Introduction To Freelance Audio Transcription For Newbies

Audio Transcription is a great way to earn decent money working online. There are numerous companies online that employ people with the necessary skills set to work transcription jobs.

What is audio transcription?

Audio transcription jobs require that you listen to recordings of conversations, interviews, lectures speeches, etc. And type what you hear in text format. Freelancing transcription is an in-demand job and there are many jobs online offered by numerous transcription companies. Some of them require previous experience but many welcome even complete newbies to freelance transcription jobs.

What is required to get started with freelance transcription?

Jobs are readily available online and you will need a computer with an internet connection and an email address to open an account with freelance transcription companies.

It is also good to have quality headphones to be able to hear all that is said so you can transcribe accordingly and also a foot pedal. You can find these items on eBay and Amazon.

Although audio transcription at first glance might sound simple and pretty straightforward we must say that it is not an easy way to earn money online. There are a number of skills you must have to be able to work and earn a decent income:

1. Good listening skills.

2. Fast typing skill.

3. Good knowledge of foreign accents.

4. Discipline and ability to follow instructions.

5. Proficiency in grammar and punctuation.

6. Proficiency in using computer and productivity software.

How to get started as an online freelance transcriber?

The first step to start making money as a freelance transcriber is to apply to websites that offer transcription jobs. To do that just navigate to the website and fill out a form. In general, all the transcription companies will require that you pass a test to access your skills before they accept your application. Most of the time this will be to transcribe a short audio file so they can assess your transcriber skills.

Some transcription companies that hire newbies and people with little experience are:

Crowdsurfwork (more info about CrowdSurf here)


Rev (more details about Rev here)

SpeechPad (more details about SpeechPad here)




GMR Transcription (more detail about GMR Transcription here)

There are many transcription jobs on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

After your application has been accepted you can start working on transcription jobs. On some websites, you will be allowed to pick the jobs you want to work on, while on others jobs are assigned to you and you can work on them or skip them. All the transcription websites have their own style guidelines that you must follow so make sure you study them thoroughly before beginning your work.

Many transcription websites provide access to their own work platforms which are good and help make the transcription job easier. These transcription platforms have many options to make work easier like easy navigation through the audio files you are transcribing, the ability to slow down or speed up the audio which is really helpful if the speakers speak fast, key shortcuts to pause resume audio, and other useful features.

Some of the websites allow freelancers to download files and transcribe them on text documents. There is also software that can help make transcription jobs easier if you prefer to work offline like ExpressScribe or InqScribe. When working make sure to follow guidelines and strive to deliver high-quality work because failing to do that and too many mistakes may result in termination of your account.

How much can you earn as a freelance transcriber?

The pay is usually per audio minute transcribed and can be in a range of a few cents to more than a dollar. The pay depends on several things and some audio files are more difficult to work on than others. Things like poor audio quality, background noise, multiple speakers, and speakers’ accents can make work more challenging and take more time to transcribe. The industry standard is four to six hours of work to complete one hour of audio.


Online freelance transcription is a good way to earn decent money online transcribing audio files to text. Depending on your skill and your available time you can make it a full-time job for you to make a living of it or you can also work as a part-time job. For people who look for a side hustle to make some extra money in their free time and they are fast typers and have the necessary skills then this is a great job. Others should try other ways to earn money online.

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