September 24, 2015

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find a list of the most frequently asked questions that applicants and transcribers ask us. Simply click on the question to reveal its answer.

General

What is Transcription?

When individuals or businesses have audio or video that they need a usable text record of, they employ the services of a transcription company like Way With Words. In turn, we provide the audio to our pool of transcribers who listen to the audio and type out what they hear.

About Our Application Process

I live in United States, can I apply as a transcriber?

Of course! We accept applications from transcribers all over the world and United States is no exception. Because of the way we work, we always need transcribers available in every time zone so that we can return transcripts to clients regardless of their requested turnaround.

I’ve never done transcription before, can I still apply?

Of course you can! Some of our best transcribers have come to us not knowing the first thing about transcription. As long as you have great English language skills and a passion for perfection, we will get along like a house on fire.

Once you have successfully completed our application process, you will be guided through training by one of our dedicated (and patient, because we know you like to ask questions to get everything right!) operations managers. The best way to learn is through doing, so straight away we start training you up on live work.

Why do I need to do your assessment?

We get, on average, 800 potential transcribers apply every week. That’s a lot! Of course, among all of those, there are going to be a few thorns among the roses. In order to weed out the thorns so we can get to your rose, we need to put a little assessment in place to make sure the applications we receive are up to standard and don’t keep us from getting to yours.

I’m applying as a transcriber, why do I have to do the research assessment?

At Way With Words, we get such a broad variety of files from different clients all over the world that it’s impossible to say that we specialise in any particular field. The research stage of the assessment tests applicants’ ability to research anything they might hear or not understand when transcribing.

Imagine you are transcribing a Welsh county council meeting and they start talking about the different towns and cities in Wales. We expect our transcribers to actively look up town and city names (and this is just one small example) to accurately transcribe an audio file rather than return one riddled with unclear and inaudible markings. Our clients expect superior quality transcripts from us and we, in turn, expect top quality transcripts from our transcribers.

Is there a fee associated with applying?

Most certainly not! Some companies ask you to purchase a training pack or pay for training materials but at Way With Words we believe that it is you who is providing value to us, not the other way around.

Work and Remuneration

How often will I receive work?

Because transcribers are independent contractors, they can choose how often or how selectively they work for us. Of course, the availability of work also depends on the stream to which you apply. Our application process automatically directs you to the stream best suited to your abilities. Some of these streams have seasonal work, but most of them have regular, daily work available for transcribers.

Do I need special software or hardware?

It’s a common misconception that transcribers require some mystical software or hardware in order to transcribe. The simple fact of the matter is that as long as you have a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, Open Office Writer or Apple’s Pages), some software to play audio and video (such as VideoLan’s great VLC Player) and a great set of ears (sadly, not available through Amazon!) then you’re all set!

As transcribers start to get more and more adept, many will invest in a decent set of headphones. We recommend a set of isolating headphones (that fit over the ears) as opposed to earphones (which are inserted in to the ear) as they not only block out the ambient noise from your environment but are also more comfortable to work with. Most transcribers will also invest in a transcription pedal which allows them to control the audio or video file they are working on without taking their fingers off their keys.

How do I get paid?

As a transcriber, the most common method of remuneration is via PayPal. If you don’t already have a PayPal account, it’s very quick and easy to set up! Please make sure though that you are able to open a PayPal account in United States. Of course if you happen to have a UK bank account then we will gladly pay you in to that instead.

Are there fees involved in receiving payments?

As is always the case, there are certain fees involved with PayPal transfers. You can find out more information here about the service fees PayPal deducts from your funds when a transaction is processed. These fees are deducted by PayPal *after* payment has been made to your account.

If you use a UK bank account, there are no fees levied for deposits from us.

How much will I earn?

Because transcribers are independent contractors, they can choose how often or how selectively they work for us. Obviously, the more work you turn around, the more you can expect to earn. We pay our transcribers per audio minute, which means we pay you per minute of audio that you have listened to and transcribed. As a general rule of thumb, an experienced transcriber will transcribe at a ratio of 4:1 whereas a novice transcriber may transcribe at a rate of 6:1. What this means is that it will take an experienced transcriber four minutes to transcribe one minute of audio (because they would need to rewind and replay the audio to ensure accuracy).

In terms of the rate of pay, this varies based on the type of work you transcribe and its urgency. Pay for entry-level transcription begins at $0.40 per audio minute. Our very best transcribers earn up to $1.38 per audio minute. If you work it out, that’s $82 per audio hour!

Interested?