Rates of pay for transcription work

(51 Posts)
TatterdemalionAspie Mon 20-Feb-17 13:52:49

I've been doing some transcription work for the past year or so, and charge £1.10 per audio minute for focus groups, and £1.00 pam for one-to-one interviews. I deal directly with the people/companies concerned.

I've just been offered some work by an established transcriptionist, and she's offering £36 for an hour file (I assume this is one-to-one interview), so 60p per audio minute. Is this around the standard pay when getting work via a third party (ie, though an agency, effectively)?

I was a bit shocked!

OP’s posts: |
Leatherboundanddown Mon 20-Feb-17 13:55:01

I have no idea but I have had things transcribed and have always paid £1 per audio min (interviews)

TatterdemalionAspie Mon 20-Feb-17 14:11:33

Thanks Leather. I wasn't expecting to get what I'd charge when dealing directly with the client, but I don't know what the going rate is when working for a third party.

OP’s posts: |
CitrusSun Thu 23-Feb-17 05:11:32

Yes, about right I'm afraid, I only get 50 p per minute ad don't work directly for the producers but for the person running their own transcriptions business so they get paid the big bucks and we're in the sweat shop on pin money! Wish I could deal directly with the source but couldn't poach from agent I work for, unethical.

TatterdemalionAspie Thu 23-Feb-17 13:16:31

Thanks Citrus, it's useful to know what the going rate is. I don't think it's going to be a viable thing for me to do. I'm a good transcriber (in that I've got good attention to detail and good spelling, punctuation, grammar skill, etc), but I'm not the fastest typist.

I don't mind working flat out, evenings included, to get a job done when I'm getting decent £1pm, but not for this rate. sad

OP’s posts: |
CitrusSun Thu 23-Feb-17 14:37:05

I know exactly what you mean, I am a fast typist, accurate and reliable yet still earning a pittance unfortunately! Love the flexibility of working from home, I often work overnight as it suits me to work at that time and am always available for urgent work but still it's a lot of hours for little return sadly

Thumbcat Thu 23-Feb-17 16:36:26

I do medical transcription for dict8 who pay 8p per line, which I find works out to roughly £1 per minute of dictation.

happyinherts Thu 23-Feb-17 16:44:56

60 - 70p per minute is standard for agency transcription. I won't work for less than that, but as I can type at around 90 wpm it's viable with a clear audio file.

Sourcing direct, yes, £1.00 to £1.10 seems to be a good rate.

I do often outsource work to transcribers, but have been shocked when they've quoted six hour turnaround for a 20 minute clear audio transcription and expected me to pay for lengthy turnaround, when it would only take me an hour to transcribe. Transcription isn't for the faint hearted. People often don't speak clearly, there's background noise, accents and dialects and the slightest interruption gets amplified four-fold. I'd say unless you're a really fast audio typist and use transcription software to aid you, you'll be hard pushed to make a substantial living.

CitrusSun Sun 26-Feb-17 00:17:48

You're right happy, definitely not for the fainthearted, have been transcribing for several years now and am used to tight deadlines and turn around, I use transcription software and can't imagine being able to work without it although I know some do

TatterdemalionAspie Wed 01-Mar-17 18:09:55

Thanks for the replies.

On the one hand, I really enjoy it, especially when the topic interests me (particularly medical/healthcare stuff, which this was). On the other hand, I have misophonia, and background noise and overtalking make me feel absolutely furious. I usually finish a job wanting to rip the throat out of at least one member of any focus group. grin

The person who gave me this job is really pleased with the transcript, which is good. Still can't decide whether to take on any more work from her if she offers it! Transcribing fits very well in some ways, not so much in others!

OP’s posts: |
CitrusSun Fri 03-Mar-17 15:49:49

Yes, I feel exactly the same about the background noise and overtalking, also people speaking softly and some of the interviewers irritate me! If the subject matter is interesting the time it takes to do the work passes quite quickly but I lose the will to live with a dull topic or one that is so specific that i end up having to do so much research for names of places, people, terminology, etc that my hourly earning rate is about £2! That is so disheartening and makes me want to give it all up as you can't make any kind of decent money, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I do feel a bit like a sweat shop worker where the boss creams off the profit while it's us workers who are doing the hard graft

lljkk Fri 03-Mar-17 15:58:36

£12 an hour here (someone in the dept does it as a 2nd job). Takes her about 60 minutes to transcribe 15 minutes. So £36/hr of audio would be quite lean.

