Is TranscribeMe a Scam Or Can You Earn $20/h For Transcribing?

is transcribeme a scam
TranscribeMe homepage looks clean and professional.

UPDATE 6.5.2019:

Recently I found a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to make money with transcribing. Learn more here.

TranscribeMe Review 2019 - Video Version

Before you run into the details of my article, I want to give you an opportunity to take a look at my latest TranscribeMe video review. In this video, I reveal how much you can really earn with TranscribeMe and so you my # 1 Recommended Way to make money online.

I am 100% sure that you will find this video helpful and valuable.

Update 22.8.2018: TranscribeMe vs Wealthy Affiliate for Making Money Online

My previous video (see above) became extremely popular and thousands of people watched it within a short period of time.

Therefore, I decided to create an updated TranscribeMe review where I compare my #1 recommendation to make money online which is Wealthy Affiliate and TranscribeMe.

I compare which one of these websites is better for you if you want to earn money online. I weigh the pros & cons and show which one is the best for you depending on your money-making goals.

If you have any questions regarding the video, making money online on Wealthy Affiliate or on TranscribeMe, don't hesitate to leave them in the comments below and I'll be happy to help you out.

My mission is to provide you with the best resources to make lots of money online so always feel free to ask me lots of questions 🙂

​How to Pass TranscribeMe Exam?

I noticed that there was a huge demand for this video because 10,000's of people had been searching online the answer for the question, "How to Pass TranscribeMe exam?"

So, I created the video to show and explain you the process how you can pass it. Take a look at it below and watch it until the end where I show how you the best way to make money online as a beginner.

Insert Video

Would you like to earn minimum $20 per hour just by transcribing texts anywhere you want? I guess quite many people would like. TranscribeMe claims that some of their transcriptionists earn $2,200 while average earnings are around $250 per month.

Their service is available for you worldwide so if you are living in a cheap country, $2,200 per month online sounds like an interesting opportunity. Is TranscribeMe a Scam or do they really pay so much?

I decided to have a closer look and share my findings with you. I hope you’ll find my TranscribeMe review informative and helpful.

TranscribeMe Review

Name: TranscribeMe

Type: Freelance – Transcribing

Short Review: Yes, TranscribeMe seems to be an honest company because many people are showing their payment proofs all around the Internet. Their website definitely beats survey sites but that’s it.

They’ll system will never make you a fortune or even close. Average earnings seem to be around $2 per hour on this website.

If you are interested in earning a living online, I recommend taking the training that has taught to make good money on the Internet. I’m sure it will help you as well to achieve the lifestyle of your dreams where you have a work whenever you want, wherever you want while traveling the world (or just earning the money from the comfort of your own home).

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is transcribeme a scam
TranscribeMe homepage looks clean and professional.

What Is TranscribeMe?

TranscribeMe is a website where you can earn money by transcribing audios and videos. Most of their clips are only 2-4 minutes short, not long interviews.

They have a pool of more than 25,000 transcriptionists from all around the world. It’s a good sign for their clients because TranscribeMe can do the work quickly. However, if you are interested in working as a transcriptionist, it means that you have a big competition there. Anyway, the company is always looking for new ones to enlarge their resources.

is transcribeme a scam
This sounds like an interesting offer but a closer look reveals us a different truth.

What Does Transcribing Mean?

Transcriptionist (or transcriber) is a person who listens to the audio and converts it into a written content. Depending on the audio file you will transcribe one or more persons talking in the audio.

One example of a transcribed content are interviews, sales speeches or conference calls. On TranscribeMe you need to be detailed and add in applause, laughing or tone of the conversation to your transcription.

Basically, anyone can earn money as a transcriptionist on TranscribeMe. In the next chapter, I’ll explain the process how you can get started.

How to Get Started with TranscribeMe?

Go to their homepage and on the top right corner you can see the button, “Join as a Transcriptionist”. Then you click, “Join the Team”. It takes you to the page where you will fill out your personal information, password, email, etc.

Once you’ve filled out the info, it will take you to the page where you can take your skill assessment tests. You can transcribe in

  • English
  • Chinese
  • German
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Italian
  • Portuguese

In addition, they need transcribers for each accent. For example, US English, Australian English, and British accent. When I tried to start the English assessment test they said that TranscribeMe has already enough English transcribers and they don’t need new ones at the moment. So many people can transcribe English that it would be wiser to start working with those other languages.

The test would consist of 10 questions and 3 test audios – approximately one-minute duration each.

What Are the Requirements of TransscribeMe?

is transcribeme a scam
Transcriptionists don’t need any former experience or upfront investments in order to get started on TranscribeMe.

