If you’re someone who knows their way around a keyboard pretty well, I understand why you might be wondering, Is TranscribeMe Legit? Making money working from home, and using a skill you already possess like typing, sounds like a pretty good gig!
But before you jump into transcription work, you need to know things like how much money you can earn and if TranscribeMe will reliably pay you for your services, right?
I have some recent, hands-on experience that I’ll share in this comprehensive review of TranscribeMe. We’ll discuss the nature of the program including pros and cons. And, by the end of today’s post, you’ll be in a far better position to make an informed decision.
So, kick back and let’s explore this intriguing program, shall we?
What is TranscribeMe?
TranscribeMe is an online organization that uses crowdsourcing techniques to convert audio clips into content searchable text files. The company offers services in multiple industries including market research, medical, legal, academic research, and entertainment, among others.
After checking them out in Crunchbase, I discovered the company’s been around since 2011 and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. TranscribeMe hires crowd transcribers from all over the world and claims to have more than 1 million workers.
How Does TranscribeMe Work?
You can register with TranscribeMe for free by completing a form with primary personal data. You must be 18 years of age, but they don’t have an educational requirement. However, after you register, you must complete a reasonably rigorous qualification exam.
You will need a computer, a stable Internet connection, the Chrome browser installed, and a very comprehensive understanding of English grammar rules. You must also immediately download and become familiar with their Clear Verbatim Style Guide which you’ll be tested on.
The instructions indicated I should plan on spending at least 2-3 hours on the exam, but I’m sure I spent closer to 4 hours. I did pass on my first attempt, but it wasn’t easy. Accuracy expectations are high. You must achieve scores of 100% on the Style questions and scores over 98% on each of the audio transcription exercises.
If you don’t pass all sections the first time, you get one re-try. If you’re still not successful, you must wait 30 days before you can try again. Accurately transcribing the three audio files, of 4 minutes duration apiece, was quite challenging
Within a few days of passing the exam, you should receive an email that work is available on TranscribeMe’s Workhub. Audio files are broken down into short snippets of 10 seconds to 1 minute. Projects can be completed quickly by distributing the work among a large number of people and then reassembling.
Transcriptions are submitted to Quality Assurance (QA) editors and reviewers. Here again, accuracy expectations are high. Work can be rejected if you don’t meet an expected quality level of 98% or 2 corrections in 100 words.
How Much Can You Earn With TranscribeMe?
Earnings for crowd transcribers start at $15 to $22 per audio hour. You should recognize that the industry standard for transcription time is one hour for every 15 minutes of audio. So your compensation rate per hour worked will be very small and far less than minimum wage.
Naturally, your typing proficiency and level of experience will impact the time it takes you to transcribe an audio file. But based on my experience, multiple other factors affect your transcription rate like the following:
- How good is the sound recording quality?
- How many speakers are conversing?
- Is there background noise like radio music?
- Do speakers have heavy accents?
- Is there a lot of crosstalk (i.e., do speaker interrupt and talk over each other)?
- Do speakers talk fast or motor on at length before pausing for a break?
- Do speakers use a lot of “crutch” words such as “you know” or “like” that need to be edited out?
- How much research is required to find the proper spelling of names, places, or very specialized terms?
Just as an example of the last bullet point, one of the audio files on my exam dealt with an interview about nautical archeology. Most definitely not a topic I’m intimately familiar with. So, when it came time to transcribe the name of a dig related to a 2,900-year-old shipwreck at Cape Gelidonya, I was clueless and had to take the time to Google it.
If you’re transcribing a college lecture, or perhaps a podcast, where only one person is speaking, it might not be too bad. Conversely, a conference or focus group with many participants might be significantly more challenging.
It is possible to move up in the ranks by taking various exams and eventually become a QA which pays better. There are also specialized fields like Medical that pay better than more general transcription services.
Per TranscribeMe’s website, average monthly earnings are $250, and the highest earner makes $2,200 per month.
How Will You Be Paid?
TranscribeMe pays everyone through PayPal every week. I’ve read a bunch of reviews on Trustpilot and Indeed that were submitted by crowd transcribers, and it appears that TranscribeMe can be relied upon to pay for all satisfactory work.
Major complaints centered around low pay rates and the fact that you won’t be paid for work that’s rejected due to excessive errors.
Is TranscribeMe Legit? Yes, there is absolutely no question of the legitimacy of this platform. There’s no indication of sketchy or scammy behavior at all. That said, is it worth your time? Well, I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews on that one.
I certainly don’t think it makes sense for me. Then again, I do too much hunting and pecking, and I’m not a fast typist. Many people posting online reviews think it’s a fabulous opportunity to work from home and achieve a very flexible work schedule working when and if they choose.
I’m sure my opinion is very much influenced by the fact that I’ve found a superior way to generate income from home. Not only do I love my life as a blogger, but my income potential is many times greater. If you love typing, TranscribeMe may be just the ticket for you.
But, you may also want to explore this blogging and affiliate marketing thing that I do. Anyone who gets proper training can follow their passions and make money online with affiliate marketing. So, you may want to do yourself a favor and check out a starter membership at Wealthy Affiliate.
You can read more about the benefits and advantages of WA here. Or, you can click the banner below to create a free, no risk account today, The choice is yours and I wish you well!
Over to You
If you’ve worked for TranscribeMe, will you jump into the comments and share your experiences? And please let me know if you have any additional questions. I respond to every comment!