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When I first started out 10 years ago,

Posted By: yes indeedy on 2009-02-10
In Reply to: open question to all, regarding line rate - Snow Bunny

my very first job paid $.055 per 55 character line. My next job three months later paid $.07/65 characters. Then I had a hospital job paying $10 per hour plus incentive. Moved up to opening offers of $.08-.09 cpl with nationals. Got tired of nationals. Made very decent money for the next 2-3 years paid $.12/gross line until those two contracts got outsourced or went to VR. Got a part-time job outside the home in a different field for six months until that company laid everyone off. Now I'm trying to find another $.07/65 cpl job. Ten years later and I'm in the same place in life again.

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When they first started 8 years ago they were bad.
They have improved with time, experience and consistent feedback.

It bothers me too, but I faced the fact some time ago that the situation is not going to change.

Some of our clients don't know it either. Others specifically request it(lower pricing). Sad, but true.
37 years. started when i was 15. nmx
That's how I started out 30 years ago, too. - sm
Biggest career mistake of my life. My friend went to court-reporting school - tried to talk me into it but I wanted faster results. Back then MT pay was almost comparable to CR pay, too. I figured, why go to school 3-6 years, when I can go for 20 weeks and have a job? So I chose MT and look what happened. It didnt matter after all these years whether I was good at it or not... the field is drying up in terms of being able to support yourself at it. My friend? Steady work, good money, owns a nice house, put her kids through college, etc.
That's what I started at 9 years ago SM

as an IC at the local hospital and at first, didn't make much money, but as I got more familiar with the dictators, I could do 150 minutes in 6 1/2 hours. That was a good deal. I left because:

1. I got bored.

2. I worked 7 days a week plus all the holidays.

3. I thought the grass was greener elsewhere. I needed bennies and the hospital, even though my work was good, wouldn't hire me as an employee because then they would lose #2.

If you just started MTing, how could have have been an MT for 10 years?
That's what your post below says.
9 years this month...started in

Well she started out as a reporter 26 years ago.
She's not poor by any means!
I started getting symptoms after about 3-5 years. Nobody could believe it. sm
Fellow MTs told me it was too early, but nope. I had the tests, and had/have bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. Think it's anatomical for some. I have very tiny wrists, and I've read that sometimes that can be related.

Some 15-20 years later, I had endoscopic surgery on the right side. I wouldn't recommend endoscopic. If you get surgery, go open. I learned later that it's usually more effective. I still have symptoms in both wrists, can tell no improvement in the right hand.

Best things: Physical therapy was the very best, but Worker's Comp obviously wouldn't pay for that forever. Cat's Paw (exerciser) is cheap and mimics a lot of the stuff I was doing in PT.

SmartGlove when I work. Helps a lot.

Trackball - huge difference.

Shorthand - I have made it my hobby to learn to work smarter instead of harder. I studied the productivity sites and am constantly working on building my ShortHand file. It's rare that something isn't in it. I have gotten to where it shows a savings of about 50% keystrokes, which is something to think about. It's like working half a day and getting paid for a full day.

Rest. Get up at least once an hour, go to your dining room table, put your palm flat on the table and press down. You should feel a really good stretch. And then I take at least 5-10 minutes to break. Maybe not the best thing for productivity, but the best for longevity.
I started 35 years ago this month. sm

I started in a small hospital in the Midwest and spent 6 years there, then moved to the West Coast.  When I started, we had two reference books, Dorland's and the Surgeon's Syllabus (a red much used book).  We were on Royal typewriters, four carbon copies, all colored with different color white-out for each copy.  Our dictation came in on wax records with the stats at the switchboard station.  They would call us when one came in and we would walk down and get it.  They were on lilac wax and the others were on a salmon color.  We had little record players at our desk and we would transcribe the wax records, then put them in a press to take out the grooves and use them over and over.  I loved working there.   We then graduated to the Norelco reel-to-reel, and then to the Dictaphone plastic belts, then the magnetic belts, and then the MT/ST, then the Mag-Card, and finally to the computer, then to the Lanier pop-up tape system, then to the Sony Network, and then to digital voice.  It's been a long joury and I was with one employer for over two decades before being sold to MQ. I had the best boss in the world, generous to a fault, but then MQ came along and offshoring and the MT business went down, down, down. I make half of what I used to and I work twice as hard. Benefits are hard to come by and there is no security.  I long for the old days.

