You’ve heard about transcribing as a work-from-home job.
But you’re not sure if you should give it a go as you have no experience.
TranscribeMe (TM) might be the company you’ve been looking for to get started.
They make it easy for beginners to get going with very few requirements.
If you have a computer and internet connection, you have all you need. Although a good headset is also recommended.
You may have seen the promises of earning $15 – $22 per audio hour. Don’t let this fool you into thinking you can earn good money easily.
This is hard work and there is a learning curve, so be prepared!
There are some that go as far as to call TM a scam. But TranscribeMe is legit!
Yes, you may only earn a few dollars per hour when you start but you will earn.
You probably have a few other questions. I will try to answer these in this article.
After reading this review you will have a good idea if you should pursue this work-from-home opportunity.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. For more information visit my disclosure page.
Is TranscribeMe legit?
TranscribeMe is a work from home opportunity that provides transcription jobs for beginners. There is no fee to join but you do have to pass an exam which is quite tricky.
Once you’ve passed the entrance exam you can start transcribing short audio files. You’re free to set your own schedule and work as much or as little as you want. The advertised pay of $15 to $22 per audio hour means you may only earn $4 or $5 an hour. An audio hour can take 4 or more hours to transcribe.
TranscribeMe is a legitimate program but many are disappointed by the low earnings. But the flexibility of setting your own hours and working from home is much appreciated.
- Flexible – you set your own hours
- Work from home
- Available worldwide
- Free to join
- Pay weekly with PayPal
- Poor pay
- An exam that takes a couple of hours
- Need good typing skills
- Hard to get files to transcribe when you’re starting
What is TranscribeMe?
This is a company that carries out transcription work.
Transcription is listening to an audio file and typing what you hear. When completed you have a text document with the same content as the audio file.
It sounds quite simple but in reality, is much harder. You have to deal with accents, people who mumble, background noise, and researching terms you don’t understand.
TranscribeMe offers 3 different services:
- Transcription – high-quality transcription carried out by humans, people like you
- Speech recognition – machine transcription
- Translation – turn audio into another language
How It Works
A client submits an audio file to TranscribeMe. The file is then split into short microtasks or chunks of 1 or 2 minutes.
These short chunks are then made available to the transcriptionists.
Once all the chunks have been transcribed, they are checked by quality assurance and then joined together.
Timestamps and speaker IDs are added. Then one final review and the completed file is sent to the client.
By splitting the audio file into small chunks, this speeds up the process of transcribing. Several transcribers can work simultaneously on the same audio file.
It also makes the work less monotonous and allows for more flexibility in the schedule of the transcriptionist.
Can You Join as a Beginner – Do You Need Any Qualifications?
You can start as a beginner. No qualifications needed.
But, you will have to pass the entry exam. Only about 15% of those who take the exam pass.
Most transcription companies submit new transcribers to a test. This isn’t exclusive to TranscribeMe.
The other point to consider is that transcription won’t suit everyone. You need to have certain skills and qualities.
Don’t think this is an easy way to earn money, it’s not!
The skills you need are:
- a good typing speed
- a good understanding of grammar and spelling
- knowledge of punctuation
The qualities required are:
- being an attentive listener
- able to sit in front of your computer for hours
- wanting to provide quality work with few errors and see where you can improve
If you have these skills and qualities transcribing could be a good opportunity for you.
The sign-up process is straightforward. You need an email address and a Paypal account so you can be paid.
After signing up and verifying your email address you are directed to the exam page.
Before starting the exam you have to download the English Entrance Exam Instructions and the Style Guide.
One point to note is that you can only access the TM platform using the Google Chrome web browser.
The instructions, advise you to set aside two or three hours to complete the exam. Although you can save your work and come back later, it’s recommended to complete the exam in one go.
Once you have read the Exam Instructions you need to go through the Style Guide which is 39 pages long.
All in all, you will need several hours to read everything and take the exam.
You can have two attempts at the full English exam and one retry for each section of the exam. If you fail the exam after the two attempts and the retries for each section you must wait for 30-days before taking the exam again.
