Rate for transcription project
Thread poster: Akemi Yoshida

Akemi Yoshida  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:23
Member (2010)
English to Japanese
May 23, 2013

I was offered the transcription job, which audios need to be transcribed into the same language text, but they don't accept the per word rate. I am not sure the average rate for per audio hour on this type of job. If anybody have experiences for this type of job and paid by per audio hour before, could please give me some ideas? Thank you for your help.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:23
Member (2007)
+ ...
To get the ball rolling May 23, 2013

I can't help much as I've only ever done one transcription job, but I do know that the normal charging basis is "par audio minute".


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
By the Hour May 24, 2013

Be very careful, audio recordings can vary tremendously in quality. Thus, you cannot quote by words and you cannot quote by minute of audio. In essence, you cannot give an advance quote for the job by any criterion. All you can say is "my time is so much per hour, and the cost shall be determined by how long it takes". Thus the price becomes open-ended and they must trust you. Or do you want to trust them when they say it's clear audio and it turns out to be clear as mud and ends up taking you five times longer than you thought to do it?

Now if you can get the ENTIRE recording first to so you can judge the quality and amount of words, then you can get a good estimate of the time it will take you. In such case you can then quote the entire job; end of problem.

If the client does not want to send you the ENTIRE recording first, then tell the client the deal is off.

I my own case, I give such work to an agency that does transcriptions and they handle both my working languages. They do a good job, have better hearing than I do and their charges are very reasonable. Translation is much better paying work than transcribing anyway, so as a translator you are best off doing translations, and leaving the transcribing to lower-paid transcriptionists.


Akemi Yoshida  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:23
Member (2010)
English to Japanese
Good Advice May 24, 2013

That's good advice. I will ask the client if I can get entire recording first. I did not even realize that quality could be very bad. I usually only take translation jobs, but I thought transcription could be very interesting and could be a good experience for me. Thank you all for your help.

[Edited at 2013-05-24 20:36 GMT]


Nicolas Large  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:23
French to English
+ ...
Quality of Audio May 25, 2013

The best way is to give a range based on the quality of audio, which is a huge factor as others have already stated. For American companies, the standard I have seen most is $60 per hour of audio. So depending on how badly you want the job, you could quote $50 to $70 according to the quality of audio. Good luck.


Local time: 19:23
Korean to English
+ ...
To nicholas large: a quick question! May 26, 2013

is that 50-70 usd per audio hour for the same language transcription job? i.e. English audio to english transcription?



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