They don’t have any strict requirements. You can get started if you are fluent in any of their target languages and can transcribe texts successfully. TranscribeMe recommends that you have also a headset and a foot pedal for making transcribing easier for you.

Some transcriptionist who start with them doesn’t have any former experience. That’s totally fine because transcribing isn’t rocket science. You just listen what people are saying and you write it down. Anyone can do it. That’s the reason they won’t pay very much for that.

In addition, you need to be accurate with your transcriptions. They will check them out and if they find mistakes, your transcription is rejected and you won’t earn anything for that.

How Much Can You Earn on TranscribeMe?

TranscribeMe advertises that you can earn at least $20 per audio hour. That may sound good but let’s think about it for a moment. Transcribing an audio hour means a different thing than working on an hour.

If you have ever tried to transcribe something, you know that transcribing an hour of audio will take several hours of your time, probably even 4-5 hours.

Let’s say that you would be super fast and transcribe 1 minute of audio in 3 minutes and 1 hour of audio in 3 hours. Then you could earn around $6,7 per hour. That doesn’t sound very exciting because I was earning today around $35 per hour on One Hour Translation. It means that I can earn 5 times more for translating than for transcribing.

Notice that my calculations of TranscribeMe earning potential were quite optimistic. Most people aren’t able to transcribe faster than 1 minute of audio for 4 minutes of work. An average writer would only earn around $1,98.

In addition, my income for building my websites can be potentially even much more than $35 per hour in the long run. If you want to learn to do it as well, have a look at this step-by-step training for free.

Another important thing to notice is that most transcriptions will be only a few minutes long. It means that you always need to check out your email and new offers. That takes even more of your valuable time. My estimation is that you could theoretically earn around $5 per hour.

However, if you aren’t very accurate and they don’t approve your transcriptions, you won’t earn a single penny.

is transcribeme a scam
TranscribeMe talks about flexibility and freedom but their $4 per hour job won’t really give you the freedom and flexibility as better online jobs like affiliate marketing.

TranscribeMe Payment

TranscribeMe pays through PayPal and their minimum payout amount is $10. They pay every Tuesday so you’ll get the money usually within a few days after cashing out.

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TranscribeMe Reviews & Complaints

Several reviews reported about the low quality of TranscribeMe support. The requests weren’t answered and sometimes it was even challenging to reach the support page. I find this a bad thing because the support is one of the keys of a reliable and a successful company.

I decided that I don’t want to waste my time on filling out TranscribeMe tests in order to become a transcriptionist. That’s why I didn’t need to contact their support team at all. However, I noticed that they have a live chat support for customers.

Is TranscribeMe reputable and reliable at all? Many users reported on TranscribeMe Reddit forum that they get paid through this website. However, the earnings were just a pocket money and nothing significant.

Of course, if you are living in a cheap country and your expenses are less than $300 per month, you could probably earn enough money to manage. On the other hand, there are many more profitable opportunities available on the Internet as well.

Conclusion – Is TranscribeMe Worth It?

For me, TranscribeMe is definitely not worth it. Your earnings are very small and you won’t learn almost any important skills by transcribing. At least this is more interesting than filling out online surveys and accomplishing mini tasks on Get-paid-to sites like Earnably.

Let’s compare it to affiliate marketing which is my main income source at the moment:

Affiliate marketing…

1) pays much, much better than TranscribeMe.

2) can make you passive income streams while TranscribeMe can’t.

3) is way more interesting because you can choose your passion and earn money by doing that.

4) makes you learn new skills while you are working. This helps you to grow as a person and earn even more in the future.

In my opinion, these 4 reasons quickly show that affiliate marketing is way superior compared to TranscribeMe. I provide you my full mentoring and support inside Wealthy Affiliate so that you can learn to make money with affiliate marketing as well.

I’ll send you a personal welcome message when you join the community. Also, if you have any questions before that, you can feel free to ask anything in the comments’ section.

What do you think about TranscribeMe or earning money online by transcribing, in general?

Do you also prefer making money online with affiliate marketing or do you have other favorite methods?

Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

By Roope Kiuttu

Hello! I am Roope "Robert" Kiuttu, the founder and owner of I created this website back in 2015 to help you to make money online. You can ask me anything and I'll be happy to help you out. I help people daily to make more money online and I love seeing people succeeding. If you want to get my 1-on-1 support and help to make money online as well, get started HERE.


  1. I wish I’d read something like your article a few months ago when I started checking out transcription sites. I tried a few and found that they would offer a very difficult audio to transcribe, give a list of rules and regulations, then use that as the benchmark whether they accept you or not. A five minute audio took me half an hour as it had people talking over other people, some coughing and sneezing as others spoke, and it was on a subject that was unfamiliar, so I had to look up various words to make sure I was accurate.

