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2 cents worth

Posted By: Jeannal on 2006-06-18
In Reply to: Jeannal, here is some advice - it doesn't matter which company - just 2 cents

Thanks, I really think it depends on you and what you are comfortable doing.  I have worked some really bad jobs before, but as long as I did my job nothing everything went smoothly.

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3 cents worth
I just started doing QA for 3 cents a line.  It's my first shot at doing QA and just want QA experience, but I often feel I'm wasting my time since I'm doing this part time. My first check will be sad.
I just have to put my 2 cents worth in and
say that it has become ridiculous what companies are offering for those of us capable of editing, which requires years of being an MT and being well-versed in all specialties, etc. With all this experience, we're supposed to work for virtually nothing? I think not. I would plead with everyone on these boards not to accept low pay for editing...or for transcribing either. It has become sadder than sad.
My 2 cents worth

Every transcription company has something bad going on... In an effort to keep my stinky job, I won't tell you the name of the company, but here's what goes on.... 

They are cheating us out of line counts every day in may ways.. skimming money off the top.  Am working harder and more used to the account I'm on.  In the beginning, I had less reports transcribed and more lines than I make now... get it... more lines, more reports, less lines.  How can that possibly happen?  Checks are short... they make it impossible for you to hit your quota so they don't have to give you benefits. When I ask about this, they beat around the bush so you just don't get it - you end up scratching your head and saying WHAT !!!???

They want us to work all day and all night every day and night and try to make you feel guilty if you don't.

Okay, I'm off my soap box.  Later people.

Here's why it's not worth 2 cents...
You make the assumption that there is a consistent amount of work at your example of 9 cents/line. I have spent a very long time trying to find the right combination of work that would allow $18+ per hour. You are dismissing the *common* occurrence of overstaffing, losing accounts, low volumes, etc.

You really should read the legitimate problems and complaints that hard working MTs have before you lump us all in the 'spoiled' category. I am so spoiled I'd like to not have to choose between food and paying the utilities!

VR would have to pay 6.5 cents to be worth it... nm
what iswrong
My 2 cents worth

I never actually worked for MS Hicks.  However, I did test with her.  I have 14 years experience with psych transcription.  I was also the supervisor of 4 other MTs at a psychiatric clinic/hospital for 12 of the 14 years.  I tested with Ms. Hicks.  She never gave me a format to follow; so, I followed an example of one I was used to using.  She said my transcription was 100%; however, my formatting was wrong and said she could not follow someone who did not follow directions --   I told her that she never gave me a format to follow --- she basically said tough luck. 

On another note, I even find her advertisement looking for an MT as condescending.

Personally, I would not work for her.



No work, my 2 cents worth
We are human resources. I hate the word. That makes us disposable commodities instead of real people. This business is like being thrown into a shark tank.
Right on Jasper, I'm with ya - my 1.4 cents worth
Aubri - my 2 cents worth
Forgive me if this comes through twice - I got sideswiped by the need to validate my email, etc... have not been on the boards in a long while!  I agree with the above post, seems like there are some angry folks out there....  I've been with AuBri on and off for many years. I'm currently working part time for them (while managing my own transcription service company, since finding additional work for myself meant that I did not have to lay off my people!).  I have found AuBri to be good peoples, who pay a fair line rate, and pay on time. The work is good, and steady so far (though that could change, 30 years at transcription tells me that!) and all in all, I'm very glad he had an opening for me when my own accounts started going to the Dragon, and suffering from the overall economic climate, etc....  I've been a service owner for 20 of the 30 years I've been in the business, and I'm enjoying switching back to more transcription and less management.  I've been on both sides of this, and I'm glad I called them!  Again, if this goes through twice - my apologies!  Back to work for me!
Your "Two Cents" is probably what you're worth per line.
What is average? 7 cents, 8 cents, 9 cents? 65-character?
I also work for 8 cents a line. I left a job typing OPs for 10-11 cents sm
to take a clinic job. I made an average of $17-18 an hour with OPs, now make $16-17 an hour, but the work is easier on me. I do not call that poor pay. I type 200+ lines an hour. True, it isn't the $26-27 an hour I was making 10 years ago at a hospital, but that's gone for good. I have excellent skills, make better than 99% on QA at any company I have worked for, and some of those have been very demanding.

