Does anyone do freelance transcription?

(127 Posts)
lucysnowe Thu 04-Dec-08 13:06:47

Hi all

Thought this might be an easy-ish way to get some extra cash. Is is quite sought after? Do you need any qualifications etc?


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ClausImWorthIt Thu 04-Dec-08 13:12:09

Message withdrawn

lucysnowe Thu 04-Dec-08 14:08:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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ClausImWorthIt Sat 06-Dec-08 21:44:28

Have e-mailed you!

lucysnowe Mon 15-Dec-08 13:05:55


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lucysnowe Mon 15-Dec-08 13:10:42

Hi again Claus - didn't seem to get your email - if you're still watching this thread you could try again - couple of email addresses in profile.


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FrostytheSurfmum Mon 15-Dec-08 13:16:10

I did it for a bit when dd was smaller. I'm a fast typist (around 100 wpm) and very experienced at transcription and I found it very hard work. It wasn't like transcribing a letter or report, I found it difficult to hear what people were saying and who was saying what if it was a discussion group, and I was constantly telling dh/dd/dsd to be quiet or turn the TV down.

I can't quite remember how long a transcription took, but I think it was at least 1.5 times the length of the discussion, so a 2 hour group would take at least 3 hours to transcribe.

I can't honestly say it was the easiest money I've ever earnt.

wannaBe Mon 15-Dec-08 13:16:31

I have done this. As part of my previous job and once when I aas approached by the colleague of a family member (she recommended me to do it for them).

It is bloody hard work.

I would say about an hour of recording will take between 3-4 hours to type (depending on what the recording is i.e. whether just dictated or whether interviews/discussions) If the latter it can take longer (and I type at 95 words per minute).

It's definitely not an easy way to make money.

Fennel Mon 15-Dec-08 13:21:48

I employ freelance transcribers sometimes, including one I met on mumsnet. My best transcriber (the mumsnetter) was already a trained and experienced audio-typist. I also use inexperienced postgrad students who are a lot worse at it, and get paid less.

The turnaround times are more flexible in my job, a few weeks is normal. We usually pay something like £70 for a 1 hour individual interview transcript, or £130 for a 1 hour focus group transcript. It takes the good transcribers maybe 6-7 hours for the individual one, and the inexperienced transcribers might take 12 hours (and still do it less well).

I work in university research and there is a demand for good transcribers, there are plenty of people around who want to do it but it's very useful having someone you know is good and reliable.

lucysnowe Mon 15-Dec-08 17:08:48

Hard work comments duly noted! I can see how it might be a bit of a grind, especially if the voices are hard to hear. Frosty and wanna, did you both use special transcribing machines? If so could you recommend any?

Fennel, thanks for the comment, and I hope you don’t mind if I keep you in mind for the future! Feel free to email me ( addies in profile) too if you fancy it. DH works at the uni so I may well have some useful contacts. It’s a toss up between that and proofreading tedious technical theses… smile

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FrostytheSurfmum Mon 15-Dec-08 18:18:43

No I didn't have a transcriber, I had a foot pedal that connected to the PC and I downloaded the files from a central file.

Fennel Mon 15-Dec-08 22:02:21

You can download free software to help with transcribing, which makes the separate transcriber with foot pedal less necessary.

It can be a grind but there are worse jobs, you get to do it in your own home at times of your choosing. I do transcribing sometimes, not exactly cos I love it but because it helps you know your data better, and I don't mind it.

I will keep you in mind lucysnowe but I won't have anything for at least a few months. Try advertising in your local uni, maybe, or asking around there if you have contacts.

lucysnowe Mon 15-Dec-08 22:10:52

Thanks fennel! smile

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ClausImWorthIt Wed 17-Dec-08 21:26:54

lucysnowe - I would e-mail you again but you don't have a profile! What other e-mail address should I use?

lucysnowe Thu 18-Dec-08 09:54:29

Oh sorry claus. Try


underscore ie _

hope that works

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ClausImWorthIt Thu 18-Dec-08 14:12:52

I have tried again!

Whitesnakewoman Mon 19-Jan-09 15:44:01

Hi there I found your website here today and was interested in your comments about transcribing. I have just started transcribing from home and wholeheartedly agree that it is hard work - you definitely need to be self disciplined, have peace and quiet (preferably your own office away from everyone else) and be able to type accurately and quickly. You may find that it will take a while to build up the work load; I would definitely avoid typing up discussion groups or focus groups unless you have a lot of experience doing this, it would be better to stick to agencies that will give you letters, memos, etc to type up as these are dictated by one person and less complicated. If anyone has any work that they need typed up, please drop me a line

lucysnowe Tue 20-Jan-09 12:35:22

Hi whitesnakewoman (like the name!) – thanks, that’s very useful advice. I actually think a few hours’ concentration will be a nice change from watching over DD crawling around like a manic gecko all day. grin

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MingMong Sun 01-Feb-09 21:19:37

Hi there

I can honestly say transcribing is not easy money, it's hard work and you have to be disciplined to do it. I have been transcribing for three years now and have been sub contracting although I am thinking of trying to get my own contracts now and set up independently.

Some companies pay £25 per hour of audio which may sound okay but if you spend 4 to 5 hours on a poor quality audio file which drives you around the bend it's not that great. Other companies pay more than that, it's just trial and error. Also turnaround times can vary, some require files back within 8 hours, some within a few days, it all depends on what you are transcribing and what the company requires.

One thing just be aware of is that some companies will pay you each month without fail and others will wait until they have been paid by their client so do not rely on this as a regular source of income.

All in all this fits in perfectly with family life at the moment but it is hard work!!!hmm Feel free to PM me any questions.

lucysnowe Mon 02-Feb-09 16:17:33

Thanks MingMong - will do!

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Casmac Tue 17-Mar-09 13:19:19

Hi LucySnow,
I run a small transcription company and have a standard email I send to people looking to set up as a freelancer - shall I send it over?
I'm new to this site so be patient with me if I can't work out how to do it!

Casmac Tue 17-Mar-09 13:22:09

Message for MingMong and Whitesnakewoman - I can't seem to contact you privately, but if you are interested in some more transcription work please visit to contact me!

lucysnowe Mon 23-Mar-09 14:02:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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lucysnowe Tue 31-Mar-09 09:55:11

casmac - ta for the email - have replied. grin

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DanniiMoss Tue 14-Apr-09 20:37:16

Hi People,

I have just started transcribing from home and would be happy for anyone to contact me if you have any work/ or know anybody that does need anything transcribing. My background is legal but I have worked in the medical industry.

I am new to this site please be patient with me. My e-mail address for anyone interested is



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