Interested in becoming a transcriptionist? This Rev.com review can help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
I’m always on the hunt for money-making opportunities. Over the years, I’ve tried quite a few things Including flipping (definitely my favorite), driving limousine, blogging and a few others. I’d never thought to give transcription a go.
This last week I decided to try out Rev.com to see if it was worth my time. After getting a feel for it I thought you all might appreciate reading my Rev.com review.
Transcription has been a popular work from home opportunity since the most popular color for computers was light brown.. It’s a great job for those who want a flexible schedule and like to work on their own time. Transcription is almost always production-based, and paid per audio-minute transcribed.
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Because typing speed and workflow are things that can be improved upon, it is possible to increase your pay over time.
It is also possible to earn more by moving into specialized transcription for a specific industry. If you have adequate experience, medical transcription can be a great option and tends to pay a little better than general transcription.
At-home transcription can be a great fit for many including:
- Stay-at-home parents
- Those who need a flexible second job
- People with exceptional typing speed and accuracy
- Those who are trying to save money for something specific
Rev.com is a low-cost transcription, translation and captioning service focussing on a variety of industries including legal, podcasting, financial and many others. Formerly branded as FoxTranscribe, they’re based in San-Francisco, USA.
The company was founded in 2010 two early Odesk employees, Jason Chicola and Josh Breinlinger. Rev employs many transcriptionists who work from home on a freelance basis.
This quote is taken directly from their ‘about’ page:
Rev’s mission is to give more people the freedom to work from home. We are bringing the best of the office to our online workplace. We believe that attracting the best workers is the key to delivering great service to our customers.
Is Rev.com a scam?
You could be forgiven for wondering whether Rev.com is legit after seeing reviews like this floating around:
Or this one, for that matter…
It’s important to note that most of the negative reviews focus on pay, and quality expectations, two things that are clearly laid out on their site. If you’re looking for high pay, you should look elsewhere.
While there are definitely some mixed reviews out there, I can assure you that Rev is definitely not a scam. They’ve been around for a while and had many mentions from reputable press outlets such as Wall Street Journal, Inc.com, Startup Beat and Tech Crunch. Rev has a physical office in downtown San Francisco.
They offer real work, albeit for fairly low pay. I did some transcription work a while back and was promptly paid via PayPal the following Monday, as advertised. Can’t get much more legit than that.
Should You Sign up for Rev.com?
Rev transcription is not going to make you rich. It is however, a great fit for people who want to make a few extra bucks on the side. The big plus to Rev is that you can do it anytime. There is a time limit on submitting work that you have already claimed but it’s usually in the 6-12 hour range. So if you claim a job in the morning, you often have most of the day to complete it at your leisure.
Rev transcription is a good fit for:
- Stay at home parents who want to make a little extra money from home
- People who can do some transcription while at their day job (hey I’m not judging!)
- Students who have some free time during the day
- People who want to get paid while increasing their typing speed
Who is Rev transcription not for
Like any opportunity, it’s not ideal for everybody. Some folks just aren’t a good fit for Rev (or transcription on general.
You probably shouldn’t bother with Rev.com if you:
- Want to make more than minimum wage.
- Are looking for a full-time opportunity.
- Are easily frustrated.
- Can not accurately type at least 75wpm.
What do you need to work with Rev.com
Not much. All you really need to get started is a good computer (with a good keyboard), some headphones, and an internet connection. I was using a laptop but I wouldn’t recommend this long-term as laptops aren’t the most comfortable typing experience.
I have read that some folks recommend using higher quality noise-cancelling headphones and/or sound enhancement software that allows you to adjust different aspects of the audio to help you to better understand the speech you’re trying to transcribe.
Another item that many transcriptionists choose to have in their arsenal is a transcription foot pedal for pausing, rewinding and fast-forwarding audio. I’m sure this would be helpful although you’d want to make sure that you’re in it for the long-haul before spending that kind of cash on gear.
As an independent contractor, you won’t be reimbursed for any business expenses that you incur, so be aware of that when making purchases to help you with the job. That said, you may be able to write off equipment that you buy for that purpose on your taxes.
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The Rev Application Process
So let’s get this out of the way first: I found the Rev.com application process to be surprisingly thorough and lengthy. If you do not have a good grasp of the English language including spelling and syntax, I would not advise you to apply to rev.com.
Basically, the application process has three components. They test your typing skills, your grammar and then lastly, there is a transcription test.
To get started, you will need to go to their application page. This is what you’ll see:
Fill in your info and then you’ll move onto the next steps.
For this component, you basically just have to type a block of text. The alotted time is 60 seconds and you just type as much as you can in that time. Fairly simple.
Next up is a grammar test. It’s a relatively simple test but if English is not your best subject, you may have a hard time with this component. You will be tested on capitalization, punctuation and sentence structure as well as correct use of words such as their, there and they’re.
Lastly, you will have to complete a transcription test. This is really the main part of the application process. This is completed in Rev.com’s editor program. There is no time-limit for this test which is nice.
The test file will usually have multiple speakers and will be closely scrutinized by rev staff so make sure to take your time and edit your work!
This will give you a bit of exposure to what working for Rev.com is actually like. I should say though, I found the audio quality of the test files to be higher than the quality of what was available to me as a revver.
Rookie, Revver and Revver+ statuses
A rookie is a newcomer to rev. Every revver starts out as a rookie when they first join the rev comunity.
As a rookie, the pay is 25% lower than what revvers make. I was expecting to have to work for some time to get to revver status but found myself ‘promoted’ within only about an hour of transcribing.