I'm afraid the people that are expecting to make $20-30 an hour in MT are going to be disappointed. A few can still make that amount, but for the average good transcriptionist, the pay is much more likely to run $15-20. Benefits are pretty much gone. However, I feel that what I'm making is considerably above what I could make in another field, unless I decide to teach, which I will not do. Still, I make more than I would at Walmart or Burger King, or even a secretarial job. It's my choice. Good luck to you.
The mentoring program does not pay 8-1/2 cents per line. Believe it is like 6 cents.
Whether an MT is new or an editor, 4 cents a line is deeply insulting, and 9 cents per line isn't really too much better. You know, I understand that most of these MT companies want to save money, but most of them don't seem to want to pay what an MT's time and skills are really worth. Why not pay an MT who has been in the field for 7-10 years or more 15 or 20 cents per line? At least I might consider working for one of these companies at home if I were to be paid that much straight off the bat for having 12 years' experience, but I guess that would be too much like right...
Do they still pay you 5 cents a line and 2 cents if you send anything to QA?
I have a problem with 7 cents and 8 cents a line because
...when I started 15 years ago, my very first MT job started me out at 8 cents a gross line, then went to 9 cents a gross line after only a year. I was SOOO happy and proud of myself for choosing a profession that paid so well - I imagined myself making a lot of $$ once I had 10 or 15 years experience behind me...

Well that never happened; in fact, it all went backwards, pay wise. The company I worked for back then sold out to a national, and of course the pay was cut, and 9 cents a gross line was never to be had again, at least not that I could find. I am considered living in poverty now. I started out great but have ended up very badly.

I think my own personal problem is that it's hard for me to let go the fact that I made good money just starting out and how everything I had ever learned about jobs, careers and pay was that the more experience and education you have in a particular field, the more your pay goes up as each year passes. Well my pay has been consistently taking a nosedive for at least a decade now. I actually have to work MORE to make at least as much as I did years ago, and it's killing me health-wise as far as my wrists, my legs, my neck, my back....

It also kills me that I'm going to have to accept 7 or 8 cents a 65-character line when I made so much more than that 15 years ago.

I suppose to someone who's just starting out, 7 or 8 cents would seem pretty good, though. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to land any jobs with my resume. They may not want me with my years of experience, probably want a newbie who will be more grateful about such low pay. I dunno.

I could just kick myself for wasting money on MT school those years ago when I could've spent it on a career that would actually LAST and where I'd be making great money after being in the same field for 15 years. There's just no reward to this business. None at all, IMO.

I would NOT recommend this field to anyone just getting started. To me, it's a dead field.

I'd have more freedom working at McDonalds (for a number of reasons), and, believe me, I've been considering taking a local job around my home for minimum wage. At least I'd have a consistent paycheck and would know exactly what I'm getting every 2 weeks, then build from there as far as another job or two.

Well anyway that's all. I really need a job. I'm going down, going under, and it's a shame because I do very good work and have all this experience but no one seems to want me, even the low-paying companies. Oh well.
Few cents here, few cents there stolen from you by
I'll add my 5 cents to your 2 for 7 cents sm

I know an MT who sits on her laurels and whines about no work and only getting 9 cpl after 5 whole years of experience. She can type 3 specialties, won't touch an ESL, goofs off when there is work and whines when there is not. I have tried to help, but it is quite plain to me she doesn't want that help.

I have about 3 times the experience of the above MT. The only specialty I have not done is pathology. I have literally done everything else. I know the BOS 2 like the back of my hand and I have outstanding accuracy scores (even if I can't type straight here). I work as an employee and make a base rate of 8.5 cpl, which I never get because I always have some of the different incentives offered. I regularly turn that 8.5 cpl into $25 an hour and at my PT job where I get 10 cpl and faster software, I can turn that into $32.50 an hour.

I have heard, more times than I can count from other MTs that they wish they could have my income. I can tell they why they don't. It is called hang out to complain on a message board like MTStars. It is doing everything, BUT your work on your shift. It is your lack of a willingness to learn new things, even if they slow you down some. This very year, recently in fact, I was put on straight cardiology procedure notes and I didn't worry for a second that I would suffer financially. I AM FLEXIBLE and that, in a nutshell, is why most MTs will not succeed.

A long time ago I realized that if I want more money, I was going to have to work SMART, not hard. In my 15 years, I now make 5 times what I did my first year and at the same exact line rate I had then! I spend less time working to achieve that these days. So no, I can't agree with your sky is falling routine.

Most of you...your attitudes suck. If I had to have you on site as my employees, you would not last 15 minutes. The first time I heard you at the water cooler whining about your pay, I'd fire your fanny so fast it would make your head SWIM. I have eyes in the back of my head too, so when you started making that stink face you are making right now, I'd have sacked you for that, on the spot, no warning and no day's pay. The ONLY reason you all get away with this is that you THINK no one who knows you is watching and that your respective contract holders can't figure out who you are.

