Earn Money While You Are Looking for Work

Let’s face it, looking for work can be very stressful, especially when you are living in an economic or industry downturn.  The global Financial Crisis of 2008 – 09 wiped out the savings of an entire generation and no industry was immune.  If you currently work in the oil and gas industry, you or someone you know may be struggling to find work.  Even though the worst seems to be behind us, the industry is still experiencing layoffs.  Unless you received a generous severance or have an established emergency fund, you may need to generate extra income while you look for your next job.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to explore unique ways to earn extra income while you search for your next gig.  We will not focus on the conventional methods that may or may not work.  Instead, we are going to explore methods that are less conventional.  If you have a story to share, we would love to hear from you.

Looking for Work? Can You Type?

Are a good typist with above average clerical and organizational skills?  There is a rapidly growing industry that will offer you a competitive pay to work from the comfort of your own home office.   That industry is transcription services.  This is not a “stuff envelopes from home” scam.  There are several legitimate companies that will pay qualified individuals $.50 to $.80 or more per audio minute.

What make this a great opportunity for a home based business?  There are little to no up-front costs to get involved.  As a matter of fact, your biggest out of pocket expense will be a good pair of headphones that blocks out noise (i.e. children and pets).   You will also need a transcription program. For the beginners just getting into the industry, there is a free downloadable program called Express Scribe.  This software will enable you to download audio files that your clients will need to have transcribed. Simple enough!

Get Started

To get started, you should “hone up” on your typing skills.   Speed and accuracy are very important in this industry.  It will do you no good if you can type 90 words per minute without a lot of mistakes.  There are several web sites that will help you improve your typing skills. is a great website to practice.  You will need at least 60-70 words per minute with a low error rate in order to be considered by most companies.

Next, search for online videos of people reading medical information, business meeting minutes, random thoughts and books.  Get comfortable transcribing these videos while you increase your speed and accuracy.  Once you feel confident in your skills and abilities,  you can start applying to transcription companies that will allow you to work from your home office.

What to Expect

How much should you charge for your services?  A good rule of thumb is $.50 per audio minute is standard but $.80 or more per audio minute is good!

What can you expect to transcribe?  The main three areas are general audio files which can be a corporate meeting to a conversation. The second is from the medical industry such as hospital records, accident records, etc. The third is legal from court procedures.

When applying for a position, you will be required to complete an application.  If accepted, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire, typing, spelling and homonym test to check your speed and accuracy.  The more you type with little to no errors, the more work you will be assigned. Once you are at a high level of transcription, you can make up to $1.20 per audio minute.

Now it is your turn, take this opportunity if it fits you and start practicing for your next career.  Here is a video if you would like to learn more about transcription services.

PathFinder Staffing, an energy and construction recruiting agency located in Houston, Texas. For more information about our services, visit our web site at or call us at (281) 858-7325.



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  • 14 Oct, 2017
  • Tim Cook

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