Welcome, and thanks for stopping by to read my TranscribeMe Review.
You want to work from home, and you're not alone. 82% of people working from home say they now have less stress than when they worked a regular job. I can relate to that, and you probably can too. If you're stuck in a stressful job, you know how it feels.
The problem is finding work that allows you to stay at home. TranscribeMe claims to help, but is it legit?
Knowing what you're signing up for ahead of time can be the difference between the life you want, or wasting time you don't have.
In this review I'll go over who Transcribe me is, what they do and how they work. I'll also talk about whether they're legit or a scam, and if being a transcriber can really help you earn extra income.
Here are the specific topics I’m going to discuss:
- What is TranscribeMe?
- How Does TranscribeMe Work?
- What It's Like Working For TranscribeMe
- TranscribeMe Pay
- The TranscribeMe Exam
- Is Transcribe Me Legit?
- Reviews and Complaints
- What I Like About TranscribeMe
- What I Don’t Like
- Where Do You Go From Here?
Please note, I am not a member or an affiliate for TranscribeMe.com. 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 TranscribeMe?
TranscribeMe is a transcription service founded in September 2011 who caters to clients and freelance transcriptionists all over the world.
They are headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand, and Singapore.
You probably know how transcription jobs work, but if you're just getting started, a transcriber listens to audio and/or video files and typing what they hear into a document.
TranscribeMe is open to beginners, so if you'd like to earn some extra income with a transcription job, this may be for you.
How Does TranscribeMe Work?
Let me first say, transcription isn't as easy as it sounds. It's a great way to make money online, but you'll often listen to multiple people talking over each other, heavy accents and slang that can be hard to understand. To top it all off… the audio is often poor quality.
It's a skill you develop over time and the better you get, the more you can earn.
But it's not as easy as it sounds.
Here’s an overview of how TranscribeMe works:
- A client will submit an audio or video file to TranscribeMe that needs to be transcribed.
- They split the audio file into sections that range from seconds to a few minutes length.
- Files are then made available to transcriptionists in TranscribeMe's WorkHub.
- You choose a file to work on, submit your completed transcription to TranscribeMe and get paid if it's accepted by the site moderators.
- TranscribeMe’s Quality Assurance team will collate the chunk of files together, edit it and make corrections.
- They add timestamps and speaker IDs to the final copy.
- After final review, they submit the transcript to the client and if all goes well; you make money.
TranscribeMe Application Process
TranscribeMe welcomes beginners, and it's free to register and apply.
The application process works like this:
- Register online by get started by completing the application form and providing an email address. Please note: Make sure to access their application form by using Google's Chrome browser.
- You’ll receive a confirmation email after submitting your application.
- Once you confirmed your email, you'll get a link to their online training program.
- Watch the short explanation video which provides a quick TranscribeMe overview. It will show how to transcribe audio using their system, and you'll also get access to their Style Guide so you can prepare for the exam.
- After training you will be required to take their entrance exam, which is found in the Exam tab. Your grade is determined by the accuracy of your transcription and how well you follow their Style Guide.
- It may take up to 12 business days to find out if you passed the test.
- If you pass, you can start working right away. Keep in mind though, they do not guarantee you work.
TranscribeMe Job Requirements
Although they hire beginners, there are some requirements. Here's what you need to work at TranscribeMe.
- You must be of legal age to work in your region, which you will prove by scanning your driver's license or ID.
- An email address of course.
- You are also required to pass their exam.
- An active PayPal account to get paid.
Unlike similar companies that have strict requirements, TranscribeMe is relatively accessible. You don't need to buy transcription software.
You will of course need a computer and a high-speed internet connection. The faster and more reliable, the better.
And since this is a transcription job, my recommendation is to get a set of high-quality headphones, preferably over-the-ear. You can of course transcribe using your computer's built-in speaker, but as mentioned earlier, you're often dealing with poor audio quality, multiple voices and accents that may be difficult to understand.
The better quality listening equipment you have, the easier your job will be. A quiet, distraction free workspace with minimum background noise will also help.
A transcription foot pedal is not required, but you'll find it to be a great help. This will enable you to control the playback function of audio files without having to stop typing.
Your submitted files will be sent to a team of editors who allow up to 30% of your work to be corrected. That's quite generous in my opinion.
If more than 30% needs to be fixed though, your file will be rejected.
What's It's Like Working for TranscribeMe
For a detailed breakdown you can refer to the Transcriber Handbook. Although transcription seems simple, there are some things you should know.
Yes, transcription is a great way to work at home, but that doesn't mean it's entirely stress free. I talked about some challenges already.
In addition, as a freelancer, the companies you work for are your clients. You are running your own “freelance company”, and like any company, you're responsible for providing good customer service.
