Learn How to Make Money on TranscribeMe
Looking for tips on how to make money on TranscribeMe? Not sure where to get started?
In this TranscribeMe earning guide, we'll break down how each opportunity on the platform works, ways to maximize your earnings (and waste less time), and more.
What is TranscribeMe?
TranscribeMe is a crowdsourcing marketplace for transcription and translation services. Here, organizations can quickly hire crowdsourced help while freelance contractors can get paid for transcribing and translating content. Founded in 2011, the platform is based in San Francisco. Learn more.
How Much Money Can You Earn on TranscribeMe?
Unfortunately, we don't have enough user data to give an accurate estimate on TranscribeMe's earning potential.
Want to contribute your own data? Write a review!
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How to Start Earning on TranscribeMe
If you're brand new to TranscribeMe, first, before signing up, make sure you meet the requirements:
|Minimum Age:||18 years old|
Due to legal regulations, TranscribeMe doesn't allow freelancer sign-ups from California or Massachusetts.
TranscribeMe has an app available for customers who want to order services. Freelancers who want to work for the platform must do so from a computer.
|Other:||Freelancers must provide photo ID verification.|
Step 1. Create Your Account
You can apply for a TranscribeMe freelancer account here.
Once you click ‘Get Started' you'll be brought to the application form:
Fill it in, hit ‘Create Profile', and you should receive a verification email. Read it and verify your account.
Step 2. Pass the English Entrance Exam
Once your email is verified, your account will be activated and you'll receive another email containing further instructions. You'll then be asked to sign in to your TranscribeMe account and take the English Entrance Exam.
Similar to other transcription sites, the exam involves transcribing sample audio files and answering multiple-choice questions. It is pretty simple (even if you do not have prior transcription experience) as long as you follow the provided style guide.
There's no time limit for the exam but TranscribeMe recommends setting aside 3 hours for it. Completing it in one sitting is highly recommended but in case you cannot, you must complete a full section before exiting. Otherwise, your progress might not be saved.
You'll be given two attempts for this exam. If you fail your first attempt, you'll only have one chance to take it again. If you pass the exam, you will receive a welcome email within three business days. However, if you fail after the second attempt, you will be given a 30-day wait period before you can try again.
Step 3. Submit Your Documents (Optional)
After receiving the welcome email, you may receive another email asking you to upload a valid photo ID such as a passport or driver’s license for verification purposes. The details in your submitted ID should match the details you have entered on the registration page.
Step 4. Start Earning
Once you receive confirmation that your account is activated and fully verified, you can start taking jobs from the WorkHub by logging in and clicking the Transcription tab.
I recommend familiarizing yourself with the interface and the formatting rules by completing jobs as a general transcriber first. Always review the changes that were made by QAs so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes and get higher accuracy ratings.
Work may be slow at first but once you get the hang of it, you can start attempting the various advancement exams to have access to more files and higher earnings.
Good luck! If you ever need a refresher, come back to this TranscribeMe review/guide!
- Inactivity: If you haven’t submitted a file after 30 days, your account may be considered inactive and may be deactivated without notice. Only submitted files appearing in your Work History are considered as activity. Any canceled files are not included. If you know you’re going to be inactive for a while and want to prevent your account from being deactivated, you can notify TranscribeMe beforehand by filling out the Inactivity Form on Yammer.
- Poor performance: Poor performance can cause you to lose access to certain types of work (e.g. special teams), or be banned from the platform completely.
Ways to Make Money on TranscribeMe
1. General Transcription
This is the intro role that everyone starts at on TranscribeMe.
Upon passing TranscribeMe’s English Entrance Exam, you are hired as a general transcriber. You’ll now have access to the WorkHub, which is TranscribeMe’s native transcription tool.
Here, you’ll receive audio files (aka transcription jobs). Job files are split into multiple chunks, with each audio chunk usually being 2-4 minutes long (files can be a max of 8 minutes). These files are randomly assigned.
Pictured above is what the WorkHub looks like when there are no files available. The page constantly and instantly refreshes so once a new file is assigned to you, it will automatically be displayed in the WorkHub and you can immediately start working on it.
