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Hourly pay versus production pay

Posted By: Sim on 2009-05-19
In Reply to:

Are there any of you who made the transition from an hourly paying job to a production-based job?  If so, how did it turn out for you?

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If an MT is paid hourly, then the law states that OT is mandatory.  But, "certain computer related occupations" per the Department of Labor, are considered exempt.  I tried to find the right web page for it, but I couldn't find it.  I know that even my husband, who works by production, does not get paid OT.  Most times they will offer an incentive when they want the work to get done faster, but no OT.  If anyone finds the link, let us know! 
Paid production/hourly

To those of you who are paid production (other than MQ) - are you limited to working 39 hours a week? I don't understand being paid by the line, yet being treated as an hourly worker. Just curious as to whether this is the norm at other places. 

editing pay hourly or production
I'm currently working editing newbies and am getting paid by the hour.  I really enjoy it and feel my 32 years of MT knowledge is being put to good use; however, next month the company is changing editors to production pay and I will probably quit.  I don't think I can make any money and still do a good job.  Do most companies paid editors on production?  Seems counterproductive to me. 
are you paid by production or hourly?
Depends on whether you are paid hourly or on production.

If you are paid on production, then I wouldn't even spend five minutes researching a physicians name because it's the MTSOs responsibility to make sure have up to date physician lists available to you.  Nothing irks me more than starting a new job with an MTSO who expects you to hit the ground running, but gives you very little to start with!

If you are paid hourly, then I would spend up to 10 minutes trying to figure something out.

quality versus production
I would say they are keeping you hostage with this 99% stuff. You should be reading as you go, then spell checking and move on. Try making some more $ that way, then if your quality dips slow down. We all make mistakes, we arenot machines. It sounds like you are afraid to have amistake and itis tying up your hands. Don't you love how these companies work??? They get you one way or the other.
Needing to make a decision... hourly or production...
If you had the choice between a shift lead type position at somewhere between $14 to $16 an hour or production on an account with a lot of normals.  The shift lead gets you experience editing, supervising, etc., but the production account you are just transcribing. You can make a lot more money at the production job, but the shift lead will get you started in a more management type of position, which would you choose? You will be stuck at that hourly wage with the lead position, but there are possiblities of moving up with the company.  But, the money on the other account is quite good, as there are a lot of free lines.  I am just so confused and have to make a decision, as I cannot work them both at the same time.   Any suggestions, comments, or feedback?  Thanks. 
Nope. We get paid production too. Unfortunately, hourly QA is out the door.
They are fewer and farther between than you could imagine. AND, for those of us who have been fortunate enough to be paid production (I'm one of the unfortunate CBay editors who was fired just before Christmas.)
QA Pay Preference -- hourly versus per line? SM

I've been offered two QA jobs; one that pays $15 per hour and one that pays 4 cpl.  I'm told that I can make more than $15 per hour on production because you get credit for all lines in a report, even if you make only one correction.  So I figured that to make the equivalent of $15 per hour, I would have to QA 3000 lines a day.  So here's my question, is 3000 lines of QA in an 8 hour day feasible and is it possible to do more lines than that in an 8 hour day?

Both offer employee status, benefits, etc.  Benefit plans are pretty much exactly the same down to the same health insurance company. 

you just described the hourly fram of mind, production is driven, or lose.
period. You could benefit from in-house-paid-breaks employment and the pay that comes with it.

the difference between being business and being someone else's business.

We paid hourly with incentive for high production. So she's making money when she's just
sitting there.  I don't know if it is a habit or not because this is the first time I've really had to work with her for any length of time.  I usually only work a couple of hours a day with her when our shifts overlap.  I think I'm definitely going to ask the girl I'm filling in for what she thinks about her.
I work for an agency, type for a major hospital - no hourly wage - just production. nm
65 character line versus gross lines versus pay by word

I am checking into other options for transcription.  Can anyone tell me how to compare all of these types of lines & also payment per word?  I know companies use different scales, so I wondered how they compare.  I have been paid on a 65 character line with spaces, but I may be making a change in the future - don't want to get burned.

Thank you in advance!

Question versus gross lines versus 65-character lines....

I have always charged or been paid by 65 or 60 character lines or per letter or space typed, but have never been paid or charged per gross line.

What is the advantage of this?  If I were to charge 11 cents per 65-character line including spaces, what does this figure out to for an average line rate and how do you do this calculation? 

I'm wondering if it is financially beneficial for me to bill by gross line or to keep it the way I have it.  I do know some accounts will only pay per 65-character line, as this was the deal my first own account I recently acquired.  They were adamant on a 65-character line, but didn't specify with or without spaces and I personally would never not charge for spaces.

Thanks for explaining this.  I appreciate it and hope everyone has a speedy day.

