Working from home for the transcription company, SpeakWrite, is a very rewarding opportunity to those who are experienced typists in either General or Legal Transcription. This is a company with a long history, dating back to 1997. SpeakWrite has proven itself to be reliable. Headquartered in Austin Texas, this American company has served more than 60,000 clients ranging from law firms, insurance companies and government agencies. If you are looking to begin or expand your work at home career in transcription then SpeakWrite is certainly a company to consider.
What Qualifies You to Transcribe for SpeakWrite?
SpeakWrite only hires applicants living in the US or Canada.
SpeakWrite hires both general and legal transcriptionists and requires that you have at least 2 years of experience within the prior five years of applying.
It is important your knowledge of proper formatting of reports and other documents pertaining to your field is well known.
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A typing speed of at least 60 WPM is required and shouldn’t be an issue if you have 2 years of experience with Transcription already under your belt.
As with any good-standing company, SpeakWrite will expect you to have the basic skills required to be successful Transcriptionist. They include being an excellent listener, being able to work independently, being resourceful, and having a strong grasp of the English language.
Working Status of Transcribers
SpeakWrite hires on a contract basis. Unlike companies with employer/employee relationships – working as a contractor means you work for yourself and contract your services. Working as an Independent Contractor requires that you pay self-employment taxes on your annual earnings but that is often counter balanced with write-offs that are available to you. Additionally, however, you pay more in payroll taxes when working under a contractor status.
There are plenty of pros and cons to being an Independent Contractor. It is important work at home job seekers research and understand what it means to be an Independent Contractor.
Pay Information for SpeakWrite
Transcription companies general pay in formats outside of the traditional hourly wage. SpeakWrite pays per word while some other transcription companies pay per audio hour. These payment methods allow you to have more control over your earnings. As your speed and skills improve, your average pay per hour of work will increase.
SpeakWrite pays at a rate of 1/2 a cent per word. According to SpeakWrite – this averages to around $12-15 an hour for most contractors who are familiar with the system. Those with longer experience and exceptional skills are earning an average of more than $15 an hour.
Payments are made twice a month. US residents have the option of either check by mail or direct deposit. Canadians are only sent paper checks in the mail due to something about banking regulations.
What Equipment is Needed?
Working as a professional transcriptionist for SpeakWrite will require you to have some specialized equipment.
SpeakWrite provides the necessary software that will need a PC (not a MAC), earphones, printer, high speed internet and a foot pedal.
The equipment requirements are nothing out of the ordinary and your experience will likely mean you either already have what is necessary or are familiar with how to use it. Exact PC Requirements are listed on the SpeakWrite website.
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>>>Erica Martin has made some recommendations of both foot pedals and head sets based on her experience as a Transcriber.
Scheduling System at SpeakWrite
Those who are looking for work as a transcriptionist from home are often allured by the flexibility. SpeakWrite offers just that- the work schedule is completely flexible and you get to choose your hours. The SpeakWrite schedule is released for up to two weeks at a time and you can then schedule yourself per hour. There are two statuses you can commit yourself to: primary or standby. My guess is that if you are working standby- you get any overflow work coming through.
Initially you may have limited availability to the schedule. SpeakWrite says after 3-4 months of quality work with positive feedback- you will have more access to the schedule and may be able to work as much as 40 hours per week.
Remember this job pays for completed work and not by the hour. So, although you schedule yourself on an hourly basis, don’t expect the pay to match. Usually this type of scheduling system can involve days when you are committed to working but there simply isn’t work available or at least not enough to go around to the scheduled contractors. Then, other times it can pour in. Being able to accept the ups and downs with this scheduling is par for the course when flexibility is important.
Keep your ear to the ground for what has been referred to as “idle pay”. It has been reported online that SpeakWrite may pay for your time if you are stuck waiting with no work for a prolonged period of time. Again, this isn’t confirmed- just rumored.
Application and Hiring Process
Becoming a typists for SpeakWrite involves completing a basic information form, passing a typing speed test, and completing 10 sample transcription files. The sample files will not just allow SpeakWrite to assess your skills but will also give you the opportunity to see if the work is something you feel comfortable doing.
The background check is paid for by SpeakWrite and are not completed until you have been accepted and hired as a contractor for SpeakWrite. The background check must be more of a criminal check as it does not check your credit or driving records.
After the background check comes through successfully you will go through unpaid training. The training period reportedly lasts about 1 week and is very thorough.
What is it Like to Work From Home For SpeakWrite?
Feedback from experienced SpeakWrite applicants and contractors varies. Even though SpeakWrite is considered an elite work at home company to work for; It is good to be aware of what others have to say about them.
“I am an awesome typist, but [SpeakWrite’s] rules were ridiculous. If you failed one part of one test, you had to take them all again, so of course, you would miss that one space or margin. ” 06/07/2011[src]
“I can only do this [work for SpeakWrite] part-time because I have two young children, and I work during naps and after they go to bed. If you are able to commit to full-time hours, I am sure you could make that amount of money [$400/week] as long as the work is available.” 09/12/2008 [src]
“I work for Speakwrite on a full-time basis (35 hours) …has good and bad things about it but I generally like it.” 09/13/2008 [src]
” I have a hard time working a schedule so this job was perfect for me because if I wanted to work from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then again at noon to 1, I could!! Also, they pay you a minimum of 100 words per document even if it has 15 words in it. So there are sometimes where you are getting paid for not even doing the work.” 10/24/2012 [src]
“I personally found I was spending more time reading rules and waiting for work than I was earning any kind of decent income.” [src]
“It’s slow going at first but after you get comfortable with the different dictations and the SW policies/formats it picks up. Definitely worth a shot.” 04/12/2007 [src]
Where to Go to Begin Application Process:
To begin the steps to apply as a Transcriptionist for SpeakWrite you may want to see what openings are currently available.
Or you can begin by taking the 5 minute questionnaire.
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