Is Transcription Job Worth It?

Are you thinking of taking up freelance transcription work as a side hustle? Or maybe even transitioning to it full-time? Is transcription job worth it?

Before you make the decision, consider all your options.

Online transcription can be incredibly lucrative when done right.

But if you don’t have the correct set of skills and dedication to succeed, then it’s not worth your time.

In this blog post, we will discuss whether online transcription is truly worth pursuing so that you can make an informed decision about where to invest your energy and resources.

The Opportunity

Transcription does not require joining fees, nor does it demand that you report to a specific place at specified times as traditional jobs do.

Furthermore, you can be your own boss and manage your time as you desire.

Through transcription work, you can have the independent lifestyle you’ve always wanted while getting paid weekly.

It’s no wonder online transcription work is increasingly becoming so popular.

Working as a freelancer in the transcription industry seems like an attractive opportunity.

After all, who wouldn’t want flexible hours, better pay, and the chance to make a good amount of money from the comfort of their own home?

But before you get too caught up in these promises, it’s important to do your research.

Whenever you look for work, especially online, it is important to be mindful and do your research.

Many transcription opportunities are out there, but finding the right one for you can be a difficult task.

Unfortunately, some sites will offer unrealistic amounts of money for minimal effort.

Similarly, there are even YouTube videos that spread this kind of misinformation.

Instead, when looking for transcription jobs, look out carefully and make sure they are authentic opportunities with reasonable pay.

Keep an open mind and comb through the available options to find something genuine.

The Tests

Many legitimate transcription companies offer free training, which includes guidelines and transcription styles.

This is a great way to get started as a transcription professional without investing too much time or money in learning about the field.

However, before one can officially become certified for such a position, one must prove their expertise by passing a test.

Transcription companies have their own requirements for accuracy and turnaround time, and the test is designed to make sure your skills meet their standards.

Applying to become a freelance transcriber can seem like a daunting task, especially when the company requires applicants to score 90% or higher.

However, it’s important to remember that often the exam is as simple as transcribing a short audio clip.

After submitting your work and waiting patiently, you will typically find out whether you passed or failed within three weeks to three months, depending on the company you are applying to.

The Projects

After successfully completing the required tests, there is no guarantee of consistent work.

Many transcribers may find themselves competing for limited jobs.

Jobs appear on an accessible page and can be chosen by anyone.

Transcribers have the choice of which projects they wish to work on.

However, it is a competitive playing field. So make sure to act fast when deciding on a project.

Other transcribers may be ready to snatch away the assignments seconds after they appear online.

Since it’s usually on a first-come, first-served basis, you’ll need lightning-fast reflexes if you want any chance of success.

There are times when all you can do is wait for the next batch of projects and wish there’s enough to make at least $10 for the day. (We experienced this working for Scribie.)

Making a decent living via transcription sites is possible for those with the right skills and experience.

Established professionals have an advantage over newcomers.

Aspiring transcribers must invest time and resources in learning best practices to increase their chances of making a fair wage.

The challenge can be significant but with commitment, they may find success in the industry.

The Difficulties

Audio transcribing can be easy when you first dive in, but poor-quality audio recordings present an entirely different challenge.

High-quality audio clips don’t require much editing and they tend to be the most enjoyable projects.

The overwhelming noise and distortion of lower-quality recordings are enough to make you question why it was recorded this way in the first place.

Interviews in public spaces can pose a number of sound challenges.

Background noise such as clinking cutlery or background conversations creates too much background noise.

Plus, recordings can become distorted when trying to capture distant speakers or individuals with thick accents.

Language barriers can also be an issue if you encounter clips in foreign languages.

Then there are the people who like to talk over one another or use business jargon without providing any context.

On top of that, the sound may remain mumbled no matter how loud you turn up the volume.

Depending on the severity of the audio difficulty, your editing workflow changes and can even become cumbersome.

Although it can be frustrating at times, we should recognize that these difficult projects still provide us with a valuable income stream.

The Penalties

Penalties in the transcription world are real, and they can be a cause of serious concern for newbies.

Transcription sites have stringent rules meant to maintain quality work, and these often take the form of a point system or something similar.

Not meeting the standards may lead to being removed from the team altogether.

Moreover, missing out on deadlines or taking too long to return a transcript may also incur penalties.

All of this can add up to form quite an intimidating situation, especially for those just getting started in transcription work.

It’s important to keep on your toes if you don’t want to incur any penalties.

Ensuring timely an d accurate work is key.

The Deadlines

Working as an audio transcriber is like running a race against the clock.

After you accept a job, you are given a set deadline within hours of accepting it, often giving you little time to familiarize yourself with the material before starting the transcription process.

Audio files range between two and 60 minutes in length, and payments range from $1 to $2.80 cents per audio — not factoring in how long it takes to listen and transcribe each piece.

This means that while newcomers may think they have enough time to complete their job after accepting it, they might find themselves up against the clock if they fail to consider the nuances of each project.

The Better Approach

While transcription sites may offer an introduction to working in the industry, these platforms will typically limit the kind of work and pay you receive.

However, gaining experience as a transcriber can be the gateway to transitioning from an inconsistent side gig into good, steady work, and reliable income.

Therefore, it is worth seeking out direct clients from freelancing platforms and other avenues where you are able to leverage your experience in order to secure better offers.

This kind of approach also means there is less competition for roles, as clients are more likely to choose a worker based on their individual accomplishments and work ethic.

You’ll also ensure that good projects don’t get snatched away by fellow eager freelancers.

You’ll stay ahead of the competition and guarantee that amazing projects don’t pass you by.

This is how it all becomes worth it in the long run.

With experience comes freedom – you can gain the qualifications and confidence to work with clients on your own terms, setting rates that reward your expertise.


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