Thank you. Think-----hourly!!! Do not sm
accept less than an hourly wage and a reasonable one at that.
Hourly plus

A hospital where I worked long ago (in a galaxy not far away) had a hybrid pay system- a basic hourly rate plus incentive bonus for production over a certain amount.  I think this is the fairest way, because sometimes I'm fast and sometimes I'm slow, but I'm always accurate.  My first transcription supervisor back in the dark ages said "No one who reads that report will know or care how many lines you type per hour.  They only know what that report looks like".  I still believe that.

Hourly sm
Though there are a lot of variables you haven't told us, on face value I'd say hourly. I've done both, and hourly has paid better.

With MT you usually can't transcribe hour after hour nonstop (or at least you won't be doing so for many years if that's your pattern). Therefore, when figuring your actual earnings you need to include time you have to rest between transcribing to get your true hourly earnings.

As an MT this scenario is typical at so many companies: Get up early. Check for work. Do what's left. Get 7 great jobs that have you flying along thinking you're going to make a ton today. Suddenly run into Dr. X, ESL from hell, and watch your great production day go to pot. Fight for jobs at end of payperiods. Bounce around on accounts. Cry a lot as you worry about your bills.

With hourly lead position, you've suddenly opened up your possibilities. There will always be work for you. You now have more than just MT on your resume. You can also get up and go to the bathroom during work without worrying that it's cutting into your lines per hour. You may work more than 40 hours a week, but it will be actual work, not sitting there waiting for jobs to trickle in, not resting between transcription periods.

It may be stressful at times, but so is MT when you're worrying about meeting bills and having a consistent paycheck when work volumes fluctuate. It's also an investment in your future. You can possibly grow from there to be supervisor, recruiter, trainer, or use your management skills to GET OUT of this field and get into something else.

I've done both in many different ways, and would recommend the hourly.
...and with my level of experience, $16.50 or more per hour.
Hourly QA Pay
Just wondering what average hourly QA pay is? I've been QA'ing for 2 years now, but have always been paid by the line and not sure what to quote for hourly. I live on the East coast. Thanks.
yes it's hourly
But no pay when not working.
I went hourly

I went hourly....kinda.  My advantage is that I know what my paycheck will be and I don't have to worry about the difficult dictators that take FOREVER!  I am also paid for tech time and during phone calls and software issues.  On the negative side, production does nothing for me at all.  BUT, then again, what I make is about the same as 220 lines an hour.  I do get raises just like everyone else.  If there was never a chance for a raise, I would not do it.

I also went hourly...
For a bit over $16/hour with yearly raises. I love it! I don't have to worry about my paycheck if I have a bad couple of days, and it's just a much less stressful situation. Of course, in my old production pay job, I had the worst account ever, so I may be biased.
What have you been getting as an hourly wage?
Figure out what you make per hour now -- but be sure that you figure in if there is going to be difficulty doing his typing, formatting, background noise, etc.  I would say anywhere from $20 to $25 per hour. 
We were all hourly employees at that time. We were so trusting or ??? that we couldn't figure out how she kept getting such good numbers on production sheets. She was always on top. Duh! Of course she was, since she was using us to "create" her success. They (HR) told us that couldn't happen until we showed them how to do it. Accidentally, I found out when a colleague and I "switched" stations so she could try out my new keyboard for a report or two and then we realized we were "on each other's number" so we went in to change them and that is when it came to us that this must be what was going on with her. Sure enough, when we got out the logs (handwritten for our own eyes only log things we just kept for ourselves) there it was, our jobs had magically converted to her jobs! It was sad and backstabbing too!
Transcription Plus I believe. I am not sure of their web site but I think they pay hourly.
$12.70/hour. Is that too low? On a side note, I have a B.S. in Management and have never figured out a way to use it and still work from home. 
hourly pay
Those days are long gone. You might be able to find one if you really scoured the internet and hospitals all over America.

If my memory serves me right, people were more productive on hourly pay with OT thrown when work levels were high. My rationale for saying this is that the work environment was more cooperative than competitive. This led to more job satisfaction and thus more productivity and less down time.
Just enough to cut into my production. nm
Don't "P" off your coordinator! lol
 I have been transcribing for over a year now and I STILL cannot produce 1200 lines a day.  Sometimes I have to work 8 hours to do 900.  What is my problem?  My account manager says most transcriptionists can do 1200 lines in 6 hours.  Please tell me how you do it!!!  I have developed a good Expander vocabulary...
There are a lot of variables in this issue.  I know when I have op notes or certain ESL dictators and lots of discharge summaries, my line count drops tremendously.  If I have ER notes which I love, I can do a lot more.  What are your report types?
I have two accts that i can type at least 500 lines per hour!
Production QA
I was looking into a QA/editor position being paid per line.  (5 cpl)  Does anyone have any suggestions on whether to look into this more?  I've been a Transcriptionist for 10 years and I am interested in a different position than typing now.  Any advice would be very helpful.  From what I understand (??) it is US-based MTs with 100% read throughs on average ESL accounts.
production pay

I'm sure with your 15+ years of experience and your speed you will do very well pay-wise.  Be sure your internet research skills are honed and this will make you even more successful.  You may want to try and find an account that is all cardiology or all operative notes if you really want to hit the ground running.  Good luck to you! 