    As an English tutor I expected to be more successful than most, even giving extra notes on certain sounds that might be relevant, but I was still rejected – LOL. I think some of these companies just want free translation and disguise it as a test. Even so, I don’t know why they would advertise to many people in western countries where it would take you all day just to earn the cost of a cup of coffee.

    After that last audio test I was over ever trying a translation service again. Just not worth the time and effort. I agree 100% with your assessment. Many thanks for your investigation.

    1. Thank you Neil for sharing your experiences with transcribing. It’s so true what you say. Turning 5 minutes of audio into text can easily take 30 minutes and sometimes even more.

      May I ask do you work as an English tutor online or offline. Have you used Preply, Verbling, Italki or some other website for tutoring? (those links take to my other website where I talk more about language learning)

      I know some people personally who make a living online as a language tutor. I also considered that option for myself because I like different languages. Actually, I am kinda language tutor with my blog because I offer tips, advice and resources for language students. Personally I prefer affiliate marketing over 1-on-1 or group tutoring because it can be more profitable in the long run.

  2. I never tried transcribing and it’s very popular alright, on-demand job. Seems like a tough job for me and very highly competitive since a lot of people now are applying for transcribing job.

    Excellent listening and grammar skills are the keys here for you to have more clients but you can have good earnings for this if you really find a good company that will pay fair.

    1. Transcribing is a way to do some money but the earnings won’t be huge. One of my best friends is actually working in a hospital and transcribing texts by doctors. It’s fine for a while but in the long run it may become quite boring.

      I prefer looking for better paying opportunities usually. I guess that in 10-20 computers will do the most work of transcribers. So that profession is “dying”.

  3. I am interested in working as a transcriber and someone recommended TranscribeMe, but now that I read you blog, I’m doubting to try it out. One downside of me joining this platform is the pool of competition since I’m a newbie and hasn’t really done any work like this before.

    From the researches I had, I learned of some good tools that I could use, but I still have no idea what it’s supposed to look like. I also don’t know anyone personally who has done this kind of job before, so it’s kind of difficult for me. I’m not giving up though because the pay seems to be really good if you get the job done.

  4. Thanks for this review, “TranscribeMe talks about flexibility and freedom but their $4 per hour job won’t really give you the freedom and flexibility as better online jobs like affiliate marketing.” This is what you says. Yes there are many people around the world seeking for side line and the best side line nowadays is online jobs.

    Because of the catchy presentation of website like this one. They are easily hooked, without any further research and further reading about the offers or terms they are going through. Their mind set is as long as there is what we called “income” they will gonna grad it without any realization that the rate that they are receiving is to low compared to how many hours they are spending in front of their computer just raise or earn some points. I hope people will realize their worth.

    1. Hi billionaire,

      yeah, there’s often a huge different between the advertising and the reality. That’s why it’s good to have a look behind the “marketing curtain”.

      Back when I started in Wealthy Affiliate I was also a little bit surprised. I thought that I would immediately start making money because I had seen some guys making +$10,000 per month. However, I realized that online success requires hard work and effort.

      And kept on going through the Wealthy Affiliate training and it really works. I have still to work hard to reach that $10,000 per month income level but I’ll get there over the time course.

  5. After reading this Blog, I was enlighten about TranscribeMe. I registered in that site but until now I can’t pass the exam and still I am not giving up. But since you mentioned here that they have numerous English Transcriber, and I am not interested anymore.

    I can’t speak other language like language of Korea, Japan, German, French and a lot more. Thank you for posting this blogs it helps me to realize that this job is not for me.

    1. Hi Belinda,

      yeah, TranscribeMe is an okay opportunity to earn some extra cash but definitely not for me either. The earning potential is so low and they don’t need English transcriptionists at the moment.

      Did you check out WA? I bet you’ll find it much more interesting than TranscribeMe.

  6. As always, am glad to have your honest opinion on transcribe me. Here’s what I think about it.

    Every time I look up sites like transcribeme, I just feel that are oftenly overrated. Don’t get me wrong, transcribeme is legit but the making of $20 an hour is really not that sure or easy.

    I tried registering too for English transcription but got a response saying it was full. They are so many sites out there selling the same services promising to make you a ton of money in a short time.

    My personal opinion is that if you have enough time and willing to just make some side pocket money, then you could try them out. You are not going to get rich on sites like that.

    1. Hi Rumu,

      yeah, the misleading advertising of TranscribeMe makes us think that it would be an interesting way to earn money. However, the small print says that you earn $20 for transcribing an hour of audio. It takes 4-5 hours on average to transcribe 1 hour of audio.

      If you’ve fed up with this kind of low paying websites I recommend taking a closer look at Wealthy Affiliate and their training. You’ll like it because you have an opportunity to earn much better. Of course, it requires work and effort but I can say based on my own experience that it’s definitely worth it.

