How To Become A Transcriptionist From Home And Make $15+ An Hour

Do you want to learn how to become a transcriptionist and transcribe online? This is a great work from home job that can help you make extra money. Today, I have an amazing interview to share with you that will show you how to become a transcriptionist, so that you can transcribe online and earn…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: July 10, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Do you want to learn how to become a transcriptionist and transcribe online? This is a great work from home job that can help you make extra money.

Today, I have an amazing interview to share with you that will show you how to become a transcriptionist, so that you can transcribe online and earn a living. I recently had the chance to interview Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere, who explains how this may be a possibility for you.

In 2007, Janet started working from home as a medical transcriptionist for others. Shortly after that, she started a successful general and legal transcription business.

While running her business, the idea of a course popped up. Janet now teaches others in her online course how to transcribe online and work from home as a transcriptionist.

If you are looking for a new job or even just a side hustle, this may be something that you want to look into.

Check out the interview below for more information on how to make money transcribing.

Also, I recommend signing up for the free workshop – Free Transcription Workshop – Here you will learn how to get started.

There is also a helpful introductory course in transcription called The ABCs of Transcription: From Audio/Video to Text. You’ll learn the different types of transcription, basic tools for transcription, typing skills, how to find clients, and more.

Related articles:

How to become a transcriptionist.

Below is how to become a transcriptionist.

How did you get started as a transcriptionist?

I actually learned how to transcribe in high school. Of course, that was a LONG time ago and we used shorthand and typewriters.

Later, through the course of my career, I learned to transcribe using tapes and computers. I became a CMT (certified medical transcriptionist) while working at an HMO.

Fast forward several years, and my husband became disabled and no longer able to work.

At that point, I was working a high-level, high-paying job at an insurance brokerage. I was having an extremely difficult time juggling my work and home life. I needed and wanted to be home to take care of my husband.

So…I quit my job.

I, then, had to decide what I could do from home to earn an income. I realized that my transcription skills would transfer very well to a work-from-home position. I applied to a few transcription companies, got hired, and here I am today ☺

What is a transcriptionist?

I’m so glad you asked that question. So many people don’t know what it is!

I usually get a confused look from people when I tell them what I do. Or, they automatically assume that I’m a medical transcriptionist, which I am NOT. I started as an MT (medical transcriptionist), but soon realized that area of transcription is quickly fading out due to the advent of the electronic medical record and voice recognition technology.

General transcription and legal transcription are the areas that I focus on now and business is booming.

Transcription is the art of turning any audio or video content into a text document.

Note: You can read more about what a general transcriptionist is on Janet’s website.

How much can you make as a transcriptionist?

It’s a wide range actually, dependent upon things like skill level, demographic area, and the type of transcription.

Beginning transcriptionists should expect to earn in the $15 an hour range to start. I make much more than that, but I’ve built my business up over ten years.

Related: 17 Online Jobs That Pay Well

Can anyone become a transcriptionist and transcribe online?

No. You need to be proficient in typing, grammar, punctuation, spelling, working with specialized software, and be comfortable with working with files via the internet, among other things.

Training is required. It’s not “listen and type.”

Why do you need training to do this type of work? What skills do you need to be a transcriptionist?

Without the proper training in all of the areas mentioned, as well as how to market your services, how could you possibly succeed?

What if you’re not sure if this is a good fit?

The truth is, transcription isn’t a good fit for everybody. That’s why we offer a free mini-course to help people make an informed decision as to whether or not transcription is a good fit for them.

Is it hard to find work?

No, it’s not hard to find work if you’re an EXCELLENT transcriptionist and know how to market yourself.

It has to be stressed that you need to become really proficient first and then try to find work. Again, transcription involves much more than the ability to listen and type.

Who are the typical clients for transcriptionists?

Since general transcriptionists convert audio and video to text for virtually any industry, there really isn’t a typical client. However, some of the heaviest users of GT services include marketers, authors, filmmakers, academicians, speakers, and conferences of all types.

What steps does a person need to take to make this a successful side hustle?

  1. Learn the basics of transcription.
  2. Practice, practice, practice!
  3. Market your services.

How much does it cost to start this side hustle and how much on a monthly basis to maintain it?

The cost to start is less than $100 if you train with

There are some software and hardware needed that can be had for around $80.

That’s all you need.

You might decide to get a domain name and basic website (recommended) which only costs $10 (or less). It’s got to be the least expensive way to start a home-based business. And, you’re investing in your education, which will give you the skills needed for a lifelong career working from home.

Related: If you are interested in starting a website, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $1.99 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting. 

What do you love about being able to transcribe online? What has it helped you do (travel, reach a certain dream, pay off debt, etc.)?

The flexibility in my daily schedule is absolutely the thing I love most about my transcription business.

In addition to caring for my husband, my mother is elderly now and needs me to take her to doctors’ appointments and other things. How in the world would I do any of this if I had a 9:00 to 5:00 job? Bosses don’t take kindly to an employee who asks for too much time off.

I don’t answer to anyone but myself.

I work a lot and I’m very busy, but when I work is entirely up to me. I’m leaving as soon as I finish this interview to go pick up my new car. ☺

This really is a dream come true for me.

It’s been a blessing.

Are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to get into this?

Train first, then try to get work. Too often, people think they can “wing it” and go after work before they know what they’re doing.

Unfortunately, that method is frustrating for the worker and irritating to clients when they turn in sub-par work. It’s just not going to work.

But, luckily, the needed skills can be taught to anyone with a sincere desire to learn and succeed.

Can you tell me more about your how to become a transcriptionist course?

I’m really excited about the e-learning platform that we’ve moved my courses to recently.

It allows our students to have a multi-media approach to learning with a step-by-step methodology designed to take them from newbie to pro in a very short period of time.

We cover every aspect of transcription from English grammar and punctuation to marketing. There are over 60 practice dictations in the course.

It’s a lot of practice and a very comprehensive course.

Click here to check out Transcribe Anywhere. She has a free intro course as well, so you can decide if it’s for you before you take the plunge!

Are you interested in working from home and learning how to become a transcriptionist?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Lindsay @ the Notorious D.E.B.T.

    At the tail end of 2014 I moved across the country without a job. I tried transcribing for a well-known company that does market research in the form of focus groups and interviews. It paid more than $0, but if I was serious about it clearly I should have moved on to something else more specialized, like this. For the company I was transcribing for, I would work 12-hour days and get $75, maybe.

    On the plus side, my typing speed did increase dramatically, which helps me in writing today!

  2. I have excellent in typing, but I tried a little transcribing before and it just wasn’t a good fit for my personality type. I already work in a full-time position where I’m basically doing the same thing everyday so I needed a little more variety so I wouldn’t go crazy. However, I’ve heard good things about transcribing and if you are proficient, it’s a nice way to bring in an income working from home.

  3. Yes! I’m always interested in new ways to make money from home. I didn’t even know this was an option.

  4. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    There is truly a side hustle out there for everyone! Right now, I am focusing on ways to scale my efforts and trying to get away from tasks that trade time for money directly.

  5. Alene

    To become a transcriptionist, learn transcription skills and apply to transcription companies.
    I learned transcription in high school, and later became a certified medical transcriptionist. I quit my job and started working as a transcriptionist from home to take care of my husband.
    A transcriptionist is someone who turns audio or video content into a text document. I focus on general and legal transcription.