Are Rev Transcription Jobs a Scam?

If you’ve been looking for work at home jobs that you can easily do online, you may have stumbled upon openings for Rev and are wondering if Rev transcription jobs are a scam or a real opportunity. And well, before I get too in-depth with this company, let me cut to the chase – while they’re not a scam, I’ve worked with Rev long enough to tell you that you most likely do NOT want to waste your time with them.

There are other work at home opportunities that I do recommend, so make sure to check them out, including my #1 recommendation here.

What is Rev?

Rev is a company that offers cheap services for transcription, captions and translations. They state they’re on a mission to offer people the freedom to work from home – and they do seem to always be hiring for their freelance positions.

But when it comes to online transcription jobs, there’s a huge difference in terms of the reliability, pay rate and quality of work depending upon the company you work for, so it’s important to be informed about Rev Transcription before you make the commitment.

First of all, let me be clear in case you were wondering and say that Rev is not a scam. You really do get paid for the work, but I personally think it is not worth it.

The good, bad and ugly about Rev jobs

Getting hired by Rev is not that difficult, but you do need to complete their assessment exam. This will determine whether you have the basic skills needed to be a transcriber.

For the test, you need to transcribe a short audio file. You’ll find out if you’ve passed within a few days, although they say it can take a week or so. While overall it isn’t that hard, you do need to make sure you proofread the work and research any terms you may not be familiar with. Fortunately Google makes it pretty easy, it just takes some extra time.

What skills should you have?

To be a successful transcriber for Rev, you really need to be a fast, accurate typist with a good grasp of the English language – decent spelling and knowing proper punctuation will really help.

You also need to have the ability to research Google, because inevitably you will be transcribing content with professional or medical terms you are not familiar with.

Other than that, it takes practice to really get good at it, just like anything else in life.

Rev transcriber levels

Let me start by discussing the three levels Rev has for their transcriptionists:

  • Rookie
  • Revver
  • Revver+

Everyone starts out a Rookie, in which they’re able to work on short projects that are a few minutes in length. Once you have completed 60 minutes of graded audio work that meets their standards, you will be promoted to Revver. (Keep in mind that is 60 minutes of audio, which translates into several hours of work, explained more below)

As a Revver, you can earn a bit more (25% more per minute of audio transcribed) and you have the ability to work on any available project.

To get to Revver+, you need to have 1,200 captured audio minutes while still maintaining an accuracy and quality of work that is up to their standards. They also get first dibs on new projects.

Issues with audio quality

One of the issues with Rev is the majority of the projects up for grabs have extremely poor audio quality. Sure, the training projects are perfectly clear with excellent audio, but once you try and find jobs that are submitted by clients, you’re going to have a difficult time.

When I first heard people complaining about this in various online reviews of the company, I thought they were just being picky and exaggerating… but let me tell you that poor audio is 100% an accurate statement about the projects that are submitted to Rev.

These files are filled with people talking in a crowded, noisy room… or talking over barking dogs or loud music. If it’s not that, they’ll be filled with static and distorted voices… and those are just a few things I’ve tried to battle with while transcribing.

I have no idea how customers expect anyone to be able to transcribe these – they must be totally clueless. I would say many of them are basically impossible, or at least extremely challenging to try and accurately transcribe for customers.

How much do you get paid?

You can earn between 40 cents – 75 cents for each minute of audio. Remember you get paid slightly more when you bump your status up to Revver.

Here’s a shot of some of the current jobs I can claim:

As you can see, it works out to be around 40 cents per audio minute. Keep in mind my account is still Rookie status, just because after 2 hours of work I decided it was not worth my time anymore.

So, it’s important to point out that an audio minute is not a true minute of work. As a general rule, the transcribing work/audio ratio is 4:1.

This means that ideally, it takes 4 hours to complete a 1-hour audio file. It would take 2 hours to complete a 30-minute file, 1 hour to complete a 15-minute file, and so on and so forth.. . I think you get the idea.

So assuming this to be accurate, you could earn around $4/hour transcribing for Rev – which is way, way less than minimum wage.

But that is assuming all goes smoothly – add time for battling with poor audio, proofreading and researching (especially if you are unfamiliar with terms used) and you could knock yourself down to $2 or $3 an hour which is nuts.

Inconsistent grading

Your grades aren’t all graded by a machine or a single person, so you may get graded differently from one project to the next. Sometimes you’ll get your project graded by a particularly harsh scorer which could impact your overall grade and get you kicked out of the company. Unfortunately, there’s no worker protection or job security, so you are easily disposable.

What are the pros of working for Rev?

Despite the issues I discussed, there are a few good things about the company.

First of all, they offer a flexible schedule that lets you work wherever and whenever you want. This is great, but since you’re working for very low wages you need to decide if that is worth it or not.

Another nice thing about Rev is there’s no minimum payout amount, and you get paid every week via PayPal.

They also let you choose what transcription jobs you can take. You are able to preview the audio file before to see the quality, and you can even have up to an hour to “unclaim” it after without penalty. This is nice since so many of them are bad quality, at least you can attempt to choose the best ones available. Even so, the projects get snatched super quick so you have the constantly be on alert when you’re trying to find work.

The last thing I liked about Rev was they had a really nice, user -friendly interface and provided an easy to follow guide with instructions on how they want you to transcribe. They also offer training projects that you will get paid for. The training projects are nice because the audio is actually clear and they’re relatively easy to follow along with.

But, let’s review the cons:

  • LOW pay ($4 or less per hour)
  • Inconsistent work and grading scale, assignments get snatched up quick
  • Can be let go at any time
  • HORRIBLE audio quality for most projects

If you’re looking for a stable source of extra income, I wouldn’t recommend Rev

While some people may be OK with the difficult tasks and nominal pay, I can’t in good conscious recommend it when I know there are better opportunities out there for online work.

While Rev is not a scam, they don’t treat their freelancers right in my opinion. They offer a cheap service at the expense of exploiting their workers, and accept the most horrendous quality audio that they know can never be properly transcribed

I wouldn’t suggest this company as there are other transcription companies out there that pay better, and plenty of other legit options if you’re looking for online work. Check out my number one suggestion for working from home here.

About the Author Wendy

Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur. I've been making money online for the past 5 years with online marketing and blogging, and I love helping others learn to do the same. You can read my full story here

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