I quit for several years and started again.....
I'm a moron.  I hate it and I hide it from my kids.  It stinks.
This really is pathetic. 5 years ago I started out with .07 and they are still only paying that?

started at about 8K PT 2002, last couple years 12K but
I did not work much in 2005 for about 6 months when my 5-y/o got diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo, etc. So I would have made a bit more. I expect to do about $16K this year. I alternate my hours a lot though, about 60 or so minutes of work during the school year a day, but then only 30 during the summer, plus a side job that fluctuates ($300-500 a month). I am shooting for $20K next year, still not at FT (5-6 hours a day). I'll see how it goes. I think $12K for PT is good, but that is my opinion.
Ive worked Sundays since I started transcribing 18 years ago!
..but i know that they always need to be covered and people keep getting sick and having operations... holidays too.   we are in one of those kind of jobs.  i love having time off during the week to get things done though. 
Yes! My kids (above, age 22 and 24) started out making more than I make after 30 years of MT!
I proof as I go. I didn't when I first started umpteen years ago. nm
I started a neighborhood watch a couple of years ago...sm
we were having similar problems to what you're having and they're gone now. Here's what worked for us. I gave every home in the subdvision a flier asking anyone that was interested in forming a neighborhood watch to come to an organization meeting and made the meeting a week later and on a week night, and gave my phone # in the event someone was interested but couldn't attend then. Out of 150 homes in my subdivision we had 40 people show up and 20 called expressing interest.

Everyone had the same complaints on the same "problem" homes and as a group we decided that each time the noise level was high enough to hear outside of the vehicle or house that we'd call the police. We all alternated placing those calls so the police department didn't think it was just 1 person complaining. The police department agreed to increase the patrols for our subdivision at all hours of the day and night and just having people see them ride through every few hours helped significantly cut down on the problems.

Over time the people that were causing problems either put their houses up for sale or moved out of the rental home and left when they saw that we neighbors insisted on a peaceful and quiet living area. It worked! When these problem homes left the problems with the trash thrown on the roads left as well.

In addition we were having some problems with some of the youth hanging out walking the streets at all hours and it was making some of the residents nervous, especially when the youth were walking through yards. So, we told the youth to stick to the roads, ask permission before cutting through yards to find out who cared and didn't care if they walked through them, and one of the men placed a basketball goal at the end of one of the cul-dec-sacs for the kids to play basketball after the neighbors in the cul-dec-sac agreed it would be fine. It worked - some of them started playing basketball there and they honored requests of homeowners that didn't want them walking on their yards.

Good luck to you!
I've been in MT for 20 years. Started out in the office at a hospital.

Switched to working for services from home for a while and now I work for the same hospital I started out at, but I work from home now.  So I guess you can say I've come full circle and now I'm back where I started.  I much prefer being an employee of a hospital versus an IC or employee of an MTSO.

It may be that your user profile in EXText is not set up to allow you to add normals.  I've found with services they don't give their MTs a whole lot of freedom with their software.   

all that PLUS, when I started 13 years ago, electric typewriters were still used (smile!) no message
I have 13 years experience and just started a hospital job working from home making $16 an hour

and with a really good incentive plan.  I live in the Kansas City area.  $10 seems like a low starting point even with only two years experience which is the usual benchmark for hospital MT jobs. 

It's been my experience that the low end of the pay scale for hospital employed MTs was around $12 an hour.  Also, it's been my experience that the pay offered is usually based on years of experience and how well you perform on the transcription test.

I would say if their pay is that low, they should at least be making it up with incentive and it doesn't sound like they are.


I quit once for 3 years, but then started again. (Quit cold turkey when I did)

58, AHP/self-taught, trained at hospital 5 years, now with 2 of my own accounts for 10 years, employ
Also worn out 2 keyboards in 4 years. I will never retire. DH will come home some day from work and I'll be slumped over my keyboard. I put in 14 hours a day 7 days a week.
Pack years = packs smoked per day x years of smoking - sm
25 pack-years = 25 years of 1 pack a day, or 12-1/2 years of 2 packs a day.

