I have been asked to transcribe interviews from cd, which is something i have never done before.   What is the going rate per page?  What type of format is used?  Help!

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Hi, Cynthia,

Have you listened to them?  Are they easy or hard?  Are people talking at the same time?

My guess would be a similar charge as what you charge for a video.  I definitely would increase my page rate from what I charge for a normal lay witness since you are going from an audio and not live testimony.  

You're typing in every single word, right?  My transcribing rate is 100% more than my scoping rate. 

Yes, the quality of the recording and the behavior of the speakers makes or breaks a job like this. 

Basically you're getting into ER.  If you're a reporter and you intend to write from the CD, then edit, what would your page rate be?  You can't see the speakers, so crosstalk is going to be difficult to handle.  You're going to have to identify the speakers by their voices, sometimes very hard to do.

If the CD has an actual audio file on it, ask them to send the file to you via the Internet.  You can listen and decide if it's something you want to get into.

If you're not a reporter, what method will you use to transcribe?  ExpressScribe is a possibility.  The software is a free download.  You can program your keyboard to act as a foot pedal.

There's more and more need for this, perhaps because people are trying to avoid paying for a court reporter.

Good luck.  Let us know the outcome.

joyce davis

I would charge almost double the page rate for depos--if not double.  And that's only if it were fairly easy.  Or maybe I'd charge a higher page rate less than double but an hourly sitting fee to write it, calculated in 5-minute intervals.  They will pay out the nose either way.  And these are interviews, not depos?  Cha-ching. 

You charge by the hour, $20 or $25 an hour. 

I've been very pleased with doing transcription jobs by the hour.

You also use old fashioned transcribing machines which allow you to run tapes back and forth and to replay spots over and over again by pressing the foot pedal.

You also proofread using the transcribing machine to listen to the tapes and check your transcript against the tapes.  I also find the old fashion method of dictating notes is a great asset in  transcription jobs. 

A Connecticut agency charged the Connecticut Judicial Department over $100,000 to transcribe the court reporter stenotype notes of a trial.  Today the Connecticut Judicial Department has swiched over to digital recording as the preferred method of recording its court proceedings.





I once talked to a woman who transcribed audio.  The turnaround time was 24 hours.  What has been your experience, Bill?

Hi Amanda,

My experience has been I only transcribed audio of phone calls or interviews for lawyers who asked me to do so.


There was no turn-around time.  I just did the job in my usual week or two.


I used to transcribe machine shorthand notes for the State of Connecticut Superior Court, and then I was paid $20 an hour and they even let me do it at home, although I did go to one of the courthouses and work there quite a few times.  I was given a nice private office at the courthouse to work in.


On those jobs of transcribing machine shorthand notes, I would dictate a very rough draft of the notes to start with, and then I would proofread the first draft against the notes, and usually on the second proofread I was able to fill in the rough spots and get really a really very accurate transcript of the notes.

I am very blessed with a Super Typist that is fantastic and does a super job on my dictation.  Without that typist I wouldn't still be doing jobs.  For an old fashioned reporter like me who doesn't do CAT, it's essential to have a super typist.  A friend of mine also is a dinosaur reporter dictating his notes or actually typing them himself.




OMG, Bill, I had no idea you were not on CAT--or that anyone was not on CAT (my entire career has been in the CAT world, so that is foreign to me).  I kind of like the nostalgia of it, though.  When I first wanted to become a court reporter, I thought I would be using Gregg shorthand--and this was the early '80s.  Just born too late, I guess (lol).

This poor woman I spoke with had to quit after a few months--she would get the file at 10:00A one day, and they would require it back at 10:00A the next day, no matter how long it was (if she got it in late, dock city).  She was not a shorthand reporter, typed letter for letter, and the pay was very poor.  The transcription company was from Arizona.

I know a court reporter who transcribes tapes, and she charges a page rate of about the fees to a reporter for an O+2 depo.  Some of what she does is horrible.  She writes it on her machine, then goes over it again with the tape and then proofreads it. (so that's 3 times.  Are we counting?)  She does a great job for her clients and is getting more work.  I'm not really sure if it's worth it profit-wise, but she doesn't like to do "live" reporting anymore, so it's an alternative for her.


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