The exam is split into two sections.
Questions on the Style Guide and sample sentences is one section. You need to score 100% for each question to pass this section.
The other section is transcribing an audio file. You must be accurate and follow the Style Guide indications. To pass this section you will need a score in the upper 90s.
Upon finishing the exam you are directed to the results page. You will see your results and have access to retries for the sections you have failed.
If you do fail, you don’t get any feedback on how to improve.
On the other hand, if you pass, your application will be processed and your account activated in two or three days.
After your account has been processed, you will see Jobs you can select in your WorkHub account. Click on the next available job and it will start to play. You will only be compensated for accurately completed jobs. You will need to refer to the Style Guide as you complete your work.
How Much Will You Earn?
After signing up and passing the entrance exam you can earn $15 – $22 per audio hour. When starting you will earn $15 per audio hour.
Average monthly earnings on the platform are $250, the tops earners reportedly earn up to $2,200 per month. If you have a background in medical or legal transcriptions you can earn more.
This sounds great, but there’s one small catch!
One hour of audio can take four or five hours to transcribe.
This means you will be working for only $4 or $5 per hour!
In a video from the TM Community, it’s stated a 60-second audio file may take a beginner 20 minutes to transcribe. It will take this long because you will spend a lot of time researching in the style guide. But you will get faster!
Be aware, your earnings in your first months might not be great. One transcriber, I’ve read about only earned $20 in their first month and this for nearly 20 hours work.
As a beginner, you might not be offered much work in your first month. But as you prove your worth you will be offered more jobs.
If your work is accurate there is the possibility of moving up to higher levels where you can earn more. Every audio minute you successfully transcribe will count towards your skill level progression.
What Are Their Transcribers Saying?
There is a mixed bag of comments from TranscribeMe transcriptionists.
There are some that love their work and are happy working for TM. But at the same time, there are many others who call the scheme a scam and are unhappy with how little they earn per hour.
Even some that are happy transcribing with TM are disappointed with the pay. They keep working for them because the hours are flexible and they work from home.
There are also complaints about the exam and the time it takes.
You can see more on Glassdoor where the overall TranscribeMe satisfaction score is 3.8 out 5.
There are more comments about the poor pay on Reddit.
Do a little research and you will find lots of complaints but also happy transcribers.
Is TranscribeMe the Best Company to Work For as a Transcriptionist?
There are several other companies that accept beginners but in general, the pay is quite poor. Each has its own entrance exam.
TranscribeMe is a little different in that they break down the audio files into small chunks. Some transcribers seem to like this while others prefer longer files.
The big advantage is that the shorter files allow more flexibility.
If you are serious about transcribing following a good training course would be my recommendation. You will spend time doing the course and there will be a cost.
Investing a little time and money will give you the chance of earning much more than a few dollars per hour.
The average income for a general transcriptionist is $45,000 so you would soon recuperate the price of the training.
Is TranscribeMe Legit?
TranscribeMe is a legitimate site and could be a good choice for a work-at-home mom to earn some extra cash for the family.
However, if you are one of the 15% that pass the exam the pay is low, and transcribing is not easy. You also need to be a proficient typist.
There is no initial investment so if you are willing to work for the low pay you could give it a go. Or if you want to experience transcription work before investing in an online training course this could be a good place to start.
As I mentioned previously following an online course would be my recommendation.
The Transcribe Anywhere course teaches you how to transcribe and how to find good-paying work after completing the course.
To give you an idea of what’s involved in a career as a transcriptionist and to see if it’s right for you they have a free 7-day course.
An Alternative To Transcription
If you’re not certain transcription jobs are right for you. I recommend starting your own online business. That’s the road I took and I now have a business that earns me an income every month.
To achieve this I followed an online training course that offers all the tools and support you need to get started. You can even join for free to check it out.
Thanks for reading my TranscribeMe review.
Have you worked for this company? Is transcription something you would consider? Any other questions or comments let me know below.