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Serving Over 20,000 US Medical Transcriptionists

with cost of living going up and MT wages

Posted By: going down ...two questions on 2005-09-13
In Reply to:

How much do you think you would need to make a good living.  Meaning enough to cover all bills, enough to put some away for a rainy day, and enough to play, like dinners, hobbies, maybe a weekend getaway twice a year.  Be realistic.  I'm thinking for me, since i'm single, 50k a year. 

Second question.  If you hadnt gotten trapped in MT, what profession do you see yourself in maybe even earning way more than you can imagine, doing what you love?  For me, it would be psychotherapist. 

anyone???  ANYONE ???

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4 cpl goes further when cost of living is less. nm
Cost of living
Could someone live comfortably in the Phillipines on $2000 per month net with adult and 1 teenager?
Considering the high cost of living in.....
Florida, you are giving away your services.  Out in California they're getting 12-14 cents a line, and that was 5 yrs ago. 
More on high cost of living...
That is right about California; in fact, over 15 cents is common, particularly for docs and administrators who are interested in keeping the work local.
What is the cost of your living expenses? sm

I would really like to know this as mine seem high.  My cost for the bare minimum, not including insurance, medical costs or entertainment, is about $1,800.00 per month.

Is that high to most people?  TIA.

you have a bargin cost of living!
Wow!!!! What I wouldn't give to have that as an expense!Here's mine - I live in Ventura County, California, and in one of the most expensive towns of Ventura.
House payment - $2,200.00,
insurances, all - $400.00 a month, utilities - $700.00 a month - electricity, cable is out of sight here and gas is almost double now, let's see, food, gas and personals - about $1,000.00 a month - wow!! It hurts to see it let alone pay it! (of course my home is now worth almost a million with the artifical inflate prices of real estate here).
no brainer, take it unless your cost of living....
in New York prohibits you from being able to live in a reasonable fashion on that. did you say UNION!!! Your pay will increase way more than the rest of us will ever see!
I get $23.50/hr. in N. Calif, which is still low for cost of living. nm
Almost 3 for me - no cost of living raises. - NM

Because the cost of living is higher here. Still, that
Which is exactly what it is - DISCRIMINATION based on where an applicant lives.
Not to mention that cost of living has gone up
I'm bringing home $2000/month and it's sending me right into foreclosure. My mortgage payment is a 'mere' $750/month, but add to that a car payment ($360), insurance ($200), electric ($150), water ($50), internet ($80), satellite TV ($50), for a total of about $1630, leaving me $370. After I pay that, I am supposed to give my daughter $300/month toward college expenses- room, food, books, etc. That means I get $70/month to feed and clothe myself. Five years ago, I was able to provide my son $1300/month for school and I paid $1500/month rent then...W2s from then show I was making $60,000 year. But in this brave new multinational world with the 'be glad you've got a job' mentality, we're tearing out each others' throats for the privilege of earning peanuts (which at least provide me protein).

So be glad I've got a job? Yeah, chicken ramen noodles are better than just plain noodles. That doesn't make them good.
Cost of living inquiry $1800/mo. (sm)

That's only electric, heat, cable, and mortgage.

Add in insurances, life, health, car etc. and you're talking  another $1200 more. Hubby drives a 12 year old PU truck and I drive a 13 year old car. BUT, 4 more years for our mortage...yippee....but it should have been paid off in 1991. Remortgaged so we could build a larger place. Still not finished with the house and it's been 11 years. No time, no money left over to finish. That's okay. I can deal with that.

If you live somewhere with a high cost of living, like
MTSOs are too cheap to give us a wage we can live on. CA also has more laws protecting the worker.
My cost of living expenses monthly is $2200/month
I'm self employed, so I'm killed in taxes AND I live in NY...but I wouldn't have it any other way

They'll figure it out as the cost of living in India rises
and their pay-per-line doesn't.
This has not always been the case, hence it hurts more. Merit raise/cost of living raise
cost of living raises? any raises?

$25/hr. = Low Wages?
I think at $25 per hr. I'm making a bit more than the manager of the French Fry Department at Mickey D's...
QA wages
Anyone out there have an idea of what a QA person should be paid per hour if working at home?
If you keep abreast with current events/news pertaining to the economy you will find that ours is not the only profession whose wages have not increased from levels in the 1990s. It is a lot of people as well who have to leave their homes to go to work for maybe the same that we make every day.
I am not putting you down but if you have been in this business for 20 years and have been reading this board  --give me a break you should be able to project what you will be earning especially if you have had your own accounts.  Especially if you have seen your wages go up and down, cannot believe you are asking this if -- like I said -- you have been in this business 20 years. 
I don't know about anyone else but I make the same amount of money if not more doing VR than I used to doing transcription, at least when there's work.  Lately the middle to end of the week I have nothing to do!  I personally am only doing this while I finished my bachelor's that I needed to apply to grad school which I start this fall when I'll quit.  I don't think that VR will ever replace MTs entirely because it just is too important to have perfect medical records and VR just isn't perfect especially since doctors do dumb things like talk to other people, correct themselves, mumble, etc.
Just know from my experiences in the last 25 years that doctors are notoriously CHEAP... Do the best you can and if you can't get as much or more money than you are making now, I'd stay where you are. Just my humble opinion. Been there, done that many times.
Wages also depend on where you are located. In house jobs and small independents are going to pay less in rural and struggling areas because they can. In rural areas jobs also depend on who you know. They would rather pay a untrained local rather than a trained outsider. Speaking from the voice of experience.
the wages were no more than they sm
are now when I started, the books were just as expensive. you buy one at a time and build from there. A good reference library is a MUST in this business. If you can get by with the internet search I guess that's ok, but I see people who are not searching at all.