By and large, I can't tolerate other MTs as friends. I find them lazy, self-absorbed whiners and complainers with some the worst negative attitudes I have EVER seen! If you hate MT so very much GO GET A JOB DOING SOMETHING ELSE. I can tell you, your bad attitude, your tendency to complain, whine, witch (with a capital B), moan and ALWAYS see the most negative side of everything...THAT crap will follow you to that new career and it won't be any better than this one. You have issues and I really think they are issues for a good therapist. They are called personality disorders and many of you have them in multiples and in spades!

I think you should be completely and utterly ashamed of yourselves. Too many people are out of work, homeless, and starving this Christmas to be so opinionated and selfish.
WHY isn't it worth it?
For what it's worth ...
I don't know about smaller nationals, but Spheris doesn't pay for those things either. If you run out of work, you can flex your time and make it up. If you don't want to do that and had rather have the time off you are allowed to do so. If you cannot get it made up AND you don't have PTO to pay yourself, then you still file for PTO and it covers you as far as failing to make minimum production -- that way you're not in trouble.

When I first started with TEM (now Spheris), they paid downtime by the hour but cut that out with their new pay plan about a year or more ago.

I don't know of any remote company that pays only on a production basis that would really afford such an offer -- paying downtime for no work. The hospital I used to work for has remote employees but they are all paid by the hour, period (yes, even at home) with incentive that pays out an extra hourly for production. If you are going to be down for 2 hours in a day, you are expected to drive to the hospital and work your day or flex it to a later time or PTO the missing time.

I'm not saying I agree with it or am thrilled about that situation but MQ is not the only company and, in fact, I would think right in line with everyone else.
Definitely worth it!
go for it
I think DRC - they'd be worth a try. nm
Keep trying. It is worth it. nm
Not worth it

The 12-hour window was nice and the account I was on was great. The people were nice but the payscale was just too low. Like many others have stated nice doesn't pay the bills.

The whole training in Trinidad and other countries really irked me too. The way it was presented and handled just stunk.

You are worth more than that
I have about half your experience and make more than that. You deserve better. But, I do agree with you since I make less than I did 5 years ago that the industry is drowning.
worth a try

All of the companies that I have left told me before doing so that I was welcome back at any time.  You never know if that rings true or not until you ask for your job back. 

I asked for my job back at 3 places....

The first one accepted me back no problems but had to jump through all of the hoops again.  I decided after receiving ALL OF THE paperwork late that that is basically the reason I left in the first place (lack of any kind of decent communication) - also noticing that the send back by date on my paperwork was due 3 days before the overnight package even got to me (if that tells you anything).  Plus I wasn't able to get an old account back (that I knew had the work) so I would be going back into a situation where I might or might not have work again.  From the looks of it would be running out frequently.

So, I decided to stick with the place I was with - hoping the workflow got better and that I would actually start making a paycheck again - It didn't.

I asked for my job back with the other place - they got back to my inquiry within minutes telling me I could come back!  Boy was I thrilled.  I left to test the waters with VR because I thought it would be easier for me -- boy was I wrong and stupid.  I've been back there for a month now and couldn't be happier!!!!!!  I've been through H*LL the past few months with companies and it makes you appreciate what you did have. 

The third one, well, I didn't burn any bridges (minus leaving the in the first place which I think made her angry) - it was one place that I was sure would accept me back - or at least send me an I'm sorry we dont have any positions at this time.  that is the kind of work relationship I thought we had -- because I bent over backwards for them as an IC basically 7 days a week.  I do know the e-mail was sent and received (basically as soon as it was sent) and I never received a response back.  Then again, thinking back on it, when I said that I was leaving (twice) first time never got a response, second time I got the coldest response out of any company that I have ever been with and I was with this one for almost 2 years making 7 cpl IC.  So, I guess I saw the true colors then and regret now even asking for a position back with them. I can't believe I was willing to take a 2 cent pay loss to go back. 

SOOO-- moral of my story is -- follow your heart on this one. You left, match up the reasons why you left to is it WORTH going back.  If it is worth it, don't waste your tiem in asking for your position back!! 

Good Luck to you!!! 


Not worth it
TTS - This lady is actually contracting MTs to work for the company she works for. Very poor communication, much chaos. Pay not dependable and on time, although I did get all money owed but was such a hassle, not worth it!