Please try doing more ops. Your production SM
will increase because the doctors dictate faster and some will say the same thing over and over. You can make samples of their standard reports.

Speaking of samples, can your supervisor send you some? Ask to be sent specific op reports such as ob and ortho. Those are the ones the doctors say the same stuff all the time. Try mastering one specialty at a time.

You will be doing yourself a favor by learning to do more report types.

I know this isn't answering your original question, but I would really like to encourage you to try them. I know you can do it! :)
I am on production too s/m

does anyone ever think of that?  Everyone keeps saying we are paid to fill in their work, but does anyone ever consider that I get paid by how many jobs I do in a day?  Filling in 20 blanks on 1 report versus filling in 1 blank on 20 reports makes a difference to me.  Nobody ever thinks a lot of us get paid just like you do, by how much work we produce.

How long does it take to get up to 1200 lines?  I've been reading the posts on cafemt.com and I can't believe some of those people get 2000 lines.  How do they do that?  Any suggestions would be great.  thanks.
i average 12-1400 L/day but that is on a 6-7 hr workday. I do acute care, lots of chunk-type expanders, very few 'normals', mostly decent dictators. On days with more diffi dictators, too many short reports, etc, its good if i average 170/lph. i'm not that fast but i get up to 260 lph at times, yet average 200/lph. i've been at this several decades, but take more time than many (probably) to research something or verify accuracy too. i take lots of breaks too, so it stretches my day out. On the other hand, i have, in my years, seen some extremely fast typists, and people who can stay put in the chair a long time. if you have the knowledge, stay put and build momentum and are naturally fast, i can see being able to do 2000-2500 a day with quality. but maybe you burn out or stress your arm nerves too much in a shorter time.
Okay, you might have some good points but how come the majority of us, who loved our jobs and made great $$ on any and all of our accts are having the exact same problems, the exact same worries at the same time? 
500 lines an hour are 12.5 pages! A page has usually 40 lines.
There are people who cannot even read so fast.
I bet all is Expanders and mormals.

LOT more to MT than just production. sm

Maybe you worked at one of those very rare places where they compensated a MT for her knowledge and expertise and not just her production.   

Also regarding production
None of us can compare ourselves anyway because there are so many factors involved in determining how many lines get done. Within my own accounts, mine vary up to 70 lph, and I swear I am working harder on the slow days!!
VR Production
Does anyone consistently edit 450 lines per hour on EXT VR? That is what I need to do to keep my salary the same and so far I am not even up to 300 lines per hour. Any suggestions to improve my line count would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Much better for me on production

I worked in house for about four months last year and went back home.  Hated the office politics crap, but I made significantly more per hour at home than I did in the office.  I was considered a newbie and so wasn't paid as much  hourly as the women who had been doing it for years.  Because I'm MUCH faster than they are, though, I make more than they do working from my home.

It all depends on your line rate and your speed, and what you think good money is.

wow - someone is getting cheated on hourly - sm
Let's face it, a facility will do their darndest to start out an employee at a low rate and then slowly bring them up. But for the Lafayette area, the pay should be (AND IS EXPECTED TO BE) around $12-13/hour.

Opelousas - a while back there was a hospital in that area that had an opening for a transcriptionist.

I disagree with the hourly rate.  I like to know that I get paid for the amount that I produce.  It would really be hard to regulate an hourly scale.  If you feel bad now how would you feel knowing that someone is goofing off or typing slower or whatever and getting the same rate of pay that you get?   I have a couple of subs and I know about how long it takes to do one of the psych reports but how could I know what that person is doing.   I really think that the hospitals/accounts would have a problem with this especially with us working at home.    Also how could we clock in and out at an hourly rate.  I am a pretty trusting person and trustworthy but there are times I stop and take a break and go to this board, etc.  That is why they went to the per line charge. 

And yes, I can do 2500 lines per day. For one account last month I had them keep track of the errors that they found and it was 5 out of 10,.973 lines for that month.  So I feel I do a good job but if I were to go to hourly I would lose money as with this account it takes me about 30 to 35 hours a month with delivery, printing, etc. to make $1100  to 1200 a month.   They would not pay me $35 to 40 an hour. 


Editor hourly pay??

After years as an MT, I'm thinking of switching to Editing...Can anyone please tell me what is the standard hourly rate to request for an Editor? BTW I live in the Midwest with a fairly low cost of living. Thank you!

That is a low hourly rate. I would look
elsewhere. That is below normal.
We do get hourly wage

during down-time and the only approved down-time is meetings and computer malfunction.  Lack of work was not approved so if there is lots of work available we have no worries, if not then we will be scrounging around for work.  I don't have time for that.

I will have to ask my supe if that is how it is because that is how I understand it.  If so, I maybe putting in my 2 weeks notice.

hourly rate
What is the going HOURLY rate for a MT (independent contractor) that would be competitive.