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Yes! My kids (above, age 22 and 24) started out making more than I make after 30 years of MT!

Posted By: nm on 2005-12-05
In Reply to: the jobs youve named all pay between 12-18 an hour - so no thanks!


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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.


Do little kids like caramel? My big kids won't even eat it! We make the basic Baker's chocolat
My kids were almost 2 and 3 when I started to do MT - sm
wish I had started earlier since it would have been a lot easier when they were babies. I agree the first year will be easy (or the easiest anyway), of course depends on when they start to walk too, mine were 9/10 months for that. We have dog gates so they came in quite handy, plus babyproofed the heck out of the house. I generally worked only while they napped and late into the night (i.e. until 2 generally got up at 8). I only worked PT and had no set schedule which of course helped tremendously. I still have no set schedule, and currently work about 5-6 hours during the day and 3-4 at night depending on my work load now (working on eliminating/lessening the night work as it is much harder for me to do now). So it is doable, just don't plan on getting a lot of sleep if you want to get proficient and do well. Luckily we did not need the money I made then and I did not make much (around $600 a month) then....now do about $2K a month which I still would like to increase of course....that is where working more efficiently and being dedicated comes in....so I guess I shouldn't be on here! Actually this week is my kid's Spring break and I am only working very minimally this week so we can do some things as I am "always working". Good luck.
I understand when the kids are grown, so I started over!
My youngest was turning 17 when I got pregnant with another. I guess it is called empty nest syndrome. I'm now 48 and raising a 7 year old beautiful little girl and I remember when my oldest children were growing up I'd think it was never going to end. Now I wake up every day thinking she is growing up too fast! I sure appreciate her more, now that I've seen how fast they will be gone!
I think that grandparents who babysit for free are just making their kids dependent on them
Maybe stop babying her and she'll respect you more.

I doubt this generation of kids will grow up to watch their grandchildren - they're way too selfish.

Just a suggestion.
When we are not making a decent enough wage to buy our kids food and clothes, it is like (inside)
the little kid who wants a toy from another child and runs to his mother and whines "he won't give it to me." Just another way for them to try to force more money out of already tired pockets. I for one will not pay for that until they fight for wages to be increased. Let them go out of business like a lot of us have had to do. Now they want to make us pay for the lack of money they are getting from India because I am sure they aren't buying into it, and believe me I don't hate the Indians for wanting to work, it is not them, it is the American company's greed. When transcription companies can spend millions and millions of dollars to buy each other out, you know it is a lucarative business.

Why are they cramming voice down our throats at half pay? You can't tell me they are taking half pay, plus half pay is not enough when speech is not trained.

Vote for Obama! He says he will close the loop holes for American Corporations to send our jobs overseas.
What a great post! I have 3 kids and my oldest just started college ...

I miss him like crazy even though he comes home every weekend with his laundry!   He is also a drummer in a band and for some reason, their new drum set is at my house.  But, I realize that soon enough my house will stay clean and the noise (i.e. - drums, guitars, laughing, fighting - not sure I'll miss the fighting!) will quiet, so I try to enjoy it all as much as possible.  (excuse me while I go have a quick cry and then get back to work! 

Happy New Year, everyone!

When the kids started school I wanted a job in my home town. A hospital clerk position (sm)
came open. You started compiling charts, making copies, etc. Then I was promoted after a few months and began learning transcription and did that part of the day. Then a few months later they taught me coding and abstracting and I did that part of the day. It was a great learning experience to learn things from the bottom up. Needless to say, I am an old dog here who has been doing this more than 25 years now.
When the kids started school I wanted a job in my home town. A hospital clerk position (sm)
came open. You started compiling charts, making copies, etc. Then I was promoted after a few months and began learning transcription and did that part of the day. Then a few months later they taught me coding and abstracting and I did that part of the day. It was a great learning experience to learn things from the bottom up. Needless to say, I am an old dog here who has been doing this more than 25 years now.
Are you making less than you did 3 years ago? sm
Unfortunately, I was making a LOT more.  Went from $900 a week to an occasional $900 a week and so many dead slow weeks it's about time to quit.  I will not be able to afford another computer and pay the overhead with so many slow weeks.  Of course, the alternative is to work for a very low line rate and I have found it is not worth it to work for pennies.
After being an MT for 2 years, how much should I be making? sm

I feel like I can't get out of this rut of making enough money to just pay my bills and nothing left over.  What would you say the average annual salary should be after 2 years of acute care work?