No, not worth it
Editing by the line can be profitable, but not with this company.  Reason being just about all the work is typed offshore and needs to be listened to, even though some are just said to be read throughs.  There is also a constant lack of work.  The changes are what drove me out the door.  Person after person just GONE.  I had an account manager who had been there more than 10 years and just all of a sudden her job was gone.  The HR lady is GONE, the other HR person is now helping manage accounts.  No new accounts in ages.  No information is the worst thing, people leaving, pay dropping, and no explanation why.  They used to be an awesome company, but not now.
Why is it that men know what they are worth...
...and most women have that 'awesome' attitude in your opinion that we do not count, do not matter, and should be happy just to have a jobs, no matter how we are treated, how low we have to go, how much heavier the work load gets year after year...

sorry, but that attitude is not going to get your anywhere but the unemployment line in the long run...good luck with that.

When your companies start weeding you out, because they WILL eventually, get back to us on how great they are and how happy you are about it.

Seems like you not only agree with that, but you like it.
We always think we are worth more, don't we? (sm)

LOL - seriously though, this profession is not what it was 10 or so years ago.  I am very happy at TT.  They are very easy to work with, I love their platform, and I especially like the tech support which was practically nonexistent where I was before.  I plan on retiring from this company.

Job not worth it
I know how you feel. Now they are going to be cutting our holiday incentive in half too. We only get 2 holidays now as it is.
Not worth it at all

I have done seminars, meetings and all of the above.  With everyone talking very hard to do.  In 60 minutes of taping,  I easly got over $100 for line counts so $50 is WAY UNDERPAYMENT.   Again it is not easy to do.  I did a three day seminar once and make close to $1000 but it was an orthopedic one and with all the questions, etc. very hard to understand and lots of blanks.   No way you can get 98% accuracy and if you have to look over all the presentation material to see what they are talking about, you are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy down there for pay.  My two cents worth.



Definitely not worth it.
I made $52,000 one year. No social life, bad health, bad attitude, and that aged me about 10 years in one year. I worked in a transcription office all day, went home, ate dinner, and worked until I could no longer see, finally crashing on the bed (if I made if that far) around 2 a.m. Why did I do it? Looking back 10 years later, I have no freaking idea. It definitely wasn't worth it and I would never, ever do it again. I've learned to live with less, changed my spending habits, and now, as an IC, I take off when I feel like it. My life is way more important than my annual income.
please say it was worth it lol

What I am saying is, and take it for what it is worth....
Leads usually have quotas too. Work is directed to other transcriptionists and even though they say it is first in first out, that is usually not true! If you have a way to see who is working, what jobs they are getting you will see this is true. What she said was she took a stand for no work, realizes that the consequences were and went with it. Do you know how much time and lines you lose checking back and back for work? They could have let her go as most companies probably would or maybe a higher up would do something about the unfairness, though I doubt it. It is not going to change until we make it change, I certainly don't have an answer but when you cannot see what is in the dictation pool and leads and managers know this, anything can be done to you and is. Leads have quotas too and they also know where the dictation is. Probably how the girl got dictation, she knew probaby the person would be asked why she was quitting. No Transcriptionist that is solely working on line count is stealing dictation from you, you know that. She just got lucky. You should be mad that her company would give her jobs that should have gone to everybody working, where were they that they could be produced. You said it was showing no work for you. I am on your side too because it happens to me too.
MT worth
I see a lot of people say pay me what I am worth, so I would like to know - what do we think MT is worth and how did you come to that figure? What do you do to make yourself worth that? Do you proofread? Do you follow the BOS or whatever the client preference is? Do you know proper grammar, punctuation, etc? I am really curious as to what the consensus is on what an MT is worth and why? I am starting my own business, lining up several accounts, and looking to work with only the best. What things do you look for from a company? What is most important to you? What would make you want to work with someone or not work with them?
Worth of MT......sm

I would have to wonder also, would MTs rather be paid production or hourly? When I was paid hourly I had the time to proofread, research terms and do a fantastic job, however, when I went production, it is just produce, produce, produce. Don't get me wrong, I still research terms, I never guess what a doc might be trying to say, but, I will only listen for so long before leaving a blank, but, when I was hourly I might take the time to look at a previous report for the same doc or a previous report for the patient. 

I am wondering if MTs paid hourly, with the same benefits as most full time employees, such as paid time off, paid holidays, health benefits, retirement plans might not show more accuracy and feel more appreciated and therefore do a better job.

You have great questions, I would like to hear what others have to say.

I don't know how to determine what pay should be, however, I know what I make compared to many on these boards and I can say I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage on what some of these companies want to pay. For an educated Transcriptionist with 3-5 years experience, I don't think $26-30k is out of the question. There are some on here that may make more than that, there are probably some that make less.

Anyone else have a figure that they think is fair?