I think 90% of the questions would be answered if folks would invest at least in a Medical Phrase Index. Sorry but its part of the job.
What no one says is that MT wages are considerably lower in rural areas and small cities. Do not be specific but it would help if geographic locations, were mentioned by posters if making more.
Biller wages
Can someone give me a ballpark figure of how much a biller would get that has no experience? I've been offered a possible job, and I got a feeling they are going to ask me how much I expect to make.
I don't think cutting wages is against the law.
Not paying overtime for employees, inappropriate classification of statutory employees, etc., those items fall under DOL.

If cutting wages was a crime, then the airlines, factories, hospitals, virtually all businesses would be under "investigation" and in grave trouble.

What are you trying to accomplish with your post? Just put information out there about a company you won't name? Wanting advice? Truly, I don't understand what you are wanting in reply.

radiology wages
If you are thinking of working for a large teaching hospital where they have 10 page Neurointerventional reports, large MRIs and CTs , etc, you will surely find yourself regreting working for per page.  I currently make $200+ per day doing radiology.  Today I did 112 reports and tho I won't see my exact lines until tomorrow I know I am over the $200 mark. You do the math.   Last month I pulled in $4000.
here's an even better link to see ALL about wages in USA
Slave Wages
I dont know who you work for but I make about $25-30 per hour. I work two jobs and 10-12 hours a day and on weekends and I make between $6000 and $7000 per month. I know that is excessive for hours but I am trying to pay off my house, car, etc and I am spoiling my 3 kids rotten!!

I type radiology, which I believe is the easiest and fastest to learn and type.
yearly wages

Last year had small MTSO two part-time IC's working for me, worked as employee parttime in clinic.  Worked 50 hours per week.  Made -- myself not counting what my IC's brought in -- $62 K.  Starting June 1st, quit the employee position -- divorce attorney fees paid off, no IC's and keeping my 4 accounts,  will work 25 to 28 hours per week and make approximately 40K from these four accounts per year.  If I get stuck and need more will do overflow for another MTSO.   But too many headaches and time to take some time for myself.  Looking forward to it.


Cannot bellieve wages.

Many companies now only want to pay 6.5 to 8 CPL.  This is even for seasoned MTs.  Even ICs are not offered much more compensation.  I have friends working at WalMart making more than some MTs.  If you type 200 LPH at 7 cpl that is $14.00 an hour, but the health insurance is very expensive at these companies.  You must have over 98% on QA scores, but they don't want to pay more for quality and experience.  Plus many jobs are IC and you have higher taxes.  I feel that wages have been falling steadily in the past years and continue to fall.  No wonder there is a shortage of experienced MTs (so I hear).  More likely it is a shortage of experienced MTs that want to work for such low wages and no raises in the future.

falling wages...
Unfortuntely, it is true, falling wages for MTs and experience plays not part in it.  But, there is a reason for it....as we all are aware, hospitals have chosen to cut their debt by outsourcing medical transcription to India for 1/4 the cost it would be to pay us here in the states.  Let's face it...MT jobs here in the states will soon be absolete, and thinking about the wages ever getting better, forget.  My advise is for all MTs to seek another source of income before it is too late....i.e. perhaps going back to school or seeking one of the higher paying jobs or at least equal to medical transcription such as Walmarts, Meijers, restaurants, etc...and eh...even get medical benefits, vacation time, etc....I currently receive none of that from my employer and was also told to take a pay decrease as of this 12/02...along with everyone else, so was paying us 10 cents per line, but little trick to that, lines are 70 characters per line with spaces included....everyone does 65 characters with spaces...now from 10 cents to 9 cents and 70 characters per line...hmmmm, I figure I am making 8 cents a line now.  Yes indeed, I am out of transcription after 25 years coming this income tax refund check.  Transcription has become a degrading job!
quality vs wages

While I do agree that there is a vast majority of MTs who are of extremely poor quality, there also are very high-quality, well-seasoned MTs like myself who are tired of making the same wages we made 10-15 years ago.  If there is such a discrepancy in our work quality and ethics, these corporations (who, by the way, are not slacking at all in their 6-figure income pockets!!!!) should pay MTs based on quality and experience, not just experience alone. 


