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pay rate for transcription

Active Member
Cathy M Member Since: Apr 16, 2016
1 of 10

 Hi, I'm new to upwork and would like to know if someone could suggest a pay rate scale?    I don't want to price too high, but then again, don't want to cheat myself either.   




Community Guru
Natacha R Member Since: Aug 2, 2010
2 of 10

You need to first know how long it takes you to do an audio hour of transcription - and it is of course a lot, lot more than an hour of your time. Then factor in how much per hour you are prepared to receive to make it worth your while. Then just do the sums. Don't sell yourself short.

Stephen B


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Active Member
Valerie B Member Since: Aug 2, 2016
3 of 10
So what's a ballpark for someone typing around 95WPM? I wonder what jobs would be best suited for that skill? Transcribing can be so boring, or quality of audio issues.
Active Member
Jessica M Member Since: Aug 17, 2016
4 of 10

I would say that a good test rate to start would be to charge a set amount per audio minute and notate the amount of time it took you to complete the job.


Scour the job postings and track the rates offered. You can also have a look at the rates that others here charge for their services. You can determine the average that you find from these places.


From there, Make your rate. After a few jobs you can determine your efficiency and quality, as well as quality of clients and the work they send to you.


Play around with your numbers. Take a typing test, and set goals each week to increase it. After some time, you'll notice which jobs pay better, what types of clients you really enjoy working with, and what projects you find most delightful to work on.


Keeping spreadsheets has helped me see results!


Good luck



Community Guru
Luce N Member Since: Oct 9, 2016
5 of 10

I've been looking at what transcription companies charge, for example Way With Words **Edited for Community Guidelines**


What is interesting is that they take into account:


. turnaround time

. number of voices

. minutes of audio

. extra  (time stamp, full verbatim).


I'm going to try to take all that into account when quoting a price...

Active Member
Amanda B Member Since: Jun 3, 2017
6 of 10


Honestly with transcription you're up against it. It's a flooded market on Upwork and I've noticed since I joined clients are wanting to pay less and less. It used to be you could find something that paid $9 per hour (not per audio hour), now I see post after post where clients are looking for less than $6 per audio hour. Depending on audio quality (some are HORRIFIC!), style requirements and other clients needs an audio hour can take up to 3-4 hours to complete. It's an insult offering such a lowball figure and not wanting to negotiate yet expecting absolute first rate work and often to tight deadlines. I have over 5 years experience and now if I'm lucky I make pocket change. Give it a go but be prepared to have a rough road ahead.

Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
7 of 10

I am a transcriptionist and I get plenty of work for 20 per working hour (not audio hour).  You have to specialize, but I have more clients than I can handle at that rate. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
Active Member
Seyon R Member Since: Jan 8, 2021
8 of 10

HI Kathrina B, how does a person like me get jobs on this platform?

Active Member
Jenny L Member Since: Jan 21, 2011
9 of 10

I have seen even $5 per audio hour. At least some clients are considerate enough to pay by hourly rate rather than per audio hour. If freelancers would stop taking such a low rate, then perhaps the price would increase in the near future, but I guess everyone is desperate for money now that they would do anything even for just a little amount of money.

Active Member
Seyon R Member Since: Jan 8, 2021
10 of 10

I agree, Miss Jenny, I thnk we should reject that low rate.