Best Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners with Zero Experience


Take a look through most transcription related blog posts and you’ll see a list of 15-20 different transcription companies, all reportedly best for beginners. But with a little bit of research, I quickly found that’s not the case.

Many of the frequently recommended companies are terrible with a Capital T. Bad reviews, low pay, long hours. Yikes.

To help you make the right decisions and start making money from home, I’ve researched the 14 most recommended online transcription companies. The good, the bad and the downright ugly, you’ll get the truth about the best online transcription jobs for beginners.

How I Chose These Transcription Companies

In this guide, I take a look at, and answer the following, all important questions:

  • Reviews (are they good, bad, mixed, genuine?)
  • How much do they actually pay? Are there any discrepancies?
  • Are these transcription sites actively hiring?
  • Location availability i.e. where do they hire their candidates from?
  • Are these transcription jobs really suitable for beginners?

The Best Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners


  • Overall winner: GMR Transcription
  • Best for US based workers: GMR Transcription
  • Best for Canadian based workers: Accutran Global
  • Best for international workers: Accutran Global
  • Best for pay: GMR Transcription & TranscribeMe
  • Best for flexibility: REV
  • Best reviews: TranscribeMe & GMR

1. GMR Transcription

Average Pay: Between $0.75 to $1 per audio minute transcribed, not worked

Scam or Legit?: Legit

Recommend: Absolutely

GMR Transcription boasts that their transcribers typically earn between $1,000 to $3,000 per month based on the work they take on. That’s a bold statement to make, but fortunately, they have a wealth of good reviews to back up that claim.

On Glassdoor, they state that the hourly pay for a transcriptionist is between $15-18, that works out at $0.75 to $1 per audio minute transcribed, even if you’re a slower transcriber.

A thread on Reddit also confirms this, and if it’s on Reddit you know you’re getting real, unfiltered reviews.

Their jobs change regularly so make sure to check their openings once in a while. At the moment, they are offering two jobs:

  • General Transcription OR Spanish Transcription
  • Certified Translators

We’re only going to focus on the general transcription jobs given that this isn’t a post about translation work.

When you click to apply, you’ll be taken to an application form right away. Based on the application form, you’ll be expected to take a short test.

From what I’ve read online, they are quite picky and harsh at grading so make sure to finetune your skills before applying.


  • They are a real company with good reviews on Indeed, Glassdoor and Trustpilot.
  • They offer one of the highest paid options for US based applicants.
  • They have some great media coverage and work with recognised companies including Deloitte, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Amazon etc.
  • They are willing to accept newbies, but you will have to prove yourself by excelling at their test.
  • Bonus if you can provide editorial, proofreading or other written work experience on your resume.
  • They have over 10,000 clients on their books, so a shortage of work isn’t likely, although you are responsible for snagging jobs.
  • You must transcribe at least 4 hours of audio work per month
  • They’re highly flexible with your working hours; you’re hired as an independent contractor, so you work when you feel like it.

Based on Glassdoor reviews, further positives include:

  • Great company to work with
  • Professional environment
  • Higher than average pay
  • Flexible working hours
  • Friendly staff
  • Choose the level of difficulty you wish to transcribe


  • All new hires need to complete two hours of audio before receiving paid work. This seems to be a real stickler for some, and I understand why. This usually means you have to work 6 hours before receiving your first paid gig. Most high calibre companies will do this as a quality check though, so it’s not unexpected.
  • They will not accept applications from residents living in California (due to Bill 5 of the assembly act)

Purely based off Glassdoor reviews, some say that:

  • Audio files can be hard to decipher
  • Difficult or complex jobs don’t pay much more than regular ones
  • Some reports of quick firing
  • But again, I would say these are the most positive ‘negatives’ I’ve seen for an online transcription company.

Related: 19 Killer Ways to Make $100 a Day or More

2. Accutran Global

Average Pay: Between $0.40 to $0.80 per audio minute transcribed

Scam or Legit?: Legit

Recommend: Yes, but make sure you can meet the strict working guidelines

Based in Victoria, Canada, Accutran Global was founded in 2002. They provide transcription and captioner services to clients worldwide.

They typically have 3 openings available throughout the year, but these do change, so make sure to check regularly. These include:

  • Canadian Transcriptionist
  • International/ESL Transcriptionist
  • State Board Level CART/Captioner/CSR/CRR

Beginners with little to no transcription experience can apply for either the Canadian or International Transcriptionist roles, depending on location.

The latter role requires extensive captioner or transcriptionist experience, but it’s worth noting that they will pay $75+ for events up to an hour.

