jobs on offer are extremely short and generally offer low pay so typists need to take on many jobs to earn a decent amount. Because the site is so popular and has such a huge number of contractors working at any one time, the work is extremely competitive and sometimes no jobs are available for extended periods of time.
Overall Review of TranscribeMe – Is it a Good Choice for You?
Despite its widespread popularity, it seems that TranscribeMe might not be the best option when it comes to remote transcription jobs.
Other platforms are available and offer contractors better rates of pay, more consistent work and a higher quality of support and assistance.
One great thing about TranscribeMe, however, is their training documents. These guides are extremely helpful for beginners looking to get started with a career in transcription and make passing the entrance exam much easier.
The overall conclusion of our TranscribeMe review is that, in terms of online transcription job websites, there are definitely some better options available.
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