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CastingWords Review: Legal Transcription Jobs or Fake?

The reason you clicked this article is that you have discovered a platform called CastingWords that provides freelance transcription jobs to beginners as well as experienced transcribers.

Now, you’ve just heard about it and want to know more, so you decide to read our in-depth CastingWords review!

You’re in the right place. Popular companies nowadays are being called out for committing fraudulent activities and getting out of paying their workers.

In a sea of such sketchy companies, is CastingWords legit? If it is, does it pay well, and is it worth taking a shot?

Fortunately for you, we have the answers to all your questions. From how the company works, to its application process, to review employees.

Read this CastingWords review to learn more!

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What is CastingWords?


Source: CastingWords

Founded by Nathan McFarland and Rachel Pearson, CastingWords is a company that has provided transcription services to clients since 2005. It is headquartered in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

The company’s main aim is to connect clients with quality freelance transcribers who can provide the required work for a competitive price.

They also aim to provide a steady earning source for freelancers in the transcription business across the globe.

The company has traveled a long, hard path since they first established in 2005. They hire both in-office and freelancing individuals as editors, transcribers, translators, etc.

CastingWords is a global brand today, serving businesses and individuals with their transcription needs and providing freelance work to transcribers all over the world.

Bilinguals have an especially good chance of working with the company.


How Does CastingWords Work?

1. CastingWords Jobs

The typical jobs you will most likely find on CastingWords are:

  • Audio/video files to transcribe.
  • Editing transcripts.
  • Grading the edits and transcripts done by editors and transcribers.
  • Determining the audio quality of different files up for transcription.
  • Approving final edits and transcription works before final submission to clients.


2. CastingWords Transcription Jobs- Work Completion Process

Our CastingWords review contains everything, from the application process to the payment details.

Here’s how the process of work completion runs in CastingWords.

Upon successful registration, you can view available jobs on the job board and select one to work on.

If you find a task intriguing, you can preview a part of it and decide whether you actually want to work on it or not. If you do, select the “Work on This” button and note the turnaround time for that project.

A countdown will begin as soon as you accept a task. You have to complete the given task before the timer runs out.

Completing the task involves downloading the audio/video file for transcription and getting to work with a transcription software of your preference.

When you’re done, just upload the finished document into the required portal.

Your job here is done! A CastingWords editor with reviewing your work and let you know the verdict while you can choose to work on other projects in the meantime.


3. CastingWords Transcriber Requirements

Although they’re not as stringent as other transcription companies, there are certain CastingWords transcriber requirements you need to match to get accepted into their team!

Here are the said requirements; they’re pretty lenient, in our opinion (at least relatively):

  • You have to be 18 years of age or older.
  • Your residential country has to be one that CastingWords hires from.
  • A PayPal account is a must to receive payments for your work.
  • You have to be available for independent contract-based work.

Do you meet all of these criteria? Then go right ahead and apply as a transcriber with CastingWords now!


4. Free Transcription Training

So, you’re a newbie in the freelance transcription biz?

Don’t worry, and don’t get intimidated by the experienced ones, thinking that they might grab all the good transcribing opportunities in a heartbeat.

Learning effective transcription is pretty simple; you just need to find a useful online course and go through their training for a few days/weeks.

Udemy and Skillshare host a lot of great transcription training where you can get thorough lessons before starting your transcription journey with CastingWords!free transcription training

5. CastingWords Jobs, Badges, and Grades

CastingWords has a badge system that they award their transcriptionists as an acknowledgment of their work and to upgrade them for better work. This is how it works.

castingwords badges and grades

Source: CastingWords

At the initial stage, right after you’re hired as a freelance transcriber with them, you receive a New Transcriber Badge. Upon successful completion and verification of your first paid task, you’ll be awarded the Beginner Badge!

The more accurate work you turn in on time, the more badges you earn. Your work’s quality, accuracy, and turnaround time decide how many badges you’ll retain, which means that there’s a chance you can lose badges too.

What is the significance of badges on CastingWords, you ask?

The more badges you have, the higher-paying jobs you gain access to.


6. CastingWords Workshop

CastingWords Workshop is a program where the company hires freelance transcribers from their listed countries across the globe.

They do not charge any registration or hidden fee; they only ask you to work for them and get paid in return!

The Workshop is not limited to transcription work but also features editing jobs and other short tasks to complete online. Again, the schedule is super flexible, so you can choose to work as little or as much as you’d like!

castingwords workshop

Source: CastingWords

Beware of fake offers, though; the company claims to fire freelance transcribers only via the CastingWords Workshop or Upwork. Any offer you receive from elsewhere is most likely to be fraudulent.


7. CastingWords Freelance Application Process

The application or signup process is very basic. All you do is create a CastingWords account and fill in your details on a brief bio page.

Then you’ll be asked to verify the email address you have provided. Verify your email address through the link they provide, and your application process is done!

You might have to take a short test before they let you start transcribing files from actual clients.


8. How to Apply At CastingWords

There’s a chance you might have to take a short test before you start transcribing with CastingWords. Make sure you are well acquainted with CastingWords’ writing and style guide.

They will provide you with a comprehensive guidelines on how to best transcribe the files they assign to you. Read the guidelines carefully; that’s your best shot at acing their transcription test.

It goes without saying that you need to double and triple-check your work for spelling, grammatical, and syntactical errors before submitting the final draft.

Upon passing the assessment, you can log into your dashboard and start searching for suitable real-world transcription jobs!

