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3 Places to Earn Extra Money Transcribing


Guest post from Miranda of

Many women who are seeking ways to make extra money online are looking for typing based home jobs. Most commonly searched are data entry positions. However, legit data entry jobs are few and far between. Even so, the genuine companies often have a timely waiting list.

As a work at home blogger who has been sharing money-earning advice with women for over 4 years, I suggest turning to transcription.

Transcription is an excellent way to make money in your spare time and many have been successful creating online careers with full-time incomes as professional transcriptionists. These three companies do not require you to have previous experience or schooling to start working as a transcriber.


QuickTate is one of the most commonly known legitimate online transcription companies. They hire even the inexperienced to transcribe short audio files into text.

Although the work doesn’t pay much — $1 for every 400 words — it is a great place to make some extra pocket money.

QuickTate has been around for many years and has a long-standing history of always paying their transcriptionists on time. Keep in mind, QuickTate is best utilized as an extra income site rather than a way to make an income. Workload can be spotty with plenty of files to transcribe one week to nothing at all the next.


TranscribeMe offers a great way to get your foot in the door as a transcriptionist. They offer short audio files to be transcribed at a rate of $14 per audio hour — with potential to earn up to $20 per audio hour.

Notice it is per audio hour — meaning your speed and efficiency will determine your overall hourly rate. This pay is well below the standard for a professional, experienced, transcriptionist; however, it is a great way to become qualified for higher paying transcription careers.

Again, TranscribeMe is not reliable as work is not always available.

Tigerfish Transcription

Tigerfish is another transcription company that is known for hiring people without experience.

The pay at Tigerfish is a bit ambiguous but others have posted online they were able to manage as much as $15 per hour, or $60 per audio hour.

While this information is likely coming from someone with experience and speed – it is a nice indicator that Tigerfish may pay slightly better than the other two companies mentioned above.

What You Should Know About Becoming a Virtual Transcriptionist.

Most every online transcription company worth working for will require you to pass an entrance exam.

If you do not have formal experience as a transcriptionist, they will be looking for the skills needed to complete the job. It is important to have a typing speed of at least 60 words per minute, with 100% accuracy. Being a successful transcriber means you must be fluent in English with a detailed knowledge of correct grammar and punctuation.

Additionally, having exceptional listening skills is required. Transcription generally requires no distractions in order to excel. Listening to the audio files and typing what you hear verbatim requires all of your attention and focus.

Miranda Grimm — The creator of — has many passions in life, including the Lord, her family, and blogging! Miranda is living out her dream, working from home to be with her children while actually making money doing something she loves!

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  • How timely…. I was just perusing elance considering additional work, possibly some in this area, when I came here for my daily check-in with MSM! Thanks for the tips!

  • Amanda Myers says:

    I did Medical Transcription for over 7 years from home. It’s never a guarantee on getting a job and is very hard to break into. Your best chances are to get some type of education. I used Penn Foster. They let you make monthly payments and also work at your own pace. What they said would take two years to complete the program, I did in 5 months. You don’t have to have schooling; however, companies will take you more seriously. Also, two good resources to use to look for Medical Transcription jobs that are and Sometimes they post General Transcription jobs as well. Along with skills, you must also have very good personal skills to sell yourself over the phone with potential companies to contract with. Another place to look for work are your local hospitals, mental health facilities, etc. The jobs are out there, you just have to be willing to put some time into yourself and some research to find them. Another sure to take care of your wrists and hands with the stretching exercises. You can find them online to help prevent carpal tunnel. I had to stop doing transcription and go back to a daytime job due to so much typing over the years and getting carpal tunnel. I wish you all luck in earning some extra money and hope that are you able to find what you are looking for, for whatever reason it may be. God bless!

    • Miranda says:

      Thanks for sharing those two links- they are definitely great resources when looking for medical transcription.

    • Kelly says:

      Hi, @Amanda, the jobs that you posted for after Penn were they out of the house jobs or were they like the jobs with the companies listed here? Our family only has the one vehicle and my hubby uses it to drive to work 30 minutes away so I wouldnt have the means to go to various offices. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Kelly

    • Heike O'Day says:

      Amanda, just about your ‘carpal tunnel’ – chances are it’s tendonitis which is caused by repetitive over use i.e. typing. This can be treated by trained specialized massage therapist! No surgery!!! Doctors often misdiagnose this because a lot of them do not believe in MTs other than for relaxation 🙁
      My husband is a MT. I used to have tendonitis, he treated me about 3 times, have never had ANY problems with it since then, and that was over 10 yrs ago!
      It really is worth looking into! Let me know if you have any questions or need help finding the right MT!
      Thank you for your post!

