Top 10 Ways to Make Money Transcribing Online

Stacy Ambani
Ways to make money transcribing online

If you have excellent listening skills and a love for language, transcription can be a fantastic way to earn money online. Transcribing involves converting audio or video recordings into written form, and it is in high demand across various industries. In this article, we will explore the top 10 ways to make money transcribing online and provide insights into each option.

1. General Transcription Services

Many companies and individuals require general transcription services for a wide range of projects. These projects can include interviews, podcasts, lectures, webinars, or even legal proceedings. General transcriptionists listen carefully to the audio recordings and type out every spoken word accurately.

What You Need:

  • Excellent listening skills
  • Strong command of the language
  • Good typing speed (generally around 60 words per minute)
  • Reliable internet connection
  • High-quality headphones
  • Transcription software (optional but recommended)
  • Time-management skills

How to Get Started:

  1. Develop your skills: Familiarize yourself with various transcription styles, punctuation rules, and formatting guidelines.
  2. Invest in equipment: Purchase high-quality headphones and consider using transcription software that allows you to control playback speed.
  3. Gain experience: Practice transcribing by working on free or low-paid projects initially to build your portfolio.
  4. Research and apply: Look for general transcription job openings on freelancing platforms, job boards, or specialized transcription websites.
  5. Build your network: Connect with other professionals in the industry through online forums or social media groups.

2. Medical Transcription Services

Medical transcription is a specialized niche within the transcription field that focuses on converting medical audio recordings into written documents such as patient records, medical reports, or discharge summaries. Due to its technical nature, medical transcriptionists often require specific training or certification.

What You Need:

  • In-depth knowledge of medical terminology
  • Familiarity with medical procedures and practices
  • Understanding of medical jargon and abbreviations
  • Attention to detail
  • Discretion and confidentiality

How to Get Started:

  1. Obtain training: Consider enrolling in a medical transcription program or completing an online course that covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and medical terminology.
  2. Gain experience: Look for internships, apprenticeships, or volunteer positions in healthcare settings or medical transcription companies to refine your skills.
  3. Get certified: While certification is not mandatory, it can enhance your credibility and increase your earning potential. Explore certification options provided by organizations like the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
  4. Find job opportunities: Look for medical transcription job openings on specialized job boards or websites catering to the healthcare industry.

Legal transcription involves converting audio recordings from legal proceedings such as court hearings, depositions, or client consultations into written form. Legal transcriptionists must possess a good understanding of legal terminology and processes.

What You Need:

  • Knowledge of legal terminology and procedures
  • Familiarity with court systems and legal documentation
  • Excellent research skills
  • Strict attention to detail
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality

How to Get Started:

  1. Acquire knowledge: Enroll in a legal transcription course or familiarize yourself with legal terminology and processes through self-study.
  2. Gain experience: Practice transcribing legal content by working on mock cases or volunteering at local law firms.
  3. Understand formatting requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific formatting guidelines for legal documents.
  4. Develop specialized skills: If you plan on focusing solely on court reporting, consider obtaining certification from organizations such as the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
  5. Seek job opportunities: Look for legal transcription job openings on dedicated job boards or websites catering specifically to the legal industry.

4. Captioning and Subtitling

Captioning and subtitling involve adding text to audio or video content, making it accessible to those with hearing impairments or individuals who prefer to watch videos with subtitles. This type of transcription work often requires fast typing speeds and familiarity with timing tools.

What You Need:

  • Proficiency in the language you will be captioning/subtitling in
  • Good command of grammar and punctuation
  • Strong listening skills
  • Ability to work with timing tools (e.g., Aegisub, Subtitle Edit)
  • Knowledge of accessibility standards

How to Get Started:

  1. Familiarize yourself with different types of captioning: Understand the different formats such as real-time, offline, live broadcast captioning, open subtitles, or closed captions.
  2. Learn about timing techniques: Understand how to synchronize the text with the audio or video content using timing tools.
  3. Develop your skills: Practice by captioning videos from various platforms to build your portfolio.
  4. Join captioning platforms: Sign up on popular online platforms that offer captioning or subtitling services, such as or GoTranscript.

5. Podcast Transcription Services

Podcasts have gained tremendous popularity in recent years, and many podcasters offer transcriptions of their episodes to reach a broader audience and improve accessibility. Transcribing podcasts typically involves converting audio recordings or scripts into written form.

What You Need:

  • Good listening skills
  • Familiarity with podcast content
  • Strong command of grammar and punctuation
  • Attention to detail

How to Get Started:

  1. Explore podcast directories: Look for popular podcasts in industries that interest you and approach the hosts directly regarding transcription services.
  2. Offer your services on freelancing websites: Create a profile on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer offering podcast transcription as a service.
  3. Network with podcasters: Connect with podcasters through social media or podcasting forums, offering your transcription services.