I don't think pack-years applies to someone who smokes only cigars. But I don't know for sure.
I worked for Cbay for 3 years. I was also part of their lay off back many years ago. sm
Even though I got stuck in a lay off era, I still love the company. They paid well then. The people were nice (exception of 1 person) and if I had the opportunity I would go back again. Fortunately (or unfortunately - depending on how u look at it), I have a great paying job right now, so I am not looking for a change. I do know that at one time, they asked management to accept late paychecks, but never sure of the reason why. My check was never late.
I know it used to be 5-10 years back, but the laws changed within the last 2 years. They can only g
6 years legal then switched to medical 17+ years ago. sm

I don't mind doing legal and will do it now from time to time, but be prepared to be totally bored out of your mind.

At least that's the way I feel.  I love to transcribe, learned legal in college, went on to get my paralegal degree, etc., etc., but I did temp work when the kids were younger, which was about 90% medical and I would never go back to legal except for once in a while.




Only 3 years away from reaching total years for retirement
but if I had to do this and raise a family, would feel exactly like you do. The pay is terrible compared to what I used to make. I work 32 hours a week, hope to be able to continue even after full retirement age. I have worked on VR now and unless places get to where they really do not care about how their reports look, think they will need MTs. I very seldom do a report and it is 100%, just cannot remember 1 like that and most take a lot more editing. Working now because want to, not have to anymore, thank goodness!!
I dumped my ex 20 years ago, but got lucky 13 years ago

It would take me all night and pages and pages to describe what a bad person my ex-husband was.  After six years of putting up with his OCD, verbal abuse and alcohol, I left him the house, took the kids (5 and 1) and didn't look back. That was 20 years ago.

I wasn't looking to get married again, but I did.  After 13 years I only complain when hubby doesn't see things my way. :) 

My older kids, who were 5 and 1 when I left, are married and have kids of their own now.  My husband gets the Father's Day cards.  Their "real" father sits alone in the perfect little house I left behind and let him have and he drinks himself into oblivion every night because nobody is "perfect" enough, including his kids and his grandkids that he never sees. 

Sad, but true.  So glad I smartened up and got  out of there when I did.

We have been supporting other countries for years and years now.
What is the big deal.  Look at your clothes, cars, items in your house.  You will see mostly China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan etc., etc.  We have not supported our own people like we should have for years now!!!!
Only 2 in 13 years for me. First Edix for 8 and now Webmedx for nearly 5 years. nm
When I trained, back years and years ago
We did not have spell checking nor the internet (Google for instantaneous help). OMG, how did we do it? We used Correcting Selectrics with the lift-off tape to correct errors- you only had dictionaries, both English and medical, to look up things so yes we did have to learn to spell all those big longgggggggggg words.
MT: 24 years. Same company: 11 years same co. after buyout.
Grammar Question: 9 years' ago or 9 years ago? *sm*
I have a terrible time trying to remember this rule! HELP!
Worked inhouse for years and years
Inhouse transcription from 1973 to approximately 1992 and we had no downtime for answering the phones and when the physicians came into the room (or others) needing some assistance, just part of the job. I did not feel bad about doing it then and I dont see why you would either. You donít realize that probably you are making right now more than if you are outsourced, right? You have hourly salary plus incentive. Guess how many of us have that now? Probably inevitable about outsourcing so I would say just enjoy while you can. The pay our here now sinks further and further. I make, for instance, 4 cents a line for voice recognition and 8 for straight. Now, more complaining?
getting started

If you live in southern CA, on the job seeker board Chronicle Transcripts is hiring newbies.  I used to be a lead transcriptionist for them when they were located in my town.  Nice people and you will get very good training from them.  What I have found is the smaller trans companies usually are willing to take in trainees or medical trans school graduates.  Also, the federal govt and state govt have medical transcriptionists..You can check about testing with the govt.  Good luck!

I have a BSN and started doing
MT due to the world's most complicated pregnancies - just couldn't be on my feet.   At first, the $$ wasn't so great - impossible to transcribe much with a baby in the house.  Every year tho I have made more than the year before.  My boys are now 8 and 12 - summers are difficult but not impossible.  I periodically look into going back into nursing, but the hassles it would entail just aren't worth the $$.  I work about 5 hours a day and will end up making around $28 K this year.   
I am 33 now and started at age


