Typing is a catch-all phrase when it comes to online job listings, often used as shorthand to describe tasks ranging from data entry to video captioning to transcription (among many others).
And while work at home typing jobs may have started out as a popular business idea for women (and particularly for stay-at-home moms), today these opportunities are leveraged by people from across the demographic spectrum. In fact, they can be one of the best ways to make money without an investment.
Some online typing jobs pay more than others, and some niches require training, certification, or special equipment. But overall, the field is easy to break into (even if you’re an absolute beginner).
And while there are some scams that you need to watch out for, the fact is that typing is a legitimate online job that can earn you decent money — over $20 per hour, in some cases.
In this article, we’re going to dive into what to look for in typing jobs, what to avoid, and where to find the best opportunities in the field.
Who Hires Typists?
Many different types of people and organizations hire typists, but two of the most common are doctors and small business owners.
Doctors are sometimes required to provide patient notes to other doctors, lawyers or insurance companies, and handwritten notes are not acceptable. Rather than spending their time transcribing their notes (which they wouldn’t get paid for), they outsource the work so they can focus on seeing and treating more patients.
Small business owners often find themselves in a similar situation — they may be overwhelmed with paperwork and other correspondence, and focusing on that instead of their core business would be a poor use of their time that would cost them more money than hiring part-time help.
Typing is also sometimes a large portion of the job duties for a virtual assistant.
How Much Do Typists Make?
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, typists in the United States make $16.22 an hour on average.
However, that means pay ranges from a low of near $10 per hour to a high of around $30 per hour, which is obviously quite a difference.
The amount of money you can command per hour will depend on your level of skill, who you work for (more on that in next section), and whether or not you’re operating within a niche, so it’s a good idea to find one if you want to earn closer to the high end of that range.
Highest Paying Niches Within the Typing Industry
Looking at the typist labor data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one of the most important factors that determines the amount of money you make is who you work for.
Local government data entry jobs pay an average of $19.22 per hour. That’s much higher than the employment services field, where you’ll find more traditional data entry jobs (such as general office clerks) that pay an average of $15.45 an hour.
Unfortunately, few local government data entry jobs are remote.
Other primary factors in being an above-average earner are your skills and experience. For example, medical transcription work — which most jobs require certification for — pays an average of $16.58 per hour.
Translation work is among the highest-paid niche in the field, with the average rate of $24 an hour.
Full-Time Online Typing Job Sites
Generally speaking, online jobs tend to offer part-time rather than full-time work. That’s certainly true for online typing jobs, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of experience.
However, there are a number of sites where you can find either full-time work or piece together a full-time schedule by signing on with multiple clients. Here are a few of the best.
FlexJobs is one of the best places to find full-time work-from-home jobs in any field, including typing. The site offers freelance, flexible and remote jobs that have all been carefully screened to make sure they’re legitimate opportunities.
Typically, employers are looking for those with at least three years of clerical experience and/or relevant credentials.
FlexJobs is a paid site that charges $14.99 per month. However, you can browse the job listings for free — you just can’t view the application details. So your best bet is to take a look at the site and only sign up if you find opportunities that would be a good fit.
If you do, be sure to use our promo code (WEALTH) to save 30% off your membership. Also, note that you can cancel at any time.
Learn more about how the site works in our FlexJobs review.
Upwork is the largest and most respected freelance marketplace. You’ll find thousands of jobs on the site, with new postings added every few minutes.
Competition for work can be fierce, and it can be hard to land your first gig. As someone who has both hired and worked extensively on Upwork, here’s a detailed overview of how to get started.
Two quick tips for landing your first gig:
- Look for companies that are hiring only in your location, such as the United States.
- Send a customized proposal to each client. See this page for a three-step freelance proposal template to use when reaching out to clients.
One of the downsides to Upwork is that new freelancers often have to significantly underprice their services. Clients are much less likely to hire you when you have no feedback on the site, so you may need to price yourself aggressively to get a couple of projects under your belt.
Once you do, you’ll find that the site is full of legitimate work and a great place to make money.
Like Upwork, Fiverr is a marketplace that connects freelancers and clients. But there are a couple of important differences between the two sites.
On Upwork, clients post jobs and wait for proposals. But on Fiverr, it’s the other way around — freelancers create “gigs” with set prices and delivery times, which clients can then “order” on demand. When a client places an order, they’ll pay, upload their documents and instructions, and wait for the delivery of their work — you may not even correspond with them during the process.
This model has some advantages and some disadvantages. On one hand, it’s easier to get work when you have minimal experience, because you don’t need to craft a customized pitch for each client — you just need one effective gig posting.
But on the other hand, Fiverr’s clientele tends to be a little bit less professional, as there are many individuals on the site (some of whom have never hired a freelancer before). That means the rates tend to be lower, the work can be harder (because clients don’t always provide clear instructions), and there’s less opportunity to build long-term relationships.
Still, it can be a great way to get your feet wet in freelancing — and many people do make a solid full-time living on the site.
Conduct a quick search on the job site Indeed and you’ll find many different (and often well-known) companies offering work-at-home jobs for roles like online data entry clerks.
These come and go quickly, so it’s best to set up an alert on the site. This way, you’ll get an email any time a new job posting that matches your criteria goes live.
