Hi, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you found my Speechpad Review.
If you're looking for a job you can do from home and earn some extra money in your spare time, you're not alone. Whether you need money, or you're just trying to supplement an at-home lifestyle, companies like Speechpad can help.
Or at least they say they can help...
Speechpad hires freelancers mainly for transcription work, and as an independent contractor you can transcribe audio and video for clients worldwide.
Not all transcriptions companies are created equal though.
In this review, I'll go over who Speechpad is, what they do, how they work and help you decide if they're right for you. And of course, when it comes to making money from home, the obvious question is whether they're legit or a scam.
So I'll talk about that too.
Here are the broader topics I’m going to discuss, and for each we'll dig into the specifics:
- What is Speechpad?
- Is Speechpad a Scam?
- How Does Speechpad Work?
- Reviews and Complaints
- What I Like About Speechpad
- What I Don’t Like
- Where Do You Go From Here?
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for Speechpad. This review has been researched with information and/or testimonials that are available online in the public domain. Any recommendations and/or conclusions are strictly opinions and may not apply to, or agree with, all persons or situations. See full disclaimer for more info
What Is Speechpad?
In a nutshell, Speechpad is a transcription company that offers its services to global customers.
Their system uses artificial intelligence for the initial stages of transcription, and human transcribers for the latter stages. As a freelance transcriber, this where you come in.
Established in 2008, Speechpad has been around for more than a decade now. And while they’re known for their transcription jobs, they also provide additional services related to transcription such as captioning and translation.
These jobs are also available to freelancers based on skills and experience.
If you're familiar with transcription work, you'll know what it involves.
If you're just starting out though, Speechpad transcribers listen to audio/video files, type them out and then send them to reviewers who check your work for accuracy.
You can also build your transcription career with Speechpad, and work towards promotions that involve reviewing and captioning.
I’ll talk more about those opportunities as well as your earning potential below. But first....
Is Speechpad a Scam?
Speechpad is legit, but I understand if you're skeptical. The number of scams online today is endless and you can't be too careful. Especially when you're setting up accounts that include personal information and things like payment details.
But you shouldn't take my word for it either.
When identifying a scam, there are few things to look for.
One of the first things I look for when reviewing a company's is their age. In Speechpad's case, they've maintained a good reputation since 2008 and while that doesn't mean they're perfect, it's a good sign they've been around that long.
You also want to make sure there is sufficient contact information. You'd be surprised how often people get involved with a company, have issues, and then leave a comment (or send us an email) asking how they can get in touch with the company.
Speechpad doesn't hide anything. They give you phone numbers, email addresses and a physical address.
If you're nervous about about getting involved with a company online like Speechpad, I recommend giving them a call or sending an email. You probably have a question or two anyway and it doesn't hurt to reach out to them before signing up or providing the kind of personal information you might find on an application.
Another important thing to look for is a legitimate online presence.
Speechpad doesn't have a huge online following, but they do have a presence.Their Facebook page for example, has 1,500 likes and followers.
You can also find reviews from real people on trusted sites like Glassdoor and SiteJabber – which I’ll talk more about in a moment.
But Speechpad is legit, and if you're wondering what the best transcription company to work for is, they are one to consider.
Although you may run into some negative reviews and comments such as low pay, you'll find the same things being said about every transcription company.
And transcription is a unique skill. It takes time to get good at it and a lot of new transcribers who struggle will often complain about the job itself, which is understandable.
You'll often read reviews and complaints with people using the word "scam" because what they thought would be easy turned out to be hours deciphering things like poor audio quality or confusing conversations with multiple voices talking over one another.
But again, these are common challenges all transcription companies face. That's what transcription is; being able to overcome those challenges and deliver an accurate transcription. It's not challenge that's unique to Speechpad.
Having said that, if you're not sure about transcription work or you're waiting for a hiring application to get processed, you can also earn a few bucks in the meantime with online survey sites like surveyjunkie.com and Inbox Dollars.
They can also be a stepping stone to something more serious like an online business.
You may be at home because of difficulties with your health for example, or young ones to look after.
If that’s the case and a full-time income online is what you want, knowing how and where to get started is what you need in order to get what you want.
How Does Speechpad Work?
As a work from home job opportunity, working as a transcriptionist at Speechpad allows you the independence and flexibility to work on your own terms. Aside from having the liberty to work anytime and anywhere, you can also choose which transcription jobs to take.
I’ll give you more details on how to apply to Speechpad, how much they pay, and more below.
But first, you need to get hired...
Speechpad Transcription Application
You’ll be glad to know it's relatively easy to get accepted by Speechpad.
Of course you'll need some basic skills, like the ability to type quickly and accurately. You'll also have to pass a background check for some jobs that may involve sensitive material. I'll get more into specific requirements in a moment.
To get started you must submit an application form and take a short test. From what I’ve heard from other transcribers, the test is geared more towards typing speed rather than your transcribing skills.
Note that Speechpad prides itself as one of the few transcription companies that are newbie-friendly. They’re open to both beginners and expert transcribers.