That means meeting deadlines, being an excellent communicator, and being good at what you do. In this case, being good at data entry, listening, and having great typing skills.
Another thing that's rarely talked about among data entry transcribers is rejection. It's great to make money online this way, but something you should keep in mind is that you may get that message eventually; the company rejects your work.
That doesn't mean you'll be kicked out and Transcribe me allows a rejection dispute inquiry. You can challenge rejections by filling out the Job Rejection Inquiry form and someone from their Ops team will review it, email you with an outcome, and either explain why your work was rejected or credit your account for the money you earned.
Overall though, you shouldn't expect this to be a full-time gig.
How Much Does TranscribeMe Pay?
While some companies like GMR Transcription pay per audio minute, TranscribeMe pays between $15 to $22 per audio hour.
Now, it's important to understand that an audio hour is not the same as an actual hour. You will not earn $15 to $22 per hour because it can take 3 – 4 hours to transcribe a single hour of audio.
As a beginner your pay will be the on lower end while those with specialized backgrounds, such as medical or legal, will earn more.
If we do some math, and a 60-minute audio file (one audio-hour) takes four hours to transcribe, your actual per-hour rate is $5.00. If you can do it in two or three hours, your per-hour rate will be higher.
So speed and accuracy matter. It you take five minutes to transcribe one minute of audio, it's going to be difficult to earn extra cash this way.
That's when poor quality audio can become frustrating to deal with.
So as far as how much money you can make, it depends on how efficiently you can work. How fast and accurate you are.
It also depends on how much work is available, which is one complaint I'll touch on later.
Pay is via PayPal and although I've read conflicting statements, it appears there is currently no minimum threshold to meet.
You can access the TranscibeMe exam through the exam portal. Once inside you will see an audio player with play, forward, and reverse controls as well as volume.
Below that is a text field where you will type the audio you hear.
How long does the exam take?
The TranscribeMe exam takes approximately 3 hours to complete and is divided into multiple sections, so if you're unable to complete the test in one sitting, you can save each section and come back to it later.
Important: You must click SAVE or NEXT to move onto the section, because their system will not save incomplete text. Nor can they recover unfinished audio files.
You have two attempts at passing the exam and if you fail, you must wait 30 days before taking it again.
Is TranscribeMe Legit?
If you've read this far, you'll already know TranscibeMe is legit. If you're just skimming quickly though and jumped to this section to find out… you'll be happy to know they are not a scam.
Having been around since 2011, they've built an excellent reputation.
In addition to having an actual physical location, you can see their LinkedIn profile has over 4,000 followers, and their Twitter account more than 1,600 followers.
These are not big numbers, but more than you would find if they were a scam.
Their Facebook page functions as a community for their staff, customers, and transcribers with approximately 8,000 likes and follows, as well as a 4 out of 5 rating.
On their YouTube channel you will find 4,000 subscribers, give or take… and videos to learn more about them and how their system works.
One thing I like, which can't be said for many other transcription companies, is they have A LOT of positive reviews and high ratings.
Yes, TranscribeMe is legit and as more people are looking for work-at-home jobs they are gaining popularity.
TranscribeMe Reviews and Complaints
Let’s talk about the reviews and complaints about TranscribeMe…
TranscribeMe Reviews on Glassdoor
On Glassdoor.com, they have a rating 4.1 out of 5 (based on 155 reviews), which is great. Here are some pros and cons according to Glassdoor reviewers…
- It's a work at home job opportunity.
- You can get invited to special teams.
- Higher earnings compared to others.
- Low hourly wage.
- Poor audio quality.
- Very little work is available.
Here’s my take…
Those who are happy with the pay rate, are surely those who type fast and have a good deal of experience already.
I also understand those reviewers who found TrasncribeMe’s pay rate per audio hour ridiculous. If you’re a beginner and not quick on the keyboard, a few bucks for a few hours isn't going to cut it.
A common complaint is audio files with poor quality, but this is not specific to TranscribeMe. Every company in this industry suffers from this. If every audio file was easy to decipher, you could simply play to a decent speech recognition software and make money.
But of course, it's not that simple.
TranscribeMe Reviews on Indeed
The comments and complaints on Indeed.com are also interesting. They only scored 3.4 out of 5 (based on 34 reviews), which isn't necessarily bad, just lower than what you see on Facebook and Glassdoor.
Here I found reviews that said they were a good place to start for beginners. Some reviewers also liked their style of splitting audio files into small chunks because they are easier to work with that way.
Here are few complaints from Indeed.com:
- It’s difficult to advance on their platform as tests are not that easy.
- Pay is not so good.
- There’s not enough work to go around.
