Working at home as a transcriptionist is one way to earn some extra cash on top of your regular work shift. If you are a fast typist with good listening ears who prefers to work on a flexible schedule, you might want to consider joining Tigerfish, which has been in the transcription business for over two decades, as an independent contractor.
Is Tigerfish a Legitimate Transcription Enterprise?
Established in 1989, Tigerfish is a prominent online service provider that offers high quality transcription services to clients from all corners of the globe. Its primary responsibility is to transcribe video and audio sources and convert the contents into written text, whether the transcripts are meant for business, record-keeping, or broadcasting.
Tigerfish maintains a regular pool of transcribers that will help deliver formatted transcripts for the clients while transcribers receive a fixed compensation based on set company rates. Despite the enormous presence of market competition, Tigerfish has remained as one of the best transcription companies operating online as well as physical offices in New York and San Francisco areas.
While Tigerfish may demand the highest quality of output from their transcribers, the company ensures flexibility, on-time payment, and potential career growth among long-staying team members. Everyone is welcome to join as Tigerfish accepts interested applicants, including stay-at-home individuals, writers, secretaries, part-timers, and beginners.
Before submitting your application, please note that all inquiries for the work application and job details are only entertained through emails. No calls, including direct landline and internet calls, will be accepted since recruitment specialists are not mandated to answer questions about your application.
To apply for any vacant position, you need to visit the official job page of Tigerfish and download the “Tigerfish Transcription Style Guide.” Take time to read the guidelines to know the company’s objectives, policies, and work approach to transcription. There’s an online form that you need to fill up, and once you submit it, wait for at least three weeks to receive any response. Now, if you don’t receive any reply from Tigerfish within weeks, then you are not likely accepted for the job position.
Unfortunately, Tigerfish only accepts applicants or legal residents within the United States, so consider other options like TranscribeMe if you still want to pursue a transcription career. Aside from that, you should be at least 18 years old to be considered. You should also meet the following work requirements to become qualified:
- Great listening and comprehension skills
- Excellent command of the English language
- Outstanding organizational and time management skills
- Knowledgeable with other foreign languages, preferred but not required
- Ability to perform research particularly for projects that include technical terms and medical terms
- Ability to handle multiple projects and team members
- Proficients in word processing tools and spelling checkers (for formatting purposes)
- High-speed internet connection
- Telephone number or any mobile app where you can be reached
- Good-working computer preferably Windows-based with installed Express Scribe transcription software
- A good pair of stereo headset and foot pedals
- At least 60 words per minute
- Quiet workplace
Now, here’s the catch when you work for Tigerfish. Express Scribe, which is primarily used for typing test and evaluation phase, is only suitable when you begin your transcription career with the company. However, if you continue working for Tigerfish, say for the next six months, you may ultimately need to purchase Start Stop’s Power Play for Windows Media to expedite your work performance. You will need this transcribing software to access the available projects and upload the completed transcript. Aside from that, this enhancement software will cost you between $150 and $200 depending on your preferred online store.
Once you have completed the online form, Tigerfish will test your transcribing proficiency through a three-segment transcription test. Just download the test file and use Express Scribe to take the test.
The audio test is composed of three five-minute audio sources that include an interview, a business presentation, and a focus group discussion. Each file should take you around 20 minutes, and you are required to apply the transcription style guide when formatting the transcript. All applications are reviewed on a periodic basis, and you will be contacted once you pass the test.
The work process for clients is quite straightforward as they only need to sign up for an account and just send the files that need to be transcribed. Once the order has been placed, the audio source, along with the project details, will be sent to the transcribers who will then produce the transcript and submit for evaluation.
Tigerfish allows you to fill out a work calendar to specify your availability for each week. The company will do its best to match your available schedule, but your qualifications should meet the specific needs of the project first. If you are familiar with medical terms, for example, you may receive transcription orders related to the field of medicine or academics.
Due to the competitive nature of the job platform, you should check your account or email from time to time to receive any available projects. Another important thing to remember is to maintain the performance rating set forth by the company to keep your account active.
When talking about compensation, don’t get your hopes too high for Tigerfish. Tigerfish never claim that working for them would provide full-time job opportunities, but rather an alternative option that may help anyone turn their extra time into spare cash. Online transcription jobs definitely pay, but they pay you may receive from this company won’t be enough to sustain a decent living.
Transcribers are only paid $0.005 per word or $5.00 for 1000 transcribed words. This is just a typical rate you may encounter with other transcription providers out there.
As an average-rated transcriber for Tigerfish, you may earn as much as $10 per hour, but expect to receive more when you transcribe specialized transcription orders, like medical, corporate or legal. Some experienced transcribers say that they can earn as much as $15 per hour, depending on project complexity and typing speed. Tigerfish also provide performance bonuses and work incentives as a reward for top earners.
Tigerfish pays through PayPal every week after summarizing your total output. You will only get paid for current transcripts.
Pros and Cons
Tigerfish is one good workplace to start your career as a professional transcriptionist, but expect rates to be low at first. You can become one of their best transcribers as you gain experience, thus allowing you to move up the ranks. With Tigerfish, you may become a team leader, a lead transcriber, and a transcript proofreader. Here are the possible benefits when you work for this long-standing transcription company:
- All applicants, including newcomers and experienced transcribers, are welcome to join.
- A friendly platform for beginners, regardless of skill level or years of experience
- The diverse range of transcription projects which do not limit your skills to one particular type of transcription
On the disadvantage side, you may encounter these potential work conditions:
- The required software is absolutely costly since you need to upgrade Express Scribe to its full version or purchase a copy of Start Stop’s Power Play for Windows Media if you plan to continue this field of profession.
- The amount of work may vary due to competition among transcribers, the peak of workload, and client needs.
- Performance rating may be challenging to maintain due to strict work policies and output evaluation process.
- Not beneficial for those with fixed work schedules
Transcribing is a problematic form of online job that requires concentration, speed, and of course, accuracy. But when you dig deep enough in the online world, you might find an exciting career hub like Tigerfish. Tigerfish could be a suitable online workplace for you if you are looking forward to jump-start your transcription career.
Aldrich Tan is a duly registered Filipino architect and is currently working as a freelance writer focusing on content writing and blogging purposes.