    • Jane says:

      Question…did you do the medical transcription program through Penn Foster? I see they have several different ones.

  • Sarah says:

    Thanks so much! I’ve enjoyed being a medical transcriptionist for years in the past, and would enjoy a chance to make a little extra!

  • Conny says:

    Very timely … I’m on the verge of NEEDING a job since my husband has changed career directions and is in an entry level position (for now, God willing). We live extremely frugal; however, ends aren’t meeting well. I dread working outside the home as our youngest child is only 4 … I’d LOVE to work from home! Thanks for sharing this info!!

    • Julia says:

      I don’t type fast enough to transcribe, but I have successfully used freelancing sites like Odesk and Elance to make extra cash. Both sites do have transcription jobs advertised fairly often, though it is often academic research rather than medical topics. Here’s my referral link for Elance:

      • Miranda says:

        elance and odesk are certainly great places to pick up freelance work- they have everything from virtual assisting to chat customer support.

      • Starlet Ware says:

        Julia, I used your link and signed up for ELance. How in the world do I apply for the job(s) I want? I saw a proofreader one and another I don’t remember. Also, I signed out and went to log back on and it said my account had been closed. Really? I just opened it like 3 minutes ago. 🙁

    • Miranda says:

      My youngest is also 4 and being able to work from home has been such a blessing. My husband is a regional truck driver so our schedules are all over the place. It’s nice being able to work as a freelancer and arrange my work schedule around my family and life.
      Prayers for you and your family as you pull through this season of your life. Just remember- it is temporary. But hopefully you can pick up a couple of extra money earning gigs online to find a little ease.

  • Mrs. Smith says:

    Transcribe Me requires a referral name & email address. 🙁

    • Miranda says:

      I don’t recall them needing one about a month ago when I went through the application process. It may mean they are limiting their applicants for now- may be worth checking back at a later time to see if it is open.

    • gena says:

      I know I encountered the same thing. And, it said they were closed right now for registering, but to enter info for waiting list.

  • Mrs. Smith says:

    Quick Tate requires a $15 fee to run a background check.

    Tigerfish requires specific programming (Express Scribe is fine to use for the test and evaluation period, but ultimately if you continue to transcribe with Tigerfish, you will need to purchase a copy of Start Stop’s Power Play for Windows Media).

    Is there a company that pays for the work you do without having to pay for such things. I’m not afraid of a background check & have no idea how much this extra program that will take up room on my computer’s hard drive will cost, but I’m looking to make a little extra cash…not spend it.

    • Cathy says:

      I began working with Rev transcribing about 5 months ago, based (as I recall) on reading a post here at MSM. So far, they’ve been a good, steady source of additional income (I make $120-250 a month at 50-80 cents per audio minute), paying right on time every Monday morning for the work done the previous week. They have a built-in text editor that works fine for me, so no need to buy Word or any other WP program. I used the free Express Scribe until I’d earned enough to buy a foot pedal, then purchased ES Pro. Yes, yes, any pro transcriptionists reading this will dis the pay rate, but for me, at this time in my life, it’s the best I’ve found so far. (Hey, I was doing MTurk transcribing for a while, so this was a huge raise!) I would recommend trying Rev, if you’re willing and able to trudge accurately through recordings short or long, and sometimes pretty dull …

    • Miranda says:

      The $15 background fee is news to me- I have been with them for many years but haven’t been active for a long time. I can tell you from experience and from talking with other people who have worked for Quicktate- the $15 fee would be well worth it and is reasonable. I can see why they are doing background checks. When I was active there- I transcribed voicemails into text- which could contain sensitive information. Best wishes to you and if you want to know more about QuickTate and what others say- I suggest visiting It’s a forum where you have to be a member but it is free to join.

    • Elissa says:

      Yikes! The software required for Tigerfish, if I’m checking this correctly, costs $229. I’d rather do the $15 for a background check than $229!

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks so much for including Tigerfish in this article, Miranda. I wanted to address the comments about purchasing software. Tigerfish suggests purchasing Power Play for WIndows Media because it makes transcribing easier. We require our transcriptionists to maintain a certain speed, so having the right tools helps them succeed. We’ve been told by our transcriptionists that investing in the right tools can make work easier and more enjoyable. We do not advise applicants to invest money in software or equipment before being hired.

