How Much Do Transcriptionists Make?

How Much Do Transcriptionists Make

Transcription jobs are among the most straightforward kind of work-from-home positions to find. But is a transcription job going to pay well?

Well, we did our research into transcription companies and can help you understand how much you can make as a transcriptionist.


How Much Does Transcription Work Pay?

One thing you should know is that generally speaking, transcription jobs tend to pay by the audio minute or sometimes, the audio hour.

So, if you take a look a the transcription jobs we’ve got links to on this site, including those for people with no experience and those with disabilities, you’ll tend to find they use audio minutes for the pay rate.

That means the quoted pay rate is for each audio minute that you transcribe.

So, if the job is to transcribe 15 audio minutes at a rate of $1 per audio minute. The total pay for that job is $15, no matter how long it takes for you to carry out the transcription.


The Audio Minute And Transcription Jobs

This is very important for you to understand.

Because while you may think that 15 audio minutes is 15 minutes and thus, the rate of pay would be $60/hour – you would be very wrong.

It takes a lot longer to transcribe an audio minute for most people than it does to listen to it.


The Real Rate Of Pay For A Transcription Job

When you get started with online transcription work, you will find that you aren’t operating at the maximum speed that a transcriptionist can.

In fact, per hour of audio, it will probably take a general transcription professional around 6 hours to transcribe the tape! It might take longer if your transcription services include the work of legal transcriptionists or working with medical transcription.

That means our $1 per audio minute is not a $60/hour job at all. It’s a $10/hour job.

The good news is that you will get faster as a transcriptionist over time as you improve your listening skills (Forbes has some tips for this) and typing speed.

You will also move on from entry-level work and get paid for higher-paying work as you complete transcription training that leads to better work.


How Much Money Does An Experienced Transcriptionist Make?

Assuming standard transcription work rather than working on legal transcription or as a medical transcriptionist, you can expect to do roughly 1 audio hour in 4 hours of work.

So assuming your transcription company pays $1 for each minute of audio, you’d be looking at around $15/hour.


Transcription Companies Are A Little More Generous Than This

However, we talked to experienced transcriptionists and they say their jobs typically pay more than this – they say that their typing skills, typically, net them $20-$25/hour.

That means the companies they work for offer hourly rates that make it worthwhile to become a general transcriptionist.

However, it’s worth noting that very few transcription jobs come with a salary.

Most companies would rather work on an hourly rate based on audio minutes, than anything else.

That means on average a transcriptionist will earn around $40,000 per year but may not receive much, if anything, in the way of benefits from the company that they work for.

It’s also worth noting that if you specialize in certain fields of transcription such as medical or legal, you’re going to earn more than that.


If you can type at a decent rate of words per minute and you’re prepared to put the effort in to improve your listening, typing, and software skills, you can find decent-paying work transcribing material for clients.

However, it may not be easy, and earning the equivalent of full-time salaries comes with a lot of practice and hard work.

Morgan Graff
Morgan Graff
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