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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

Per line - could never make much per hour.

Posted By: Green-Eyes on 2006-11-17
In Reply to: I make 8.5 cents per line sm - share what?

I do 350-400 lph at 12 cpl - no one will pay me what I make by the hour! Per line is the way to go, plus keep your flexibility.

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If you are paid by the line and make over $25 an hour, then I hate to say it

but I am wondering if you are doing full QA.  By the line is NOT fair pay for QA.  I know I mentor new MTs on a very difficult account and there is no way you could earn a decent wage on any amount of line pay, no way!

Don't go telling someone they could do better if they are paid by the line.  Quality specialists MUST have ethics in their work.  You can do a decent amount of reports a day and give feedback and mentoring, but you certainly would not be earning $25 an hour on line pay that I have seen....just no way!  The most I have seen QA paid is 7 cents a line and still those women do not average that amount. 

Now, I don't know what you do or if you listen 100%, but most QA positions I have had have had megablanks, 100% listen as well as 100% feedback and you just cannot produce that much doing your job in a proper manner.

make $20 an hour plus 4 cents gross line
No - not worth 12 bucks an hour when you can make triple that by the line, sm
but that all depends on what company and VR platform you are talking about.
not a liar, not an old person, I make waaaaay over $20/hour, probably double (CA, .15-.17 line) sm

I have two accounts of my own and do vacation coverage for a few other MTs as well as occassional work for a lawyer and a psychologist.  I charge .15 for one clinic and .17 for the other clinic... clinic #2 is a husband/wife neurologist team, and the husband was a major A&& at first... with a very strong accent and every possible bad dictator habit you can imagine.  I told wife I would transcribe for her, but not for him, I had plenty of business.  She said charge whatever you want, have whatever turnaround time you want, just please don't leave.  At the time they were at .12... so I upped them to .17.  That was 5 years ago and now after having gotten to know him and his *quirks* I adore them both.  I am an IC, but they give me very large gift cards for Christmas, kind of in lieu of a bonus, I guess. 

Clinic #2... just this week took on another physician and I told them point blank it was too much for me to provide quick service and they may want to consider a service.  They said no way, we changed the turnaround time to one week with stats as needed.  I even asked them if they considered voice recognition and the office manager laughed and laughed. 

I am just now putting both clinics on digital, and after the initial cost, this will increase my estimated hourly wage as it will take away my delivery time and cost, and my paper and ink printing cost and time.  Though I still plan to visit each office on a regular basis for customer service and because I know my customer service is what got me here in the first place.

For the *occasional* work, the lawyer and pysch I charge $50/transcription hour. 

I know you will all doubt me.  But I work extremely hard, have put in my time with my education - not just learning MT but learning the ropes of running a business and how to do everything smarter, faster, and in the most efficient and sensible way possible.  I also have another business I do in a totally different field!  I am very blessed.  Well, I also know the fields I have chosen were perfect for me, and also I've had good luck.  You know what I think though?  I think my sense of humor and just being as honest and open and observant as possible has made this possible. 

I appreciate your responses. I had an option of line vs hour ($14/hour) but if line pays more...nm
What is the average line/hour for a 65 character line with spaces? NM
I make over $20 an hour
and I do VR work with some text, mostly VR. I live in Georgia but unable to tell you where I work as the last time the company THOUGHT I was recommending, was told in no certain terms they did that. Well, excuse me.....
what do you need to MAKE per hour? take that x 3 and that's your ans. (sm)

When you are an independent contractor, you have to pay ungodly taxes just to start out with.

You have overhead etc.


So say you need to make at least $10 an hour (my gawd you can make $10 an hour at WalMart! running a cash register)....

anyway, if you want to make $10 an hour after taxes and overhead -- then you need to be charging at least $30 an hour. 

Now how long it takes for you to produce $30 an hour worth of work is yours to figure out.  If it's difficult work, you better charge a lot more than 7.5 cents a line (at 65 characters per line remember!/not 80 or 90 characters)

If its easy clinic work or ER work, then charging something like 12 or 13 cents a line would get you about what you need.

If its difficult work from a medical records in a hospital where you have op notes and tons of docs, you need to charge probably 15 to 20 cents a line.


There are so many hidden costs that docs don't want you to remember.

Those down times when your computer gets fried.

New programs, updates (again down time plus cost of updates)

New computers because everything goes out of date and you can't fix the computer because nothing is compatible anymore.

The updates on the internet costs - faster speed - the increase in costs from the internet company.

You get sick and just can't type - or family is sick.  There is no sick time to draw from -- you just hope you have some money saved - which you can't save if you are charging 7.5 cents a line as an IC.

Getting the picture yet?

Then there is the fax machine you probably need to be a proper business and the cell phone for when they just have to contact you.