The availability of files really varies from time to time. Sometimes a new file will be available immediately after you complete one and other times you have to wait for a while before you’re able to work on a new file.
Tip: You can only take one job at a time so the key to maximizing your earning potential is speed and accuracy.
General transcribers earn at a rate of $15 per audio hour.
Note that audio hour refers to the actual duration of the audio file, not the time spent working on it. Given this rate, a 2-minute audio chunk, which is the usual length assigned to general transcribers, would pay $0.50.
Jobs are assigned randomly, which means you don’t have the option to choose which files to work on. However, if you encounter an audio chunk that you do not want to work on, simply click on the three vertical dots beside the Submit button and click on Cancel.
Upon cancellation, the job will be assigned to another transcriber and a new file will be assigned to you (if available).
Working On Audio Files
The screenshot above shows what the WorkHub looks like once a job is assigned to you. It is very straightforward, and you simply have to type on it.
Tip: You can adjust the playback speed and volume to make files easier to understand. There are also different keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) that you can change and use to speed up your work.
Once an audio chunk is assigned to you, it is yours to work on as long as you are actively typing. If you become inactive for 60 times the length of the audio chunk (e.g. 1 hour for a 1-minute audio chunk), the job will be returned to the pool and assigned to another transcriber.
Submitting Your Work
Upon submitting your completely transcribed audio chunk, the file will then be sent to a reviewer from TranscribeMe’s Quality Assurance team to check for accuracy and edit any mistakes you might have made.
A job will only be considered completed once it is successfully rated by a QA. Only then will the amount earned be available for withdrawal. The amount of time it takes for files to be rated varies.
Keep in mind:
TranscribeMe does NOT expect transcribers to have a 100% accuracy rate. Once a job is completed, the percent changed/corrected by QA will be shown, and approximately 15% changed or less is expected. An overall average percent change of 10% or lower is an indication that you are doing well.
Audio chunks with over 30% changed will automatically be rejected by the system and result in zero pay. There are also instances when a QA can reject a job even if less than 30% is changed. More detailed information on rejection can be found here.
Note: A rejected job does not automatically mean that your account will be deactivated. A rejection percentage of less than 5% is what’s expected. TranscribeMe will evaluate your overall work history and the number of rejections you have had before deactivation.
2. Specialty Transcription Teams
TranscribeMe provides opportunities beyond general transcription. These typically offer higher rates or increased work availability.
To qualify for these higher-earning opportunities, you have to pass different advancement exams available within the site. Some exams are only available in certain regions.
Below are some of the specialty transcription teams in TranscribeMe and their corresponding pay rates. A more detailed list can be found here.
- Description: Work on files with special formatting requirements and guidelines
- Available to US and Australia based transcribers only
- Requires government ID check and a free background check
- Must complete a special styles exam
- Pay rate: $25/audio hour
- Description: Opens up more work opportunities at the $15/audio hour pay rate level
- Requirements: Must complete accent exams and a commonwealth spelling exam
First Draft Champions
- Description: Work on files that are sent directly to the client without going through QA.
- Requirements: Pass the First Draft exam + have your recent work evaluated.
- Pay rate: $22/audio hour + eligibility for FDC sweepstakes (we’re not exactly sure what these are) and other bonuses
- Description: Work on a wide variety of projects with special style guidelines, ranging from clean and full verbatim, special tags, to special number formatting.
- 75 completed unrejected transcription jobs
- ID verification
- Pass the TME Plus Special Styles exam
- High accuracy
- Description: Deal with audio files involving medical terms.
- 150+ completed unrejected transcription jobs
- Pass the medical transcription exam
3. QA Teams
TranscribeMe’s quality assurance team members are sourced from the pool of general transcribers. If you submit high-quality and accurate work often, you may get an invite to apply for one of the teams below.
ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) QA
- Description: Review and correct files that are transcribed by automatic speech recognition software.
- Requirements: Must pass an ASR exam
- Pay rate: $25/audio hour
- Description: Edit files submitted by general transcribers.
