how to become a transcriptionist headerThere are several ways to make a living from home – one of the popular methods is to become a transcriptionist.

But how to become a transcriptionist so you can work online from wherever you want to?

There are different approaches to this – some are more effective than others.

Which approach is the best depends on your goals and time frame. Below I will go over what you can expect if you decide you want to be a transcriptionist and 3 ways to get started.

So after reading this, you will be able to easily see if it is the right job for you and how to get started the best possible way if you find out it is.

Can you make a living as a transcriptionist from home?

When it comes to any work-from-home opportunity or online work, it is very important to go into it with the right expectations.

So before becoming a transcriptionist, you need to know what to expect in terms of earnings and what is realistic.

The earning potential will depend on a few things. For example, if you choose to specialize in a certain area. You can, for example, become a medical transcriptionist or a legal transcriptionist. Or you can choose to be a general transcriptionist.

It is also possible to combine the different areas but sometimes it can give more opportunities to be specialized as well. And by becoming a trained transcriptionist, you will also be able to earn more.

But overall, it definitely is possible to make a living by working from home as a transcriptionist.

According to, the average hourly rate for a transcriptionist is $15.16.

transcriptionist average salary

It is definitely possible to make a living as a transcriber.

It is important to mention that this is if you get US jobs. If you get jobs in other countries, the average will in many cases be different.

An important thing about this average rate is to notice in the image above that it is also possible to make up to $26 per hour.

This will all depend on your experience, your skills, and the type of jobs you get.

But overall, it definitely is possible to make a living as a transcriptionist.

You just need to understand it is a job so you do have to work for the money. I always mention this when it comes to online work opportunities as people often think they can make money online without having to work for it and that is just not true.

But being a transcriptionist can give you the ability to work from home and work on your own terms, which gives A LOT of freedom.

This is definitely possible if you do it with the right approach.

How long does it take to become a transcriptionist?

How long it takes to become a transcriptionist depends on your long-term goals and previous experience.

In theory, you can get started right away and if you are lucky, you can start getting jobs already within the next few days.

However, one thing people often misunderstand when it comes to transcribing is that just because you can write does not mean you will be a good transcriptionist. There is more to it than that.

So if you have no previous experience, it can pay long-term to take the time to learn the skills properly. With some dedicated effort, you can learn to become a really good transcriber within 3-6 months depending on your effort and time.

Below I will go over 3 ways to become a transcriber and there will be methods both if you have previous experience and if you do not, so you can find the best method for you no matter your background.

3 ways to become a transcriptionist

As mentioned above, there are different ways to become a transcriptionist and the best method for you will depend on your long-term goals and your previous experience.

I have listed the three methods below in a prioritized order with the option that, in my opinion, is the best in most cases marked as #1.

But as we are not all the same and have different experiences, I will also explain two other methods so you can find a good option no matter your background.

Method #3 – Join freelance portals

One way to start looking for transcriptionist jobs is by joining online freelance portals.

There are many of these and you can, in many cases, join them for free and start looking for jobs right away and try to sell your services.

Examples of such freelance portals are, Fiverr and Upwork.

transcription jobs examples fiverr

There are many transcribing options on freelance platforms – but also a lot of competition.

The challenge about these platforms is that there is a lot of competition. And it is not that easy to get jobs there at first. It takes time to build up a reputation and good ratings so people will hire you.

So at first, you will likely have to work for a quite low salary. And you have to be patient to start earning real money here in most cases.

If you have no previous real experience with transcribing, it will also be difficult to fulfill the needs of your clients and then you will not get good ratings which will make it harder to get jobs.

So this is, in my opinion, really only a good option if you already have quite a lot of experience and are patient enough to take the time to slowly build up a reputation and good ratings on the platforms.

Method #2 – Join transcribing platforms

There are also quite a lot of transcribing platforms online you can join to get access to jobs.

Often the platforms have clients that post specific tasks there, and you can then qualify for them. Examples of platforms like this are GoTranscript and Scribie.

You just need to be aware that often these types of platforms have a test you need to pass to be able to join them.

test example to become a transcriptionist

Most transcribing platforms have a test you need to pass.

This is to make sure you can do a proper job for their clients.

So again, this is really only relevant if you have some experience already. If not, you can, of course, always try their test to see how it goes, but it will be difficult to pass it without any experience.

The advantage of platforms like this is that you often get access to quite a lot of jobs. The disadvantage is that there is a middleman (the platform) which means your payment will usually be lower.

It is still possible to make a living on platforms like this if you are experienced and a fast transcriber. But it might not be the best salary compared to if you get jobs directly at companies.

Method #1 – Become a professional transcriptionist

If you have little or no experience as a transcriber, it will be very difficult to get good jobs. It is just like any other job – it takes some training and practice to become good.

There are several ways you can learn this. If you are serious about becoming a transcriber, the best place to learn the skills to become a professional transcriber is Transcribe Anywhere.

The reason for this is that it teaches you all the skills you need step-by-step and if you take the time to go through this, you will have the skills to get professional jobs as a transcriptionist.

transcriptionist course example

Learning all the skills necessary can be a good investment of your time.

It will, of course, take a bit of time to complete the course. But in the long run, the time and money for this will be a good investment, in my opinion as it will make it easier for you to get jobs and build up a full-time income.

Furthermore, once you have passed their exam, you get resources and help to find your first real transcriptionist jobs which is a really great help.

What I really like about this option is that you can also find a free mini-course that can help you clarify if becoming a transcriptionist is even the right job for you.

In the long run, joining a platform like this will make it a lot easier to become a transcriptionist where it is actually possible for you to make a living from home.

You can read more about this option in my full review of Transcribe Anywhere.

Final thoughts

Overall, it definitely is possible to become a transcriptionist as long as your English is good.

It can be a great way to work from home and on your own terms. But just because you know how to write English does not necessarily mean it will be easy to get transcribing jobs.

If you have quite a lot of experience already, there are several freelance platforms or transcribing platforms you can use to get started right away.

The freelance portals take some time as there is a lot of competition. But it can be a way to build up a full-time income if you have the skills and patience.

The advantages of the transcribing platforms is that there are plenty of jobs. The disadvantage is that the pay will often be lower than if you get jobs directly. Also, it is only an option if you already are a skilled transcriptionist.

If you have little or no experience with transcribing, I would, therefore, clearly recommend joining a platform that can teach you all the skills to get professional jobs.

In the long run, this will give you the best possible results, in my opinion. Exactly which way to go depends on your preferences and experiences.

But becoming a transcriptionist is definitely a way to make a living if you take it seriously – you just need to choose the best method for you from the list above.

If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.

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