It's already started here.
Gas prices are up, groceries are up, other supplies are up.  My brother is in construction and said that materials and wood prices have doubled in the past week.  Our income is maybe half what it was just over a year ago because we've both changed jobs or had contracts end on us.  We've had a lot of unexpected expenses recently that cleaned out all of our savings.  Christmas is coming.  School just started so we had to buy clothes and supplies there.  I'm half-panicked here trying to find a better paying job than what I have now.  I just really can't take a lot of time off for testing or post my resume because my current employer will know I'm looking for another job.  Then again, I don't even know if it's possible for me to make more money at MT than I am now.  I still don't see how people can do 250+ lph or make $30+ per hour.  What do they have that I don't?  Length at employment?  More word Expander entries?  A better account and platform?
when i started doing ASR
mgmt told me that 'down the road' there would be 'adjustments' in the pay for ASR, after people were well-trained and productive on it. I later opted out -- didn't like it at all. HOWEVER, if it is in fact so much quicker (as it was said to be) for the MT to do those reports, then it stands to reason that you would not be paid the same at the same rate as someone transcribing a report from scratch. I don't see what the problem is about the purported pay reduction. Just consider what you've been getting as 'gravy' and what you will be getting as fair. Then again, if you don't want to do ASR, then opt out.
Also just started with them...
You started it now !!
I just started a new job.
I was hoping this would be THE job.  I told myself that this is the very last MT company I will try to work for.  Unfortunately, I'm experiencing the same things at this company that I quit other nationals for.  I don't know what to do.  I'm tired of job hunting, learning new platforms, and trying to adjust to multiple account specs.  I'm tired of being told that "we're different" or "we are the best" only to find that it's no different or better.  I don't know if I should stick this one out in the hopes that it will get better or go get a job as a waitress.  This really stinks with Christmas coming and bills to pay.  I really wanted this to work.  What else is there for me, though?  I don't want to go back to the fulltime, nose to the grindstone, kids in daycare garbage.  I really enjoy MT, too.
Started at 4:00 a.m.

Delivered newspapers, did MT for 4 hours, went out for a few last minute things, went grocery shopping, finished wrapping presents, finished crocheting my new grandson's baby blanket, cleaned the kitchen did the dishes and looked after my 2-year-old terror twin granddaughters for 2 hours before I finally called my daughter at 6:00 p.m. and said, "COME AND GET THEM."

I love them dearly, but they are 175% wired with the whole Christmas thing and I am just getting over the flu.

I know, I know. . . .I'm TYPE A all the way.

I can't believe I've made it this late. I'm going night night.

Started out....
I started out with MT on a selectric II. We used carbon paper for copies and no more than 2 corrections were allowed per page (original was corrected with white out, the rest had to be erased with that special little typewriter eraser). I learned very quickly to be accurate and proofread as I transcribed.

We also had no Stedman's word books in those days - just Dorlands, a little red book called Surgical Secretary or something like that, Tessier's, and a couple of others - about 5 or 6 books in total.

We used to call pharmacies to ask for spelling of new drugs, called Surgery and Central Supply for spelling of new equipment, new dressings, etc.

I worked in a large teaching hospital. We had access to the doctors and more than 1 time I had an MD standing behind me looking over my shoulder while I typed his report!

I also took typing on a manual and one of my first jobs was transcribing in pathology with 5 carbon copies - yikes. I like my computer and so does my wrists.

To get started...

$450 bucks will get you everything you need to get started. Here is the item:

Transcription Kit.

That transcription kit comes with the digital recorder you can give to your client, and for you-all the software, foot pedal and the headset. That will be enough to get you on your feet on your own.


My dog started doing this (sm)
and I took him in for a UA. Two days into the script he stopped!
Sure, it's possible. We all started somewhere. sm

Get hold of some practice dictations, and then dive in!  If you have the proper references and good skills to begin with, you'll do fine.  Go for it! 

Re: Getting started
I am a 12-year claims examiner veteran. I am wanting to cross-over into the home Medical transcriptionists field. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get started; what test to take to be recognized; and how long will it take? please let me know. thank you in advance for your input.
RE: Getting started
Do you have the website address for MT? Thanks
I just started as an IC and get
7.5 cents a gross line for transcription and 4.5 cents a gross line on QA.  Can anyone let me know how that compares?  I have not done this before so I don't know.
oh please do not get me started....SM

I'm not going to get into it.......that's for sure.  Suffice to say he idolizes his dad who emphatically states in his late 80s that the holocaust never happened.  

Yeah, right.....don't get me started......I'll hush for now!