Whether you’re just looking to earn some extra pocket money or you want to expand your options when looking for full time employment, working as a transcriber could be just what you’re looking for.
Online transcription jobs give you the freedom to work remotely or from home, allowing you to choose hours to suit you. This makes it the ideal choice of job for someone who has family or other commitments that they need to fit around.
If you’re a fast typer and have a good grasp of the English language then you already have the skills needed to start applying for transcription jobs online.
People are always looking for talented transcribers so once you have built up some feedback, or completed a job for a happy customer who wants to repeat order, you should find it relatively easy to source work.
What are transcription jobs?
Transcription is the translation of spoken words to written text. There are different niches within the world of transcribing, but that’s its basic form.
For example, this could be typing up a recorded focus group for a researcher, or listening to a podcast and writing it out for the creator to share on their blog.
There is also medical transcription, which is when a doctor records medical notes which you are required to type up.
A related field is captioning, which is creating subtitles for video content.
Whatever it is that you transcribe, you’ll need to be fast and accurate – which is what will bring you repeat business.
You’ll need access to a laptop/computer and an internet connection to get started. Other than that, you just need to be able to type fast and accurately.
Once you are established you might choose to invest in equipment such as headphones and a foot pedal. They can speed up your transcribing and help you work more professionally, but these aren’t essential for anyone starting out – especially if you’re not sure if you even like it yet!
Transcription jobs UK
The best way to get started is to sign-up to an online transcription jobs website and get stuck in with applying for opportunities. You might not land your first job immediately but if you stick at it you’ll soon be transcribing and earning your first pay.
Disclaimer: this blog uses affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase using the links on my site. Thanks for the support!
Transcribing jobs for beginners
There are many websites where you can find transcribing jobs with no experience in the UK. Here are a few places to start:
Way With Words
Way With Words work with transcribers that are looking for full time work, or those that are just looking to work as a freelancer. They have a range of work which means that whatever your experience level you are invited to sign up and apply for work.
This is a good option if you’re looking for transcription jobs online with no experience in the UK. They don’t ask for any specific qualifications, other than being a proficient English speaker. You will have to pass an assessment to make sure you’ve got what it takes.
They even have a transcription training course they’ll guide you through once you’re accepted to ensure you have a full understanding of what is needed before you begin.
The industries they work with vary, but you’ll mostly be typing up medical notes, legal records and entertainment audio. They pay you directly into your bank account for all work that you complete.
Take Note specialise in the transcription of audio from market research focus groups, interviews and conferences. You will need to type up all of the audio word for word and it can sometimes be numerous people speaking, so attention to detail is a must.
If you are experienced in the medical, legal or media profession they can also offer you work in these fields.
You do not need to have transcription experience. However, their application process is three stages and including passing an English language test and showing that you can transcribe one of their audio files.
They have practise tests available on their website so you can check your skills before you apply.
They start with relatively low pay, however this does increase with experience and depending on how many people speaking in the audio. They will require you to have at least a grade C in English GCSE when you apply.
Crowdsurf hires transcribers and captionists with little or no experience. They offer the micro-task version of transcription work – each audio clip is just 5 seconds to 30 seconds.
These mini tasks are available day and night, making this an extremely flexible job – just log on and complete as much work as you have time for.
I would warn you that this is one of the lowest paid transcription sites I looked at. This is probably because they hire many people from lower cost of living countries outside the UK. They do offer the opportunity to take higher-paid tasks as you progress, but it’s still at the lower end of the scale. On the plus side, they do pay very quickly.
This might be an option to experiment with transcription work and earn a little pocket money, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a replacement for a job.
Rev is another company offering transcribing jobs with no experience, so long as you can pass their application process. This consists of a grammar quiz and a sample transcription. It’s important to show adherence to their style guidelines.
The type of audio you might be transcribing with Rev includes lectures, interviews, podcasts and more. This is another very flexible company: simply log on in your own time, select the project that interests you from among the available tasks, and get to work.
This is another company that pays below the industry average. It might be useful to pick up some work early on to get some transcription experience, but you should move on to other options once you’ve developed your skills.
Rev pays weekly via PayPal.