6. Academic Transcription Services

Researchers, professors, and students often require transcripts of interviews, focus groups, or lectures for research purposes or note-taking. Academic transcriptionists should have good subject knowledge and be able to transcribe specialized terminology accurately.

What You Need:

  • Familiarity with academic jargon
  • Good research skills
  • Excellent listening skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work with specialized formatting requirements

How to Get Started:

  1. Gain subject knowledge: Familiarize yourself with the specific terminology used in the field you are interested in.
  2. Develop your skills: Practice transcribing academic content by working on materials available in public libraries or online platforms.
  3. Offer your services: Reach out to academic institutions, researchers, or students directly offering your transcription services. Establish connections with professors and researchers who may require periodic transcription work.

7. Verbatim Transcription Services

Verbatim transcription involves capturing every spoken word, including filler words like "uh," "um," or pauses made during speech. This type of transcription is commonly required for legal proceedings or psychological research interviews that require a detailed analysis of speech patterns.

What You Need:

  • Excellent listening skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Patience and focus
  • Good typing speed

How To Get Started:

  1. Practice active listening: Hone your ability to listen attentively and capture every detail accurately.
  2. Build your speed: Improve your typing speed by practicing regularly using online typing tools or software.
  3. Research potential clients: Look for law firms, psychological research organizations, universities conducting linguistic studies, or market research companies that require verbatim transcriptions.
  4. Offer specialized services: Highlight your ability to accurately transcribe fillers and non-verbal cues in your marketing materials or when communicating with potential clients.

8. Language Transcription Services

Transcribing in multiple languages can open up a broader range of opportunities for transcriptionists. Many companies require transcription in languages other than English, making language transcription a valuable skill.

What You Need:

  • Proficiency in the language you will be transcribing
  • Strong command of grammar and punctuation in that language
  • Knowledge of specific cultural nuances and the subject matter.
  • Good listening skills

How to Get Started:

  1. Identify target languages: Determine which languages you are proficient in and target industries or companies that require transcription services in those languages.
  2. Build your vocabulary: Familiarize yourself with industry-specific terminology related to the subjects you want to specialize in.
  3. Network with bilingual professionals: Seek connections within the multicultural community and offer bilingual transcription services.
  4. Market your services: Create a portfolio or website that showcases your language proficiency, specialization, and experience.

9. Video Transcription Services

Video transcription involves converting spoken text from videos into a written form. This type of transcription is widely used by video marketers, content creators, or businesses that need to optimize their videos for SEO purposes.

What You Need:

  • Good listening skills
  • Familiarity with video editing software (optional but helpful)
  • Basic understanding of search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Ability to meet tight deadlines

How To Get Started:

  1. Develop your listening skills: Practice transcribing videos from different genres (e.g., interviews, speeches, webinars) to adapt to various contexts.
  2. Invest in video editing software: Familiarize yourself with video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro to synchronize captions accurately.
  3. Understand SEO principles: Learn how keywords and metadata work for optimizing videos and maximize their visibility on search engines.
  4. Reach out to content creators: Offer your video transcription services directly to YouTubers, video production agencies, or marketing companies.

10. Automated Transcription Services

With advancements in technology, automated or AI-based transcription services have become increasingly popular. These services use speech recognition algorithms to automatically transcribe audio files into text. However, they often require human intervention for accuracy and quality assurance.

What You Need:

  • Knowledge of different automated transcription platforms (e.g., Trint,
  • Familiarity with editing tools and software
  • Excellent proofreading skills

How to Get Started:

  1. Research popular automated transcription platforms: Look for well-established transcription companies that offer automated transcription services and hire human editors.
  2. Understand platform-specific guidelines: Familiarize yourself with the style guides and quality control processes specific to each platform.
  3. Apply as a human editor: Look for job openings or apply directly on the websites of automated transcription platforms.
  4. Refine your editing skills: Practice editing transcripts produced by the automated systems to ensure accuracy and readability.


Transcription is a flexible and rewarding way to make money online, offering diverse opportunities across various industries. Whether you choose general transcription, specialized niches like medical or legal transcription, or explore options like captioning or AI-assisted transcription services – there is something for everyone.

To succeed as a transcriber, focus on developing excellent listening skills, maintaining accuracy and attention to detail, constantly upgrading your knowledge of industry-specific terminology, and honing your time-management abilities.

By leveraging your skills in this expanding field of online work, you can unleash your potential as a transcriber while earning money from the comfort of your own home.

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Stacy Ambani is a Kenyan writer who helps people build wealth through investments and finance. Stacy has worked as a content writer for various online publications and is currently an editor and writer for a financial
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