- A reviewer called the company a scam because they weren't able to withdraw their money.
I think the above positive and negative reviews are realistic and they give us an idea how the company works. While working for TranscribeMe can be a good source of income, it may not be advisable to depend on them for full-time work or full-time income.
According to some reviewers, it’s possible to get higher pay – especially if you pass their skills test. Joining special teams also results in having more available jobs.
With similar companies I’ve reviewed, most people complain about the pay, so it's not uncommon.
What I Like About TranscribeMe
- I like that there are small clips of audio you can work on vs. long files.
- There is a growth opportunity with qualifying tests to reach higher levels.
- Friendly help and support.
- You can re-take tests
- Great if you're a first-time transcriber.
What I Don't Like
- Pay per audio hour is relatively low unless you're extremely fast and accurate.
- Daily work is not guaranteed.
- Transcription can be difficult for beginners. Not because of the work, but because it takes time to develop the skill and that can be frustrating and time consuming for many.
Where Do You Go From Here?
Earning a living from home can be difficult, and that's why you're here to learn how to do it. TranscribeMe may not be a “single solution”, but it's a good place to start in my opinion.
Starting out in a freelance career is not like a full-time job. It's rare to land a single a gig that allows you to work at home and get paid a full-time wage.
What does work though is combining multiple gigs, whether that's a transcription job here and there, a freelance writing side hustle and doing some rideshare in between.
It's a tremendous feeling when you put it all together. Being able to generate an income on your own terms and having the freedom to do it when and where you want. It's liberating.
TranscribeMe is legit, they hire beginners, and transcription work is a good skill to acquire. Some recommendations such as taking qualifying tests and joining teams are also things to consider.
I’ve also been working online for many years now, and I appreciate that companies like TranscribeMe exist.
I hope my TranscribeMe review has been helpful and if you have any comments, questions, or experience with them, please share in the comments section below.
14 thoughts on “TranscribeMe Review – Legit Job or Work-at-Home Scam?”
Hi, thank you for your review. I was wondering if you had any advice or information regarding Typewhizz as well please? I want to join them but am hesitant after reading negative reviews. Thank you
Hi Hayley, I’m sorry… I’m not familiar with Typewhizz. Just doing a quick search on their site metrics, they seem to be a relatively small company with 90+ percent of their traffic coming from South Africa which is a little odd. I’m not sure if that’s where they advertise the most or they are from South Africa (even though they have UK domain name). That’s also consistent with the testimonials on their homepage, which is a positive sign. Also, doing a reverse image search on the images they use in their testimonials does not turn up anything that would suggest they are fake.
But there is very little information about them, so I can’t say for sure. The lack of information (No CEO, no address, phone number, or business registration details, etc.) is concerning. They also say that spots for the course are limited, but from the quick search I did, it seeems the course is only written material anyway, so whatever limits they claim would be completely arbitrary, or more likely they are just using false scarcity to increase urgency and sales.
To be clear though, this is only a quick assessment based on a handful of surface level searches. As I mentioned, I’m not familiar with them so I can’t make any recommendation one way or the other.
It is a scam. My partner and I spent days trying to get our answers accurate to try and pass the exams however they blocked our accounts. They said my partners account was blocked due to it being a duplicate account and/or that we shared our answers. None of which we did. Their rules are also not always clear and their replies are automated. You cannot get a direct reply from them. Do not waste your time.
I am thinking about trying it ps steve.
Could’ve saved a lot of time with a simple, “Make $30 a month, on a good month and don’t get paid to take their 3hr ‘advancement’ tests.” Tells people really all they need to know about this digital sweat shop.
Thank you for your review. I find it to be helpful and thorough. My questions have been answered. Overall it is positive, there are always pros and cons to be considered. Your review gives a jumpstart that allows one to give it a chance and learn further for theirself or not.
Can I use a phone to start?
The pay rate for beginners joining TranscribeMe is $15/AH. And they give short Audio Files ranging from 2-8 minutes to beginners. Now like you mentioned in your review this pay rate is per audio hour. So does this mean that the pay rate is going to be much lower then $15/AH as the Audio Files available to beginners are just 2-8 minutes long?
Very informative.. thank you for taking the time explaining both sides..
Thank you for your review this gives me a direction for myself.
I just spent two days very carefully studying their guidelines and taking their test, and they accused me of submitting answers that weren’t entirely my own, of having multiple accounts, and said I was permanently banned! As I did none of these things, I’m simply gobsmacked!
Not good. Sounds like an internal problem not yours but does Transcribeme have a complaint system i wonder?
Thank you for your thorough review. This helped me make the best decision for myself.
The low pay can be frustrating for beginners; especially when they don’t understand how pay per audio hour is calculated.