What should I charge for transcription?

I charge an hourly rate for transcribing tapes. Based on industry production standards guidelines published by Office Business Center Association International (www.obcai.org), the general rule is that it takes one to two hours to transcribe 15 minutes of recorded audio. Of course, a lot will depend on the quality of the tape, the number of voices, technical content, accents, and if the tape is to be transcribed verbatim vs. paraphrased. A straightforward, one-voice tape will take much less time than a highly technical focus group with poor audio and accented speakers.

Robert Brenner (www.brennerbooks.com), known as the "pricing guru" in many circles, conducted an industry survey a year or so ago, the results of which are published in a special report, "A Comprehensive Survey of the Business Support Services Industry." For general transcription, participants of the survey charge $15 to $75 per hour. The average is about $30 an hour. (Legal and medical transcription rates came in at slightly higher rates.) Of the respondents that charge by the page, they charge anywhere from $2.75 to $14.00 per page. The average charge is about $7.50 per page.   (Source: Special Report on the Business Support Services Industry, Brenner Information Group.)

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