Medical transcription salary

Update: Nov 5th, 2013

By Laura Naumann

There are many options in medical transcription employment. You may choose to work as an in-house hospital transcriptionist or under a local physician. You may elect to work for an agency, either as an independent contractor or an employee. You may decide to open your own agency.

With all of the choices for employment it is difficult to pin down the salary for medical transcriptionist. I have seen sites quoting $40,000/year and those citing a lack of work in the industry. I can only offer my personal experience to give you an idea of what to expect.

I work as an independent contractor for a small medical transcription agency. I receive voice files through the Internet, transcribe them and send them back through the Internet. The deadline for these files is the next day. My daily schedule is quite flexible. As long as I get the completed reports in by morning I can work on them at any time. The more time during the day I spend talking on the phone, doing laundry, etc. the later I end up working at night.

A friend of mine works for a much larger medical transcription agency. She is a regular employee. She is expected to work specific hours of the day and is guaranteed at least minimum wage for those hours, although like me she is paid by number of typed lines. She receives her work through a queue and it can be almost any doctor’s transcription.

My friend often complains about transcribing for a new doctor or one with a difficult accent, which I’m sure affects her transcription speed.  On the other hand I transcribe for basically the same three physicians and fortunately they all practice the same specialty.  This allows me to run through the dictation files at full speed.  I very rarely have to stop/rewind because I missed anyting.

I am paid 8 cents/line and this represents a couple of raises since I started. I consider it a pretty good day if I make $70 (this works out to about $10/hour.) I think my friend makes 7.45 cents/line. Of course I didn’t have to drive anywhere, use any gas or even get dressed to make this amount. I can also deduct home office expenses on my taxes.

Because I am paid by the typed line I am always trying to find ways to increase production. Some of my best tips can be found at

I found this chart from the United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics for the expected earnings for a medical transcriptionist, which represents wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey program. As you can see, these figures are significantly higher than what I’m making.

Medical and diagnostic laboratories $17.26

General medical and surgical hospitals $15.88

Outpatient care centers $15.46

Offices of physicians $15.02

Business support services $14.52

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