CitrusSun Fri 03-Mar-17 23:32:30

Yes, 1 hour to transcribe 15 mins of audio seems to be the norm

Selenatwins Sat 04-Mar-17 10:30:20

Been transcribing for about 5 years, indirect as at the moment don't have time to organise approaching clients directly. Lowest pay when I started was 50p per min for intelligent verbatim 2 person face to face interview. Now average I would say is 75p for this, 95p for 3-5 speakers/telephone interviews. Verbatim adds about 15p a min. Highest rate is £1.45 a min for complicated focus groups/fast turnarounds or jobs requiring a lot of research. I find when working for transcription companies you have to work your way up a little to get the 'good' jobs and prove you're reliable.

CitrusSun Sat 04-Mar-17 12:36:25

Oh wow Selena, I'm on such low pay! I do fast turnarounds/groups and jobs requiring loads of research all the time but am never paid more than 50p per minute. Do you think the people you work with need anyone else? I'm really fast, reliable and experienced, just fed up with such low wages!

noodleaddict Fri 24-Mar-17 15:30:40

So glad to find this thread! I've just started transcribing (with an agency) and the money is absolute pants. I'm assuming it will get slightly better as I get more experienced but not sure I can hack it tbh. I think I'm getting £0.56 per audio minute at present. Does anyone know which are the better/higher paying agencies? Or how to go about getting work directly?

WeTypeUK Wed 26-Apr-17 18:47:51

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

moonstorm9 Mon 19-Jun-17 15:26:12

I've been thinking of doing this. Not sure if anyone can help but I have a few questions.

Do DICT8 do your tax and insurance for you or do you have to do this on your own?

What would the rough average take home pay be for about 20 hours work a week?

wondermamma Mon 24-Jul-17 18:22:45

Interesting thread. I've been approached by a child psychiatrist friend of mine who is setting up a private clinic. He wants me to type clinic letters at home for 5 medical profesdionals. I don't know what rate to charge. What would you charge pet page? I'm an experienced med sec with fast and accurate typing and can do a 48 hr max turnaround. Any advice appreciated! confused

Gracies16 Tue 06-Mar-18 21:07:46

Can anyone recommend any companies to apply for? X

Mollz Mon 09-Apr-18 08:51:37

This sounds like the kind of work I need right now but the only company I can find is Dict8 which require experience I don’t have. Can anyone recommend any agencies I could approach?

duggiehug Mon 09-Apr-18 23:34:53

I signed up with take note typing which was fairly easy with no experience but honestly the work was awful and I wouldn't recommend it. Unpredictability of work, tight turnarounds meaning I was up till early hours, trying desperately to be accurate and stick to the guidelines then your work getting ripped apart by the proofreaders. Poor audio quality, group sessions which took ages, boring boring subject areas. My hourly pay overall was pitiful, way below minimum wage. I have a good typing speed but it was so stop-start for the accuracy that it didn't count for anything. I guess it improves once you get more experienced but it really wasn't for me. I've made more money with less time doing matched betting and it's way more enjoyable.

Rideforthehills Wed 11-Apr-18 11:40:52

I'm a professional features writer for magazines, web and occasionally do a bit of copy writing. I'm looking for ways of increasing my work load as pregnant and trying to create a buffer of money to allow for maternity leave.
I am used to transcribing my own interviews so interested in signing up with an agency or company to get transcribing work. Where would you recommend I start? If anyone has some company names or agency names that would be very helpful.
Thank you!

Wordbee Mon 18-Jun-18 08:34:50


Are any experienced transcribers on here still looking for work? I am establishing a small business and am looking for one or two skilled people to join me on a freelance basis.

Rideforthehills, I was in the same position as you a year ago and this is how I got into transcribing myself. If you are still looking for work, I have a project with a tight turnaround that I could use some assistance with, so please do write if you're still looking smile

LMW1990 Tue 19-Jun-18 17:04:29

@Wordbee I am a freelance audio typist and currently looking for extra work due the end of a contract. I'd be very much interested in finding out more! I currently have a some regular clients on my books but have immediate availability for urgent work smile

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