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General Transcription - Work From Home. Free job listings. Real Companies.

Updated on December 4, 2018
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General transcriptionist for over 10 years. I provide top-notch service to clients while working from the comfort of home.

This article is copyrighted. Do not copy and reprint this article in whole or in part and claim it as your own. If you have a work-at-home website, blog, or newsletter, you must ask for my permission before using any of my content. Infringements will be tracked and resolved. This article is authored by me and was originally on Squidoo before the site folded. Since that time I've noticed portions of my article copied and sent out in work-at-home newsletters. Someone even copied this article into an ebook and is selling it on Amazon. I have never charged for this information and never will. It is absolutely free of charge here. Thanks.

What is General Transcription?

General transcription is anything that is not medical transcription, such as conference calls, seminars, podcasts, reports, sermons, focus groups, statements, radio and television shows, interviews, lectures, etc.

A person once told me, "Transcription doesn't take any skill." Wrong! Transcription isn't rocket science, but it's not so easy that a monkey could do it either. In fact, transcription takes a unique set of skills and high level of intelligence. Contrary to popular belief, transcription is not something that just anyone can do. It sounds like simple work and easy money, but it is not. Transcription is very challenging work and the field is competitive. You must have excellent spelling and grammar, a broad vocabulary, strong attention to detail, the ability to effectively research unfamiliar terminology, general knowledge of a wide variety of subjects, technological expertise, and the appropriate software and equipment.

In addition, you must be willing and able to work independently with no distractions. You must be focused, disciplined, patient, and not easily frustrated. You must be professional in work habits, attitude, and demeanor. You MUST meet deadlines! Treat your clients with respect. If you commit to a job, do it. Don't flake out, make excuses, or disappear. "Working for yourself" is somewhat of a misnomer. In actuality, you work for the client.

Let's examine some key transcription requirements in more detail.

Typing Speed

People talk at rates ranging from about 120 to well over 200 words per minute, so unless you're using a steno machine, you will not be able to type as fast as a person can talk. A steno machine is what court reporters use in a courtroom or deposition proceeding. The faster your typing speed the better, but a minimum of 60 wpm is sufficient for transcription. Ideally you should be able to type at least 15 minutes of audio in one hour. You will also have to proofread the transcript, research unfamiliar terminology, and re-listen to parts of the audio that you didn't get the first time around.

Spelling, Grammar, and Vocabulary

Excellent spelling, grammar, and vocabulary are essential to transcription. Do you know the difference between "compliment" and "complement"? What about "ordinance" and "ordnance"? "Discreet" and "discrete"? "Prescribe" and "proscribe"? Some words are pronounced the same way, or similarly, but spelled differently, so you have to use context to determine the spelling. Are you able to do that? Is it one word, two words, or hyphenated? Sometimes it will depend on how the word is used; i.e., verb, noun, adverb, adjective.

As far as resources to utilize, sometimes the AP Stylebook is recommended, but I don't see the point since you are not going to write anything. You are going to transcribe verbatim speech. As such, I highly recommend utilizing court reporter resources such as Punctuation for Court Reporters by Nathaniel Weiss and Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters by Lillian I. Morson for tips and tricks on how to make the spoken word “make sense” when put into written form. People don’t always speak in grammatically correct sentences, and sometimes they use words that don’t even exist!

There are two types of transcription: Strict verbatim and clean verbatim. Strict verbatim means you have to type every "uh," "ah," etc. Clean verbatim means some minor tweaking is allowed, such as eliminating false starts and excessive stuttering.

Some online resources:

Test Yourself!

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Hearing vs. Listening

Transcription means listening for meaning. You type with your brain, and your hands are simply tools to get the information from your brain to the transcript. It is very important to listen intuitively and with common sense as opposed to just "spacing out" and typing what you hear or think you hear. It's important to be well-read and aware of what's going on in the world around you. You are not a machine just typing words. You need to be able to comprehend the material in order to use context to transcribe it accurately.

Reseach and Proofreading

Always proofread your work. If the audio is especially challenging, you should proof to audio as well. Never assume spellings. Do the research. For example, is it Kmart or K-Mart? Nitpicky, yes, but accuracy is very important. Sometimes you can type in a word phonetically and it will pop up, or you can type in the context of a word and find what you're looking for. Sometimes you will have to do some digging. Don't just automatically put "inaudible" for things you don't understand. Do the research. Search engines are useful tools, but you can't find everything, so it's important to utilize other resources as well.

General Transcription Software and Equipment

You must have:

Express Scribe is the most popular software for transcription. You can download a free trial version, but after the free trial is over, you will be asked to upgrade to the Pro version which costs about $30. You will also have to pay for upgrades to the software. Of course, you don't have to upgrade, but it is highly recommended. Only the Pro version allows transcription of video files.

Transcription is primarily done over the Internet via digital audio/video files, but if working with tapes, then purchasing transcribing machines for standard size and/or microcassette tapes will be necessary as well. If working with DVDs, then consider the Start-Stop DVD/Video transcription system.

Other transcription software programs (free to try):

Also try:

General Transcription Jobs

Here is a list of general transcription companies that hire home-based workers. These are legitimate companies. They do not charge fees. You should never pay anyone a fee to work for them. Any company that asks for money is a scam. They should be paying you to work for them, not the other way around!

Legitimate companies will ask you to fill out a W-9 form. At the end of the year, if you have made over $600 with any one company, that company will issue a 1099-MISC form for you to file with your tax return. You will have to sign an IC (independent contractor) agreement. You may be required to sign confidentiality and/or non-compete agreements as well.

