Is Transcription The Worst Freelance Job?

6 min readSep 7, 2020

It’s definitely not for everyone but if you think it might be the work from home job for you read on to hear the good, the bad, and a few places hiring freelancers.

Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash

If you have ever wanted to work from home you may have researched different options and different methods to earn a living without being tied to a particular company. Transcription is one job many people recommend but is it a good job for people wanting to work from home? As someone who has had a few work from home roles, in my opinion, this is my least favourite so far but who knows it might be the one for you — if you’re interested keep reading to find out what the pros and cons really are.

So what is transcription?

Transcription is the process of turning audio files into written documents. It is used to create a written copy of recorded meetings and conversations. Used for interviews, work meetings, focus groups, research, and medical and legal documents there are a range of industries which use transcription. It is also frequently used by market research companies, journalists and students. It saves time in meetings and interviews as they can be recorded and typed up later without needing to take notes at the time. This is a role that can be done in-house or outsourced to freelancers. Generally speaking, 1 hour of audio will take 4 hours to transcribe, with longer lengths possible for more complicated documents such as court proceedings.

What is the role of the transcriber?

Transcriptions companies hire transcribers to produce written documents. This job role can be either office-based or on a freelance basis depending on the company. Healthcare providers such as hospitals will often have transcribers or ‘audio typists’ working from an office due to the confidential nature of the reports being collected.

However, there are lots of companies that hire workers on a freelance basis allowing you to work from home. As long as you have access to a computer, the internet (to send files and download the audio), and a pair of headphones you can sign up for work as a transcriber.

The job itself varies between companies but simply put you turn an audio file into a written file. You do this by listening to…


Usually writing or taking pictures — remote worker and part-time freelance tutor, editor, and writer. Following my dream to be an author