Rev has a network of over 15,000 freelancers that transcribe audio and caption video content. If you’re thinking of becoming a freelance transcriptionist, read on to learn everything you need to know about the application process. If you’re not yet sure if transcription or captioning work is right for you, check out our freelancer’s page to learn more about the difference between the two.

Life as a Freelance Transcriptionist

Before we get into the application, let’s talk a bit about what you can expect as a freelance transcriptionist with Rev.

Transcriptionists listen to audio or video and type out what they hear. At Rev, that could mean anything from an interview with a celebrity to a nutrition podcast to a history lecture. Over 100,000 customers use Rev from industries like legal, media, education, and more, meaning there are always a variety of files available to work on. Rev provides a free online editor that makes it easy to listen to the file and type at the same time.

As a freelancer, you’re your own boss and control your own schedule. Rev never assigns projects to you — you pick and choose what you want to work on. Whether you love Australian accents or hate researching medical terminology, you’re sure to find something interesting to transcribe from the thousands of files available.

Applying to be a Transcriptionist

Before registering as a freelance transcriptionist, you’ll need to complete a quick application consisting of two parts, which we’ll cover in detail below. In order to complete the form, you should use a desktop computer and set aside half an hour to an hour of time.

The first part of the application is a quick grammar quiz to demonstrate your mastery of the English language. If you’re confident in your homophones, then you’ll probably find this part a breeze. If English class wasn’t your strong suit, consider brushing up on your grammar before you take the quiz.

Rev’s grammar quiz consists of 20 basic questions covering word choice, sentence structure, and punctuation. It’s okay to miss a few questions, but our transcriptionists are usually able to answer the vast majority correctly. This part of the application usually takes just 5 to 15 minutes to complete.

Ross from friends explaining basic grammar

The second and most important part consists of a three-minute transcription sample. You’ll listen to a short audio file and transcribe the sample in our online editor. In order to register as a transcriptionist on Rev, you’ll need to ensure that your transcription sample meets our customer standards.

Here are a few things that customers look for. Be sure to pay extra close attention to the following in your sample transcript:

  • Identification of speakers: A transcript is only useful if you can tell who is saying what, particularly if there are multiple people talking to each other. Take care to label who is speaking at all times.
  • Proper spelling and research of terminology: Accuracy is #1 for our customers, and as a transcriptionist, you’re expected to do a basic amount of research to spell things correctly. Things like McDonald’s vs. McDonalds or iPhone vs. Iphone may seem like small differences, but they matter a lot to customers.
  • Grammar and punctuation: Proper punctuation is key to readability. People don’t always use correct grammar when they talk, so it’s up to you, the transcriptionist, to ensure the written transcript is readable for the customer. End your sentences in suitable places and use commas appropriately.

The transcription sample is crucial to ensuring that customers get access to the most qualified transcriptionists via Rev. All of this may sound a bit intimidating, but most are able to complete this portion of the application in under half an hour.

Example of Speaker Labels in Rev transcript editor

After you’ve finished the grammar quiz and transcription sample, that’s it. Just hit submit and you’re done.

Side note: We often get asked about the importance of typing speed in being a successful transcriptionist. While it’s generally true that the faster you can type, the more money you can make in a shorter amount of time, typing speed isn’t everything. Skills such as proofreading, knowledge of grammar, and attention to detail are equally, if not more, important.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I hear back from Rev?

After your application is submitted, it is reviewed to ensure your transcription skills meet Rev’s customers’ standards. If you pass the quality check, you’ll receive an email permitting you to register your account with Rev and start claiming transcription jobs immediately. Normally it takes under 48 hours to hear back, meaning you could get paid for your first transcription jobs within less than a week of applying. Read more about how much you can make as a Rev transcriptionist here.

Note that Rev uses PayPal for payments and will not pay directly to bank accounts or any other sources.

It says you aren’t accepting applications

There may occasionally be periods of time where we’re too busy and can’t accept any new freelancers onto our platform. In these cases we encourage you to check back later and try again.

Note that if you live in California or Massachusetts, we’re unfortunately unable to accept freelancers from your location due to regulatory reasons.

Why wasn’t I approved?

If you weren’t approved to register as a transcriptionist, it’s likely because your transcription sample didn’t meet our customers’ quality standards, or you weren’t able to demonstrate sufficient mastery of English grammar via the grammar quiz.

Of course, It goes without saying that Rev doesn’t tolerate cheating or fraudulent behavior. This includes but isn’t limited to things like copying and pasting the transcription sample or applying too many times in a row.

Even if you weren’t able to successfully pass the test, we encourage you to brush up on your skills and try again. You are able to re-apply 45 days after your initial application.

Have more questions?

If you have additional questions or feedback, leave a comment below or reach out to our team at tcrecruiting@rev.com.