Not worth it. (sm)
Crappy pay. Expect lies when they lose accounts and have no work for days on end, and the worst part, it's not true IC - they expect you to keep the schedule you set in the beginning. Yes, you get to set it, however.... when I was interviewing on the phone, the VP asked me to hold on while she IM'd some people asking where the hell they were because they were supposed to be working and weren't sticking to their schedules. They called me once at 8 a.m. on a Sunday asking me why I wasn't working, even though I worked second shift! I was an idiot. Don't make the same mistake I did.
Not worth it for me,
I do 325-350 LPH, so VR would be a huge paycut for me. No thanks!
How can this be worth it?
Do these companies actually save any money sending the work to India? If it still has to go through multiple people to get a legible document, how much could they be saving? I hope it is worth what is happening to the US workers (in all fields) here who are left either jobless or making the same salary they made 15 years ago. I have no ill feeling towards the Indian MTs. I understand that they do what they have to do to make a living, but something needs to be done about companies paying foreigners ridiculously low wages so they can make a higher profit.
is it worth it....

Recently hired by OSi.  When the tech went to install the software, he said he couldn't because I had Editscript installed.  I use Editscript for another part-time job and really don't want to take it off, however, he told me he could not install their software unless I removed Editscript. 

 I guess my question is two-fold from anyone with similar experience.  Does OSi keep you busy?  And, is it necessary to remove another software platform just because you work for more than one company?

Please. WMX is not worth 2 more SM
months (and maybe longer than that) of sitting around.  Work runs dry often.  The OP should just move on, nothing special about the company at all. 
I'm not so sure 8 cpl is worth

Needs 2nd or 3rd shift, flexible hours, but they need to know when you are working.  I find that a little odd.  I don't know who they subcontract for, but I would think a little higher line rate for IC status and 2nd and 3rd shifts would be in order.  I could be wrong on all accounts though! 

TSSC definitely worth it. sm

I just started with TSSC 6 months ago.  I think it was the best move I could make.  I have assigned accounts. I know when my work is coming and don't have to worry about it being given to someone else.   Pay is never an issue. They have direct deposit and set paydays.  No waiting for the check to come.  

I have been there through the changes and agree that it has been worth it
staying. I use the benefits and they are actually good. They do pay a portion of the health insurance but I do not think everyone knows this as they only give the employee portion when quoting.

My DD was late once by one day. Not a biggie as we knew in advance. Less important as they have a system of double checking the dates so it does not happen again.
that is sad, you're right, NO job is worth all that
Thats nobody's fault but your own, go get what your worth!!
There are too many companies out there that will pay you what your worth, why settle?
That's about 17 million more than he's worth. nm
Is it worth it to you to pay more for insurance and such...sm
to work for a smaller company that does not offshore compared to paying less for insurance, having smaller deductibles, but working for a company that does send work to India?  I just left a large national that had great benefits, fairly inexpensive insurance with low deductibles to work for a smaller American owned service that does not offshore, but now I have to pay more for insurance and such, but I really feel like it is worth it to be treated like a person, not a number.  What do you think?  What would you do? Just curious. 
Benefits are worth a lot
If they offer great health insurance, I would say that is good.  Also paid time off and holidays.  They probably give raises every year. 
The Truth - for what it is worth on here....
I worked for Nicholas Transcription for around 7 years as one of the main editors on about 1/2 of their accounts. I recently left the company because it was time to move on and I kicked my small MTSO into high gear.

When you sign on with Nicholas, your contract clearly states that you get paid when they get paid by the client. For some of the accounts - that is weekly - for others it is semi-monthly or monthly. You know this going in - she is very up front about it and it is clearly stated in the contract for services.

The accounts are cream of the crop honestly - and I have been doing this type of work (MT and editing) for many many moons.

The accounts are steady - you have the same accounts daily and the volume is as much or as little as you care to dedicate your time to.

If you want to put in a decent days work for a decent days pay - then this is an excellent MTSO to work for. If you want to try to 'get by' and job out your work - look elsewhere.

They are flexible with scheduling and very easy to get along with. I know first hand that they are undergoing a lot of changes in the setup and flow of work through the office. They are streamlining things so that they can grow even more.

When you work in this business as an IC - you know that a payday every week is rare, and often unheard of. They do pay weekly on the invoices that have been paid by the clients. They even do direct deposit for ICs, which is super nice and not offered by most MTSOs.

So if you are an MT or an Editor worth their salt, you will give this MTSO a fair shake. I can basically say - if you are asked to leave this service - you were basically not doing your job - and for some time on that - because they will work with you and bend over backwards to accommodate you and your skill level.

I put my name on this post because I choose not to hide behind a blurbed name - I think if you are going to post on these boards, you should be honest, fair, and be able to back up what you say. If you cannot put your name on it - then why bother to clutter the boards with junk - plain and simple.