- Must pass first draft exam and English 2Step QA exam
- Must complete at least 30 jobs non-rejected as a transcriber
- Requires valid photo ID
- Pay rate: $23 per audio hour, $35 per audio hour for rush files.
- Description: Add timestamps and speaker IDs to First Draft Plus files.
- Requirements: Complete the English FD Stamper exam
- Pay rate: $7-$10/audio hour + weekly sweepstakes and other bonus opportunities
- Description: Transcribe full audio files rather than smaller chunks. Add timestamps and speaker IDs. Files are sent directly to the client.
- Requirements: Must upload valid photo ID
- Pay rate: $35/audio hour during probation, and then $40/audio hour afterward + sweepstakes and other bonuses
4. QA Advancement Teams
These are the highest level roles available on TranscribeMe. You’ll have to be a part of one or more of the QA teams above to even get an invite.
Full Verbatim QAs
- Description: Complete full verbatim transcriptions (i.e. including all stutters, filler words, etc.).
- Must be a member of the 2Step or QuickStep QA team
- Must complete full verbatim exam
- Pay rate: $50/audio hour
- Description: Check the work of new QAs and help train them.
- Requirements: Invite only.
- Pay rate: $27/audio hour, $13.50/audio hour for snippets
TranscribeMe Tips and Tricks to Earn More Money
Ok, now that you know how to make money on TranscribeMe, let's look at some tips to help you earn more in less time.
1. Use Yammer
As soon as your TranscribeMe account is activated, you will receive an invite to join their community platform on Yammer. It is TranscribeMe’s official platform for any announcements, updates, and for interacting with transcribers. You can use it to ask help from admins and other transcribers.
It is a very active community in which transcribers engage with each other and share tips and best practices. It is also a great platform to hear about real people’s experiences with working for TranscribeMe.
2. Use the Transcriber Library
This is basically TranscribeMe’s help page which contains an extensive collection of resources such as guides, exam handbooks, FAQs, tips, etc.
Aside from the style guide (which you are required to read before taking the entrance exam), other guides containing more detailed explanations can also be found here.
I consider this an additional feature because other transcription sites’ help pages are not as in-depth and detailed as this one. It is a helpful resource that will make completing jobs and passing exams easier.
3. Take Exams
As mentioned above, being a general transcriber is the intro position at TranscribeMe. There are opportunities for advancement and higher paying work if you submit quality work and complete specific exams on the platform.
Above is a sample of what the Exams page looks like. You can view all the currently available exams here. Clicking on ‘Check Exam Info' will show you complete details about the exam including its purpose and prerequisites. Some exams will only be available after you have passed other exams or completed a certain number of jobs.
If a certain exam is not available, it means TranscribeMe is not currently accepting applications for that specific team.
Note: Cheating on exams (e.g. submitting copied answers) will get your account deactivated and blocked.
- Make sure to optimize resources available on the platform (Style Guide), especially documents for entrance exams (Check exam info page).
- After being accepted into the platform, transcribers are granted access to additional exams, which can open up a wider range of work opportunities, often with higher pay rates. Make sure to leverage these exams to maximize your earning potential and broaden your opportunities.
- Study the changes made during QA, you can learn and train on the job, improve your skills and apply this knowledge to future tasks.
- New Transcribers will gain access to the community forums, where they can receive valuable tips and advice from an experienced team of transcribers, QAs, and administrators worldwide. Be sure to take advantage of this resource to enhance your transcription skills and knowledge.
How to Cash Out Your TranscribeMe Earnings
The minimum payout/cash out amount on TranscribeMe is $10. So, you'll need to first earn at least that much before being able to redeem your earnings.
Payouts on TranscribeMe can be received via PayPal.
After hitting the payout threshold and/or requesting a cash out, you can expect to receive your reward/earnings right away or within up to 7 days.
Note: Payouts are processed every Thursday and are usually sent within a few hours of processing time.
Hope you found this TranscribeMe earning guide helpful. You should now have a much better idea of how to make money on TranscribeMe + all of the different money-making opportunities available on the platform.
If you have any questions, or if there's something we missed, please send us a message!