Indeed is the largest job site in the world, which means that postings are not necessarily vetted. Before applying to a job you find on the site, make sure to do some due diligence: research the company on LinkedIn, read through the reviews from current and former employees on Glassdoor, and search Twitter to see what people are saying about the organization.
Companies Hiring Online Typists
There are a number of companies that specialize in hiring people for various kinds of online typing jobs. In most cases, you’ll be hired as an independent contractor rather than as a salaried employee, which means that you won’t be eligible for benefits like health insurance.
In many cases, the pay will also average out to a lower rate than you could earn by working for yourself on Upwork and Fiverr.
However, there’s always a trade-off: what you lose in average pay, you make up for in consistency. In most of the cases below, you’ll have a constant stream of work delivered to you, whereas as a freelancer you’ll have to constantly be on the hunt for new gigs.
#1. AccuTran Global
Quick Summary: AccuTran is primarily a transcription company. If you don’t have a lot of experience, you can still get hired if you score high on the company’s assessment tests. You’re paid per word, and sometimes there are bonuses for more complex jobs.
Glassdoor Rating: 3.2/5 stars.
Experience Needed: Must type at least 70 words per minute and have a strong command of English grammar, punctuation and spelling.
#2. Axion Data Services
Quick Summary: Axion hires typists as independent contractors who want long-term positions and specializes in data entry work. You’ll be paid per project.
Glassdoor Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Experience Needed: Minimum typing speed of 50 WPM and at least two years of data entry experience.
#3. DataPlus +
Quick Summary: DataPlus + specializes in data entry and document scanning jobs.
Glassdoor Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Experience Needed: Because much of the work is done for law enforcement and legal agencies, all employees and independent contractors must be able to pass a background check.
#4. Kendall Creek Communications
Quick Summary: Kendall Creek Communications (formerly called Birch Creek Communications) specializes primarily in transcription, although some jobs are data entry positions. Workers are paid per audio minute.
Glassdoor Rating: 2/5 stars.
Experience Needed: Transcriptionists must have past experience, and an AAERT certification (American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers) is highly recommended.
Quick Summary: SigTrack has an interesting niche: it hires contract data entry workers to process voter registration and petition signatures. Workers are paid per piece.
Glassdoor Rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Experience Needed: You don’t need prior experience but you must be able to prove that you’re a legal resident of the United States. Training is provided.
#6. DionData Solutions
Quick Summary: DionData hires both independent contractors and in-house data entry workers. The company offers training for new employees.
Glassdoor Rating: 3/5 stars.
Experience Needed: Minimum typing speed of 60 WPM and basic computer skills.
#7. Working Solutions
Quick Summary: Working Solutions hires independent contractors for data entry jobs in the U.S. and throughout the world. Workers are paid per project.
Glassdoor Rating: 3.6/5 stars.
Experience Needed: Workers must pass a 30-minute employee assessment.
#8. Capital Typing
Quick Summary: Capital Typing is an outsourcing company that provides virtual assistant services, including data entry and transcription work (among others). Workers are hired as independent contractors. You’ll be paid per piece.
Glassdoor Rating: 1.5/5 stars.
Experience Needed: Workers must meet the company’s (and the client’s) deadlines and quality standards.
Micro Job Data Entry Opportunities
The term “microwork” refers to tasks that can be completed in just a few seconds or minutes. In most cases, the pay per task is very low. That’s in large part because these tend to be tedious, menial tasks that can be performed by almost anyone with a computer — regardless of their skills or education level.
Still, they are a legit way to make a little bit of extra money in your spare time — especially if that only comes in short and/or inconsistent bursts.
Plus, you may be able to squeeze more value out of the per-minute payout rate if you have exceptional typing skills (as you’ll be able to work faster than other people).
Clickworker is a marketplace that lets registered workers complete small data entry and translation tasks. To qualify, you must complete and pass a skills assessment. Each task pays $1 (with some exceptions) and can be done anywhere and anytime.
#2. Amazon mTurk
This is a section of Amazon that offers small paid tasks, including data entry. While most tasks pay poorly (many users report making about $2 an hour) they don’t require any experience and can be completed very quickly.
Microworkers offers micro jobs in areas such as data entry, translation and transcription. It’s a marketplace that connects those who need jobs completed and those who want to do the jobs, making it similar to freelancing sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
Scribie hires freelancers to transcribe both video and audio files, which are typically short (six minutes or less). Independent contractors earn $10 per hour. Each job is rated on a 1-5 scale, and you must maintain an average score of 2.75 or better to continue working through the company.
Final Thoughts About Online Typing Jobs
Typing is a popular side hustle, as it combines a common skill with high demand. While these characteristics make it easy to get started, they also tend to limit the earning potential within the field.
If you do wish to become a high-earner, it’s best to add additional services correlated with typing and transcription. One example would be to learn the skills of not just transcribing a podcast, but being able to upload the podcast to a directory like iTunes and create a blog post and show notes for the episode.
Combining multiple in-demand skills allows you to become more sought-after in the marketplace, and it therefore increases your overall earning potential. And while it can take time to learn new skills — especially if you’re starting today without any experience — it’s time well-spent.