How to Cheaply Work from Home as a Transcriber

Working from home as a transcriber is easier than ever. The equipment required to become a transcriber is not expensive and you may already have some of it. 

Audio Typing

What equipment is required to do transcription from home?

What is Transcription Software?

Transcription software is software that you would load a digital file to so that you can listen to the file and then type the words spoken into an application such as Word.

The software allows you to control the digital file for instance rewinding or fast forwarding the file. 

When starting out as a transcriber you could use Windows Media Player which is free. However, you would not be able to control the file. By this I mean you wouldn’t be able to slow down, rewind or speed up the recording. This will slow you down.

The transcription software I use is Express Scribe and it has a free trial. It used to have a free version but they appear to have changed it to a free trial.

It is very reasonably priced and worth trying it out. I have used it for many years without any problems.

Why Use a Foot Pedal for Transcription?

To increase your speed as a work from home transcriber it is best to use a foot pedal.

You will need to find out which foot pedal can be used with the transcription software you have opted for.

Express Scribe works with the infinity USB foot pedal which is suitable for both Windows and Mac OS X.

How to Install an Inifinity Foot Pedal?

An Infinity Foot Pedal is a "plug and play" which makes it easy to install and use. You simply plug the usb into the computer/laptop and open Express Scribe. Express Scribe should recognise the foot pedal and when you press on the foot pedal the audio should play.

There are three controls which are usually setup for rewind(right), play/pause (center) and fast-forward (left).

When you first start out and have little money you can use the keyboard to control the playback using the ‘hot’ keys on express scribe. This will take you longer to transcribe the files.

If you plan to do a lot of audio transcription, using the hot keys on the keyboard to control express scribe can add on a lot of time.

Check out this article on whether you should use hot keys on express scribe or a foot pedal.

To increase your words per minute an infinity USB foot pedal will leave your fingers free to type thus speeding up your typing.

Large File Transfer Software

Sending large files via email can take a long time and  sometimes they never arrive. It is also not secure.

Large file transfer software allows a client to upload their files to you easily. There are a number available on the market and we will investigate them in a further article.

Starting out as a work from home transcriber you could use a free option such as Dropbox.

I use SendThisFile which is great when you are starting out as they offer a free version but as far as I am aware you can't use a form on your website.

Take a look at my website Help on Tap to see what it looks like.  This is the paid version that allows 5 files to be uploaded at a time.


You will need a set of headphones to listen to the audio. Never play the file without them because there is a potential to breach confidentiality.

For testing whether transcribing is for you just use a pair that you already have such as those that came with your phone.

On deciding that you want to become a transcriber then it is best to select a pair that is specially designed for transcription work. If you plan to work for a transcription company some will actually specify the type of headphones that you should be using. 

Check out the transcription headsets available.

PC/Laptop and broadband

Now I know this is obvious but thought it was important to also mention that to work remotely it is essential to have your own PC or laptop and a reliable broadband connection.

Check out the transcription headsets on <a target="_blank" href="" target="_blank">Amazon.</a

Want to work as a work from home transcriber then these articles on places to find audio typing jobs in the UK and 10 genuine work from home jobs.

There are affiliate links in this article and if you click on them and go on to purchase an item I may receive some compensation. This is at no additional cost to you.

There are so many transcription companies looking for good audio typists. Please check out this article on places to find audio transcription jobs in the UK.

(Last Updated On: June 20, 2019)

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