Every company is different regarding how it pays its independent contractors. You may be paid via direct deposit, PayPal, or check. If you opt for direct deposit, you will fill out a direct deposit authorization form. Some companies pay weekly, some pay every two weeks, some pay once per month.

Many of these companies require experience. If you don't have experience, I recommend Transcribe Anywhere for a free online general transcription mini-course to learn more.

Please read the job descriptions very carefully and only apply if you have the skills required. Knowing how to type fast is not enough. Don't send resumes or applications with spelling and punctuation errors.

This list is subject to change, so bookmark this page and keep checking for updates.

  1. 1888TypeItUp (WARNING: They charge a $35 non-refundable "entrance exam fee." Also, see their reviews here. Apply with caution).
  2. 3PlayMedia
  3. A&P Transcription
  4. Aberdeen
  5. Accuscribes
  6. AccuTran Global
  7. Administrative Plus Support Services
  8. Alice Darling Secretarial Services
  9. Allegis Transcription
  10. ALM Transcription
  11. AlphaDog Transcriptions
  12. ANP Transcription
  13. ASC Services (formerly Morningside Partners)
  14. At Home Typing
  15. AudioFile Solutions
  17. Babbletype
  18. Birch Creek Communications
  19. Cambridge Transcriptions
  20. Caption Labs
  21. Caption Sync by Automatic Sync Technologies
  22. CAS Associates
  23. Casting Words
  24. CyberDictate
  25. Daily Transcription
  26. Dictate Express
  27. Done it Now
  28. eTranscriptionJob
  29. eTranscription Solutions
  30. E-Typist
  31. eWord Solutions
  32. Focus Forward
  33. GMR Transcription
  34. GoTranscript
  35. Hollywood Transcriptions
  36. iScribed
  37. Kendall Creek Communications
  38. Landmark Associates
  39. Moving On Productions
  40. Multilingual Connections (must have multi-language skills)
  41. National Capitol Contracting
  42. Net Captioning
  43. Net Transcripts
  44. NoteVault
  45. On the Record Reporting & Transcription (must live in the Austin, TX, area)
  46. Pactera Remote
  47. Pioneer Transcription Services
  48. Preferred Transcriptions
  49. Production Transcripts
  50. Quality Transcription Solutions
  51. Quality Transcription Specialists
  52. QuickTate
  53. (transcription)
  54. (captions)
  55. RNK Productions, LLC | 1st Choice Transcription
  56. Same Day Transcriptions
  57. Say it Back
  58. Scribie
  59. SpeakWrite
  60. Speechpad
  61. Take Note Typing
  62. Take1 Transcription
  63. Talking Type Captions
  64. Task Transcription Services
  65. Terescription
  66. Tigerfish
  68. TranscribeMe!
  69. Transcript Divas
  70. Transcription Etc.
  71. Transcription Experts
  72. Transcription Express (Arizona only)
  73. Transcription For Everyone
  74. Transcription Hub
  75. Transcription Outsourcing
  76. Transcriptions 'N Translations
  77. TruTranscripts
  78. TTE Transcripts Worldwide
  79. TypeWell
  80. Ubiqus
  81. Vanan Transcription
  82. Verbal Ink
  83. VerbIT (foot pedal not required)
  84. VIA Captions (foot pedal not required)
  85. VITAC Captions
  86. Voxtab
  87. Way With Words
  88. WeScribeIt
  89. Word Wizards
  90. Written Communications


Do you work from home doing transcription?

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General Transcription Pay Rates

Pay for general transcription usually ranges from $10 to $60 per audio hour. The average transcriptionist takes about four hours to transcribe one hour of audio, which breaks down to about $2.50 to $15 per hour.

How to Get Started in General Transcription

No experience? Transcribe Anywhere offers a free online course in general transcription (and legal transcription). Check them out.

You can also try freelance sites such as Guru and Upwork where you bid on jobs that match your skills and qualifications. If you do win a project, do not back out of it or abandon the project. Do the best job you can and proofread your work before submission. This will ensure that you get positive feedback which will help you get more projects and make more money. Remember, you work for the client, not for yourself, so be sure to do exactly what the client asks when the client asks you to do it.

You can apply with one or more of the companies I've listed in this article. You will have to take and pass one or more tests to prove you have the skills and experience necessary for the job.


General transcription is not for everyone, but it is a good opportunity for stay-at-home moms, retirees, and disabled individuals to make extra money. It is a lot tougher than most people think. It is not an "easy money" job. It's not simple typing. It's not brainless work. You must have skills, talent, intelligence, and professionalism. Just because it's a work-from-home job doesn't mean it's not a real job. It is a real job that requires real skills and real discipline.

© 2014 transcriptionjobs


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    Post Comment

    • rharper profile image


      3 weeks ago from West Texas

      Thanks for the English test.

    • SgtCecil profile image

      Cecil Kenmill 

      2 months ago from Osaka, Japan

      Good info and clever quiz. I missed only 1 question!

    • transcriptionjobs profile imageAUTHOR


      3 months ago

      Thanks for the info. This company appears to be based in London, but their FAQs indicate that they hire from outside the UK as well, so I've included the link in the list of companies that hire transcribers.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Have you tried ? They are an online transcription service that host a test so you can apply for a job.

      Not as easy to get a job for as or but the rates are much better.

      The application test is harder, so its best to experienced transcribers

    • wordsmith2418 profile image

      Veronica Lewis 

      10 months ago from Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

      Thank you for your hub! Lots of useful information. I will sign up with one of the companies listed.


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