After five years I was making $14.50/hr

We got one hour of PTO (paid time off) for every 10 hours worked, so that's just a little less than 3 weeks a year. We had a 401K that was pretty decent, good health insurance, life insurance equal to two years' pay, and they offered AFLAC and disability insurance as well.

Oklahoma's cost of living is among the lowest in the nation....I don't know how people living in California can make it on $8-$12/hr.

Me 2, 15-20 years ago I was making about $70,000 a year

Now it seems, I'm just scraping by, juggling the utility bills and paying whichever one has sent me the 24-hour disconnect notice this month; it's become a grim miserable job compared to what it was.  I'm nearing retirement age, but I doubt retirement is going to be in my future for a very long time.

The single worst thing that ever happened to us was going from the gross line count to the character count, and not adjusting the line rate upward to parity -- not to mention the adjustments that should have been made to accommodate all the extra time spent struggling to make sense of huge increase in ESL dictations that has occurred over the last 15 years, and of course there should have been COLAs as well, which we all know has not happened.

In the 1980s, with the advent of powerful and affordable PCs, free lance transcription became much more common.  So if you were experienced, disciplined and organized, you could be much better off economically by working for yourself -- although there were definitely advantages to working in-hospital.  There were great benefits and the salary was indeed enough to support a small family (albeit very modestly.) 

For a number of years during that time, many of us worked part time in the hospital for benefits, but made our real money at home.

But in my case, the time came when it just made no economic sense to work in-housel, I was better buying off buying private insurance for major medical care, tax-deferred annuities, and self-insuring the little stuff. 

I would just pick up tapes from the hospital every morning, and drop off the work (which I printed out) from the day before.

I usually had 24 hours to transcribe tapes which I did during school hours, when things were peaceful and quiet. 

I transcribed a couple thousand GROSS lines day.  Every single character line counted, so by taking advantage of headers/footers, creative macros, word expansions, etc., I really boosted my productivity far beyond to what I could do in-house on the self-correcting Selectric, Wang or Mag Card, or whatever 10-years behind technology was currently being used, plus all the office distractions and politics, and I definitely did not to have to work 24/7 to earn a good living. (Oh how I loved WP5.1!)

In fact, 2000 gross lines a day, 5 days a week at 10 cents a line (courier 10-pitch font, one-inch margins) was very very do-able for an experienced productive acute-care MT, provided she had good equipment, good reference books, and stayed focused.  It would take about 5-6 hours a day to get that amount of work done.  So figure the math out for yourselves, that's just a tad under $50,000 a year, certainly not a high standard of living in those days but adequate when it meant you could stay home and be actually be a full time parent when your children were home from school, and very comfortable, if you were married with a working spouse, or had rerliable child support, or social security for your children (if you were widowed.)

If you chose to work some weekends and evenings, it was not that all that difficult to hit that $75,000 a year mark, which I did for a couple of years so I was able to pay the tuition at a good boarding school -- and cruelly thwarted my teen-aged son's only ambition in life, which was to become a high school drop-out.

Things have gotten bad, no doubt about that, and the worst part of it is, is that most of the big MTSOs are still charging the hospitals as much as we used to earn, and sometimes even more, but the MT is no longer earning it, and often can't get enough work to meet the line counts required by the MTSOs for benefits (although the cost of those benefits are reflected in the cost charged to the hospital.) 

I don't know what the answer is, as the electronic immigrant is such a huge threat.

It's pretty darn awful, and I feel very very bad for those of you starting out in this field, and I do hope things change for you (and that someday soon I can retire.)

And the point that the person made is that that she was worth $75,000 a year, not necessarily that she was getting it or could get it, and I absolutely agree with her.  This is a hard tough job if it's done right -- it's mentally tiring, it's hard on your back, your hands, your neck (and your behind.)

It requires a lot of time -- it requires focus, you must stay alert, and must give 100% of your attention to what you are doing 100% of the time, it takes education and brains -- and now a word of truth which my 35+ years experience gives me the right to say aloud -- it's not fulfilling, wonderful, lovable and enjoyable, it's often as repetitious and tedious as an assembly line but infinitely more frustrating.

PS: I recall one of my colleagues from those early years of my career, now gone from this earth, telling me that the 1960s were really the "fat" years, that things actually began to decline salary-wise, in real dollars, in the 1970s. 

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.