Rookies have access to shorter transcription files that are less than 30 minutes in length. They also receive detailed feedback on each piece of work submitted. To be promoted to revver, you must maintain an accuracy rating of 4.5, a formatting rating of 4.5 and an on-time percentage of 75% with a commitment ratio of 8.
These numbers mean nothing to you now but will make some sense once you start 🙂
At some point, you will be promoted to revver status. As a revver, you will make 25% more for your transcription work and will have access to a wider variety of jobs.
Revvers are expected to maintain an accuracy rating of 4.5, formatting rating of 4.5 with 75% on-time submission and a commitment ratio of 8.
As a revver your work is spot-checked with comments applied. I personally found the quality of the grading to be inconsistent.
To achieve revver+ status, you must have completed 1200 minutes of transcription with an accuracy rating of 4.6, formatting rating of 4.6 , 90% on-time submission and a commitment ratio of 15.
Revver+ status transcriptionists have access to jobs before standard revvers. This means that the higher-quality files generally get taken by the revver+ level, leaving the lower-quality files with multiple speakers and thick accents for the revvers.
I never made it to revver+ but I think it would probably be worth it. Since you have first access to all of the jobs you can improve your speed by choosing easier to transcribe files.
Revver+ level transcriptionists can also apply to become reviewers. I’m not sure what this pays, but reviewers look over and grade the transcription work submitted by rookies and revvers.
How Much Money Can You Make With Rev.com
No rev.com review would be complete without trying to answer this question, unfortunately, it’s not the same for everybody. It’s hard to answer this, as the amount of money that you will make depends on a number of variables including:
- The type of work that you’re doing
- How many hours you put into it.
- How fast you are able to type.
- The quality of the audio files that you’re transcribing.
- How many jobs are available at a given time.
Most people start with transcription, which pays anywhere from $.25 to $.90 per audio minute. Remember, this is per audio minute transcribed, not per minute worked!
Captioning can net you a little bit more, with pay averaging between $.45 to $.75 per audio minute.
You can reasonably expect to earn around $6-$10/hr in your first few months with Rev. Not huge money, but nothing to sneeze at either for work that you can do at home in your underwear.
Each job has a listed pay per audio minute and this is usually in the neighborhood of $0.45/minute. Files with a clear single-speaker tend to pay a little less whereas files with multiple speakers and/or accents tend to pay a little more per minute.
I put in about 3 hours of work and netted just over $16. Not great, but that was my first three hours at it. I think I could do better if I committed more time to it and improved my typing speed.
When you’re calculating how much money you have earned, it’s important to include ALL the time you have spent on the site. This includes browsing potential jobs, editing your work and other related tasks. You may find that you’re earning less than you think unless you’re incredibly efficient with your time.
What’s I Like About Rev
Rev has some things going for it. I’ve listed them below.
1. It’s a decent entry-level job
While you’re not going to get rich transcribing for Rev (or transcribing at all, for that matter), it’s a good way to get your foot in the door and gain some experience while you look for better opportunities.
2. You can pick and choose the jobs you want to do
Rev usually has a range of jobs to choose from, with pay that varies based on difficulty. The better you get, the more difficult jobs you can take on and potentially earn more money.
3. Get paid to gain valuable experience
For many, Rev is a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and that’s ok. Accept it for what it is and you can really enjoy your time with them.
What I didn’t like about working for Rev
There are quite a few drawbacks to working for rev.com and it’s important to understand them before you sign up and potentially waste a bunch of time.
1. Low pay
It’s generally accepted that $1 per audio minute is a decent rate of pay in transcription. As I mentioned above, rev.com jobs usually ring in around $0.45 per minute. Definitely not great by industry standards. I’ve read that the pay at rev used to be much better and has been lowered over time. You will find several rev.com reviews around the internet that pan them for their ever-declining pay rates.
2. Limited work availability
If there’s no work available, you can’t make any money. I have found that there’s consistently 30-50 jobs in the queue at any given time up until now. This morning I checked and there were zero jobs available. I guess that’s bound to happen as demand ebbs and flows.
3. Low-quality audio
Some of the audio files on rev are straight-up crap. There are definitely some good jobs available but the majority of the high-quality audio files seem to go to the revver+ folks. I have found that there’s a huge range here from decent through to completely unusable.
Fortunately, you can see how many times a given job has been ‘unclaimed’. This is when a revver claims the job and then decides against completing it. More than 3 unclaims is a sign that the file is probably quite difficult to transcribe.
4. Sudden account closure
There are multiple instances on Reddit and other forums of revvers having their accounts closed for no apparent reason. The stated reason will be that your metrics have fallen below their standards, though several folks have posted screenshots proving this false.
To me, this is the biggest concern. I wouldn’t want to invest the time getting good at transcription and getting used to rev’s system just to arbitrarily have my account closed.
I still think rev.com is worth your time if you’re just getting into transcription, but you should consider using it as a stepping-stone to hone your skills while you hunt for other, more lucrative opportunities.
So is it worth working for rev.com?
Rev would best be used as a way to generate some extra money in your spare time or as part of a portfolio of companies that you transcribe for. I’ve made a few bucks with relatively low-effort and would consider it a viable alternative to a second job if you are making minimum wage.
I would consider it a launching pad into the industry. Paid training to help you gain experience that can help you get a better transcription job in the future. Hope you enjoyed my review of rev.com!
Hope you enjoyed this Rev.com review! Have you had any experience with rev.com or other transcription companies? Tell us about it in the comments!
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