    2. I agree with you friend. We must find some websites who really pays us honestly with their promises. Working with Transcribe me really needs an effort to catch all the $20 in 1 hour only.

      I think it is a too much rate to earn in just one hour and sometimes it is not really a convincing. This sounds me sometimes a joke or a scam. My advice is to find some alternative websites which deserves you efforts and time.

      1. TranscribeMe does pay $20 for one hour of audio but as I explained in the article, it’s different than one hour of work.

        Transcribing one hour of audio takes approximately 3-5 hours. They pay it honestly but the rate isn’t very good.

        1. Yes the rate is not good enough and requires more than 1 hour time but this rate is better than what i am with now because i earn only 5 dollars every week but its okay because it is just a sideline.

          1. I see. When I started affiliate marketing I earned nothing for several months. It was an uphill battle. But the great thing about affiliate marketing is that when you get the ball rolling, income grows like a snowball. You can double, triple or even quadruple your earnings in a short period of time. That wouldn’t be possible in a typical 9-5 job.

  7. This is a good work, too. That amount per day is already huge in our country. But you’ve got to work harder in order to get paid in here, right? For a first timer, it would really take them more time to finish one project.

    1. Hi Pandooh,

      yeah, transcribing takes time. In addition, they’ll always check your work and if it’s not correct, you won’t earn a single dime.

      However, you can definitely sign up to TranscribeMe and see how it works in practice. I don’t use it myself because of the low payout and I can earn much more by doing other interesting activities.

  8. It sounded good at the start but then as I read your review and comments, it seemed like a bad idea to join this site. Like you said, transcribing an hour of audio can take a lot longer than an hour.

    $5 an hour is just not worth it especially when you consider that there is a chance that they might not even accept your work. Spending 4 hours, only to not get paid for it is just awful.

    1. TranscribeMe also sounded good for me in the beginning. But when I kept on researching more about this site, I realized that it’s not so interesting at all.

      I’ll keep sticking to affiliate marketing. In the last days I’ve also translated a few texts on One Hour Translation. They pay pretty well. I just earned something like $50 in ~80 minutes.

  9. I thing the earnings aren’t great for people who are only starting but if you get better and faster at it these 6 dollars don’t sound too bad! Transcribing doesn’t sound like a difficult job but I see that they don’t need any English speakers so far. If I spoke one of those other languages I’d probably check it out to see if I’m good at it.

    1. Hi Felabruno,

      that’s true. The faster you can do the job, the more you get paid. However, the challenge is that they don’t have so many audios available for each transcriptionist. It means that sometimes you may get only a few audios for transcribing.

  10. Another insightful and unbiased review coming from Mr. Kiuttu. I think transcribing is just an inch better than taking online surveys. Having to check your e-mail from time to time also sounds like a drag. Although I am living in a country where a dollar can buy you a meal, I don’t think I’ll give TranscribeMe a go.

    The earnings just don’t justify the the amount of time needed to complete a task. In addition, I don’t think that a company where even getting a support is a challenge is worth my time.

    1. Hi John,

      If you can buy a meal with a dollar, that’s great. I’m going to move to a cheap country as well in the end of this year. I’m earning my living online so I don’t see any good reason why I would still stay in an expensive country. My cost of living goes dramatically down but the quality of living goes dramatically up.

      Yeah, overall TranscribeMe doesn’t look very appealing.

  11. I always get scared working on sites that the support system ain’t responsive which means that when one gets into an issue working on such site, you may not get to get it sorted out in a long time. This is the major reason I wouldn’t want to work on TranscribeMe since they delay in responding to complaints by its members.

    You’ve always talked about One Hour Translation and how one can be able to earn as much as $35 per hour working on it and it is such opportunity that I really need to boost the income I make online.

    1. Hi Henry,

      yeah, I wouldn’t like to work either for a company that doesn’t have a responsive support team. As you said, it’s one of the most important aspects in the company.

      One Hour Translation is a good way to earn some extra income. It seems that they don’t have so many English-Finnish available but when they have, the salary is always good.

      1. Mr Roope,

        The issue with some of the translation sites that I checked is the need for native English speaking members. I came from Nigeria and English is just an official language and not our mother tongue. So, that has really restricted my involvement in most of the translation sites that I’ve tried to join.

        I would like to hear about ways that I can get better at that and earn at least half of what you earn translating on One Hour Translation.

        1. Yeah, on most sites you need to be a native speaker to translate to that language. For example, I can only translate from other languages to Finnish. You can always offer your translation services on sites like Upwork, PeoplePerHour and Fiverr.

          One translation sites is called Gengo. Have you checked it out?

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