The heat and a/c to keep you going at home that would not be running if you were at an office all day. 


I tell them they might make $25 to $30 in 8-hour day...
...when first starting out.  I used to get asked, often by the same people several times, until I started breaking it down into financial specifics.  Nobody wants to hear that and they don't ask again.  Most people ask me about transcription to "make a little extra money".  I tell them that I had to look at my first MT job as an internship, making less than minimum wage to get experience while being home with my daughter (we were stationed in Hawaii when she was an infant/toddler - admin jobs paid $6 an hour and daycare, like everything else there, was outrageously expensive unless you could get on the base waiting list so working out of the home was not feasible).  I explain that entry level pay for many companies is 6 cents a line.  I tell them that training programs give basics, real learning is acquired on the job and much of their day will be consumed looking up unfamiliar words, drugs/capitalization, etc.  I explain that many doctors are foreign, have tough accents and/or speak quickly which also hampers production.  Once they get the picture that 10 years' experience is what allows me to pay the bills, I no longer get repeated questions from the preacher or fireman who may think that typing fast enough to keep up an IM converasation and having WebMD in your favorites are all skills and resources you need to do this job.    
At 18 cpl, yes, I make sometimes $50 an hour. nm
Please tell me where I can make $20 an hour!
I left QA a couple of years ago because the company I worked for started paying per line for QA and then I noticed a lot of MTSOs following suit.  I would love to be paid $20 an hour for doing QA.  And I'm not talking SR editing, I'm talking QA, editing the MT for quality.  A lot MTSOs don't know the difference!
I can make up to $40 per hour....
But the keyword is CAN.  I don't always make that, but when I'm in a pool of one GOOD dictator, it is easily done.  I love those days.  If I could do that all the time I would be in business.  I think there are too many variants to determine an exact hourly wage.
I make $43.50/hour and my doc knows that it takes me - sm
three hours to do his tape from transcribing to printing.

If I even went to him and said "I want to charge for the copies," you can bet he would be looking for a new transcriptionist. He has had plenty of offers from other transcriptionists to do his work at a lower rate, but he likes my work, and I will not jeopardize that whatsoever.

My ink costs me $32/month, which is an expense write off.
350 lph when when a majority of us don't even make $10 an hour out here?! What are you asking us
I do MT and make about $35-40 an hour. It can be done and is out there. Keep the faith! nm
It varies but make between $12 and $16 an hour - nm
Wow, I make $15 an hour as an editor and ...sm
thought I was doing pretty good. I can make more per hour line wise, but I get easily distracted, which causes me after 8 hours to do very badly. ;o(
If I worked an 8 hour day I could make that much
money.   I only work about 5 hours day and make good money, but I have a good platform, paid for gross lines, fairly easy to get lines, etc.   I am an employee too. 
You are pathetic. I make $35 an hour with
you would make some money.  Instead you want to stir up trouble and complain.  Why not look at what you DO have instead of what you DON'T have? The reason I am in MT is because I make $35 an hour and I can't make that anywhere else.  If you don't believe it, I don't care.  I'll go back to my work now and make some money, and you can sit on this board and b*tch and make nothing.  And it's your own fault!
I agree. I make 8 cpl and get $29.00/hour
you have to stay in one place long enuf to get used to the dictators, then you can make good money wiht them
I am a sub bus driver and make $15 an hour - sm
doing that, though I never know when I am working, waiting on a route....when that happens I will bring home about $1200 a month which will be nice on top of any MT work I do (still plan to do this but cut back some when I do finally get a route). So for now $60 for working 4 hours subbing for another driver, I can live with. Makes my life a little easier.
Although I would love to make $72 an hour...
I have to admit that is a bit over the top.  But my point was that unions are there to protect the workers and make sure they get a fair and decent wage for the work they do.  If workers aren't protected, corporates would have everyone working for slave labor kind of like MT is now.  Yes, MT is production paid and we all knew this when we signed on but we aren't protected and our pay keeps getting driven down by corporate.  At least unions have negotiations with corporates - give a little, get a little.  Compromise.  We MTs have NOTHING.  We have no say in decisions being made, even when those decisions negatively impact our jobs.  I know as an MT I would never agree to ILP or ASR as those two decisions are the downfall of our industry, only my opinion of course.  Corporate keeps making these decisions that will only benefit them and their own pocketbooks.  They are not looking out in the best interest of MTs because they don't have to.  As I said in my previous post, they keep chipping away at our jobs little by little because nobody is stopping them.  But if we as a whole had some sort of organized leadership negotiating on our behalf, then maybe we could stop ASR and ILP from taking all our jobs and the MT industry could once again be a respected profession that we could actually make a decent living at like it used to be.
Pay by hour or line
AAMT is NEVER there to represent us. They are a giant clubhouse of aging starlets who do nothing but travel around on our dime. They are hardly the epitome of a professional organization, are they?