There is a hierarchy though. When you're hired by Speechpad, you start at the bottom (level 1 transcriptionist). As you gain experience and prove yourself, they’ll give you opportunities to get promoted and receive an increase in pay as you level up.
Speechpad Transcription Job Requirements
Speechpad is located in California but they accept applicants from all over the world.
Payments are made through PayPal, so a PayPal account is definitely a requirement.
Unlike some other transcription companies like 3Play Media that have more stringent technical requirements, Speechpad doesn't list specific requirements when it comes to your equipment.
You do of course need the basics such as...
- Internet connection
- Headphones (preferably with a noise-cancellation feature)
- Foot pedal (optional, but having one will help speed up your work)
While everyone would start as a transcriptionist/transcriber at Speechpad, they have other jobs for you to aim for. Here are some of their freelancing jobs:
- Transcriber – Your role as transcriber would be to convert spoken words into text.
- Captioner – As a captioner, your work will involve placing captions on video files.
- Reviewer – Your role as a reviewer will include editing and correcting the work of others (transcribers).
- Translator – Self-explanatory I know, but this is a job for multilingual freelancers who can translate spoken words into another language (in text form).
Speechpad Job Board
Once accepted, you'll have access to a job board where you can search for transcription jobs provided by Speechpad. There, you’ll be able to filter jobs according to your preference.
There are options where you can set the length and price of the jobs you’re looking for.
Click on the Accept Job button if you'd like to take on a job right away.
Be prepared though. Each job comes with a deadline, and you need to submit your work on time to get paid. Unfortunately, you won’t get paid when you run out of time while working on your assignment.
You’ll also find a [Get Qualified] button on your job board (highlighted in the above screenshot).
These are jobs Speechpad has determined you're not yet qualified for, but they provide you with the option of getting qualified. Simply click on the [Get Qualified] button and see what their qualifications are.
There are times you’ll be required to take a test in order to qualify.
Speechpad Transcription Jobs and Qualifications
You can also check on your qualifications and keep tabs of where you are. There is a Qualifications tab at the top of your account screen (shown in the image below).
When you see green shaded areas, those are qualifications you’ve already earned. The qualifications in gray are not credited to you yet, but you can apply.
Getting qualified for jobs is of course important. Having more qualifications means you’ll have more jobs available to you and higher earning potential.
There are different types/levels of qualifications such as the following:
- Qualifications that require you to learn a new style of transcribing
- Qualifications that ask for background check
- Qualifications that are for invitation only
It may be difficult to read, especially if you're reading this on a small screen, but in the image above, the qualifications for Reviewer and Rush Job are invitation only. For the Reviewer role, invitations may be given to those who have already transcribed 1,000 worth of audio minutes while maintaining an average rating of 96 and above.
Rush Job projects, on the other hand, are offered to transcriptionists who have already done at least 500 worth of audio minutes while maintaining an average rating of 96 and above.
Although Speechpad is newbie friendly, you can see it’s not always easy qualifying for jobs at Speechpad. Transcription is skilled profession and while experienced transcribers may be able to maintain an average rating of 96... new transcribers will have to put in the practice hours (like any profession).
And it's important because your rating determines the type and number of jobs available to you. Higher ratings lead to higher approval rates for Speechpad gigs, and that of course leads to higher-paying jobs and promotions.
Speed is important, but I recommend focusing on accuracy to improve your ratings. Quality is key. Your ratings are based on your accuracy and the number of mistakes determine your grade.
Your overall rating is based on the average of your last 10 assignments.
It's not only about qualifying for more jobs though. It's also about keeping your job. Constently getting low ratings could also cost you your Speechpad job.
Some freelancers have left reviews claiming they could no longer get work when their average rating fell below 93. If this ever happens, you can reach out to their customer support as they deal with things like this on a case to case basis.
Speechpad Transcription Console
You’ll need to familiarize yourself with Speechpad’s Transcription console once you get hired as a freelance transcriber. Their console is basically your dashboard and it’s where you get things done.
You’ll see their editor on the left side of the console. You can type your transcription directly there or simply copy/paste from a Word document.
On the right side, you’ll find a built-in audio/video player so you can access both your audio/video files and your editor from one screen.
Another important feature of their console is the countdown timer (located at the upper right- hand corner). This tells you how much time you have left to submit your work.
How Much Does Speechpad Pay?
Speechpad work-at-home jobs pay per audio minute. I'd like to clarify this point because there are a bunch of complaints about it. People are mistaking a work minute with an audio minute, and these are two very different things.
Your pay is determined by the number of audio minutes you've transcribed, not the number of minutes you've worked. And it can take several work minutes to transcribe a single audio minute.
When determining how much you can earn as a transcriber, your efficiency is critical.
According to Speechpad, they pay their transcriptionists/transcribers anywhere from $0.25 to $1 per audio minute. As an entry level transcriptionist, your pay will be at the low end (around $0.25.
Your pay rate will then increase as you gain more experience and get better at your job.
