How Do Transcription Services Work

    Danilo Coviello

    Have you recently come across transcription services and have wanted to learn a little more about them?

    If you have, then this article on “How do transcription services work” is for you.

    This article will discuss how transcription services work, why you might need them, the different types of transcription services, and more.

    So, if you have been looking to read a little more on the topic and educate yourself about it, you will enjoy this article. Plus, if you have been looking for a career switch, you may even consider becoming a transcriptionist, but we’ll talk more about transcription work later on…

    What Are Transcription Services and How Does a Transcription Work?

    The process of transcription is converting an audio or video file into text.

    So, you start with an audio file where the listener can listen to information, and after the transcription, you will have a document where the user can read it instead.

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    This has various benefits, such as making your information accessible to more people. However, transcriptions are also used for various other reasons.

    Logically, a transcription service is a service that does this entire process for you so you can spend your time elsewhere.

    Why You Might Need Transcription Services

    The reasons why you might need a transcription service vary, but we’ve given you a couple of examples below.

    Podcast – One of the first reasons why you might need a transcription service is if you have a podcast. A Transcription will allow your podcast to be read and help you reach a wider audience.

    Medical Industry – Many doctors and healthcare professionals must transcribe their audio files to communicate with other healthcare workers in the medical industry. Most healthcare professionals choose to outsource this work, as it can be quite a frustrating additional task, after all the other tasks that a healthcare professional has on their mind.

    Legal Industry – In the legal industry, court hearings and other meetings are often recorded and transcribed by a party. Again, many legal professionals choose to outsource this.

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    What Types of Transcription Services Are There

    When we are talking about the types of transcription services, there are two main categories:

    • Automated Transcription
    • Human Transcription

    While automated transcriptions may sound nice and easy, they do also have some quite significant downsides.

    Below, we explain both of the options so you can understand the difference.

    Automated Transcription Services

    Automated transcription is transcription by computer software.

    Here you will upload your audio, and the automated transcription will start, meaning it will give you a document with the words.

    However, these are usually very inaccurate and can definitely not be used for legal or formal purposes.

    When using this software, you usually pay for the software instead of creating a manual transcription.

    Related: How To Convert Audio To Text

    Human/ Manual Transcription

    The second type of transcription is human or manual transcription. Here your audio files will be typed out by a human.

    This has the advantage that they know where they’ve made errors, so they can go back and make sure it’s correct.

    Human transcriptions are practically flawless if done by a professional, while automated transcriptions still have many errors they must fix before becoming useable.

    How Do Human and Automated Transcriptions Work?

    Okay… so how do these transcription services work? Well, we’ve explained the general transcription details with pros and cons below, so you know exactly what to expect.


    When it comes to automated transcriptions, you will purchase the software you’ll usually pay per month.

    The prices often range from $30 to $200 per month, depending on various factors such as the quality and how many words you can use.


    • Cheap per word
    • Quick and easy


    • Limited pricing options, especially for anyone with one-off projects
    • Low-quality, high rate of mistakes.

    As mentioned earlier, the main problem with AI transcriptions is that they carry on when making mistakes.

    Therefore, you’ll usually end up with text that is not even readable, and editing it can often be more painful than transcribing in the first place.


    If you are looking to transcribe your audio or video file into a quality document that is readable and accurate, then you will need a human transcriptionist.

    Here, the person transcribing manually types out the words that they hear. Whether that’s for audio or video files, this is always the process.

    As you can imagine, paying for a transcriptionist’s time is a little more expensive than paying for automated software. However, this difference also shows in the price. In fact, most transcription companies, including us, offer guarantees on how accurate the document will be.


    • Highest possible accuracy
    • Flexible pricing


    • Little more expensive than automated software
    • It can be a slower turnaround with most companies (However, we have 12 hours and 24 hours available, more on that later on…)

    Are Manual Transcriptions Really Manual?

    Yes! A Transcriptionist will transcribe your audio or video files manually by typing out what they hear into a word processing file like Word.

    That being said, there are various tools out there that can help you transcribe faster.

    One basic example of this would be the foot pedal that transcriptionist use. A foot pedal allows them to control their audio file and video files while staying in the tab they are typing in. Various other tools allow professionals to create a more accurate transcript more efficiently.

    Transcriptionist – Can This Become My Career?

    Yes! Here at Espresso Translations, we have a network of professional transcriptionists. And, if it can become their career, it can become yours too.

    A transcriptionist’s career has several benefits, such as being able to work from home and great hourly rates.

    In one of our recent articles, we covered everything you need to know about becoming a professional transcriptionist, including gaining experience.

    If you are looking to start getting some transcription work, we really recommend checking it out.

    Check Out Our Transcription Service

    Need to get one or more audio files transcribed? We can provide you with a high-quality transcript and are also able to deliver in an unbeatable turnaround time, such as 12 or 24 hours.

    Unlike most other companies, we also focus on understanding your needs to provide the best possible solution for your needs.

    Plus, we also provide you with a free quote within just one hour from when you request it. And, you’ll have a project manager to guide you through the entire process and any questions you might have.

    You can request a quote here

    Final Thoughts

    That’s it! We hope you have enjoyed our article on how does transcription works.

    To summarize the article, transcription works through someone or something (i.e., software) typing out the speaker’s words on an audio file.

    Your files will then be “translated” into text format; this is called a transcript. This can then, of course, be read instead of being listened to.

    If you would like to read more on how these processes work and related topics, check out some of our related articles below.

    Best Online Transcription Tools: Transcribe Faster & Better With This List

    How To Transcribe Audio To Text

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Here are some frequently asked questions about hour transcription services work.

    How Much Do Transcriptionists Earn?

    Transcriptionists can earn anywhere from $10 to $35 per hour, depending on their experience and which industry they are transcribing for.

    Various factors determine the price, which we covered in the guide transcription services prices and rates.

    How Long Does It Take To Transcribe 1 Hour’s Worth of Audio?

    For most transcriptionists, it will take around 3-4 hours for every audio hour. However, this is a very broad rule of thumb and should be treated as such.

    A lot of how long it takes to create a transcript depends on how easy the audio is to understand.

    If the audio is easy to understand, the transcriptionist is likely able to fly through it. However, if the audio is hard to understand, it can take up to 10 hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio.

    Learn more: How Long Does It Take To Transcribe 1 Hour Of Audio?

    What Is Speech To Text Software, and Can I Use It For Transcription?

    Speech to text software is a type of software that will type out the text for the words you speak. While you can use it for transcription, it will also give you inaccurate results, as mentioned earlier.