A lot of us here still don't make $10 an hour. You're lucky. nm
I teach and I make 20.00 per hour. Not that great
but nothing to sneeze at either.  I teach community service classes (medical transcription, anatomy physiology and medical terminology) at a local college.
To start expect to make about $6 an hour - sm
If you are good, meaning not having to look up a billion things and a quick and accurate typist then you can make more, $16+ depending on the type of work you do. I am not a fast typist, though I do not have to look up much (except for address which slows me WAAAAAAY down), and I currently make about $12 an hour with 4 years experience. So this is no huge money maker. As you are only looking to supplement, you could probably expect to make an extra $30 a week to start, presuming you can find someone to take you on for so litte work. In time you may get that up to $60 a week, but still it is not a fortune.
but VR usually pays by the hour. A fast MT will make less $
Figure what you make per hour doing tapes
Depends - one account I make 40 an hour, other - s/m

I grunt it out to make 10 bucks an hour.  If I worked just the ER account, I would definitely make full time money for part time hours.

Durn second account.  :}

sorry...$28 per hour at 8 cents per line
I think it's better to work by the hour than the line.
By-the-line SOUNDS good, but there's no control over what accounts you'll get, or how accurate the line-counting software they have is, etc. You may start out on an easy account, but as you pick up speed on it and start to make money, they'll switch you to a harder one. And when you pick up speed on that one, you'll get another harder one. And so on and so on. Benefits probably won't be as good at home, either. The only thing that's better about home is not having to deal face-to-face with management. But at least you have the security of knowing your paycheck is going to be the same each time, and won't dwindle down to less-than-nothing if you have a bad day, or a bunch of bad dictators, or no work. And you mentioned a RAISE. That's something most of at-home people will never see in our careers with any company. The only way we seem to be able increase the cpl is if we change companies. But then you still end up on that treadmill of being given work that you may do well, but you can't make money doing. They get ya coming and going.
You make 25-30 an hour by letting the editor do your job for you dumba$$!
You will get yours in the end sweetie. Having someone else do your job shows you are lazy!!
Even if they pass, how can they do the work? They will make pennies an hour and
Hospital MTs around my neck of the woods make $24 per hour +. sm
The jobs are out there, you have to find them.
I'd figure out an average I make per hour, and charge that. -nm
$3.40 in eastern NC. I just sat in line for an hour to get gas, and they had a $35 limit. nm

Does anyone know if Indian MTs are paid by the line or by the hour? sm
That's something I have been curious about.  I know the MTSOs charge by the line, but was wondering how they pay the MTs.  I recall various articles about all the benefits they had, free medical, etc., even food.
Even if you only made 6 cents a line, that's 12.00 an hour at 200 lph.
Voice recognitioin, Avg pay per line or per hour. TIA. sm...
I have an opportunity to work on this platform and wondered what is fair and equitable.  Thanks so much.
Are you paid by the line, word, hour?

If you're paid by the hour, and not by the line, YES.
Do you LPN's on-call make around $50-60 an hour?!! Nice chunk of change! nm
I don't make 0.08/line.. I work for no less than .13/line. nm
Especially when the company did not have the forethought to have line or hour quotas

Everybody deserves to have a life.

Even the supervisor. 

$25.00 per hour is more like it. I work now at per report and 14.5 cents per line
and average $30-42.00 per hour
I usually average $25/hour paid by line so most places...

I'm paid by the hour, but by page or line are both common.
I work on-site, which is why I'm hourly. I also think working on-site with the actual paperwork in front of you makes for the best quality. Otherwise there would be sooooo many tech errors or dictator mis-speaks that I wouldn't be able to research from home that it would drive me crazy. But lots of MTs do it, of course.
RE: I totally agree!! I work at home can came make upwards or $25+ per hour (sm)
Where outside of my home could I make that money, not have to pay gas, buy extra clothes, etc.  I am very happy right where I'm at.
Line rate isn't the only factor -- your lines/hour average is key, too.
Even at 7 cpl, keeping about 275 lines/hour average keeps you at $19.25 an hour and that is $40,000 a year.

It is a myriad of factors involved. You have to have the knowledge, be decisive, self-sufficient and very focused. Then, you need to negotiate as high a base rate as you can and look toward the incentive plan to increase your paycheck.

With our incentive, it was not worth it if I couldn't hit high lines in a day. So, I changed my schedule to hit those lines.

I am tired after my work days but having the 4 days a week off and a good income makes it worth it for me. It allows me to spend my days off doing things I want to.

The bottom line is doesnt matter what they pay if there is no work you make no money. Bottom line.
Why the stupid idiots called everyone to work on the holiday to make sure they meet their 1 hour TAT