Medical Transcriptionist Salary

How Much Can You Earn As A Medical Transcriptionist?

MTinformation - medical transcription salary

In the beginning a new medical transcriptionist (MT) starting out can expect to make $8 to $12 per hour. After a year of experience, medical transcriptionists can expect to make from $12 to $15 per hour. With 5 years experience or more, the pay can be $20 or even higher. Now, this can vary depending on the location of the company you are working for. The more you improve your skills, the more you can earn.

Most new medical transcriptionists will not start out at a high pay rate. However, you can make a nice living working at home as a medical transcriptionist even during your first year. You have to think of it this way; if you went to college and got a degree specializing in a certain career field you would not expect for your first job to be at the highest pay range. That would come with time and experience. The same thing holds true for new medical transcriptionists.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics report–encompassing both medical transcription and medical transcription editor professionals–states that the middle 50% of professionals in the field earn between $27,240 and $39,820 a year.

However, it is important to remember that the majority of transcriptionists are paid on a production basis, which offers the opportunity to earn more as you become more familiar with the work; when you work more often, and if you increase your speed or efficiency.

Medical Transcriptionist – Independent Contractor 1099 (MISC) – Read more about how to file and save on your taxes.

Different Types Of Medical Transcriptionist Salaries:

The rate of pay for medical transcriptionists can vary, but you can make good money. If you are an employee of a doctor or medical service you almost always receive an hourly pay.

As an independent contractor or employee of a medical transcription service you are usually paid on a production level (such as a per-word, per-line, or even per-record basis). There are many transcriptionists that are paid on production. Getting paid on production is basically a set rate for every line that you type. So the more you type the more you make.

One way to get paid is by 65-character line with spaces- A 65-character line with spaces is calculated as (characters + spaces) / 65

The easiest way of determining the line count of a document is to find out the total number of characters in the entire document and divide it by 65 (to find the number of characters in a document in Microsoft Word 2003, simply click on “Tools” on the top menu bar and then click on “Word Count” and if you have Microsoft Word 2007 the line count is at the left hand bottom (see example below) of your status bar. Click on “Words” at the left hand bottom status bar and a pop up with come out displaying several features such as the word count, character count, etc.


Below is an example using “Microsoft line counting” to calculate a line count of getting paid 8 cents per line:

Get the characters (with spaces) and let’s say it’s 60,000. Divide characters (with spaces) by 65. So it is 60,000/65 = 923.08 lines (Round number off to second decimal point if needed) and then x 0.08 = $73.84

Another way is VBC – Characters without spaces are also called Visible Black Characters (VBC).
A visible black character is defined as any printed letter, number, symbol, or punctuation mark, excluding all formatting (bold, underline, italics, table structure, spacing, etc.).

For example: The word F e r n a n d e z is in italics, underlined and bolded with a space between each letter; this is counted as nine characters. A line rate that excludes spaces is sometimes referred to as VBC rate (visible black character rate).

A 55 VBC line is roughly equivalent to a 65 character line that includes spaces. In my opinion, VBC count reduces your pay by about 30%, because you still have to hit the spacebar twice and return even though you are not paid for it, as in “standard” 65-character (with spaces) line count you get paid for everything. So an MT compensation at 9 cents per line (CPL) based on VBC is roughly equivalent to 6 CPL based on a “standard” line. (This will vary somewhat, depending on formatting, document type or other factors.) So in my opinion, standard 65-character is better.

Remember to always ask the payment method you are getting paid.