  • Jen B says:

    transcribe me requires a referral name & email address.

  • Emily says:

    I have done medical transcription for nearly 10 years now. I will say that I have heard of several people going through the schooling and then not being able to get a job. Very few will hire brand new MTs without experience. So just beware of that. These companies sound legit, but I would make way more just doing extra work for my company since they are so backed up.

    • Miranda says:

      Yeah usually Medical Transcription will require in-office experience before allowing people to work from home. A certificate from a school is not very likely going to get you a job from home doing Medical Transcription. The good news is that there is always General Transcription. A lot of people are able to succeed with it without any formal training. But I would rarely suggest anyone to take the time or money to get a certificate unless working in an office to gain a couple of years worth of experience before pursuing a work at home career in Medical Transcription.

  • Heather Fife says:

    Tigerfish does not support Mac…I hope the others do.

  • Lisa says:

    I’ve been doing medical/general transcription now for 8 years and it is definitely hard to get your foot in the door, but it’s not impossible. Many companies say they won’t hire you without experience, but don’t let that stop you from applying with them anyway. That’s how I landed my first regular medical transcription job. I applied to lots of different companies regardless of their experience requirements.

    • Miranda says:

      Thanks Lisa! That is great knowledge to have. I find myself becoming too intimidated but it can’t hurt to pursue it. I believe if you have your mind set to make it happen- then it is completely reasonable to begin a work at home career in general transcription- even without experience.

  • Andrea Tucker says:

    In college I picked up transcribing for one of the administrators. In high school I had studied nursing, so I am very familiar with medical terminology. I have toyed with the idea of doing medical transcription for years because I know I can do it. Maybe it is time to look at this a little more seriously. I would need to make close to $1000 per month to really be helpful to me and not just another demand on my time. Does that seem like a reasonable expectation, all things considered?

    • Miranda says:

      The 3 companies I listed above (general transcription not medical) will not likely be able to earn you $1000 a month. However, there is a chance you can get a start in medical transcription given your experience – but most really do look for someone with at least 2 years experience in a medical office. It is possible though and may require you to look for freelance work getting started. Maybe look at elance, odesk and two links provided above- and If you can get your foot in the door with Medical Transcription- $1000 a month is more than reasonable.

  • Lori says:

    Cathy, you had mentioned you make on average around $150-$250 a month…that would be perfect for me right now. How much time would you say you put into it if you don’t mind me asking? Thanks so much for this post MSM!!!

  • Alison G says:

    The pay for those places is horribly low. I average $70 per audio hour, or for 400 words I’d make more like $3.00. Wow.

  • Louise says:

    Crystal, I’m wondering if you could do a follow up article about transcription since it has changed so much in the last few years, with things going to voice recognition.

  • Louise says:

    PS And I have recently read that Transcribeme has quit paying people for work already done.

  • Heather says:

    I would love more recent information on transcribing as well. Just recently added another little one to our family. 🙂 Can’t bear the thought of having to leave these little blessings but we can’t make it without both of our incomes.
    Thank you!

    • Caitlin Pyle says:

      Janet Shaughnessy just launched a full-length intensive general transcription training course (paid), and a free mini-course to learn more about general transcription. She’s been transcribing full-time for over 10 years. It definitely hasn’t all gone to voice recognition. The key is learning how to do the work properly up front (i.e. get really good!) and then learning how to market oneself as a freelancer so you don’t have to settle for so little pay as a newbie. In short, it pays to learn what you’re doing first. Janet’s mini-course can be found here:

  • Nancy says:

    This is a great blog! I stumbled on it while researching home transcriptionist jobs and this thread has been a huge source of great information! I have little experience and no equipment (other than a cell phone and a computer!) but have transcribed a couple of sermons and I think I am good at this kind of work (for one thing it is of interest to me personally). It seems like there would be a market for churches needing people to transcribe the audio libraries on their websites. Has anyone discovered a market for transcribing church sermons specifically? Thanks for any help!

  • Crystal says:

    A bit old article I know, but are there any of these types of jobs for people who aren’t 100% 60wpm? I mean I correct and proofread my work but if its an uncorrected rate of speed then I doubt I can make it.

    I need anything extra at this point as I am in a transitional phase and can’t receive unemployment. Looking for jobs I don’t hate too, tired of getting myself in that position.

  • Tracy says:

    Great list!
    I have heard a lot about Tigerfish Transcription as well as Crowdsurf Transcription! And TranscribeMe is definitely new to me.
    Thank you for sharing experience and knowledge!

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