First, allow me to explain how to determine which companies are good to work for. For a living, I transcribe. It is my sole source of income. I can type 120–150 words per minute, but only 50–70 words per minute when transcribing. (This includes proofing, research, stretching, and other factors.)
For each audio hour, it takes about 4 hours of work (AH). I’ve been known to go from 2 hours of labour to 1 AH on occasion. It’s as high as 8:1 at times. However, 4:1 appears to be the average human capability limit. If I’m consistently hitting 3:1, I’m probably not proofreading well. (I am a human being.) I make errors.)
The best you can aim for is a ratio of 4:1. Expect a 10:1 or 6:1 ratio when you initially start out. It took me 9 hours to transcribe and another 4 hours to proof my first audio hour.
I also live in the United States, where living costs are high. I try to live as cheaply as possible, but it’s still difficult to make ends meet at less than $12 an hour.
I’d be earning roughly $5 per hour at $20 per AH – Me. Someone who has dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to becoming a professional transcriptionist. Is this what I should expect to get paid for someone that is quick and knows what they’re doing? This is a disaster.
How many people can live on $5 an hour if they have to pay for Internet and electricity? Not in the United States. That is, in the best-case situation!
Then, as another company said in the comments, $.60 for each audio minute is $36 for every audio hour. At that rate, I’d make $8 each hour. 36/4=.60*60=.60*60=.60*60=.60*60=.60*60=.60*
Keep in mind that this is before taxes and other government programmes such as health insurance, unemployment insurance, and others that take a significant portion of my salary. Someone with experience will not be able to survive. A minute of audio is 60 seconds. How could someone with no prior experience manage to live in such a manner? I’d be living on rice and potatoes at that rate. This is utter nonsense.
These establishments are labour mills that prey on the poor.
Accept no less than $1 every audio minute or $60 per audio hour. It’s not a good idea. It’s a snare. OR, if you already have, KEEP SEARCHING!!!
Okay, now that that’s out of the way —
Professional transcriptionists, I’ve noticed, are notoriously guarded about who we work for. I believe it is simply the nature of the business to keep what we hear private. In addition, all of the companies for which I’ve worked had a low hiring rate. When the workload at the company where I presently work grew, we only had two rounds of hires in four years. On one of those rounds, I got pulled up. Only a few people leave. Why aren’t people sticking if they’re always looking for new employees?
Even at my location of employment, where the money is excellent, there isn’t always enough work. But I enjoy working with the clients we serve, and they do their best to look after me. “It’s the best,” I still wouldn’t declare.
There are a lot of wonderful transcription companies out there that pay well. Many affluent individuals, corporations, media conglomerates, journalists, and others pay a high price for transcripts.
You just need to put in some effort to figure out which ones are worthwhile. If you have trouble finding suitable sites to investigate, the research portion of transcription work will be quite challenging for you. I wish I could say more about how I came upon the companies. I just keep Googling, clicking, and submitting applications. I believe I’ll just avoid the slave sites.
If their rates aren’t listed, send them an email and inquire. Check them off your list if they don’t respond. And, strangely enough, the ones with the worse websites have turned out to be the greatest for me. So don’t base your opinion of a company or anything else on the appearance of a website. (I’m not sure how some of these businesses get new customers.) It has to be more word-of-mouth than a website presence. The website of the company where I started 9 years ago has never changed.)
Transcribing is a highly skilled and specialised occupation. It necessitates a good deal of education, knowledge, tactile expertise, and mental endurance. It’s not like a minimal pay job.
You are a human being who deserves to be treated with respect.
And those of you who pay less than $1 each audio minute should be ashamed!