When I first started out 10 years ago,
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.
Actually Wal-Mart employees make less, i know a manager making 10.50

You are an exception to the rule. After 20 years, I'd like to be making
You're okay making LESS than you made 10-20 years ago?
I'm not. No, every "job" doesn't work itself DOWN the ladder of success. I'm working to earn a living, I'm working to have goals, to better myself and my way of life. I would never settle for a job that keeps paying less and less. Sorry, but I disagree with you but to each his own.
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.
I was making 6.5 cpl in 1975 at a service -- 30 years later most jobs
Talk about PITIFUL.
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.
10 years here, too, and making 8.4....same as i was 5 years ago. nm
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. 
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.   

my friend just finished her BSN 2 years ago, working 32 hr/week making $60K with benefits nm
Haven't heard in years. Supposedly making it harder to get money
all that PLUS, when I started 13 years ago, electric typewriters were still used (smile!) no message
she gave it up after 6 years to raise kids...nm

Have to agree. Kids do make working at home "different" (sm)

Mine are grown, but the grandchildren occasionally are over.  The oldest one will play his Gameboy or some cube thing all day and only occasionally ask to be fed.  However, when the youngest one can't go do daycare for some reason my world is turned upside down.  The granddaughter has it in her head that when I ask her to be quiet it means come over to my desk and whisper.  All in all, it isn't too often that I have children in my house when I work.  My hat is off to those of you who do it on a regular basis, you are queens of organizational/concentration skills. 


39yo female, married, 3 kids, MT for 20 years. NM
I've been home working with my kids for 10 years now sm

I worked outside of the house for one year after my first boy was born.  I hated leaving him.  So I was home working by the time he was a year old.  I really enjoyed it.  10 years later, I'm still working at home, and have a 6 y/o boy too.  Both my kids are in school.  I'm so thankful to be home so that I can get them off the bus, attend parties at school, go on field trips with them.  I can take care of house chores and keep and eye on my three dogs.  The only thing is sometimes I miss being around people, being able to leave my work at my job (at home it's here all the time).  My hubby works midnights, so he's home during the day too, but sleeps.  Sometimes I feel like I have no "me time".  After my boys get a little older, I may get out of the house to work.  Sometimes I would like to actually change my career to sometime more hands on with patients.  I love the medical field, I've been doing transcription for about 14 years.  Another plus for working at home with kids is if they are sick, you don't have to call out of work.  You can do your job and take care of your kids.  You don't have to look your best either, on those days or any days.  I'm guilty for sitting here in my PJs a lot, not having any makeup on or hair fixed. 

Good luck in the future. 

I don't know about you, but I've got kids to feed, clothe, and house. I need to make a decent

living.  I'm not going to be cheated.  It sounds as though you've decided to let yourself be used and abused aby the MTSOs all with a big smile on your face.  Whatever!  It's MTs like you, not I, that have caused the pay rates to decline.  MTs like you who will accept whatever abuse they companies hand out, accept being cheated, and accept losing jobs to India. 

You'll be back on here next week or next month posting under a different name, crying about your paycheck and looking for sympathy. 

Hubby making 40 clove garlic chicken in the crock pot. I'll make mashed potatoes and glazed
We live in the country in the south - been using it for years with kids and pets - no worries or pro
Make money? I'm not making any money because of my decision. You read my reasoning
You can agree with me or not, but don't make false assumptions please.
What should an MT make with 10 years
experience?  I'm afraid I shorted myself when I started my most recent job and am just curious to see what I should have asked for.  Anyone willing to share?
Are you saying you have 2+ years experience and only make .04 cpl? -- if so you really need to look
for something a little better.  That is a total slave wage.......I make .085 now with 3+ years, and I started at .06 with 1 job, and .075 at another, and .085 at another (until they changed their pay tier then down to .07 which sucked).  My goal is .10 eventually......believe me you can do better, start looking if you are not already.
What I make with 7 years under my belt -
I get 9 cents per 65-character line. I work around 5 hours a day and net around $100. It is okay money for me, but then I do not have to support myself, pay for benefits, etc.
Well, after 30 years and counting I make
4 cents a line in editing and 8 cents a line in regular work although 95% now editing. I do not know what newbies are paid. You did not say your speed. Maybe another can fill in on the amounts newbies make, I just donít happen to know. My salary has drifted down over 40,000 something over the years, now making probably what I started out at all those years ago. Oh well, they say what goes around comes around.
Like I am saying, what I made years ago and what I make now
sooooooo much different. I do not have to raise a family though now and my quest towards making money is not like it was at 1 time. IF I HAD TO support a family, I definitely would not go into this business now or I would plan on working as I did in the past, 2 full time jobs, then I could make ends meet. I am so glad money is not the #1 thing anymore that drives me.