Freelance transcription jobs
People Per Hour
People Per Hour is a freelance marketplace that allows people to ask for or offer a range of services. It is free to join and you get a set number of credits each month that allow you to apply for projects that people have asked for assistance with.
You can also advertise what you’re offering and people can come to you if they are interested.
You build up a Cert score based on the rating people leave you on completed jobs – so it is worth doing a job well, as this can help you gain more opportunities in the future.
Each job has its own budget, and when you’re starting out you may wish to apply for some lower-paid jobs in order to build up your Cert score and gain some testimonials on your profile. Once you’ve got some great feedback, you can start to raise your rates.
Unlike People Per Hour, people only go onto Fiverr to find freelancers, rather than advertise for the service they need. That means you have to wait for clients to approach you, rather than applying for jobs yourself.
It is free for you to sign up, and you advertise your services by creating a gig – this will allow you to explain what you’re offering & how much you charge for it.
You can pay to boost your gig if you want to attract more attention, but the right gig should start to bring you in some work quickly.
You can also browse the site to see what other people are advertising and get inspiration and ideas on what you should include on your gig before you set it live.
Freelancer is another freelance site that allows companies, individuals or bloggers advertise for the assistance they need. This doesn’t have to be a transcription need but you will see plenty of those posted on here.
Once you have signed up, you can then browse the jobs being advertised and bid for the available work. It is a busy website so competition can be high – it is worth making sure you have a full profile filled in and include some work examples if you can, as this shows people you’re as serious offering and you’re much more likely to be chosen.
Once you have been chosen it is a good idea to stay in touch with your hirer via the message option as this means they’re likely to leave you good feedback once the job is completed.
Niche transcription jobs
Take 1 Transcription
If you have at least 20 hours per week available for transcribing work then take a look at Take 1 Transcription. They specialise in TV transcription work.
They require you complete their online training course before you’re able to apply for any work with them – however, you are paid for this.
They start you on slightly low pay, but this increases with more experience so you can earn a decent amount per audio minute once you have earned your stripes with them.
If you are an experienced transcriber and IT literate then you could apply to work with University Transcriptions. They pay an hourly rate and you’ll be required to transcribe university notes from up and down the UK.
They do have a complicated application process and you will be required to complete a sample before you’re accepted.
The pay varies depending on what you are transcribing, how many speakers are in the audio and how quickly the turnaround required is but you will need to commit to at least 10 hours per week when working for them.
They are also currently recruiting Welsh speaking transcribers.
Best transcription jobs with experience
Once you have some experience under your belt, you can access the best paying transcription jobs from some of the bigger UK transcription companies.
These companies have stricter criteria for applying, and some will expect you to provide your own software and equipment. However, the earnings are typically higher than the other sites on this list!
Accuro is a large UK company that specialises in transcription services, as well as offering other related services such as translation and captioning. They specialise in the legal and medical field but also cover other areas.
You don’t have to have experience in these in industries but they do only work with transcribers based in the UK that have recent secretarial experience.
They’ll also require you to have a transcription software before you can get started – something such as an Olympus transcription module or an NCH Express Scribe.
Sterling Transcription are an Australian owned company but work with UK based companies and transcribers. They specialise in medical and financial transcriptions. They do require you to commit to working a minimum of 10 hours per week and you’ll need to show you can type at least 60 words per minute.
The rate you are paid varies but they are known to be one of the better payers within the industry, you’ll just need to show you are comfortable in transcribing medical records and financial information.
Type Out are another company that you’ll need to show you have experience in transcribing to work for. You’ll also need some transcription equipment such as headphones and a foot pedal.
You’ll need to be a fast typer (75 words per minute) and a native English speaker.
Work varies but most you’ll be typing up focus groups and one to one interviews, so being able to transcribe multiple people within one document is essential.
Other options for finding transcription jobs online
Although Indeed is traditionally known as a job-seekers website, it isn’t just full-time opportunities that are on offer. Recently companies have become much more flexible in what they’re looking for from employees and the Indeed website certainly reflects this.
It’s free to use and you can even upload your CV so potential employers can find you.
You’ll need to apply for jobs in the same way you would any other standard job, so having an up to date CV is recommended. People can list jobs all the time, so it is worth signing up for job alerts so Indeed can email you when any opportunities that match what you’re looking for come up.