Canadian Transcriptionist

Based on Accutran Global’s role description, you will need:

  • To be able to transcribe audio using their formatting guidelines
  • Minimum 70WPM (words per minute) typing speed
  • Superior accuracy and punctuation skills
  • Stable internet connection
  • Microsoft Word, Windows 10 needed
  • Good quality headphones
  • Excellent communication and time management skills
  • Confidence installing given software
  • A Canadian domicile bank account
  • Must have silent working environment

International/ESL Transcriptionist

Again, based on Accutran’s website, to apply you will need:

  • To be able to transcribe audio using their formatting guidelines
  • Minimum 70 WPM transcription speed
  • Excellent grasp of English; especially Asian accents
  • Availability Monday through Friday between the hours of 12AM and 12 PM Eastern Canadian time (GMT -8:00)
  • Superior accuracy and punctuation skills
  • Excellent communication and time management skills
  • Expertise in corporate, medical, or legal transcription is an asset
  • A US-domicile bank account for US applicants
  • A multi-currency account with TransferWise for all non-US based applicants
  • Must have silent working environment


As of March 2021, they’re willing to accept newbies with little to no experience. Perfect if you’re just getting started and want to earn extra money working from home.

You do have to pass their transcription test though, so it’s worth brushing up on your skills.

  • The pay is considered competitive for online transcription companies, especially if your work is consistently stellar.
  • There’s room for promotion within the company, although it’s unclear how this system works.
  • They work with lots of finance companies, so if you have financial transcriptionist skills, you’ll be right at home.
  • They also offer medical transcription jobs and legal transcription jobs to more experienced transcriptionists.


  • June, September and December, you’re not guaranteed to receive any work.
  • Their ‘about us’ doesn’t refer to any founders, team members, success stories or even who their clients are.
  • Their website states that if you’re a successful applicant, you will not be employed as an AG employee, but rather an independent freelance transcriptionist.

You’re also temporary, not permanent. This is totally fine if you don’t want a job that provides package benefits. If you want medical benefits for example, this is not the job for you.

I also can’t find a TrustPilot account, nor many real-world reviews that don’t come from their own website or associated employees.

They have a strict working hours policy as most of their work is during either live conference calls, you will need to be available during the following hours, or some point during these hours:

  • 4AM – 2PM
  • 4.30PM – 7.30PM

You must also have a silent working environment, so if you’re a busy mother with 2 young kids, it’s unlikely you’ll fit this criteria.

Related: 21 Popular Hobbies that Make Money

3. TranscribeMe

Average Pay: Between $0.30 to $1.10 per audio minute transcribed, not worked

Scam or Legit?: Legit

Recommend: Yes, one of the better online transcription jobs for beginners

TranscribeMe claims they have the industry’s best earning rates, with beginners starting at $15-22 per audio hour transcribed.

They further state that their top earners make $2,200 per month, whilst average earnings fall in the $250 per month range.

I’m so glad they mentioned average earnings on their website because worked hours is not the same as audio hours.

If you have medical, legal or another speciality transcription skill you can offer, you can join one of their ‘special’ teams, which supposedly offer higher pay.

Indeed reviews confirm that beginners are grouped into the introductory pool, which is where you’ll find easier, but lower paying jobs.

Better paid roles are offered as you take on more jobs.


  • They provide a professional working environment, and according to reviews, their staff are friendly.
  • Payment is fast without any tax deductions.
  • Great starting point for beginners.


  • Some of the machine generated work offers low pay and requires lots of editing.
  • If you are inactive for more than a month without filing an inactivity notice, your account can be deactivated.
  • Some claim there is a shortage of work in the introductory pools.

4. TigerFish

Average Pay: Between $0.04 per audio line transcribed, not worked

Scam or Legit?: Legit

Recommend: Yes, if you’re looking to make a small amount of additional income per month

Tigerfish has a solid reputation in the transcription industry. Whilst their website is minimalistic and they have no Trustpilot or Better Business profile, there are numerous reviews on personal blogs and forums that praise Tigerfish as a place to work.

Here’s the thing, they don’t actively advertise on their website that they’re seeking transcriptionists, no matter how hard you look.

But, they do have an application portal online, it’s just not attached to the main website.

Some might say this is ‘fishy’ (pun intended), but I think they’re being selective. This is a quick way to weed out applicants who don’t have the initiative to look for details themselves.

However, don’t expect to rake in the money with Tigerfish.

For beginners, they pay an industry standard of $0.04 per line transcribed.

