Michael Frash
Community Specialist
Community Specialist
Posted September 20, 2021

5 highest-paying transcription jobs

Learn about the top five transcription jobs. Plus, read about the skills you need as a transcriptionist and how much you can expect to make.
Michael Frash
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5 highest-paying transcription jobs
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If you have excellent listening skills and a fast typing speed, you might enjoy working as a transcriptionist.

Transcriptionists work in a range of industries, including medicine, law, and online.

Due to technology, there's a slight 2% decline in the job outlook for medical transcriptionists in the next ten years.

But there'll still be opportunities for work in other industries, such as transcription services for social media and podcasts.

If you'd like to learn more, we're here to help. In the following article, we'll tell you what a transcriptionist does. And we'll give you a list of the best transcription jobs and how much you can expect to make in them.

What is a transcriptionist?

Professional transcriptionists listen to live audio and recorded speech and turn it into a text document.

They use different tools, including headsets, foot pedals, and computer software, to help them complete their tasks.

They need to make sure their transcriptions are accurate, high-quality, and free from errors. Transcribers often work in offices, but some work from home.

Transcription work is fast-paced, and most workers have had transcription training.

Transcriptionists may work part-time or full-time. Some freelancers also use this as a side hustle to make extra money.

The most common types of transcription jobs include medical, legal, online, general, and multilingual positions.

Transcriptionists may charge a set rate for every audio minute or audio hour. An audio hour may take up to six hours to transcribe.

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What skills do you need to be a transcriptionist?

If you want to work as a transcriptionist, you'll need a fast typing speed between 65-90 wpm (words per minute).

You'll need to have good listening skills and be confident proofreading your work.

During the application process, you may need to pass a grammar and transcription test.

And you'll need to be comfortable using computer software such as Microsoft Word, Scribie, and Express Scribe.

Depending on the job, you may need industry knowledge. For example, a legal transcriptionist will need to understand legal jargon.

If you're looking for work-from-home transcription jobs, you'll need high-speed internet, a quiet workspace, and a reliable computer.

Freelancers will need to accept different payment methods such as Paypal, Payoneer, or direct deposit.

What are the highest-paying transcription jobs?

Let's take a look at some of the highest-paying transcription jobs.

1. Medical transcription

When doctors and other healthcare professionals record dictations, a medical transcriptionist will convert the audio files to text.

They may need to modify the daily transcriptions to make sure they’re clear and easy to read. For example, they may need to translate medical jargon and check for mistakes.

Medical transcriptionists may work on patient files, reports, letters, referrals, and summaries. They often work with sensitive information and need to be mindful of confidentiality.

Most medical transcriptionists complete a certificate or associate degree in medical transcription.

How much does a medical transcriptionist make?

The average salary for medical transcriptionists is $35,270 per year, or $16.96 per hour.

Those with previous experience can earn up to $42,070 per year.

Where to find a job as a medical transcriptionist

You can browse medical transcriptionist positions on our job board.

When attorneys, paralegals, and law enforcement officers make voice recordings, a legal transcriptionist creates an audio transcription.

They may be responsible for transcribing recordings about agreements, motions, schedules, and court correspondence. They may need to translate legal jargon and send copies to relevant parties.

The legal transcription documents need to be accurate and error-free, as they may be used in court.

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Legal transcriptionists should be trustworthy because they may hear private information.

Most legal transcriptionists have a certificate or associate degree. Knowledge of the law is an advantage.

How much does a legal transcriptionist make?

The average salary for a legal transcriptionist is $34,209, or $16 per hour.

Where to find a job as a legal transcriptionist

You can browse legal transcriptionist positions on our job board.

3. Online transcription

Online transcriptionists often work from home. They may work for an employer or a transcription company.

They may be responsible for captioning videos and transcribing podcasts. These jobs often have a short turnaround time, and the transcriber needs to be quick, efficient, and accurate.

Popular transcription sites include:

  • Tigerfish

  • Transcribe Anywhere

  • Ubiqus

  • TranscribeMe

  • Verbal Ink

  • SpeakWrite

  • Speechpad

  • 3Play Media

  • GoTranscript

  • Quicktate

  • GMR Transcription

Online transcriptionists need a reliable and fast internet connection. They may complete a mini-course, certificate, or associate degree.

How much does an online transcriptionist make?

The average salary for online transcriptionist jobs is $15 per hour. Experienced transcriptionists can earn a higher pay rate.

Where to find a job as an online transcriptionist

You can browse online transcriptionist jobs on our job board.

4. General transcription

​General transcriptionists work on a mix of projects that aren't legal or medical. They may transcribe recorded interviews, meetings and conferences, speeches, lectures, and phone messages.

They may use transcription software, and they may have to use a different style guide for each task.

Some general transcriptionists work in an office and need to use their typing skills for other tasks. For example, they may type letters or take minutes in meetings.

General transcription positions can be good jobs for both beginners and those with more experience.

Most general transcriptionists complete a transcription course or associate degree.

How much does a general transcriptionist make?

A general transcriptionist can earn between $11–$30 per hour.

Where to find a job as a general transcriptionist

You can browse general transcriptionist positions on our job board.

5. Multilingual transcription

Multilingual or bilingual transcriptionists can speak and transcribe languages other than English.

They may listen to audio recordings in foreign languages and transcribe them word-for-word. Or, they may translate the recordings into English or from English to a different language.

(Image Source)

Multilingual transcriptionists need excellent listening skills and language fluency. They need to use their transcription skills to make sure the communication is clear and easy to understand.

They can work in a range of industries, including health, government, and education.

Most multilingual transcriptionists have years of experience speaking multiple languages.

How much does a multilingual transcriptionist make?

The average salary for a multilingual transcriptionist is $18 per hour. Those with extensive transcription experience can earn a higher rate.

Where to find a job as a multilingual transcriptionist

You can browse multilingual transcriptionist positions on our job board.

Start your career as a transcriptionist

If you can type quickly and accurately, you may enjoy working as a transcriptionist.

We told you what they do and the skills you need to be successful in a transcriptionist position. And, we took you through the top five transcription jobs, including medical transcription, legal transcription, online transcription, general transcription, and multilingual transcription.

By now, you’ll know how much you can expect to make and where you can start your job search.

Want more job options? You can find local vacancies on Jobcase’s job board.

And don't forget to visit our Getting Hired Resource Center for interview and application tips.

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