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Transcription - how to make money transcribing at home with no formal training.

 
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Transcribing - writing down what people say.  Sounds easy, right?

There's a lot of places like TranscribeMe on the internet that will pay money (some even pay good money) for transcribers.  

I've been reading some of the training manuals and this looks like fun.  It looks like one hell of a lot of work.  This might be worth a try this winter when I have a lot of hours of darkness and not much I can do on the farm.


Pros:
- can work as little or as much as you like
- can work anywhere where there is good internet
- minimal equipment required (in most cases you need a headset and computer)
- free training to become a better transcriber and earn more money
- free training in punctuation and sentence structure

Cons:
- starting wage is dismal.  Usually $15 USD per audio hour.  One audio hour takes about four hours for a novice to transcribe.  That's $3.75 an hour starting wage
- takes a lot of time to get going
- since the wage you get directly reflects the amount of time one puts into learning and gaining experience, it's a bit like a level-grind game - SLOW.  People get frustrated before they get to a half decent wage.
- the standards are high.  Make too many errors and you're out.  

here is a list of more online Transcription jobs
 
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You may think of trying GMR Transcription. Their options for newbies' applications and good hourly rate make them a better choice.

 
r ranson
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Little Combo wrote:You may think of trying GMR Transcription. Their options for newbies' applications and good hourly rate make them a better choice.



Looks like this is only for people in the USA.  
 
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I trained in medical transcription years ago when you could still make decent money. I never ended up working after I finished my practicum because I'd just moved and needed a stable income asap. Things change quickly in the field, and by the time I was ready to get back into it it seemed like more effort than it was worth to get back up to date.

You'd want a foot pedal to control the audio playback. I don't remember what I paid for mine, but it wasn't super expensive.

Almost all the companies I knew of paid by lines produced, not by minutes of audio. Maybe that's changed or is specific to medical transcription. A lot of the work was turning into reviewing and making corrections to text from voice recognition software, which paid less and wasn't necessarily easier or quicker.

The way you make money transcribing is by minimizing keystrokes. A person can only type so quickly, so you need to come up with a shorthand system to increase your output once you've gotten fast. You program in whatever abbreviations you want to use to your word processor's autocorrect.

You need a consistent system or you'll never remember all your shortcuts. Mine was pretty standard. One thing I did was to break words down into prefixes and suffixes and abbreviate those so I had short mix and match entries. So anything to do with the liver (hepato) was typed as hep. Any abnormal enlargement (megaly) was my. So for hepatomegaly I'd type hepmy and the autocorrect would insert the full word. Hepatosplenomegaly - hepsplmy; cardiomegaly - carmy; hepatitis - hepis; carditis - caris. Common phrases like "the patient presented with" would usually get acronyms - ppw for that one.

General transcription might be harder to come up with a system for since you wouldn't be using the same words and phrases over and over.
 
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r ranson wrote:

Little Combo wrote:You may think of trying GMR Transcription. Their options for newbies' applications and good hourly rate make them a better choice.



Looks like this is only for people in the USA.  



Certain parts, I guess! Just tried to do sign up on a few others and none were working. This site told me that they cannot have people in California transcribe because of Assembly Bill No. 5.
 
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Interesting idea for a side hustle! I wonder if putting the audio through speech recognition software and then editing the result would partially automate the process and make it pay a lot better. People seem to like Dragon Naturally Speaking FWIW but I haven't tried any of them. Google could probably do it too but there are likely concerns about privacy and confidentiality.
 
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A lot of medical translators (like me) also work in this area. Dragon Naturally Speaking is the top of the line and in fact many translators also work with it, since one can only type so fast, and you reach a certain top level where you need some sort of advantage.
Generally that's where your field-specific software comes in- in translation you "save" all the work you've done in the past so that it can be accessed and essentially "auto-fill" new jobs with a specific translation software called a CAT tool (computer-aided translation. Unlike machine translation [Google], your CAT only uses what you have translated, with no contact with the "outside" to conform to confidentiality standards). For editors, that means a quality control tool like PerfectIt. Dragon can be paired with these tools or used in word-processing software to save time (and your carpal tunnels).

In my experience only mickey-mouse type operations will ask you to work in transcription without having you work on a company-specific platform. The platforms usually have the functions one needs like time stamping and may or may not allow you to use speech recognition together with it. In general transcription the pay is by the minute (unlike in medical, contracted directly with a medical facility, where you get paid by the line).
I only do transcription very, very rarely, like when a client is sending a video somewhere and needs it subtitled, and I do it the old fashioned way (in word). The pay continues to be relatively dismal, but if you could hook up Dragon or some other speech recognition it might be worth your while.
Proz.com is one place where you might find jobs, I don`t know if you can still make free accounts there (it's a platform for translation, subtitling, editing, writing) and there is a good knowledge base in the forums.
 
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Kailyn Topper wrote: Assembly Bill No. 5.


This is spreading to other states as well, independent workers can't be hired in certain states that require gig workers to be actual employees. It's turned the translation world upside down, and it's making non-retail self-employment particularly challenging in a lot of places.
 
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AI is getting really good at transcription, I wouldn't be surprised if transcription services dissapear as video editing software includes AI transcription by default.
 
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