I remain,


quality vs wages

I keep hearing about low wages
Even 8 cpl at 200 LPH is 16 dollars an hour, which is not a bad wage, and that is what many of the large services pay, plus you get benefits and get to stay home. No high gas prices (3 dollars a gallon or more in places).
I don't do that much of it but my wages have pushed me
Those wages posted below seem
Why all the complaining about low wages? And we have the option of saving gas, etc., working at home. I don't get it. If so many are making even over 30 or 35, and up to 60 thousand, what is the problem? I would love to make 40 thousand a year. I would be totally comfortable on that, but don't make that. But it is my own fault, I let other things interfere with my work (especially family). I am so busy taking care of my family, it cuts into my production.
hospital wages
I'm testing at a local midwest hospital.  Does anyone know what fair wages are for a newbie at a hospital.
For anyone that is an IC can you tell me why your wages earned are not the same as what your are cr
my accountant explained this but I cant remember the reason we dont get the full amount of credit and can you tell me what percentage we dont get credit for.
But for the same wages/benefits?
I've never seen anyone end up making more when they transfer from a hospital to a service. Its just part of the general downslope of wages, technology and globalization. Always keep Plan B.
Wages in general
In looking over *** jobs, under the pay/compensation it seems everyone is putting "competive wage/compension".  Can anyone give me some idea of what that means....I am currently getting 8.5-10 cents for IC work.  I have 10+ years and made it at Healthscribe for 5+ years, which was definitely the worst work ever.  Can I do better?  I had my CMT and let it expire years ago.   
Wal Mart wages
I worked there at a little more than minimum wage but most unskilled businesses pay only minimum wage. The scheduling is bad but no worse than any other shift work. Also unless you have worked there you have no right to put down Wal Mart.
Yes, that's true regarding wages...
being stagnate, but I tend to disagree that the 'average' cost is between 11-13 cpl (I think that's what was quoted).  I believe it is quite a bit higher than that, more in the range of 15-18 cpl or even higher.  At any rate, I cannot see how wages can go any lower than they are now.  I really enjoyed Julie's recent blog post regarding the curriculum forum (I'm sure you had a chance to read that).  I think she was right on regarding the future of MT.
Then DON'T work for "newbie" wages
If you were better, you'd be making more. Bottom line.

Slow people do not make money.

Bad attitude people get less work/jobs.

Good MTSOs do not hire poor MTs.

Why are you griping. It's your own doing. Life is what you make of it. If you deserved more, you'd be making more.

Type faster, make more.

Start your own business, make more.

Qualify for a good MTSO, make more.

If you're not earning it, the reason lies with YOU.
Rural America wages
Last year interviewed for two transcription jobs. Neurology office $13.50, hospital $16.00. (the most I have ever been offered) I was offered the neurology position, but declined and the hospital job was given to someone with less experience, i.e. less $$$, they were hoping to add an addition MT on, but did not. I have over 15 years multispeciality office transcription experience including running my own business for 10+ years. I basically learned on the job, sort of fell into transcribing 20 years ago. I am also a Certified Medical Assistant (silly me, actually went to school for that), I have worked in physicians office over the past 20 years part-time doing medical assisting and transcribing and worked my way up to $11.50/hr. Unfortunately in the office MAs are being replaced by regular high-school graduates, $7.00 per hour, etc, and of course they can do transcription too.. ha ha. Since I live in a rural area the opportunities are limited and each position would require a lengthy commute and with high gas prices that is just crazy, so I decided to go employee with national. Since I get paid by production I can make more $$$ that way overall but the cpl rate is not nearly what it should be, you just keep working harder for the $$$. I would not recommend anyone get into this field by choice as technology will eventually whittle us away to almost nothing. If you want medical, go for the top.. doctor, RN, nurse practitioner, PA, etc. Decent wage and some respect, too.
If you think you are working for slave wages now...

Medical transcription is not your field.  We work for slave wages and have to compete with offshore transcriptionists who work for next to nothing. 

You will need to have an extensive medical knowledge, be willing to constantly purchase new equipment and reference books, and for all of that you get paid worse than a Wal-Mart greeter.  Wages consistently have been going down, not up. 

If you have a bachelor's degree, I would look into other fields if I were you. 

The only way I would recommend this field to someone is if they are handicapped or have an ill child or something that forces them to work from home.  Aside from that, I wouldn't recommend it. 

But you see, that's the problem. The lower wages go in the US, (sm)
the less any of us want to pay for things. But when you're on a limited budget and can't buy things any old time you want, one way to save money is to buy QUALITY. Then it LASTS. I may buy a couple cheap T-shirts at Ross that were made in Bangladesh, but I know they're expendable. I'll end up shrinking them the first time I wash them, and then use them as dust rags. But if I'm buying a coat, or a dress, or a CAR, then I go for quality. Even if it means waiting longer to get it, because then it will last, ultimately saving money in the long run. If I have to pay more for things (like gas, groceries, rent, etc.), then I demand a higher wage. If I don't get it, I look for an employer that will pay it. Too many people in this country (and especially offshore!)"settle" for the crappy wage just to get their foot in the door. Sometimes it's just better to go look for a different door.
Another example of the poor wages and long
hours MTing is a waste of time.
they will continue to offer low wages because there is always SOMEONE who will take it!