However, don’t worry in case you fail on your first attempt; you can reappear for the test every 24 hours.castingwords application

CastingWords Pay & Payment Method

Nobody has been able to say an exact number as to how much you can earn on CastingWords. Your earning potential on castingWords is majorly determined by how each one of your tasks is graded.

On average, though, the company claims to pay between $0.85 and $1 per audio minute. But even that is dependent on your personal grading.

Here’s a general idea of how CastingWords’ grading system works.

Transcribers are graded on a scale of 1-9. If you score anywhere between 0 and 4, the company rejects the task and doesn’t pay for it.

If you score a 5, you receive the base pay. Work that scores between 6 and 9 receive base pay times 1.5-3.0.

The only way you can somewhat ensure a good grade is by following their guideline religiously. And, of course, submitting good quality work.

PayPal is their chosen method of payment, and they make release payments every Friday.

Also, Check 21 Entry Level General Transcription Jobs For Beginners.


Is CastingWords Transcription Legit?


Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. A CastingWords review is incomplete without question, “Is CastingWords even legit?”

So, the answer to that is yes. CastingWords has not only been around in the transcription biz for over 15 years but is also one of the most popular companies in the field.

Moreover, the BBB(Better Business Bureau) recognizes the company and has awarded it an A+ rating.

Also, a good social media presence is always a sign that a company is legit and trustworthy; CastingWords has quite an active social media presence.

The Wall Street Journal had featured the company, despite a few negative reviews it had received at the time. Plus, a lot of other transcription companies also recognize CastingWords as one of the best in the business.

Additionally, Indeed and Glassdoor, two of the most trustworthy job listing and review sites on the internet, contain several legit reviews of CastingWords.

These reviews elucidate the trustworthy payment and legit work the company provides their transcribers.


CastingWords Alternatives

Obviously, CastingWords isn’t the only company hiring for freelance transcription work in the world! Are there any alternatives to CastingWords?

Well, yes! Here are a few:

Do Check, 27 Best Online Transcription Jobs For Beginners – $15+/Hour.


What We Like About CastingWords- Pros

Every platform consists of both good and poor aspects; CastingWords is no different.

Let’s take a look at the pros list first on our CastingWords review.

  • You get to decide how much work you will do since there is no fixed schedule with CastingWords. Take up as many or as few projects as you want, according to your own time. The flexibility of the working schedule is laudable.
  • They don’t have high bars for hiring transcribers; unlike a lot of companies that look for experienced candidates, our CastingWords review says that it welcomes applications from beginners and experienced alike!
  • The preview option is great for reviewing a task before deciding whether you want to work on it or not.
  • Our CastingWords review also says that their payments are prompt and on time!


What We Don’t Like- Cons

Now, coming to the cons we found in the company.

  • It pays, but it doesn’t pay enough. If you’re looking to make a good freelance income, this isn’t the company to work for.
  • Some transcribers have claimed that their grading system is rigged to purposely score low and get out of paying for the work!
  • A ton of the audio files are very poor quality, so much so that they are almost inaudible or too noisy for the transcribers to properly understand and convert them.
  • The abundance of work isn’t the greatest. Sometimes, you might just spend the whole day waiting for work to come in.



Is legit?

The Better Business Bureau rated CastingWords an A+. That’s proof enough that the company is legit.

It’s also present and active on numerous social media platforms. Lastly, sites like Glassdoor have various reviews about CastingWords, confirming that it is legit.


How does CastingWords pay?

CastingWords makes payments every Friday at 10 am Pacific Time via PayPal. All you have to do is click the “Request Transfer” button on your dashboard.

This will prompt them to transfer the week’s payment into your PayPal account.


What are CastingWords badges and grades?

Badges are awarded to transcribers on CastingWords based on their quality of work, accuracy, and turnaround time. The more badges you earn, the higher-paying jobs you start becoming eligible for!

But the catch is that these badges can be taken away, too, so you have to keep working consistently to retain all your badges.


How to work on CastingWords?

It’s pretty simple, really. Since they hire freshers and aren’t too obsessed with hiring only experienced people, you can sign up on their platform and fill in a bio.

Soon after, you’ll receive a short transcription demo test that you need to complete according to their guidelines.

Upon successful verification, you’ll get accepted into their team of transcribers and can start working on client projects!


CastingWords Reviews and Complaints


Source: Indeed

One of the common complaints on Indeed in their CastingWords review section is that there isn’t enough work to go around. Moreover, the availability of projects is inconsistent. Some days, jobs come pouring in, and on others, there are none.

The pay is prompt and trustworthy, but again, not enough.

Now this one’s interesting. A Reddit user wrote a CastingWords review that said he used to transcribe poor-quality files with a lot of research and hard work; he looked up foreign words in the audio and really went the extra mile.

And what did the company do to him? They rejected his final work and kept the markup for themselves.

This is a common issue: work getting rejected for petty reasons only to get out of paying the transcribers.

Another Reddit user said that his work was rejected for the tiniest too. The editors could have easily corrected that minute detail and paid him for his work.


CastingWords Real Or Fake – Conclusion

reviews by category

Source: Indeed

So, there you go. All the pros, cons, complaints, and reviews about CastingWords. We wouldn’t say that the site is fake because it, for sure, isn’t.

The company and its services are very much real. But is it a good idea to join CastingWords as a freelance transcriber?

We would say there are better options out there. Considering that the payment is rumored to be below average as it is, but on top of that, they use petty reasons to get out of paying!

If that is truly the case, then our final verdict says ditch it.


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