Depending on how fast you type, and the quality of the audio you’re given, this works out at $5-9 per working hour.

Most of the transcribers on this platform are people looking to gain experience before they head off to the higher paying platforms such as Accuro.

To join TigerFish as a transcriptionist, you will need:

  • To be a legal US Citizen, based in the US
  • Access to a high-speed internet connection
  • A Windows-based computer
  • A Copy of Express Scribe (This is a free transcription software program, but if you want to continue working with the company, you should purchase a copy of Power Play by Start Stop)
  • A telephone number (Slightly unusual for a transcription company, but Tigerfish states that you may need to be reached regularly by phone)


  • They have good reviews on Indeed and Glassdoor.
  • Lots of current and former freelancers mention they’re great for flexible working, and their hours aren’t strict.
  • Great if you’re looking for supplemental income.
  • Experienced transcriptionists can earn between $9-12 per working hour.


  • Their pay is a little on the low side, although it is considered industry standard for a beginner.
  • Some recent reviewers mention that you will have to take up to 3 different tests to be accepted onto the platform.
  • They also consistently expect a 98% accuracy mark or higher on each assignment.

5. REV

Average Pay: Between $0.30 to $1.10 per audio minute transcribed, not worked

Scam or Legit?: Legit

Recommend: Generally yes, especially if you speak a foreign language. But there are a few caveats to be aware of.

REV is an online transcription start-up with headquarters in San Francisco and Austin, USA.

They claim to work with big names and Fortune 500 companies such as Google, NBC, Microsoft and many more.

They are perhaps the most beginner-friendly, as they don’t expect a lot, if any experience in transcription.

If you speak a foreign language, you can apply for their high-paying translation subtitler roles. They pay between $1.50 to $3.00 per audio minute transcribed, which is pretty decent for this kind of company.

To get started as a transcriber they recommend you take their proficiency test, submit a transcription sample which will be reviewed to ensure it matches their quality guidelines and then if you’re approved you can start working shortly thereafter.

However, and it’s a big however.

Reviews of REV are very mixed. Some say that it’s a great opportunity for students and stay at home parents to make a small amount of extra money on the side during hours that suit them.

Other reviews? They’re a little worrying.

Rev made headlines recently for slashing its minimum pay from $0.45 per minute transcribed to $0.30 per minute.

They justified this by stating they are compensating transcribers more for difficult projects and so average earnings will remain the same.

I will note that this doesn’t make sense, given that not all transcribers will take on more complex projects. For those desperately trying to get by, this pay cut drastically affected bottom lines.

On Indeed, one worker mentions that their REAL average wage per hour is $4-$6, which is below minimum wage. They further state that the typical rate per minute is transcribed is $0.45 to $0.65.

The review further states however that ‘it’s nice to be able to make a few bucks if I have some spare time in the comfort of your own home with no direct oversight.’

My verdict? I recommend treating REV as an additional source of income, but absolutely not your bread and butter lifeline. Combine work with this company from more reputable ones, just in case things hit the fan.


  • You get to work at home, and create your own working hours
  • No job is forced on you, you get to accept or reject it
  • Good side gig for additional supplemental income
  • Payouts are made weekly, rather than monthly


  • The rate you’re paid is job based, often decided by their algorithm
  • Unusually harsh guidelines to meet and random ‘firings’
  • Reviewers mention poor feedback from editors

Other potential transcription companies to look at:

I’ve done some preliminary research on these companies and they generally have good reviews, and on the surface seem like good options for beginners looking to make money from home.

  • Hollywood Transcription
  • Daily Transcription
  • Go Transcript
  • Speech Pad
  • Ubiqus
  • Transcription Wing
  • Casting Words

Online Transcription Companies I’d Be Cautious Of

Scribie – It’s got bad reviews on Glassdoor, Trustpilot and generally people aren’t very happy with the service as a paid Transcriber.

Reviewers say that it is a legitimate company that will pay you money, but it’s absolutely not worth your time in terms of the hours you will spend for monetary gain. They pay as little as $0.66 per working hour, not audio hour. Yes, really.

Bam! Transcription – It’s impossible to find any information out about this company. I’m sure it’s legitimate as it has a founder, profile picture, HQ address and contact details, but there’s no obvious application.

The website’s dated, there’s no details on pay, type of work you’ll receive, how you will get paid, job requirements, set hours, nada. This doesn’t outright make it a bad place to work, but I’d be cautious.

AppenScribe – Can’t find a website for them, or an application form. People mention them in reviews online but I literally can’t find a thing about them.

