Welcome to our SpeechPad Review!
Are you thinking about getting into a transcription job, hoping to earn some money from home and are wondering if Speechpad is a legitimate option or a complete scam?
Transcription has long been one of the most established work from home jobs. And companies like Speechpad have done a lot of work in streamlining this process to make it easier to earn some additional money online.
But is Speechpad a legit work from home company or a scam?
First off, it is great to see that you are doing your research before buying into any “seemingly good” product.
To be completely transparent with you, we are not associated with SpeechPad in any form. We are not here to pitch or sell you anything.
We just want to ensure you get all the relevant information you need about SpeechPad and whether it is legit and the right choice for you.
Summary: SpeechPad is a transcription and freelance job platforms that hires remote transcriptionists, captioners, translators and reviewers. They earn an average of between $0.25 & $1.00 per audio minute. It is a legitimate platform and there is plenty of opportunities within their platform. I would question whether it is beginner-friendly though and I feel it is more suited to more experienced transcribers. The income potential may also not be as high other forms of freelancing opportunities.
Recommended? Yes & No!
Table of Contents
What is SpeechPad?
They currently have over 5,000 transcribers around the world and have over 5 million total minutes transcribed and captioned so far. As more and more people access video online, there is a growing need for these kind of services.
SpeechPad offers 5 main services:
- Standard Captioning (closed captions for spoken dialogue only)
- Premium Captioning (specialised captions that convey all types of noise)
- Reviewers (Quality Assistance)
Anyone can apply to become a transcriber, captioner or translator. But reviewers are by invitation only, and after you have proved to be a capable transcriber.
If you also prove yourself to be a strong transcriptionist, you will also become eligible to complete rush files.
Rush files are those that require a really quick turnaround (and earn you more).
SpeechPad boasts an impressive client base. Some of the corporate clients include:
When you work with SpeechPad, you get the freedom to make your own schedule. There is no minimum work requirements, so you can choose how little or how often you work.
Just be mindful that if you do accept a job, you have to ensure you complete the task within the timescales. They do have strict turnaround times.
Who Is Behind SpeechPad?
SpeechPad was founded in 2008, so has been in business for 12 years now. It is currently based in San Francisco, California.
The founder of SpeechPad is Konstantin Othmer, who is also currently the CEO of the company.
Other members of the team include Michael Ruf, Linda Khachooni, Jill Finch, and Brian Reeve.
It isn’t as easy as just signing up with SpeechPad though, there are a few requirements that you will need to meet if you want to work with SpeechPad.
These requirements include:
- Being fluent in English
- Have superb (or above average) grammatical skills
- Be able to type at 40 words per minute
- Having a reliable internet connection, computer and headphones
Although, unlike other transcription services online there is no requirement for you to have a foot pedal. Foot pedals are gadgets that typically go with transcription work, it helps you with pausing and playing the audio or video file.
It is free to sign up and you will be required to complete a form with your basic information. Then you will be required to complete two tests.
One is a transcription test and the second is looking at your grammar levels.
You will need to score at least 98% on the transcription test and score above 75% for the grammar test for you to be accepted into the platform.
If you want to become a captioner, you will be required to complete a separate test called Web Video Captioning Qualification Test.
What is SpeechPad's Rating System?
There is a rating system within SpeechPad and it helps the system determine which jobs you are qualified for.
This rating is based on the number of mistakes that are picked up and corrected when a reviewer goes through your transcribed file.
Fewer mistakes, and your score stays high. If your rating drops below 95, you will not be able to continue working with SpeechPad.
The skills is to complete work quickly and accurately…
There are four different jobs that you can earn money for with SpeechPad:
- Transcriber – this the basic job on SpeechPad. You will need to convert spoken words from an audio file into text
- Captioner – Captioners will place captions (text) onto video files
- Reviewer – Your task is to review and edit the work completed by other transcribers
- Translator – This is intended for multi-lingual freelancers who can translate from one language into spoken work in another language
SpeechPad Job Board
If you are successful in your two tests, you will gain access to the members area of the platform and the job list.
You will be able to filter through the jobs based on your preferences. If you find a job that you want to do, you can click “Accept Job” button.
Be mindful that each job does come with it’s own deadlines, and if you fail to meet them, this will also affect our rating. You will also not get paid for any work that is submitted late.
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How Much Does SpeechPad Pay?
SpeechPad pays you by audio minute, this is very different to being paid for a work minute.
Audio minutes refers to the number of minutes that you are transcribing, and not the number of minutes you have actually spent working on the file.