Most of us are used to using social media on a daily basis, but we might not consider it for job searching. However, there are a range of talented freelancers that advertise their services online – so you could always do the same.
Search Facebook for freelance groups, working from home groups and even groups that specialise in transcribing. There are hundreds of these groups so have a look and pick some that match your interests.
These are a fantastic way to network and meet other people in the same industry as you – great for learning from others more experienced than you and asking questions if there is something you’re unsure of.
You’ll see jobs advertised in these groups too – as well as people sharing opportunities they have seen on places such as Reddit, Twitter and/or LinkedIn.
Setting up your own website
You’ll probably want to make sure you have plenty of experience before you go down this route, but setting yourself up with a website and putting yourself out there for transcription jobs UK can work.
Lots of companies are used to advertising their needs via many of the websites listed in this article, so going it alone can be a brave move. However, once you have established yourself, have reviews you can share with potential clients and a proven track record you have a much better chance of being able to make it this way.
A website can also be a great asset for a freelancer as it gives you an easy place to show potential clients your experience and testimonials.
Lots of the general freelancing websites mentioned in this article are also a great place to find someone that can help you create your website so don’t worry if being a web designer or copywriter is not your forte, simply hire a freelancer to help you.
Just make sure you don’t rush things – if you do go down this route then your website is likely the first time these potential clients have heard of you so you need to make sure your website is accurate, easy to use and showcases your talents in the best possible way – because first impressions count!
Transcribing jobs FAQ
What does a transcriptionist do?
Transcriptionists turn audio content into written content. For example, a typical job might be listening to an audio recording of a lecture and type it up.
How much do transcription jobs pay?
The pay for transcription jobs varies, depending on the company, your experience, your typing speed, the type of work (whether any specialist knowledge is required), etc.
One important thing to keep in mind when looking at transcriptionist pay is that it’s usually paid per audio minute/hour, not per hour you work.
A transcriptionist in the UK can expect to make between 40p and £1 per audio minute.
As a rough guide, a transcriptionist typically takes 4 minutes to transcribe 1 minute of audio. It may take you much longer in the beginning. But an experienced transcriptionist can work faster than this if it’s a straightforward job.
Your transcription speed will also be affected by the quality of the audio, unfamiliar vocabulary, regional accents, and so on.
So if a job pays £1 per audio minute, that doesn’t equate to £60 per hour worked. Realistically you might take home around £15 per hour.
You can expect to earn £1 or more per audio minute when you have some experience, and get work either from a larger company or directly from the client (cutting out the middle man!). When you start out, you will likely be at the lower end of the scale. But remember that your pay will increase as you get faster and more familiar with the work.
How much can a transcriptionist make?
An experienced transcriptionist in the UK can earn £10-£15 per hour.
Most transcriptionist jobs are freelance (most of the companies on this list hire on a freelance/subcontractor basis, rather than employing you directly). So remember that you will also need to spend time on admin, applying for jobs, invoicing clients, and so on. You will also need to put aside some money for taxes.
When you are starting out, your pay will probably be lower than this. You will earn more as you get more experienced and increase your typing speed.
How fast do you have to type to be a transcriptionist?
As we learned above, transcription pays per audio minute, so the faster you can type, the more you can earn.
As a bare minimum, you should aim for a typing speed of at least 60 wpm (words per minute).
Some of the more specialised companies require a minimum speed of 75 wpm.
Some of the companies offering transcription work for beginners do not specify a minimum typing speed, so you could apply even if you’re a very slow typist. Just keep in mind that you won’t earn much until you speed up.
There are various typing speed tests you can take online.
Are transcription jobs for me?
Transcription jobs are a great way to earn some extra money and with a little work, you should be able to build up your reputation enough to earn a full time wage from it.
You will probably find that signing up to just one website that offers transcription opportunities isn’t enough, so sign up to a few and get a feel for what is going to work best for you long term. There are plenty of transcribing jobs for beginners out there, so you can get started at any time!
There is no harm in signing up to a freelancing website and trying a few jobs to get a feel for whether you like it or not. If you decide that this is something you are interested in then make sure you take it seriously, build up your reputation and give yourself the best possible chance at making a success of your transcribing career.
If you want to learn about other freelance or work from home jobs, be sure to check out these related posts:
Pin this for later