1-888-Type-it-Up – They’ve got a myriad of bad reviews, with some claiming they never receive their payments after doing the work. Their website isn’t professional and I can’t find much about them at all.

Neal R Goss LLC – Very bad reviews online. Would avoid at all costs.

Will I Get Rich Transcribing At Home?

Unfortunately, no, but you will be able to supplement your current source of primary income. You can expect to earn anywhere from $100 to $1500 a month with the companies listed above. These online transcription jobs for beginners are exactly that, for beginners.

Once you have more experience you can join the higher-paying transcription companies or even better start attracting your own clients. Fiverr is a good place to start if you don’t have a complete portfolio.

Common Requirements for a Transcription Job

Transcriptionists don’t need a lot of special equipment to start making money from home, an attractive advantage to this side hustle. Unless specified otherwise, you will only need:

  • Good quality earphones
  • A laptop running on Windows 10
  • Transcription Software i.e. EasyScribe, which is usually provided by the company
  • As you progress you may further need:
  • A foot pedal to stop and start audio recordings without switching tabs
  • High quality, noise cancelling headphones
  • Your own transcription software

Skills Tested in a Transcription Application/Test

Every company will have its own skills test, but here’s a general list of skills you should have before applying:

  • Good typing pace (usually 70wpm or above)
  • Accurate listening skills
  • Ability to decipher accents
  • Solid grammatical understanding, including punctuation
  • Excellent grasp of the English Language
  • Transcription formatting
  • Critical thinking skills (i.e. knowing the difference between ‘here’ and ‘hear’ in audio tapes)
  • Real time captioning for more advanced jobs

To test your current skills, try this transcription practice test provided by GoTranscript.

FAQs – How to Start Making Money Typing From Home

These are some of the most common questions I get asked.

How Do I Get a Transcription Job with No Experience?

The companies I’ve mentioned above in this article will accept complete beginners and newbies. You will need to fill out their application form and pass a few tests.

Are Online Transcription Jobs Worth It?

Yes, if you’re looking to make some additional income each month. Depending on the company you choose to work with, you could make anywhere between $100-1500 per month.

As you become more advanced, it’s possible to combine private clients with higher-paying companies to make a full time income.

How Much Does An Online Beginner Transcriptionist Make?

Online transcription jobs are highly popular work from home jobs. With the right listening and grammatical skills, a beginner transcriptionist can expect to make anywhere between $100-2000 per month, depending on the number of hours worked. With more experience, you can expect to make $3,000+ a month.

What is the Difference Between Working Hours and Audio Hours?

Working hours refers to how many hours it physically takes you to complete a job. Audio hours however are how long the audio file is for you to transcribe. It might take you 3 hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio. This is why it’s important to note a company’s pay per audio minute, because it’s not what you’re getting per working hour.

How Long Does It Take to Transcribe One Hour of Audio?

Depends on your individual skill level, but on average it takes 2-3 working hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio.

How Fast do I Need to Type to be a Transcriber?

Usually you will need to be able to type a minimum 70 words per minute.

Is Transcribing Hard?

Transcribing is not a difficult skill to learn, although it does take excellent listening and grammatical skills. With some basic training and a simple transcription course, you can make transcription simple.

What Are the Best Transcription Training Courses For Beginners? How Can I Learn Transcription at Home?

There are some extremely good paid and free courses out there. Below you’ll find the best-value transcription training courses for newbies:

  • Transcribe Anywhere (ranging from $127 to $797).
  • Transcription Skills – Beginners to Advanced (Udemy)
  • Learn How to Transcribe (Skillshare)
  • Step-by-Step Transcription – Start a New Career (Udemy)

Which is Better? A Transcriber or a Captioner?

Captioners are paid a slightly higher base rate than transcriptionists. Captioners may be called upon to work live conference calls or provide captions to well-watched Youtube videos so availability if crucial.

If you speak a foreign language, it’s definitely worth becoming a captioner as companies will often pay $1-1.50 per audio minute which is much higher than what a general transcriptionist will earn.

Pros and Cons of Becoming a Transcriptionist

Before embarking on the journey of becoming a transcriptionist, it’s worth noting some important pros and cons.


  • You work your own hours
  • Flexible working is allowed
  • Great for additional income each month
  • Not difficult once you know what you’re doing
  • You get to work from home
  • There are no expensive start-up costs unlike with a product business
  • Opportunity to progress and gain higher-paying jobs


  • Pay can be low when you’re just getting started
  • Can be tedious, repetitive work
  • Long periods of lone working

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