How Much Can an Online Transcriber Earn in South Africa?

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How much can an online transcriber earn in South Africa

As the pandemic hit, many international companies and universities have had to get used to using virtual meetings and lectures.

However, these online meetings and lectures often need to be transcribed into text for various reasons.

This has led to an increased demand for English-speaking transcribers who can listen to audio or video recordings and type out the audio into text.

The average online transcriber earns $30,000(R400, 000+-) per year, making this quite a lucrative career for those looking to start freelancing from home.

Can someone with no transcription experience go from a complete beginner to earning over R500 every single day?

Yes, in less than 2 weeks actually. But first, let’s explain what a transcriber actually does.

What is a transcriber?

Well, for those who are unfamiliar with this career – a transcriber listens to audio or video recordings and then types out what they hear.

Have you ever watched a video that has subtitles? A transcriber had to listen to that video and type out the text into subtitles.

Transcribers can enjoy many benefits in comparison to most employees and freelancers. For example, we interviewed over 1500 transcribers and the overall majority of them stated that the best part about their job was that it was very low-stress work.

As a transcriber, you do not need to deal with difficult and complex tasks or unrealistic client expectations like many other freelance professions.

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TranscriberAdditionally, transcribers can:

  • Work from anywhere in the world, in the comfort of their own home
  • Work flexible hours as transcribers do not need to be at their desk from 8-5.
  • No need to answer to a boss or colleagues.

We are here to tell you the straightforward honest truth about transcription, which includes the good and the bad. When you first look at becoming a transcriber, it may seem straightforward but there is more to it than what meets the eye. (or ear in this case)

If you do not have the correct knowledge and tools to help you complete tasks quickly, transcription can be a very difficult career. You may spend hours transcribing simple 30-minute videos, ultimately causing your hourly rate to slowly dip to below minimum wage.

Even if you are an expert at typing, sometimes a difficult video will come along and you could spend the better part of a few days on just one video.

So with the right tools and knowledge transcribers can easily earn anywhere from $50-$100 per day. This is because there are many shortcuts and tricks that allow transcribers to complete tasks much faster, thereby earning a higher hourly wage.

When you follow the right advice and use the right tools, transcription can become an extremely lucrative and easy, low-stress career. This is because when most transcribers are taking hours to transcribe a short video, you’re taking one hour max.

This will allow you to take on more tasks per day as you’ll be able to complete the tasks faster. Before becoming a transcriber you should:

  • Get certified in transcription, there are many affordable courses that range from $27-100. These courses will take you from A-Z and help save you the painful learning curve that many transcribers have to get through in the beginning of their career.
  • Get the correct software so that you can complete tasks much faster, this will save you hours of time.
  • Ensure that you have access to a laptop or desktop with internet connection.

Due to the skyrocketing demand for transcribers, there are now dozens of transcription websites that are desperately seeking transcribers. However, it is important to note that these websites will often prioritize candidates who have some experience, or a certification in transcription.

How to tell if you would qualify to become a transcriber?

In order to become a transcriber you need to be fluent in English and you should be able to type on a computer at 35 words per minute. In order to see if you would make a good transcriber, take this online quiz.

What to do if you’re interested in becoming an online transcriber?

If you’re keen to get started as a transcriber, it is important to ensure that you gain some prior knowledge beforehand so that you are knowledgeable enough to take shortcuts and transcribe files quickly. There are numerous institutions that offer transcription training in South Africa.

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