So, the audio file you are transcribing might be 5 minutes. But it might take you 20 minutes to transcribe. You will still only get paid for the 5 minutes.
SpeechPad pays an average of $0.25 to $1.00 per audio minute. Entry-level transcribers get about $0.25.
As your rating increases, you can expect to earn more for your work.
When you consider it would typically take an experienced transcriber around 3 hours to complete one audio hour of transcription but the industry standard is 4 hours.
There are bonuses available too if the customer rates your work highly.
SpeechPad pays out twice a week, every Tuesday & Friday, and this is via PayPal.
Is SpeechPad Worth It?
It is a good point in the review to consider how SpeechPad compares to other transcription companies, and whether SpeechPad is worth joining…
Based on their reviews, SpeechPad does seem to be one of the better transcription companies out there. You will find a lot of reviews on TrustPilot for example, and the majority of them are positive reviews.
After reading through some of these reviews and other reviews we have found online, the general feeling is that SpeechPad is a good option for Transcribers. They get paid on time and there is always plenty of work for them to complete.
They also talk about the fact that transcribers get to choose the work they want to do, rather than being given no choice. When you compare that to Rev.com, which don’t allow this. Which causes them problems.
Having said that, SpeechPad does have some complaints. These relate mainly around their rating system.
There are claims that transcriptionists find it confusing and one reviewer actually says they dislike it surrounding certain things. They talk about the fact that the use of commas is at the discretion of the reviewer. So, a correctly placed comma could be classed as wrong, and your ranking would be affected. Even though you didn’t do anything wrong…
But the majority of the feedback is positive.
Who Is SpeechPad For?
Having gone through all the information relating to SpeechPad, I would say that it is definitely geared up to those with experience in transcribing or captioning.
That is where the earning potential is, and the rates are really low for someone getting started and the rating system could see you being kicked out if you are not meeting the standard.
What We Liked About SpeechPad
Here is what we liked about SpeechPad:
#1 Positive Reviews
SpeechPad maintains a good rating on review sites like GlassDoor, TrustPilot and SiteJabber.
This is typically down to these points:
- Job Availability
- Consistent Pay
- Good Customer Support
These platforms had a few complaints, but nothing that gives us a major concern about recommending you wouldn’t join, other than it is not really for newbies.
#2 Experienced Transcribers Can Earn Decent Amount of Money
Those who are experienced with transcription in general and can work to a good standard quickly, could earn a decent amount of money with SpeechPad. The availability of jobs is not an issue and you could get to the higher end of earnings pretty quickly.
What We Didn't Like About SpeechPad
Here is what we didn’t like SpeechPad:
#1 Low Income Potential
The bottom line is that you are not going to earn a lot of money here. The highest you can earn would be $1.00 per audio minute. If you base that on industry standard, transcribing an hour’s worth of audio will take 4 hours.
That means you could earn $60 for an audio file that is an hour long, which works out to $15 per hour.
However, you have to factor how quick you currently are with transcribing. If it takes you much longer, that earning level will drop and then there is the turnaround time that is really strict on SpeechPad.
But that example is also based on you being on the high end. You are going to be starting where you earn $0.25 per audio minute. It will only increase as your rankings increase. Which will take you time.
#2 Not Meant for Novices
This lines up with the first one, there is no real incentive to join if you are new to the industry. The jobs and the payout is favouring the experienced transcribers out there. If you are more experienced, this is a good platform. If you have never done it before, but think it good be a good gig, then you might want to consider Transcribe Anywhere. It literally helps you start your own business and helps you build up a foundation into transcription.
#3 Their Rating System Could Be Improved
It’s not the worst thing, but if you are just starting out and the reviewer does deem your work poor because of a comma or something like that, you could see your rating drop to the point where you are completely dropped by the platform. Again, this is why we consider this platform for more experienced people and not newbies…
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My SpeechPad Review - Final Conclusion
Is SpeechPad a Scam? No, it is a legitimate platform where you can find freelance transcription or captioning jobs. Although our recommendation would be geared towards those more experience joining this platform.
The payout for those just starting out isn’t worthwhile and it will take you time to build up your rating to start earning more, and with this same rating system it can be easier for you to be kicked out of the platform if you drop below a 95 rating.
If you are still interested in Transcribing, but want a safer environment to get started in, then we would recommend you research Transcribe Anywhere. It again receives high praise.
If you were still interested in joining SpeechPad, you might want to consider it along other freelancing opportunities like proofreading, etc.
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