If you plan to work from home, searching for a legitimate online company could be one of your biggest struggles during the early stages. But if you have the necessary typing speed, excellent listening skills, and learning the overview of the company here from the work from home guide HOWPO, then you might want to consider joining Casting Words as one of their transcribers.
Is Casting Words a Legitimate Transcription Provider?
Located in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Casting Words is a technology-driven transcription enterprise that offers professionally-made transcription services to all types of clients worldwide. This prominent service company was once featured in recognized media enterprises, like The New York Times and The Economist.
The secret ingredient for the continuous success of Casting Words relies on its reliable team of transcribers converting audio and video records into the text from different parts of the world. Casting Words continuously hires qualified transcribers who are able to transcribe, edit transcripts, and supervise workflow on their schedule. New and experienced transcribers working as independent contractors are welcome to join as long as they possess the appropriate skills and working accessories.
Casting Words Application Process
You may create a personal account from Casting Words if you are at least 18 years old, and the system supports your country of origin. When you sign up, you need to fill out an online form with your personal details, preferred work availability, and relevant career history before you are allowed to take the typing test. The transcription test involves transcribing a concise audio file just to evaluate your typing speed and accuracy.
The transcription test provides you a general overview of the job format and styling guidelines of Casting Words. You will be graded based on your ability to follow certain instructions, the outline of styling basics, and deadline requirements. That’s why you need to carefully review the styling guidelines found in the Quick Start Guide.
Now, if the platform does not redirect you to the typing test, but rather to your primary job board, it only means that you are already qualified as a transcriber for Casting Words. If this happens, go straight to your email to see a welcome note, containing a direct link to the Style Guides, work policies, and other valuable resources. Before proceeding to the actual job listing, make sure that you have read and understood the Style Guide in order to avoid work-related issues later on.
Once you take the test, you will be given 90 minutes to complete it. However, if you are not able to finish the test for any reason, just click on the “Return” button and specify the reason for leaving the test and then come back after the 24-hour waiting period has expired. Once you decide to retake the test, you will be assigned another audio file to transcribe.
If you pass the transcription test, expect to receive an email from Casting Words, informing you of your test results. You may receive their response within 24 hours or a bit longer. However, if your application has been disapproved, you can still take another test after one week.
Here’s a recap of the job qualifications you need to become an official transcriber for Casting Words:
- At least 18 years old
- U.S. resident, but the job position is also open to applicants living in one of their supported countries
- Legal independent contractor (whose employment status falls under any applicable employment and tax laws in their country of origin)
- No relevant work experience or training certification required
- Government-issued identification cards (during application)
- Great research and organizational skills
- Keen to details
- Fast internet connection
- Good working computer with installed media player or any other transcribing software
- Stereo headphones and foot pedals
- Contact details, including mobile number, Skype, email and other communication means
To begin your transcription career with Casting Words, just log into your account and browse from the job listing. Check the file using the “Preview” mode to see if you can work on it comfortably. If you feel you can handle the task or file, just click on the “Work on it” button to receive the tasks officially.
Click on the instruction tab to see the complete project details. These may include audio source length, a brief description of the media content, incentives, and turnaround time. You can transcribe using the built-in media player from the platform or download the assignment and play it using your own transcribing tool. Casting Words suggests using your desired word processing tool (MS Word or notepad) to expedite the transcription process.
After you have transcribed the audio, paste the draft transcript into the “Transcribe Verbatim” section for spelling check. You may use the built-in document tools on the job page to check your output before submitting it. Once you are satisfied with your transcript, click the “View and Submit” tab to see your work in its finalized form. Lastly, click the “Submit Job” tab to send the transcript for editing.
Remember that you may be penalized for submitting a late transcript, so make sure to meet the deadline or return the task if you can’t finish it before the deadline. All transcription jobs have their respective time limit, and they should be completed before time expires. Otherwise, you won’t be able to finish or submit your transcript and get paid.
Once the transcript has been submitted, it will be graded by other experienced transcribers or in-house transcript editors. You need to wait for at least two to three working days for the results.
Apart from this, certain transcription jobs are bonus or incentive-based. This allows transcribers to earn additional income on top of their base rate, but the raise is based on the approved grade you will get to calculate the bonus pay.
When you work for Casting Words, you are expected to handle a variety of transcription jobs, including:
- General transcription (corporate, medical and legal transcriptions)
- Transcript editing or proofreading
- Transcript grading and approving (for experienced transcribers or long-time workers)
Now, if you wish to narrow down the available jobs or only see the jobs you might be qualified to take, you may use either “All Jobs” or “Available Jobs” links. However, expect not to receive jobs at all transcriber level, but Casting Words automatically uploads new assignments when orders come into the system. If you are not able to receive any available jobs, there may be fewer orders coming in, especially during the summer season and legal holidays.
Another possible reason for not be able to access jobs is that your performance rating has fallen below the required level in obtaining the job portal. This may absolutely happen if you keep receiving rejected transcripts, low grades, and negative feedback from fellow freelancers.
Casting Words transcribers typically receive $0.085 to $1.00 per audio minute, depending on project complexity and length. Your average monthly payment may be based on certain conditions, including the type of transcription and your current job status or category. As mentioned earlier, you can work as a transcript grader, a regular transcriptionist, and a transcript editor, so your pay rate will definitely change from time to time.
Here’s the pay rate schedule being implemented to give you a clearer idea of how you are graded:
- Rejected work (grade 0-4) is discarded. Therefore you will not be paid
- Grade 5 work gets the base pay amount
- Grade 6 gets a total of 1.5 times the base pay amount
- Grade 7 gets a total of 2.0 times the base pay amount
- Grade 8 gets a total of 2.5 times the base pay amount
- Grade 9 gets a total of 3.0 times the base pay amount
Payment is sent via PayPal MassPay system and the company shoulders the transfer fees, allowing you to receive your balance in full. If you won’t need your money yet, you can leave it in your account for the meantime and just request a transfer from Casting Words before their scheduled payout.
Pros and Cons
Here’s what you can enjoy when you work for Casting Words:
- Flexible work schedule and different types of transcription jobs
- To keep your account active there’s no minimum requirement unless you have decided to close it down.
- Lots of performance bonuses and project incentives available for each job
- Intuitive job platform with built-in working tools
However, you should also expect some disadvantages with this company, just like what you see from others, including:
- Maintaining an acceptable performance rating or skill level is quite difficult.
- Higher chance to receive poor remarks and low grades which will affect your overall job status and weekly payout
- Longer response time of submitted transcripts, particularly for beginners
- Job responsibilities may seem huge, but there’s not much room for career advancement.
- Slow response time of their tech support
- Random system or site crash which may put your effort into waste when you perform transcribing on the assignment page
Casting Words is one legitimate business organization that could give you the opportunity to make decent money through online. Its transcription jobs are flexible, providing you the chance to explore other forms of transcription aside from just converting typical audio sources into plain text.
Aldrich Tan is a duly registered Filipino architect and is currently working as a freelance writer focusing on content writing and blogging purposes.