For captioning, Speechpad currently pays around $0.30 to $1 per audio minute.
Reviewers earn between $0.20 to $1 per audio minute, with the most experienced freelancers getting paid more.
This is why experience matters.
For example, let's say you're still on the lower end earning $0.25 per audio minute. Sixty audio minutes would then work out to $15.00 calculated as .25 x 60.
However, as a new transcriber it may take you 3 minutes to transcribe a single audio minute, which means it would take 3 hours to transcribe those same sixty audio minutes (which we already know pays $15)
$15 divided by 3 hours works out to $5 per hour.
So your income can vary greatly. As you move higher up the pay scale towards $1.00 per audio minute and your speed increases greatly, you can make decent money. But starting out, the pay is not great.
Speed and accuracy are critical not only to transcribe each audio minute faster, but also for higher ratings, promotions, and more job opportunities.
Again, PayPal is their only payment method at this time. You’ll immediately get credited for your work once your transcription is approved/accepted and you don’t need to request payment. They do PayPal transfers twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays).
I know you'd like to earn decent money right away, but for new transcribers... whether you're with Speechpad or another transcription company, it's going to take time.
Transcribing is not a job you can pick up immediately and start earning a full-time income.
If you're not sure transcription is your thing, you can you can also earn a little extra money with online survey sites.
Market research companies like Survey Junkie are a simple way to get paid for your opinion. Inbox Dollars is another site that pays for doing things you may be doing online anyway, like searching the web, watching videos and visiting websites.
Of course, you won't be able to retire by doing online surveys, but if you've never made money online before, they can be a good place to start.
For something more significant, an online business may be what you're looking for.
Making money from home might be something you need because of medical issues, children to look after, or maybe you're just tired of working for a boss.
If that’s the case, knowing how (and where) to get started is what you need in order to get what you want.
Speechpad Reviews and Complaints
I have good news. Speechpad checked out well in user reviews. In fact, they scored really well.
Speechpad Reviews on Glassdoor
Speechpad has an overall rating of 4 out of 5 at Glassdoor where 37 people have given both positive and negative reviews. I think that says a lot about the them because some of the transcription companies I've reviewed in the past had much lower ratings.
Based on some reviews, freelancers who have been working for Speechpad for years (and are still happy with them) have left some positive feedback on Glassdoor, saying things like...
- Convenient type of work.
- Availability of a variety of jobs.
- Regular pay.
- Customer support is good.
Of course, not all reviews are positive.
Although there isn't much in terms of negative feedback, low pay is mentioned. This is not unexpected though, especially for new transcribers.
Speechpad Reviews on SiteJabber
I also found overwhelmingly positive reviews on SiteJabber. This time, they scored 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 34 reviews.
Again, this is extremely positive when compared to many other transcription companies I've reviewed.
The positive reviews pretty much echo what those on Glassdoor were saying - people expressing satisfaction with their pay and appreciating the company’s customer support.
This time, the negative reviews I found revolved around Speechpad’s rating system (which some people called unfair and flawed). I can't comment on this though because I don't know the specific details of each case that led to this opinion.
Overall, I must admit, I'm impressed. The various Speechpad reviews I found online were overwhelmingly positive. And, when you think that it's twice as likely that disgruntled freelancers leave a negative review over a positive one, their average rating looks even better.
What I Like About Speechpad
- It’s a great platform for newbies as experience is not required to apply as a transcriber.
- Bonuses are available for jobs rated 5 out of 5 by customers.
- Payments via PayPal twice a week.
- Flexible work from home job.
- The application process is simple.
- Lots of positive reviews.
What I Don't Like
- Pay is low, especially for newbies starting in an entry level position.
- Limited number of jobs for newbies (since most jobs require high ratings).
- There are complaints about their rating system (although I can't speak on the exact details here).
Where Do You Go From Here?
Speechpad is legit, they have a lot of positive reviews and they take newbies. If you're looking for a transcription gig, they’re definitely worth checking out.
You may be buried under a stack of bill or digging yourself out of debt and work-at-home job is what you need. I know what you mean and you're not alone.
Especially during a time when the economy is so uncertain.
Speechpad is a good starting point for those who are just getting into transciption, and the pay is decent for those with more experience.
The other benefit I haven't yet mentioned, is that Speechpad doesn't require you to only work for them. As a freelancer you can diversify and work with multiple transcription companies.
Or, it doesn't have to be other transcription companies. You can supplement your Speechpad income with freelance writing for example, or online tutoring if that's your thing. There are many ways to make money from home.
You might be a student in school or a single parent at home. You may have health challenges that make regular work difficult, or maybe you just hate your job and you’re desperate for a way out.
If that's the case, an online business may be what you want.
With all the scams and schemes out there though, knowing how and where to get started the right way is what you need in order to get what you want.
Of course they won't make you rich, but if you've never made money online before, they can be a good place to start.
I hope my Speechpad review has been helpful and if you have any comments, questions, or experience with Speechpad, please share in the comments section below.
For more information regarding Speechpad work, you can check out their jobs page here.